um, against the vast majority... i have found that quite a lot of published papers do mention first names, not always, but in some cases at least - mostly the first time an author is mentioned. Like:
"Among others, Peter Muster has written about this. In his seminal book (Muster 2004) he argues that.... Muster also claims that..."
The exeption to the above mentioned rule is a paper with just two authers on it- you then cite both surnames (404 and Fluffymonster, 2007).
Quite frankly- use Endnote, that'll insert the references correctly for you. Also avoids spelling mistakes of authors names. And it saves time.
Citing the first name makes it sound like you're buddies, I wouldn't do it- too informal.
If you want to cite something thats not published then cite it like this: (Fluffymonster, personal communication).
et al. is usually written in italics.
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