Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
In-Text Citations: The Basics
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Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here .
Reference citations in text are covered on pages 261-268 of the Publication Manual. What follows are some general guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay.
Note: On pages 117-118, the Publication Manual suggests that authors of research papers should use the past tense or present perfect tense for signal phrases that occur in the literature review and procedure descriptions (for example, Jones (1998) found or Jones (1998) has found ...). Contexts other than traditionally-structured research writing may permit the simple present tense (for example, Jones (1998) finds ).
APA Citation Basics
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference.
On the other hand, if you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “p.” (for one page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before listing the page number(s). Use an en dash for page ranges. For example, you might write (Jones, 1998, p. 199) or (Jones, 1998, pp. 199–201). This information is reiterated below.
Regardless of how they are referenced, all sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining
- Always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials: D. Jones.
- If you refer to the title of a source within your paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source: Permanence and Change . Exceptions apply to short words that are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs: Writing New Media , There Is Nothing Left to Lose .
( Note: in your References list, only the first word of a title will be capitalized: Writing new media .)
- When capitalizing titles, capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound word: Natural-Born Cyborgs .
- Capitalize the first word after a dash or colon: "Defining Film Rhetoric: The Case of Hitchcock's Vertigo ."
- If the title of the work is italicized in your reference list, italicize it and use title case capitalization in the text: The Closing of the American Mind ; The Wizard of Oz ; Friends .
- If the title of the work is not italicized in your reference list, use double quotation marks and title case capitalization (even though the reference list uses sentence case): "Multimedia Narration: Constructing Possible Worlds;" "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry."
If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by "p." for a single page and “pp.” for a span of multiple pages, with the page numbers separated by an en dash).
You can introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.
If you do not include the author’s name in the text of the sentence, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.
Place direct quotations that are 40 words or longer in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout, but do not add an extra blank line before or after it. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.
Because block quotation formatting is difficult for us to replicate in the OWL's content management system, we have simply provided a screenshot of a generic example below.
Formatting example for block quotations in APA 7 style.
Quotations from sources without pages
Direct quotations from sources that do not contain pages should not reference a page number. Instead, you may reference another logical identifying element: a paragraph, a chapter number, a section number, a table number, or something else. Older works (like religious texts) can also incorporate special location identifiers like verse numbers. In short: pick a substitute for page numbers that makes sense for your source.
Summary or paraphrase
If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference and may omit the page numbers. APA guidelines, however, do encourage including a page range for a summary or paraphrase when it will help the reader find the information in a longer work.
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Apa quick citation guide.
- In-text Citation
- Citing Web Pages and Social Media
- Citing Articles
- Citing Books
- Citing Business Reports
- Other Formats
- APA Style Quiz
Using In-text Citation
Include an in-text citation when you refer to, summarize, paraphrase, or quote from another source. For every in-text citation in your paper, there must be a corresponding entry in your reference list.
APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005). For direct quotations, include the page number as well, for example: (Field, 2005, p. 14). For sources such as websites and e-books that have no page numbers , use a paragraph number, for example: (Field, 2005, para. 1). More information on direct quotation of sources without pagination is given on the APA Style and Grammar Guidelines web page.
Example paragraph with in-text citation
A few researchers in the linguistics field have developed training programs designed to improve native speakers' ability to understand accented speech (Derwing et al., 2002; Thomas, 2004). Their training techniques are based on the research described above indicating that comprehension improves with exposure to non-native speech. Derwing et al. (2002) conducted their training with students preparing to be social workers, but note that other professionals who work with non-native speakers could benefit from a similar program.
Derwing, T. M., Rossiter, M. J., & Munro, M. J. (2002). Teaching native speakers to listen to foreign-accented speech. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development , 23 (4), 245-259.
Thomas, H. K. (2004). Training strategies for improving listeners' comprehension of foreign-accented speech (Doctoral dissertation). University of Colorado, Boulder.
Citing Web Pages In Text
Cite web pages in text as you would any other source, using the author and date if known. Keep in mind that the author may be an organization rather than a person. For sources with no author, use the title in place of an author.
For sources with no date use n.d. (for no date) in place of the year: (Smith, n.d.). For more information on citations for sources with no date or other missing information see the page on missing reference information on the APA Style and Grammar Guidelines web page.
Below are examples of using in-text citation with web pages.
Web page with author:
Heavy social media use can be linked to depression and other mental disorders in teens (Asmelash, 2019).
Asmelash, L. (2019, August 14). Social media use may harm teens' mental health by disrupting positive activities, study says . CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/13/health/social-media-mental-health-trnd/index.html
Web page with organizational author:
More than 300 million people worldwide are affected by depression (World Health Organization, 2018).
World Health Organization. (2018, March 22). Depression . https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
Web page with no date:
Establishing regular routines, such as exercise, can help survivors of disasters recover from trauma (American Psychological Association [APA], n.d.).
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Recovering emotionally from disaste r. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/recovering-disasters.aspx
In-text references should immediately follow the title, word, or phrase to which they are directly relevant, rather than appearing at the end of long clauses or sentences. In-text references should always precede punctuation marks. Below are examples of using in-text citation.
Author's name in parentheses:
One study found that the most important element in comprehending non-native speech is familiarity with the topic (Gass & Varonis, 1984).
Author's name part of narrative:
Gass and Varonis (1984) found that the most important element in comprehending non-native speech is familiarity with the topic.
Group as author: First citation: (American Psychological Association [APA], 2015) Subsequent citation: (APA, 2015)
Multiple works: (separate each work with semi-colons)
Research shows that listening to a particular accent improves comprehension of accented speech in general (Gass & Varonis, 1984; Krech Thomas, 2004).
Direct quote: (include page number and place quotation marks around the direct quote)
One study found that “the listener's familiarity with the topic of discourse greatly facilitates the interpretation of the entire message” (Gass & Varonis, 1984, p. 85).
Gass and Varonis (1984) found that “the listener’s familiarity with the topic of discourse greatly facilitates the interpretation of the entire message” (p. 85).
Note: For direct quotations of more than 40 words , display the quote as an indented block of text without quotation marks and include the authors’ names, year, and page number in parentheses at the end of the quote. For example:
This suggests that familiarity with nonnative speech in general, although it is clearly not as important a variable as topic familiarity, may indeed have some effect. That is, prior experience with nonnative speech, such as that gained by listening to the reading, facilitates comprehension. (Gass & Varonis, 1984, p. 77)
Works by Multiple Authors
APA style has specific rules for citing works by multiple authors. Use the following guidelines to determine how to correctly cite works by multiple authors in text. For more information on citing works by multiple authors see the APA Style and Grammar Guidelines page on in-text citation .
Note: When using multiple authors' names as part of your narrative, rather than in parentheses, always spell out the word and. For multiple authors' names within a parenthetic citation, use &.
One author: (Field, 2005)
Two authors: (Gass & Varonis, 1984)
Three or more authors: (Tremblay et al., 2010)
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APA Citation Guide
APA (American Psychological Association) style is used to cite sources in the field of social sciences. It can be used for research papers in the subjects of social anthropology, sociology, social psychology, political science, and economics.
In this guide, our law essay writing services team will provide you with specific directions on how to organize and properly cite different types of sources in APA format — along with citation examples. This article is a good aid for anyone who wishes to live up to high academic standards, avoid plagiarism, and cite their sources in accordance with the latest APA style rules.
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The following guide is based on the most recent 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological association.
APA Referencing Basics: Reference List
A reference list is a list of all the sources one has used in their essay. Everything in other citation styles, such as the bibliography or works cited page, are simply called a reference list in the APA format. In order to make it easier for a reader to navigate your essay and look for cited sources, there are specific rules to follow to organize it:
- First, the reference page is always the last page in your essay. At the top of the page, place the word “References”. Do not make it bold or underline it. All the text on this page should have the same spacing as the rest of your essay.
- In the reference list, the author's last name goes first and then the first name.
- Each source on the reference page must start on a new line. If the source takes up more than one line, all the lines following the first one must be indented one-half inch from the left.
- If there are multiple works by the same author, they should be listed in chronological order, from earliest to latest.
- On the reference page, the sources should be alphabetized according to the last names of the authors (or the first author, if there are multiple authors for one source).
- Always write out every title in full, and make sure to stick to the punctuation and capitalizations used by the author.
- Titles of longer sources, like books and journals, should be italicized.
APA Referencing Basics: In-Text Citation
- Two authors. In order to do the in-text citation, both authors should be named in parentheses after the thought is finished. Instead of using “and”, use an ampersand to combine the two last names. Then, put a coma and include the year of publication.
Example: (Smith & Jones, 2002)
If you choose to use a signal phrase, you should use “and”, and only put the year of publication in parentheses:
Example: According to Smith and Jones (2002), the circumstances of…
- Three, four or five authors. All of the authors should be listed regardless of whether you choose to do an in-text citation or signal phrase while citing your quote or information. List them all except the last one—using commas. The last one should have a comma AND ampersand in front of it, followed by the year:
Example: (Brooks, Jones, Smith, & Orozco, 2009)
In any follow-up citations throughout the text, instead of listing all of the authors, you should simply include the first name followed by “et al.” and the year:
Example: (Brooks et al., 2009)
- Six or more authors. In this case, you should not list all of the authors in the in-text citation. In parentheses, or in a signal phrase, put the last name of the first author and “et al.”, along with the year. This is the correct way to do an in-text citation for a publication with multiple authors:
Examples: Brooks et al. (2009) suggested… (Brooks et al., 2009)
- No authors. If it appears that some of your sources do not have an author, the in-text citation should be done using the name of the publication. In parentheses, you should include the two first words from the name of the publication in quotation marks, followed by the year. The same goes for a signal phrase in-text citation, but without the use of parentheses:
Example: The research was conducted in a suitable environment (“Deduction Methods”, 1996)
- Citing authors with multiple works from the same year. In the rare case you are citing multiple works by the same author, that also have the same publication date, you should use lower-case letters after the year (a, b, c, etc.)—depending on the order the sources are put in the reference list:
Examples: Findings of this research were outstanding (Brooks, 1972a)… The finding of Brooks’ research (1972a)…
- Citing multiple works in one parentheses. If a statement you created was composed out of several different sources, you need to include all of them in the parentheses of your in-text citation. You should list them alphabetically, the same way they are rendered in the reference list:
Example: (Brooks, 1995; Gandhi, 2004)
- Citing a group or organization . If the author of a publication is not a person, but rather an organization or a group, you should include the full name of the organization, along with the year of publication, in the parentheses of your in-text citation:
Examples: The laws followed by Internal Revenue Service (2002)… The laws followed by this organization (IRS, 2002)…
- Citing a secondary source. In order to cite a source that you have found within another source, you should name your source in the signal phrase. Then, mention the secondary source in parentheses, followed by the phrase “as cited”, the year of publication, and the page number:
Example: Brooks suggested that…(as cited in Smith, 2002, p.459)
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How to Cite Different Source Types
In this section you will discover how to cite different printed and digital sources.
How to Cite a Book in APA Format
- Citing a book in print. Citing a book follows this specific format:
Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letters also for subtitles. Location: Publisher.
First, put the last name of the author, followed by a comma, then initial(s). In parentheses, put the year of publication. Next, the title of the book. Italicize the title — although the only capitalized letters are the first letters of the title and subtitle. Then, you should include the location of where the book was published, along with the publisher, separated by a semicolon:
Citation example: Smith, A. J. (2009). Economic in modern life: Guide to success. New York City; Manhattan press.
- Citing an e-book from an e-reader. If your source is a book from an e-reader like a Kindle, the following information has to be included: the author, date of publication in parentheses, title, e-book version, and the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number or place where you downloaded the book. This information is used instead of the information about the publisher.
Citation example: Salinger, J. J. (1897). Glass Family [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
- Citing a book found in a database. If the book you are using in your essay comes from a school library database or and online database, you should cite it in the following format: Last name of the author, initial(s), italicized name of the publication, and “retrieved from”, followed by a link to the website. If the book you are using has to be purchased, it is suggested to put “available from”, rather than “retrieved from”.
Citation example: De Puff, E. W. (n.d.). Indian Lifestyle: Traditions and myths. Retrieved from https://digital.library.sdsu.edu/indians.html
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How to Cite a Journal Article in APA Format
- Citing a journal article in print. For a printed article to be cited, the following format should be used: author with initial(s), date of publication in parentheses, title, title of journal (italicized), volume number (italicized), issue number, and page range:
Citation example: Scraton, J. (1993). The eclipse of understanding. The New Yorker Style, 21(4) , 5-13.
- Citing a journal article found online. According to the APA format guide, if the journal article was found online, the following format should be followed: author with initial(s), date of publication in parentheses, title, title of journal (italicized), volume number (italicized), issue number, page range, and DOI.
A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a tool used in the APA format, instead of a URL. URLs tend to change; therefore, the reader is not always able to retrieve a certain online source. DOIs, on the other hand, have a long-lasting link that is unique to a specific article. If a DOI is unavailable, the use of a URL is permitted.
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number (issue number, if available), page range. doi:0000000/000000000000 or https://doi.org/10.0000/0000
Citation example: Brownie, D. (2007). French economics: An annotated bibliography. European Journal of Marketing, 41 , 1245-1283. doi:10.1108/03090560710821161
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How to Reference a Newspaper in APA Format
- Citing a newspaper article in print. According to the APA format guide, an article retrieved from a newspaper in print should be cited as follows: author, year and month of publication, the name of the article, the name of the newspaper (italicized), and pages:
Citation example: Curtis, S. (2005, October 22). Fields grown to thrive. The Country Today , pp. 1A, 2A.
- Citing a newspaper article found online is identical to a printed version, although the home address should be added. APA style format guidelines suggest using the homepage instead of the URL itself:
Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper . Retrieved from https://www.homeaddress.com/
Example: Galveston, T. (2008, August 6). Psychology newsletter. The New York Times . Retrieved from https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/
How to Reference a Magazine in APA Format
- Citing a magazine article in print. A magazine article in print is required to have the following structure (according to the APA format guide): author, year and month of publication in parentheses, the name of the article, the name of the magazine (italicized), issue number (italicized), and page range:
Citation example: Henry, W. A., (1990, April). Making the grade in today's schools. Time , 135, 28-31.
- Citing a magazine article found online. For a magazine article found online, you need to have the following components, in accordance with the APA format guide: author, year and month of publication in parentheses, the name of the article, the name of the magazine (italicized), issue number (italicized) and page range, followed by the DOI:
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Magazine, issue number , page range. doi:0000000/000000000000 or https://doi.org/10.0000/0000
Citation example: Henry, W. A., (1990, April). Making the grade in today's schools. Time, 135 , 28-31. doi: 10.1108/03090560710821161
How to Cite a Movie/Film in APA Format
- Citing a film / Citing a movie. If a film is one of the sources of your essay, it might be challenging to cite. In order to do so in accordance with the APA format guide, you need to put the following information on the reference page: producer’s name—followed by “producer” in parentheses, director’s name—followed by “director” in parentheses, date of publication in parentheses, title (italicized)-followed by “motion picture” in brackets, country of origin, and finally, studio.
Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.
Citation example: Carroll, G., Giler, D., & Hill, W. (Producers), & Scott, R. (Director). (1979). Alien [Motion Picture]. United States: Twentieth Century Fox.
- Citing a film from YouTube. If you find a YouTube video that looks like a credible academic source, do not hesitate to include it. According to the APA format guide, you should start off with the name of the person who published the video, followed by their nickname or username is brackets, date of publication in parentheses, italicized name of the video and the type of media in brackets, and the URL for it.
Last Name, F.M. [Username]. (Year, Month Date). Title of video [Video File]. Retrieved from URL
Citation example: Apolon, M. [marsolon]. (2011, October 9). The tape 14 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nyGC848/
How to Cite a TV/Radio Broadcast in APA Format
- Citing an episode from TV or a radio show. Citing an episode from a TV or radio show should be done in the following format: writer’s last name and initial(s), followed by (Writer); director’s last name and initial(s), followed by (Director); the year of publication in parentheses; the name of the episode; type of series; producer’s name, followed by (Producer); italicized title; city and state of origin; and studio or distributor’s name:
Writer, W. W. (Writer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of episode [Television series episode]. In P. Producer (Producer), Series title . City, state of origin: Studio or distributor.
Citation example: Dick, L. (Writer), & Yaitanes, G. (Director). (2009). Simple explanation [Television series episode]. In P. Attanasio (Executive producer), House, M.D. . Los Angeles, CA: Fox Broadcasting..
How to Cite a Website in APA Format
- Citing a website article with an author. If you find an article online that is not from a newspaper, magazine, or any kind of periodical, the best way to cite it is as follows (according to the APA format guide): author, date of publication in parentheses, title, format description, and “retrieved from” with the URL:
Author, A. A. & Author B. B. (Date of publication). Title of page [Format description when necessary]. Retrieved from https://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
Citation example: Eco, U. (2015). How to write a thesis [PDF file]. (Farina C. M. & Farina F., Trans.) Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/How_to_write_a_thesis/.../Umberto+Eco-How+to+Write/
- Citing a website article without an author. If the article does not have an author, cite it with the name of the page, date in parentheses or “n.d” for “no date”, and “retrieved from” with the URL:
Citation example: Spotlight Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/about/information/spotlight_resources.html/
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APA In-Text Citations and Sample Essay 7th Edition
This handout focuses on how to format in-text citations in APA.
Proper citation of sources is a two-part process . You must first cite each source in the body of your essay; these citations within the essay are called in-text citations . You MUST cite all quoted, paraphrased, or summarized words, ideas, and facts from sources. Without in-text citations, you are technically in danger of plagiarism, even if you have listed your sources at the end of the essay.
In-text citations point the reader to the sources’ information on the references page. The in-text citation typically includes the author's last name and the year of publication. If you use a direct quote, the page number is also provided.
More information can be found on p. 253 of the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Direct quotation with the author named in the text.
Heinze and Lu (2017) stated, “The NFL shifted its responses to institutional change around concussions significantly as the field itself evolved” (p. 509).
Note: The year of publication is listed in parenthesis after the names of the authors, and the page number is listed in parenthesis at the end of the quote.
Direct Quotation without the Author Named in the Text
As the NFL developed as an organization, it “shifted its responses to institutional change around concussions significantly” (Heinze & Lu, 2017, p. 509).
Note: At the end of the quote, the names of the authors, year of publication, and page number are listed in parenthesis.
Paraphrase with 1-2 Authors
As the NFL developed as an organization, its reactions toward concussions also transformed (Heinze & Lu, 2017).
Note: For paraphrases, page numbers are encouraged but not required.
Paraphrase with 3 or More Authors
To work toward solving the issue of violence in prisons begins with determining aspects that might connect with prisoners' violent conduct (Thomson et al., 2019).
Direct Quotation without an Author
The findings were astonishing "in a recent study of parent and adult child relationships" ("Parents and Their Children," 2007, p. 2).
Note: Since the author of the text is not stated, a shortened version of the title is used instead.
When using secondary sources, use the phrase "as cited in" and cite the secondary source on the References page.
In 1936, Keynes said, “governments should run deficits when the economy is slow to avoid unemployment” (as cited in Richardson, 2008, p. 257).
Long (Block) Quotations
When using direct quotations of 40 or more words, indent five spaces from the left margin without using quotation marks. The final period should come before the parenthetical citation.
At Meramec, an English department policy states:
To honor and protect their own work and that of others, all students must give credit to proprietary sources that are used for course work. It is assumed that any information that is not documented is either common knowledge in that field or the original work of that student. (St. Louis Community College, 2001, p. 1)
If citing a specific web document without a page number, include the name of the author, date, title of the section, and paragraph number in parentheses:
In America, “Two out of five deaths among U.S. teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash” (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2004, Overview section, para. 1).
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Learn more about the APA References page by reviewing this handout .
For information on STLCC's academic integrity policy, check out this webpage .
For additional information on APA, check out STLCC's LibGuide on APA .
A sample APA essay is available at this link .
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What Is In-Text Citation?
In APA, in-text citations are inserted in the text of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the Reference list.
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. In the author-date method, the writer includes the author and date within the body of the paper and includes a corresponding reference in the Reference list. This method allows the reader to identify sources used in the paper by reviewing the author and date within the text of the paper, and then easily locate the corresponding reference in the alphabetical Reference list.
Create an in-text citation whenever you quote another work, or whenever you paraphrase another work in your own words.
In-text Citations Have Two Formats
- Parenthetical - the author name and publication date (or equivalent information) appear in parentheses. For example: Falsely balanced news coverage can distort the public's perception of expert consensus on an issue (Burnside, 2016).
- Narrative - the author name appears in running text and the date appears in parentheses immediately after the author name. For example: Burnside (2016) noted the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage.
If you are referring to an idea from another work (paraphrasing or summarizing) but NOT directly quoting the material, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference.
If you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. For example, (Burnside, 2016, p. 199).
In-Text Citation Styles
The table below shows several examples of parenthetical and narrative citations.
Paraphrasing and Quoting: What Is the Difference?
There are two ways to integrate sources into your assignment:
- Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation.
- Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting, place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation.
If you refer to the author's name in a sentence, you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation; instead, include the date after the name and the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation or the paraphrased section. For example:
Hunt (2011) explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (p. 358).
If a quotation consists of fewer than 40 words , treat it as a short quotation:
- Incorporate the quote into the text and enclose it within double quotation marks.
- Include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference.
- For example, Smith (2019) demonstrated how to "..." (p. 112).
- For example, "..." (Smith, 2019, p. 112).
Long (Block) Quotations
If a quotation contains 40 words or more , treat it as a long (block) quotation:
- Do not use quotation marks to enclose a block quotation.
- Start a block quotation on a new line and indent the whole block 0.5 inches from the left margin.
- If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph an additional 0.5 inches.
- Double-space the entire block quotation; do not add extra space before or after it.
- Either (1) cite the source in parentheses after the quotation's final punctuation, or (2) cite the author and year in the narrative before the quotation and place only the page number in parentheses after the quotation's final punctuation. Do NOT add a period after the closing parenthesis in either case.
- See section 8.27 in the Publication Manual for examples of the block quotation.
Direct Quotation Without Page Numbers
When you quote from electronic sources that do not provide page numbers (e.g., webpages, websites, some e-books), provide readers with another way of locating the quoted passage. Use any of the following approaches that will best help readers find the quotation:
- Provide a heading or a section name.
- Provide a paragraph number (count the paragraphs manually if they are not numbered).
- Provide a heading or section name in combination with a paragraph number.
In-Text Citation for More than One Source
If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon. List the sources alphabetically by author's last name or first word used from the title if no author is given, in the same order they would appear in the Reference list. For example:
(Jones, 2015; Smith, 2014).
( Beckworth, 2016; "Nursing," 2015).
- << Previous: Websites and Webpages
- Next: Reference List and Sample Papers >>
APA Citation Style Guide (6th Ed.): Overview
- In-text Citation
- Two Authors
- 3 - 5 Authors
- 6 or More Authors
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- One Author or Editor
- Two Authors or Editors
- 3-5 Authors or Editors
- Article or Chapter in an Edited Book
- Article in a Reference Book
- Book with No Author
- Book Edition
- Web Pages and Blog Posts
- Motion Picture
- YouTube Video
- Audio Podcast
- Music Recording
- Images and Art
- Classical Work
- Secondary Source
- Government Publication
For information on the 7th edition of APA, visit the new guide at USC'sThomas Cooper Library:
7th Edition Guide
About APA Style
American Psychological Association (APA) style is commonly used for citing references in science and social science courses, such as Nursing, Psychology, Education, and Social Work. This guide is based on the 6th edition published in 2010.
This edition is shelved in the Ready Reference area behind the Library's Circulation Desk and may be used in the library (it can't be checked out).
The call number is READY REF WZ 345 P976 2010
New Content in the 6th Edition
Some of the changes in the new edition include:
- the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) in references to print and electronic sources (when available). See pages 188 to 192 in the APA Manual for more information.
- expanded coverage of online resources
To learn more about the changes made in the new edition, check out the " What's New " section on the official APA Website.
You may also want to check out the APA blog to learn more about such topics as using DOIs and citing specific sources.
Portions of this LibGuide have been copied, with permission, from the following institutions:
- Jamestown Community College Hultquist Library
- Penn State University Libraries
- Red Deer College Library
Numbers in parentheses refer to specific pages in the APA 6th Edition manual.
Author-Date Citation System in Text (p. 174)
- In the text of the paper, references are cited using an author-date citation system, and then are listed alphabetically in the reference list at the end of the paper.
The conquest of pellagra is commonly associated with a single name: Joseph Goldberger (Bryan, 2014).
This entry in Reference list:
Bryan, C.S. (2014). Asylum Doctor: James Woods Babcock and the Red Plague of Pellagra. Columbia, SC: The University of South Carolina Press.
Double-space your entire paper, including the References list and any block quotes (pp. 229, 171, 180)
Recommended Typeface: The preferred APA typeface , or font , is 12-point Times New Roman. (p. 228)
Page Numbers and Running Head (p. 230)
- Once your paper is complete, number the pages consecutively, beginning with the title page.
- Include a "running head" on each page (p. 229). On the title page, use the format "Running head: EXAMPLE OF TITLE" (without the quotation marks). On all subsequent pages, use the format "EXAMPLE OF TITLE" (without quotation marks). See the sample paper on p. 41 of the Manual .
Tip: Use the "header" function on your word processor to set up the page numbers and running head. Since the running head format is different on the title page than the subsequent pages, you will need to choose "different first page" within your word processor header function.
Learn more about APA Style
- APA Website
Give credit to all sources from which you have taken information, whether you have directly quoted, paraphrased, or summarized the author’s words. Failing to document your sources constitutes plagiarism.
See page 170 of the manual for more information about plagiarism.
- Next: In-text Citation >>
- Last Updated: Jul 6, 2020 9:13 AM
- URL: https://uscmed.sc.libguides.com/APAStyle
Citing Sources Guide
- Citation Basics
- Example Works Cited
- Example APA References
- Example AMA References
- Citation Tools
Quoting vs. Paraphrasing
Quoting is when you use the author's exact words. Use quotation marks (" ") to denote a direct quote.
Paraphrasing is when you use the author's idea, but put it in your own words. You do not need to use quotation marks when paraphrasing.
Both quoting and paraphrasing require a citation.
Websites for Citation
- MyBib Plug in your source information and MyBib will create a citation for you!
• Purdue OWL - APA - A great site with tons of examples
• Excelsior Online Writing Lab - Lots of examples, checklists, and activities to practice citing
Intro to APA
APA Style is the official style of the American Psychological Association . It is used for writing and formatting research papers. Some subjects that use APA Style are: Nursing, Psychology, Sociology, Occupational Therapy and Respiratory Therapy, and also Life Science-related: Biology, Environmental Science, Physiology . Check with your instructor to find out which style you should use for your research paper.
APA Style will guide how your paper should look and how to cite all of the resources you used. When setting up your document, make sure you follow these guidelines:
- Margins should be set to one inch on all sides.
- Use a standard, readable font like Times New Roman or Arial, size 12.
- Include page numbers in the top right header of each page.
- All text lines should be double-spaced including your heading, quotations, and references page.
Make sure your paper is formatted correctly using this APA Format Checklist
In Text Citation Basics
Every citation style uses two types of citation: In text and Bibliographic.
In text citation gives credit to someone else's work in your paper, right when you use it. In APA style, an author/year system is used. If you are using an exact quote, you must also include the page number. When you introduce a quote or paraphrase, you typically include at least some of the information about the resource. For example, you can say that according to [author's name] (year of publication), and then use the quote. If you use a piece of identifying information in your signal phrase, the remaining information will be included in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
Example : According to Smith (2016), "Social media is harmful to teens" (p. 243).
If there is more than one author, separate the names with commas and use an ampersand (&) before the last author. When you are using a direct quote, the citation begins after the end quotation mark. The period to end the sentence will come after the citation is complete.
Example : According to a 2012 study, "social media is harmful to teens" (Smith, Wheeler, & Jones, p. 65).
If you choose not to include any information in your signal phrase you can include it all at the end of your sentence, in parentheses.
Example : It is true that social media is harmful to teens (Smith, Wheeler, & Jones, 2012).
How to Cite with Missing Information
Sometimes you are missing information that you need to create an in text citation. Use the examples below to create an in text citation when you are missing information.
No Author If you do not have the author's name, you can use a short version of the title in quotation marks. Note that the comma will be inside the quotation marks.
Example : A similar study was done of students who spend too much time browsing the internet ("Internet Browsing," 2015).
No Date If you do not have a date, use the abbreviation n.d. for "no date."
Example : (Smith, Wheeler, & Jones, n.d., p.67)
- APA Citation Guide 7th edition
Bibliographic Citation - References Page
Bibliographic Citation - References
Bibliographic citation is when you list the sources you've used in your paper. On the very last page of your paper, you need to provide a list of all the outside sources you quoted or paraphrased in the text. In APA format, this list is called a "References" page.
What should it look like?
Just like the rest of your paper, your References page should be in a readable font with 1-inch page margins. Your sources should be listed in alphabetical order by the first letter of the citation (usually the author's last name). Bibliographic citations also use a hanging indent which means all lines except the first should be indented for each individual citation or source. Not sure how to do that? Find directions below. See the References Example Page to get a better idea of what your page should look like.
- How to Create a Hanging Indent in Microsoft Word
- Example APA References Page
Citing your Sources
You will need to gather some information from each of your sources, so it's best to have them in front of you. Remember, one of the reasons for citing is so that your reader can find the sources that you refer to. You need to provide as much information as possible so that they can find your sources easily. For most APA citations, the following rules apply:
- Smith, J. K., Jones, R. R., & Thomas, A.
- Smith, J. K. (2014).
- The New York Times
- A curious case of a cat in the city: The story of Jumbo the cat.
Take a look at our APA Citation Guide for specific examples.
When citing books, you must include the author(s)'s name(s), the year of publication, the title of the book, and the name of the publisher. Sometimes you will need to include the names of editors or the edition number.
Collins, S. (2010). The hunger games . Scholastic, Inc.
When citing articles, you must include the author(s)'s name(s), the title of the article, the title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper, the volume and issue numbers, the date of publication, and the page number(s).
Kirman, J., Siminerio, S., & Wong, Z. (2016). The impact of a therapy dog program on children's reading skills and attitudes towards reading. Early Childhood Education Journal, 44 (6), 637-651.
When citing a website, or a page from a website, you need to provide the author(s)'s name(s), the title of the page you are using, the title of the website, the date the information was published, and the URL or web address of the site.
Berger, F. K. (2014). Managing your depression. Medline Plus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions.
Helpful Citation Videos
- Playlist of Citation Videos This playlist of YouTube videos walks you through the basics of when and why to cite, as well as the specific details of using APA 7, a common citation style. Be sure to ask your professor which citation style you need to use for your assignments. To access the playlist, follow the link above or watch below.
- << Previous: Example Works Cited
- Next: Example APA References >>
- Last Updated: Mar 1, 2023 2:52 PM
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APA In-Text Citations for Research Writing
Why Use In-Text Citations?
When writing a journal article, literature review, convention paper, or any other academic document, authors must include in-text citations whenever they refer to, summarize, paraphrase, or quote from another source. In addition, every time a work is cited within a paper (in APA style, a parenthetical citation), a corresponding entry must be included in the reference list.
How to Cite a Research Paper Using In-Text Citations
The rationale behind citing other people’s publications in your own manuscript is that you want to avoid intellectual dishonesty by giving credit to whoever reported a finding first or invented a specific technique. This is not only an ethical question, as being “sloppy” with your sources can easily be considered plagiarism (and even self-plagiarism , if you fail to refer to your own work), which can have legal consequences and damage your reputation.
General rules for what information should be provided when citing sources in a research paper vary across fields and depend on the type of source (e.g., books, journal articles, patents, conference proceedings, websites, etc.). We are not going into such differences here but will focus on the correct way of referencing other people’s research in your own paper according to one of the most common styles used to cite sources within the social sciences and in several other academic disciplines , that is, APA (American Psychological Association) style .
In research papers, in-text citations are most commonly used in the Introduction and Discussion Results sections. The following guidelines and examples are taken from the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition, 2nd printing , which details rules and application of APA style in research papers, including in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and references. For more information, consult the APA Style Manual website .
This resource provides detailed guidelines for citing sources in your paper and includes examples of in-text citations for reference by research authors. Before submitting your manuscript to a journal or publisher, be sure to use our free APA citation generator for your references and in-text citations.
APA Citation Rules: The Basics
Order and structure of in-text citation content.
When using APA format, follow the “author-date” method of in-text citation. Write the author’s last name and publication year for the source in parentheses and separate these pieces of information with a comma.
When referring to external work or referencing an entire work but not directly quoting the material, you only need to make a reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your citation.
The results of the first enzyme study (Chen et al., 2014) revealed several relationships.
If you mention the name of the author of the work in the sentence or earlier in the paragraph, you only need to include the year of publication in the citation.
Chen (2014) discusses several relationships revealed in this study.
Verb tense used in referring to other works
APA style requires authors to use past tense or present perfect tense (NOT present tense) when using signal phrases to refer to or discuss previous research (have a look at this article for more details on the correct tenses for different parts of a research paper ).
Radnitz (1995) found… / Radnitz (1995) has found…
Placement of in-text citations in the sentence (no quotation)
When referring to a specific work or works, place the citation (publication date only) directly after the author of the study referenced.
Klinge and Rogers (2010) found that mirroring is instrumental in developments of performative gender roles.
When giving information that reflects the results or implications of previous work, place the citation (author and publication date) at the end of the sentence.
Mirroring has been found to be instrumental in the development of performative gender roles (Klinge and Rogers, 2010).
Always capitalize author names and initials in in-text citations.
(r. kazinsky, 2014) (R. Kazinsky, 2014)
In-Text Citation Rules for Short Quotations
When quoting directly from a work, include the author, publication year, and page number of the reference (preceded by “p.”).
Method 1 : Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author’s last name; the publication year will follow in parentheses. Include the page number in parentheses at the end of the quoted text. Note that the quotation marks surround the text only, and not the parenthetical citation.
According to Khan (1976), “Graduate students tend to apply more diverse methods during their first two years of research” (p. 45). Khan (1976) noted that “graduate students tend to apply more diverse methods during their first two years of research” (p. 45), a fact that has profound implications for research departments.
Method 2 : If the author is absent in the signal phrase, include the author’s last name, the publication year, and the page number together in parentheses after the quoted text.
Researchers noted that “graduate students tend to apply more diverse methods during their first two years of research” (Khan, 1976, p. 45), but they did not offer a suggestion as to the cause.
In-text Citation Rules for Long Quotations
Long direct quotations are those with at least 40 words of quoted text in a row. Long quotes should be placed in a separate block of lines without quotation marks, similar to creating a new paragraph. Begin the quotation on a new line and indent 0.5in/1.27cm from the left margin. Type the entire quotation within these new margins using double-spacing. Include the parenthetical citation after the final punctuation mark.
Khan’s (1976) study found the following: Graduate students tend to apply more diverse methods during their first two years of research, especially when conducting research in teams of three or fewer with no senior researchers present. This tendency could be attributed to either a misunderstanding of correct methodology or to a feeling of freedom to explore different approaches that the researchers have yet to employ. (p. 45)
Summarizing and Paraphrasing Other Works
When paraphrasing another work , you only need to cite the author and year of publication in your in-text citation. It may be a good idea to include the page number as well if the paraphrased information is located on a specific page of the original text. APA guidelines encourage this inclusion but do not require it.
According to Khan (1976), new researchers tend to use more diverse methodologies. New researchers tend to use more diverse methodologies (Khan, 1976, p. 45).
Common Signal Phrases for Introducing External Works
- According to Johnson (publication year)…
- As Johnson (publication year) has noted…
- Johnson and Smith (publication year) contend that…
- As Johnson’s (2011) study revealed…
Citing Works by Multiple Authors/Editors
When making an in-text citation of works by multiple authors, there are specific rules to follow depending on the number of authors of a publication and the number of times you cite the same works.
Citing Multiple Works in One In-text Citation
When citing more than one source in the same in-text citation, list all sources in the standard way and separate them with a semi-colon. List the sources alphabetically (by author’s last name or by title if no author is given) in the order they appear in the reference list.
(Marsh, 1997; Johnson, 2002). (Kazinsky, 2017; “Three Different Roads,” 2013).
Citing Works by the Same Author with the Same Publication Year
When citing two or more sources with the same author and year of publication, assign lowercase letters directly after the year of publication (a, b, c) according to the alphabetical order of titles. You will use the same alphabetical designations in your in-text citations that you do in your reference list.
The incidence of West Nile virus in Florida increased between 2002 and 2004 (Dickens, 2014a). According to Dickens (2014b), “these viral infections were precipitated by record levels of rainfall around the peninsula” (p. 150).
Citing a Work Quoted in another Source
Work quoted or paraphrased in another text is called a “secondary source.” While in your reference list you must cite the primary source as well, in your in-text citation you will add the words “as cited in” followed by the secondary source. For example, if a review article by Franklin you are citing includes a useful quote by Adams that supports your paper, your in-text citation would look like this:
According to a study by Adams (as cited in Franklin, 2016), 25% of all US federal prisoners have been diagnosed with some form of social disorder. Adams (as cited in Franklin) contends that this statistic “reflects the dehumanizing conditions of most federal institutions” (p. 76).
Citing Web Pages
When citing an entire website (with no specific webpage or article given), simply provide the title and web address within the text of your paper. No citation is needed in the References.
The American Psychological Association includes detailed information on how to apply APA citation (http://www.apa.org).
Webpage with author(s)
A webpage with an individual author or authors should be cited in the same way as other texts, with the name or names written first, followed by the publication year.
There were 523 new cases reported in 2011 alone (Kristoff, 2012).
Webpage with a group author
Treat group authors as individual authors in in-text citations, but instead of the author’s last name, include the name of the group.
Claustrophobia afflicts one in five Britons (The Surrey Group, 2003).
Webpage with missing information
Even when some central information is missing from a website (e.g., no author, date, or webpage title), you may still cite it as a source if you use the correct formatting. For information on how to cite a website with missing information, visit the APA Style Blog post on Missing Pieces .
Citing social media sources
For a more comprehensive explanation of social media citation guidelines, visit the APA Style Blog post on How to Cite Social Media in APA Style .
And when submitting your finished AP document to journals or for a class assignment, be sure to get professional English editing services , including academic editing , manuscript editing , and research paper editing services . Professional editors with experience in APA, AMA, MLA, and other popular style guides will make sure that your document’s citations and references conform to the journal of your choice.
Wordvice provides a variety of other articles on topics such as the number of references your manuscript should contain , different citation styles if your target style does not use APA, and how to paraphrase correctly when citing sources in your paper, as well as more general advice on how to write research papers on the Wordvice academic resources website .
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source
APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005). For direct quotations, include
What is an APA In-Text Citation? · Author's last name (no first names or initials) · Year of publication (or “n.d.” if there is “no date”:(LastName, n.d., p.#))
APA Referencing Basics: Reference List · First, the reference page is always the last page in your essay. · In the reference list, the author's
In-text citations point the reader to the sources' information on the references page. The in-text citation typically includes the author's last name and the
This video will go through what plagiarism is and how to avoid it; how to cite sources using both parenthetical and narrative in-text
Incorporate the quote into the text and enclose it within double quotation marks. · Include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference.
APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005). For direct quotations, include the page number
In text citation gives credit to someone else's work in your paper, right when you use it. In APA style, an author/year system is used. If you are using an
When using APA format, follow the “author-date” method of in-text citation. Write the author's last name and publication year for the source in