APA Citation Guide
- Paper Formatting
- Reference Components
- Book Examples
- Article Examples
- Media Examples
- Internet Resources Examples
- Other Examples
In-Text Citation Components
Narrative citations, parenthetical citations, combining citations, secondary sources.
- Page Numbers etc.
When writing a paper, you will need to provide in-text citations (sometimes called parenthetical citations) for quotes, summaries, and to give credit for ideas. Every in-text citation must have a corresponding entry in the reference list, unless you are told otherwise (examples include personal communications and citing an entire website). There are two ways to cite in-text.
For more guidelines, view sections Chapter 8 in the Publication Manual or consult the APA Style page on In-Text Citations .
APA requires that you provide two pieces of information for an in-text citation:
- Author last name(s) (this could also be an organization)
- Publication date
A page number is required for direct quotes , and encouraged for paraphrasing.
You will incorporate this information two ways into your text: parenthetically or narratively.
Use the last name of the author for your in-text citation.
( Matthews , 2010, p. 14)
You will list up to two authors in an in-text citation, separated with an ampersand (&).
( Smith & Miller , 2009)
For references with three or more authors, you will only include the first author and then the words et al.
( Smith et al. , 2009)
Smith et al. (2009) summarized it as...
If the author of a work is an organization, company, or group, list that group's full name in the in-text citation.
( Santa Fe College , 2019)
If the organization has a common acronym, you may introduce it in your first in-text citation and then use the abbreviation in all subsequent citations.
(American Medical Association [AMA] , 2007)
You should avoid citing works with no author, because you will be unable to verify authority and credibility. Remember that most resources that do not have an individual author listed will have an organization or group responsible for the content.
If there is truly no author for a reference, you use the title, or first few words of the title. Note that you should capitalize the words in the title for the in-text citation. Place in quotation marks if the title is an article or chapter. Italicize if it is a book, webpage, etc.
( "How To Find," 2009).
( Oxford English Dictionary , 1989).
You will use the year of the resource in the in-text citation. Even if there is a more detailed date provided, only the year is included in the in-text citation.
(Smith, 2010 )
If there is no date for a reference, use the abbreviation n.d. :
(Santa Fe College, n.d. ).
Smith ( n.d. ) states that...
If you have two or more distinct works by the same author and published in the same year, differentiate them with letters. Letters will be assigned alphabetically by the order in which they are listed in the references list.
Rowling, J. K. (1999a). Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets . Arthur A. Levine.
(Rowling, 1999a )
Rowling, J. K. (1999b). Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban . Arthur A. Levine.
(Rowling, 1999b )
If both items are using n.d. instead of a year, include a hyphen before the differentiating letter.
(Santa Fe College, n.d.-a )
Recall that page numbers and more specific location information as detailed below are only required for direct quotes , but may be used for paraphrasing if you wish.
If you are using information from a single page, use the abbreviation p.
(Smith, 2009, p. 12 )
If your quote (or paraphrase) spans multiple pages, use the abbreviation pp. , and separate the two numbers with an en dash (–).
Smith (2009) discusses how the study was received by the media ( pp. 12–13 ).
No Page Numbers
If there are no page numbers on your resource, use section headers, paragraph numbers, or other descriptions to direct your reader to the information you are citing.
- Conclusions section
One of the author's main points is that "people don't rise from nothing" (Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5 ).
If you are citing a direct quotation from a video, you can use the time stamp in place of a page number within the in-text citation.
Pariser (2011) states that "your filter bubble is your own personal, unique universe of information that you live in online. And wha's in your filter bubble depends on who you are, and it depends on what you do" (4:12) .
Narrative citations are the preferred method of citing quotes. You may also use them for paraphrasing or summarizing. The strength of narrative citations is that it flows better for a reader. A narrative citations weaves in the author's name(s) into the text, and then adds in the year in parentheses. The page number will bookend the quote at the end.
You will often want to use a signal phrase to introduce a narrative citation. For an overview of signal phrases along with some examples, visit George Mason University's page on Signal Phrases .
Last name (Year) ... "quote" or paraphrase (p. X).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) , rates for pregnancy, STDs and abortion are much higher in the US than in other industrialized countries (para. 1) .
Pink (2009) explains that "rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus. That’s helpful when there’s a clear path to a solution" (p. 42) .
Valenas et al. (2017) explored the impact of attentional bias and rumination on test anxiety in first-year university students.
A parenthetical citation encompasses the components of the in-text citation in parentheses at the end of the sentence, prior to the closing period. This should mostly be used for paraphrasing, and typically not for direct quotes alone.
Recall that a page number is not necessary for paraphrasing, but is encouraged.
(Author, Date, p. X)
Most college students are limited in their research experience to using Google and struggle to learn how to effectively navigate and use the wide variety of resources available to them (Head, 2013) .
Researchers have cautioned that flipped instruction needs to be carefully designed, both in overall pedagogical design (Banks & Henderson, 2019) and in the design of instructional videos (Obradovich et al., 2015) .
Moreover, Standard II.5.2 explains that school psychologists "do not promote or condone the use of restricted psychological and educational tests…by individuals who are not qualified to use them" (NASP, 2010, p. 9) .
To include two or more different resources in one citation, use a semicolon to separate them:
Poor empathy development has been associated with negative outcomes including increased aggression, poorer quality relationships, and psychopathology across development (Batanova & Loukas, 2014; Gambin & Sharp, 2016) .
A secondary source is a source that is cited in another source. APA strongly suggests that you always track down the original source to use and cite. However, if that is not possible, use the following guidelines.
In your references list, include the source you have in hand . In your in-text citation, use the name/date of the original source, plus the words as cited in and then the source you used.
For example, you are using an article by Akerstedt et al., and they cite information from a study by Wing et al.
Text found in Akerstedt et al: "This issue has not been addressed before, but weekend compensatory sleep seems to counteract obesity in children who have short sleep duration during weekdays (Wing, Li, Li, Zhang, & Kong, 2009)."
Akerstedt, T., Ghilotti, F., Grotta, A., Zhao, H., Adami, H.-O., Trolle-Lagerros, Y., & Bellocco, R. (2019). Sleep duration and mortality – Does weekend sleep matter? Journal of Sleep Research, 28 (1), e12712. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12712
(Wing et al, 2009, as cited in Akerstedt et al., 2019)
Source: Publication Manual , 8.6; Secondary Sources [APA Style]
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Apa quick citation guide.
- In-text Citation
- Citing Generative AI
- 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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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
In-Text Citations: The Basics
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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
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.
- In-text Citations (APA)
- Works Cited page (APA)
- Doc. I (Parenthetical Author-Date) Style
- Doc. II (Note and bibliography) Style
- In-text citations (MLA)
- Works Cited page (MLA)
- (Changes between the 6/e and 7/e)
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Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing
APA Style uses parenthetical author-date citations. After summarizing or quoting a source, add parentheses containing the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number of the work.
Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, pp. 7-8).
If you use more than one work by the same author, use the letters a, b, etc., after the year.
Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007a, pp. 7-8).
If more than one author has the same last name, add their first initial.
Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss, 2007, pp. 7-8).
If two or more authors wrote the work, see the chart below.
If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.
Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (2007, pp. 7-8). Example: In 2007, Dr. Seuss suggested that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (pp. 708).
If no author name is available, use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title). Use quotation marks around titles of articles or web pages and italicize titles of books, periodicals, etc.
Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" ( Fox in Socks , 2007).
If no pagination information is available, use paragraph numbers instead.
Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, para. 5).
Note: When paraphrasing or mentioning another work, it is helpful to still provide pagination information if the source text is long or difficult, or if it would help the reader find the text being paraphrased.
Basic Citation Styles
Source: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C. (adapted)
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APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide
- Information for EndNote Users
- Authors - Numbers, Rules and Formatting
Everything must match!
Types of citations, in-text citations, quoting, summarising and paraphrasing, example text with in-text referencing, slightly tricky in-text citations, organisation as an author, secondary citation (works referred to in other works).
- Reference List
- Books & eBooks
- Book chapters
- Journal Articles
- Conference Papers
- Newspaper Articles
- Web Pages & Documents
- Specialised Health Databases
- Using Visual Works in Assignments & Class Presentations
- Using Visual Works in Theses and Publications
- Using Tables in Assignments & Class Presentations
- Custom Textbooks & Books of Readings
- ABS AND AIHW
- Videos (YouTube), Podcasts & Webinars
- Blog Posts and Social Media
- First Nations Works
- Dictionary and Encyclopedia Entries
- Personal Communication
- Theses and Dissertations
- Film / TV / DVD
- AI software
- APA Format for Assignments
- What If...?
- Other Guides
There are two basic ways to cite someone's work in text.
In narrative citations , the authors are part of the sentence - you are referring to them by name. For example:
Becker (2013) defined gamification as giving the mechanics of principles of a game to other activities.
Cho and Castañeda (2019) noted that game-like activities are frequently used in language classes that adopt mobile and computer technologies.
In parenthetical citations , the authors are not mentioned in the sentence, just the content of their work. Place the citation at the end of the sentence or clause where you have used their information. The author's names are placed in the brackets (parentheses) with the rest of the citation details:
Gamification involves giving the mechanics or principles of a game to another activity (Becker, 2013).
Increasingly, game-like activities are frequently used in language classes that adopt mobile and computer technologies (Cho & Castañeda, 2019).
Using references in text
For APA, you use the authors' surnames only and the year in text. If you are using a direct quote, you will also need to use a page number.
If an in-text citation has the authors' names as part of the sentence (that is, outside of brackets) place the year and page numbers in brackets immediately after the name, and use 'and' between the authors' names: Jones and Smith (2020, p. 29)
If an in-text citation has the authors' names in brackets use "&" between the authors' names : (Jones & Smith, 2020, p. 29).
Note: Some lecturers want page numbers for all citations, while some only want page numbers with direct quotes. Check with your lecturer to see what you need to do for your assignment. If the direct quote starts on one page and finishes on another, include the page range (Jones & Smith, 2020, pp. 29-30).
Smith (2020) found that "the mice disappeared within minutes" (p. 29).
The author stated "the mice disappeared within minutes" (Smith, 2020, p. 29).
Jones and Smith (2020) found that "the mice disappeared within minutes" (p. 29).
The authors stated "the mice disappeared within minutes" (Jones & Smith, 2020, p. 29).
For 3 or more authors , use the first author and "et al." for all in-text citations
Green et al.'s (2019) findings indicated that the intervention was not based on evidence from clinical trials.
It appears the intervention was not based on evidence from clinical trials (Green et al., 2019).
If you cite more than one work in the same set of brackets in text , your citations will go in the same order in which they will appear in your reference list (i.e. alphabetical order, then oldest to newest for works by the same author) and be separated by a semi-colon. E.g.:
- (Corbin, 2015; James & Waterson, 2017; Smith et al., 2016).
- (Corbin, 2015; 2018)
- (Queensland Health, 2017a; 2017b)
- Use only the surnames of your authors in text (e.g., Smith & Brown, 2014) - however, if you have two authors with the same surname who have published in the same year, then you will need to use their initials to distinguish between the two of them (e.g., K. Smith, 2014; N. Smith, 2014). Otherwise, do not use initials in text .
If your author isn't an "author".
Whoever is in the "author" position of the refence in the references list is treated like an author in text. So, for example, if you had an edited book and the editors of the book were in the "author" position at the beginning of the reference, you would treat them exactly the same way as you would an author - do not include any other information. The same applies for works where the "author" is an illustrator, producer, composer, etc.
It is always a good idea to keep direct quotes to a minimum. Quoting doesn't showcase your writing ability - all it shows is that you can read (plus, lecturers hate reading assignments with a lot of quotes).
You should only use direct quotes if the exact wording is important , otherwise it is better to paraphrase.
If you feel a direct quote is appropriate, try to keep only the most important part of the quote and avoid letting it take up the entire sentence - always start or end the sentence with your own words to tie the quote back into your assignment. Long quotes (more than 40 words) are called "block quotes" and are rarely used in most subject areas (they mostly belong in Literature, History or similar subjects). Each referencing style has rules for setting out a block quote. Check with your style guide .
It has been observed that "pink fairy armadillos seem to be extremely susceptible to stress" (Superina, 2011, p. 6).
NB! Most referencing styles will require a page number to tell readers where to find the original quote.
It is a type of paraphrasing, and you will be using this frequently in your assignments, but note that summarising another person's work or argument isn't showing how you make connections or understand implications. This is preferred to quoting, but where possible try to go beyond simply summarising another person's information without "adding value".
And, remember, the words must be your own words . If you use the exact wording from the original at any time, those words must be treated as a direct quote.
All information must be cited, even if it is in your own words.
Superina (2011) observed a captive pink fairy armadillo, and noticed any variation in its environment could cause great stress.
NB! Some lecturers and citation styles want page numbers for everything you cite, others only want page numbers for direct quotes. Check with your lecturer.
Paraphrasing often involves commenting about the information at the same time, and this is where you can really show your understanding of the topic. You should try to do this within every paragraph in the body of your assignment.
When paraphrasing, it is important to remember that using a thesaurus to change every other word isn't really paraphrasing. It's patchwriting , and it's a kind of plagiarism (as you are not creating original work).
Use your own voice! You sound like you when you write - you have a distinctive style that is all your own, and when your "tone" suddenly changes for a section of your assignment, it looks highly suspicious. Your lecturer starts to wonder if you really wrote that part yourself. Make sure you have genuinely thought about how *you* would write this information, and that the paraphrasing really is in your own words.
Always cite your sources! Even if you have drawn from three different papers to write this one sentence, which is completely in your own words, you still have to cite your sources for that sentence (oh, and excellent work, by the way).
Captive pink fairy armadillos do not respond well to changes in their environment and can be easily stressed (Superina, 2011).
NB! Some lecturers and citation styles want page numbers for all citations, others only want them for direct quotes. Check with your lecturer.
This example paragraph contains mouse-over text. Run your mouse over the paragraph to see notes on formatting.
Excerpt from "The Big Fake Essay"
You can read the entire Big Fake Essay on the Writing Guide. It includes more details about academic writing and the formatting of essays.
- The Big Fake Essay
- Academic Writing Workshop
When you have multiple authors with the same surname who published in the same year:
If your authors have different initials, then include the initials:
As A. Smith (2016) noted...
...which was confirmed by J.G. Smith's (2016) study.
(A. Smith, 2016; J. G. Smith, 2016).
If your authors have the same initials, then include the name:
As Adam Smith noted...
...which was confirmed by Amy Smith's (2016) study.
(Adam Smith, 2016; Amy Smith, 2016).
Note: In your reference list, you would include the author's first name in [square brackets] after their initials:
Smith, A. [Adam]. (2016)...
Smith, A. [Amy]. (2016)...
When you have multiple works by the same author in the same year:
In your reference list, you will have arranged the works alphabetically by title (see the page on Reference Lists for more information). This decides which reference is "a", "b", "c", and so on. You cite them in text accordingly:
Asthma is the most common disease affecting the Queensland population (Queensland Health, 2017b). However, many people do not know how to manage their asthma symptoms (Queensland Health, 2017a).
When you have multiple works by the same author in different years:
Asthma is the most common disease affecting the Queensland population (Queensland Health, 2017, 2018).
When you do not have an author, and your reference list entry begins with the title:
Use the title in place of the author's name, and place it in "quotation marks" if it is the title of an article or book chapter, or in italics if the title would go in italics in your reference list:
During the 2017 presidential inauguration, there were some moments of awkwardness ("Mrs. Obama Says ‘Lovely Frame’", 2018).
Note: You do not need to use the entire title, but a reasonable portion so that it does not end too abruptly - "Mrs. Obama Says" would be too abrupt, but the full title "Mrs. Obama Says 'Lovely Frame' in Box During Awkward Handoff" is unecessarily long. You should also use title case for titles when referring to them in the text of your work.
If there are no page numbers, you can include any of the following in the in-text citation:
- "On Australia Day 1938 William Cooper ... joined forces with Jack Patten and William Ferguson ... to hold a Day of Mourning to draw attention to the losses suffered by Aboriginal people at the hands of the whiteman" (National Museum of Australia, n.d., para. 4).
- "in 1957 news of a report by the Western Australian government provided the catalyst for a reform movement" (National Museum of Australia, n.d., The catalyst for change section, para. 1)
- "By the end of this year of intense activity over 100,000 signatures had been collected" (National Museum of Australia, n.d., "petition gathering", para. 1).
When you are citing a classical work, like the Bible or the Quran:
References to works of scripture or other classical works are treated differently to regular citations. See the APA Blog's entry for more details:
Happy Holiday Citing: Citation of Classical Works . (Please note, this document is from the 6th edition of APA).
In text citation:
If the name of the organisation first appears in a narrative citation, include the abbreviation before the year in brackets, separated with a comma. Use the official acronym/abreviation if you can find it. Otherwise check with your lecturer for permission to create your own acronyms.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS, 2013) shows that...
The Queensland Department of Education (DoE, 2020) encourages students to... (please note, Queensland isn't part of the department's name, it is used in the sentence to provide clarity)
If the name of the organisation first appears in a citation in brackets, include the abbreviation in square brackets.
(Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2013)
(Department of Education [DoE], 2020)
In the second and subsequent citations, only include the abbreviation or acronym
ABS (2013) found that ...
DoE (2020) instructs teachers to...
This is disputed ( ABS , 2013).
Resources are designed to support "emotional learning pedagogy" (DoE, 2020)
In the reference list:
Use the full name of the organisation in the reference list.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2017). Australia's welfare 2017 . https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/australias-welfare-2017/contents/table-of-contents
Department of Education. (2020, April 22). Respectful relationships education program . Queensland Government. https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/stages-of-schooling/respectful-relationships
Academically, it is better to find the original source and reference that.
If you do have to quote a secondary source:
- In the text you must cite the original author of the quote and the year the original quote was written as well as the source you read it in. If you do not know the year the original citation was written, omit the year.
- In the reference list you only list the source that you actually read.
Wembley (1997, as cited in Olsen, 1999) argues that impending fuel shortages ...
Wembley claimed that "fuel shortages are likely" (1997, as cited in Olsen, 1999, pp. 10-12).
Some have noted that fuel shortages are probable in the future (Wembley, 1997, as cited in Olsen, 1999).
Olsen, M. (1999). My career. Gallimard.
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How to Cite a Journal Article in APA Style | Format & Example
Published on November 5, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 1, 2023.
An APA Style citation for a journal article includes the author name(s), publication year, article title, journal name, volume and issue number, page range of the article, and a DOI (if available). Use the buttons below to explore the format.
Cite a journal article in APA Style now:
Table of contents, basic format for an apa journal citation, citing an article with an elocator or article number, citing unpublished journal articles, special issue of a journal, frequently asked questions about apa style citations.
The article title appears in plain text and sentence case, while the journal name is italicized and in title case (all major words capitalized).
When viewing a journal article online, the required information can usually be found on the access page.
Linking to online journal articles
A DOI should always be used where available. Some databases do not list one, but you may still find one by looking for the same article on another database. You don’t need to include the name of the database in your citation.
If no DOI is available and the article was accessed through a database, do not include a URL.
If the article is not from a database, but from another website (e.g. the journal’s own website), you should ideally use a stable URL: this is often provided under a “share” button. Otherwise, copy the URL from your browser’s address bar.
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Articles published only in PDF form may provide an article number or “eLocator” instead of a page range; in this case, include the number in your citation, preceded by the word “Article.”
When citing from an article that has not yet been formally published, the format varies depending on whether or not it has already been submitted to a journal. Note that different formats are used for unpublished dissertations and raw data .
The text of an article which has not yet appeared online or in publication (i.e. which is only available directly from the author) should be cited as an “Unpublished manuscript.” The title is italicized and information about the author’s university is included if available:
Article submitted for publication
An article that has been submitted to a journal but not yet accepted is cited as a “Manuscript submitted for publication.” The title is italicized, and the name of the journal to which it was submitted is not included:
Article in press
An article that has been submitted and accepted for publication in a journal is cited as “in press.” Here, the name of the journal is included, university information is omitted, and “in press” is written in place of the year (both in the reference list and the in-text citation):
If you want to cite a special issue of a journal rather than a regular article, the name(s) of the editor(s) and the title of the issue appear in place of the author’s name and article title:
Note that if you want to cite an individual article from the special issue, it can just be cited in the basic format for journal articles.
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The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:
- Missing commas and periods
- Incorrect usage of “et al.”
- Ampersands (&) in narrative citations
- Missing reference entries
In an APA journal citation , if a DOI (digital object identifier) is available for an article, always include it.
If an article has no DOI, and you accessed it through a database or in print, just omit the DOI.
If an article has no DOI, and you accessed it through a website other than a database (for example, the journal’s own website), include a URL linking to the article.
Include the DOI at the very end of the APA reference entry . If you’re using the 6th edition APA guidelines, the DOI is preceded by the label “doi:”. In the 7th edition , the DOI is preceded by ‘https://doi.org/’.
- 6th edition: doi: 10.1177/0894439316660340
- 7th edition: https://doi.org/ 10.1177/0894439316660340
APA citation example (7th edition)
Hawi, N. S., & Samaha, M. (2016). The relations among social media addiction, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in university students. Social Science Computer Review , 35 (5), 576–586. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439316660340
The abbreviation “ et al. ” (meaning “and others”) is used to shorten APA in-text citations with three or more authors . Here’s how it works:
Only include the first author’s last name, followed by “et al.”, a comma and the year of publication, for example (Taylor et al., 2018).
You may include up to 20 authors in a reference list entry .
When an article has more than 20 authors, replace the names prior to the final listed author with an ellipsis, but do not omit the final author:
Davis, Y., Smith, J., Caulfield, F., Pullman, H., Carlisle, J., Donahue, S. D., James, F., O’Donnell, K., Singh, J., Johnson, L., Streefkerk, R., McCombes, S., Corrieri, L., Valck, X., Baldwin, F. M., Lorde, J., Wardell, K., Lao, W., Yang, P., . . . O’Brien, T. (2012).
In an APA reference list , journal article citations include only the year of publication, not the exact date, month, or season.
The inclusion of volume and issue numbers makes a more specific date unnecessary.
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Caulfield, J. (2023, December 01). How to Cite a Journal Article in APA Style | Format & Example. Scribbr. Retrieved December 5, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-examples/journal-article/
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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / APA Format / APA In-text Citations
APA In-Text Citations
Welcome to our guide on in-text citations! If you’re looking to learn the ins and outs of APA style in-text citations and how to do in-text citations APA, we’ve got you covered in this thorough guide.
The information below follows the 7th edition of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association .
Here’s a run through of everything this page includes:
- APA Style overview
- In-text citations and why we use them
- Two types of APA in-text citations
- Corresponding entry in reference list
- In-text citations for direct quotes
Paraphrasing in APA
- In-text citations for sources with one author
- In-text citations for sources with multiple authors
- In-text citations for sources with no author or date
- Additional in-text citation examples
If you’re simply looking for a quick guide, check out our APA parenthetical citation guide, which serves as a lite-version of this page.
Let’s get started!
What is APA?
This is a term that you might hear your teacher, professor, or librarian throw around a lot. This abbreviation stands for
This association is kind of a big deal. They do a lot of things related to psychology, but they’re also famous for creating one of the most popular citation styles, APA format . There are other big names on campus, such as MLA format , and Chicago, but this particular style is commonly used by individuals who are writing a science-related paper.
Even if your paper doesn’t necessarily fall into a “science” category, many educators ask their students to cite in this style since it’s so commonly used.
If you’re trying to find information about other commonly used styles, there are more styles on EasyBib.com.
What is an APA In-text Citation?
In plain and simple terms, APA in-text citations are found in the text of a project. Get it? In text. The purpose of an in-text citation in APA is to show the reader, while they’re reading your work, that a piece of information in your project was found elsewhere. They’re placed IN the wording or body of a project, not on the last page; the last page has full references. To learn more about those types of references, check out APA citation .
We’ve all heard about the word plagiarism , and you already know what it means. Simply put, including APA in-text citations are one way to prevent plagiarism.
Here’s what’s included in an APA 7th edition in-text citation:
- Last name(s) of the author(s) or Group name
- Year the source was published
- Page number (if available)
Depending on the number of authors and the source type, some in-text citations look different than others. Read on to learn how to structure an in-text citation for APA. In fact, if you’re looking for an easy route, EasyBib.com has an in-text citation APA generator, which does the work for you. Use our automatic generator to create your full references, and you’ll see an option on the final screen to format your APA in-text citations. An APA in-text citation generator and full reference generator all in one. What could beat that?
Why do we use in-text citations?
When you do a research project, you’re probably going to include facts from websites, databases, books, and other sources. When you add those facts into your project, you must show where those facts came from. It’s the responsible thing to do. It prevents plagiarism. You always give credit to the original author. It’s kind of like thanking them for their contribution to your paper.
Here’s the neat thing about in-text citations. Since they’re IN your project, readers get a quick idea as to where the information you included came from. In-text citations APA are not long and lengthy, like the full references on the APA reference page or APA bibliography . In-text citations are cute, little, and give us the perfect amount of information we need to understand where a fact came from. If you want to get the full information about the source, then you can flip to the back page of the paper, where the full reference is listed. The in-text citation APA style provides us with a tidbit of information. Just enough to glance at it and keep on going with reading the paper.
To recap, in-text citations are great because:
- They credit the original author of a work or information
- They let readers quickly see where the information is coming from
- Including helps make you an ethical writer
If you’re looking to learn more about footnotes in Chicago format , MLA in-text & parenthetical citations , or want to learn how to cite websites in MLA , EasyBib.com has the information you need to be a citing superstar.
Types of APA In-text Citations
Just like there are two days in the weekend, two types of peanut butter (creamy and nutty), and two types of foods we crave (salty and sweet), there are (you guessed it) two types of in-text citations.
The in-text citation APA option you include in your paper depends on how you craft your sentences.
Narrative In-Text APA Citations:
In-text citation APA format, in narrative form, is one that shows the author’s name in the sentence itself.
Narrative In-text APA Citation Example:
Tyson, Strauss, and Gott (2016) encourage the use of simplified terms when it comes to discussing and defining the universe. For example, a small white star is simply called a white dwarf. Keep it short and sweet because the universe is confusing enough (p. 22).
This is a type of APA in-text citation where the author’s name(s) are in parentheses, usually at the end of the fact or quote.
Parenthetical Citation Example
Use simplified terms when discussing and defining the universe. For example, a small white star is simply called a white dwarf. Keep it short and sweet because the universe is confusing enough (Tyson, Strauss, & Gott, 2016, p. 22).
As you can see, the type of APA in-text citation you include, whether it’s a narrative one or one in parentheses, depends on how you decide to structure your sentences. It doesn’t matter if you use all narrative, all parentheses, or a mix of both.
What is important is that you’re a responsible researcher and you properly cite your sources!
Remember, most facts, quotes, stats, and copied and pasted information NEED an APA in-text citation next to it.
What’s the only type of information you don’t need to create an in-text citation APA for? Anything that’s common knowledge. For example, paper is made from trees. You and most people already knew that. That’s an example of common knowledge. It’s a piece of information that everyone already knows.
Now, before you simply include the author’s name(s), the date, and the page number in your project and think you’ve covered all your bases, you’re not quite done yet. In-text citations APA are only part of the puzzle.
The other piece of the puzzle is found on the last page of the project: the reference page. That’s where all of the full references are found in their entirety. In-text citations only include the author’s name, year published, and the page number.
The reference page, on the other hand, includes the title of each source, the publishers, the website addresses, and other information. Continue reading to learn why in-text citations and references on the reference page are the perfect match.
Before we continue, MLA works cited pages are very similar to the ones in this style. EasyBib.com has resources for many styles, to help you learn the ins and outs of referencing your work. We even have full pages on grammar topics too, to keep your paper in tip-top shape. Brush up on your noun , conjunction , and interjection skills with our easy-to-follow, comprehensive guides.
Corresponding entry in APA reference list
Would you ever put on one shoe and walk around without the other? Of course not. The same goes with in-text citations and full references. You must include both in your paper. Where there’s one there has to be the other.
Each and every in-text citation APA must have a matching full reference on the reference page (American Psychological Association, p. 262 ).
If you’re wondering why, it’s to allow the reader to get that sneak peek about the source while reading your paper (the APA in-text citation), and then learn all about it on the final page (the reference page). If the reader wants to get their hands on a copy of the sources you used, all of the information they need can be found on the reference page.
Remember those APA style in-text citation examples found above? Let’s take a peek at them again.
Here’s the one with the authors’ names in parentheses: Use simplified terms when discussing and defining the universe. For example, a small white star is simply called a white dwarf. Keep it short and sweet because the universe is confusing enough (deGrasse, Strauss, & Gott, 2016, p. 22).
Here’s the full reference, which would be found on the final page of the project:
Tyson, N. D., Strauss, M. A., and Gott, J. R. (2016). Welcome to the universe: An astrophysical tour. Princeton University Press.
Notice that in the above in-text citation APA example, the full title of the book, the place the book was published, and the publisher are displayed. If the reader wants to locate the book themselves, all of the information they need is found in the full reference.
One other important thing we’d like to point out is that the same information from the in-text citation APA (Tyson, Strauss, & Gott) matches the first part of the full reference. This is done to allow the reader to easily find the full reference on the final page.
Remember, always include both in-text citations AND full references in your projects.
In the body of projects, in-text citations APA serve an important purpose. They give the reader a snippet of understanding as to the origin of information. It’s just enough information to allow the reader to continue reading the paper in a natural and fluid manner, without having to trip over long, clunky references. If the reader wants to get a detailed understanding of a source, they can flip to the back page, the reference page, to scope out all of the nitty gritty details.
In the next two sections of this page, we’re going to switch gears and share how to properly format direct quotes and paraphrases.
If you’re looking for specific source types, check out APA citation website and APA book citation . These two resources will explain how to format those specific types of references. If you’re stuck and not sure how to start, check out Chapter 10 of the Publication manual for some sample citations.
Direct Quotes in APA
As Drake states in his lyrics, “We don’t like to do too much explaining,” so we’re going to keep this one short and to the point.
“Direct quotes” are a fancy term used for any text that has been copied and pasted into your paper. That Drake quote above is a direct quote.
Direct quotes are any words or sentences copied and pasted into your project, but they don’t necessarily have to be a person’s quote. Anytime you copy and paste text into your assignment, you must include an APA in-text citation next to it. This shows the reader that:
- The information came from another source
- You’re being a responsible researcher and clearly documenting the outside source.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to direct quotes:
- Direct quotes are a solid way to show evidence and prove your point, but use them sparingly. Your paper shouldn’t be riddled with copied and pasted text.
- Put quotation marks around the copied and pasted information. (The exception are APA block quotes , which are direct quotes longer than 40 words and are formatted differently.)
- Always include the page number for direct quotes, if one is available. When formatting APA page numbers for an in-text citation, include p. before the number. Use pp. for a page range.
To create a narrative APA in-text citation, include the author’s last name in the sentence like this:
- As Drake (2013) once said “We don’t like to do too much explaining.”
- In the above APA in-text citation example, the Drake quote was taken from the song, “Started From the Bottom,” in 2013. The title of the source would be included in the reference page.
Or, you include the author’s name in parentheses:
- “We don’t like to do too much explaining” (Drake, 2013).
If you are looking for more examples, go to page 272 of the American Psychological Association’s official Publication manual .
We said above that your entire paper shouldn’t have direct quotes everywhere. So, another way to include information from a source is by adding a paraphrase . Simply put, a paraphrase is restated information, but formed using your own words and writing style
APA paraphrases still need an in-text citation since the information was obtained elsewhere. Check out this quote from the song, “For Time,” by Drake:
“I like it when money makes a difference, but don’t make you different.”
To include it in your paper, without using the exact quote, make a paraphrase. Here’s one that would work:
Money has the ability to benefit things in your life, but it’s truly great when it doesn’t cause the person to act differently or change who they are (Drake, 2013).
The above APA in-text citation example is one with Drake’s name in parentheses. If you’d like to include the author’s name narratively, here’s an option:
In Drake’s (2013) lyrics, he shares that money has the ability to benefit things in your life. It’s truly great when it doesn’t cause the person to act differently or change who they are.
It is recommended to include page numbers for paraphrased material, but isn’t required.
Here’s more on paraphrases and direct quotes.
Organizing APA In-text Citations
Ready to learn how to structure your in-text citations? The next section dives deep into developing them and answers “How to do in-text citations APA.” Keep in mind that how each one is formed depends on the number of authors and other factors. All the examples below follow rules laid out in Chapter 8 of the Publication manual.
Even though the structure varies, most in-text citations APA are placed in this manner for narrative in-text citations:
Author’s Last Name (Year) “Quote or Paraphrase” (p. number).
For ones in parentheses, most are placed in this manner:
“Quote” or Paraphrase (Author’s Last Name, Year, p. number).
Notice that whether you choose to include a narrative in-text citation APA or one in parentheses, the author names and the year published are always together. They’re pretty much holding hands. Cute, huh?
Read on to learn the ins and outs of structuring various in-text citations.
Don’t forget, EasyBib.com has an in-text citation APA generator. Wondering what it’s all about? Here’s a quick explanation: We work for you so citing is easy for you. Yep, you read that correctly.
Our tools structure your in-text citations the way they’re supposed to be structured. Use our automatic generator to create your full references, and on the final screen you’ll see the option to create your in-text citations. An APA in-text citation generator that’s easy as pie!
Something else we do for you? We have a plagiarism checker that scans your paper for any instances of accidental copying. We also have tons of grammar pages to keep your page in check. Check out our adverb , preposition , and verb pages.
APA In-Text Citations for Sources with One Author
If your source has one author.
If your source has one author, lucky you! Your in-text citation is pretty simple to structure.
Narrative In-text APA Citation:
Author’s Last Name (Year published) are found in the sentence with a “direct quote” or paraphrase (p. number).
Parenthetical APA Citation:
“Direct quote” or Paraphrase (Author’s Last Name, Year published, p. number).
Citing multiple sources by the same author in the same year
You may have a bunch of case studies, articles, or books that you’re referencing, all by the same author. Let’s say you’re analyzing two works by Sigmund Freud, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious and also Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria , both of which were published in 1905. Placing (Freud, 1905) in the text would be confusing for the reader. How would the reader determine which source you’re referencing?
If this is the situation you’re in, there’s a pretty simple fix.
Place a lowercase a next to the year in the first source (Freud, 1905a). Place a lowercase b next to the second source (Freud, 1905b). Include those same lowercase letters in the full references on the reference page, like so:
Freud, S. (1905a). Fragment of an analysis of a case of hysteria . https://staferla.free.fr/Freud/Freud%20complete%20Works.pdf
Freud, S. (1905b). Jokes and their relation to the unconscious . https://staferla.free.fr/Freud/Freud%20complete%20Works.pdf
But there’s a catch. When you do this et al. can’t stand for only one author. After all it literally means “and others.” If you have two sources that are identical except for the last author, then you have to write out all the names every time. For example:
Gunderman, Slack, Rausch, and Smith (2017)
Gunderman, Slack, Rausch, and Johnston (2017)
These references are completely the same except for the very last name so you’d have to write all 4 names every time.
If your source has multiple works by the same author
What if you had 2 sources with the same author(s) and same publication year? Lucky for us the solution here is a lot simpler. Just a letter to the publication year!
Gunderman, Slack, and Rausch (2017)
Gunderman, Slack, and Rausch (2017a)
Gunderman, Slack, and Rausch (2017b)
Just remember to also follow this format in your works cited page even if there is an exact publication date available. See page 267 of your Publication Manual (American Psychological Association, 2020) for a further breakdown.
Need to create an APA in-text citation for a source without an author? How about an APA in-text citation for multiple authors? Continue reading to see the other ways to structure an APA style in-text citation.
APA In-Text Citations for Sources with Multiple Authors
Apa in-text citation for sources with two authors.
If your source has two authors, place them in the order they appear on the source. Do not place them in alphabetical order.
Use the word “and” in between the authors’ names.
1st Author’s Last Name and 2nd Author’s Last Name (Year published) are found somewhere in the sentence with a “direct quote” or paraphrase (p. number).
If you choose to include both authors’ names in parentheses, use an ampersand in between their names.
“Here is the direct quote” or Here is the paraphrase (1st Author’s Last Name & 2nd Author’s Last name, Year, p. number).
APA in-text citation for sources three or more authors
Only include the first author’s last name and then add ‘et al.’ Et al. is a fancy way of saying “and others” in Latin.
1st Author’s Last Name et al. (Year published) are found somewhere in the sentence with a “direct quote” or paraphrase (p. number).
“Here is the direct quote” or Paraphrase (1st Author’s Last Name et al., Year published, p. number).
If you have author of multiple works (with multiple authors)
Now here is where things can get a tad bit tricky. Sometimes authors with multiple works can cause some confusion in your citations. Generally when that happens you can tell the difference by the publication year, but when you can’t, that’s when you have to list as many authors as necessary to clear up the confusion.
Say you had the two sources below:
Gunderman, Slack, Rausch, and Maule (2017)
Gunderman, Byrnes, Oxner, Wigginton, and Draeger (2017)
Normally, they’d be written as:
Gunderman et al. (2017)
If you reduced both sources to Gunderman et al. (2017) you wouldn’t be able to tell which source you’re talking about. Instead cite it this way:
Gunderman, Slack, Rausch et al. (2017)
Gunderman, Byrnes, Oxner et al. (2017)
If you’re looking for more information on structuring journal articles, check out our APA journal page.
If you’re looking for a simple solution to referencing multiple authors, EasyBib.com creates in-text citations APA for you! Whether you need to create a reference for one or two authors, or an APA in-text citation for multiple authors, we’ve got you covered!
APA In-text citation no author or date
It’s common to come across sources without any authors. Movies, brochures, website pages often do not have a visible author’s name.
Citing a source with no author
If you find that the source you’re attempting to reference does not have an author, use the first few words from the reference list entry in the APA in-text citation with no author. Most often, it’s the title of the source.
Place the source name in quotation marks if the source is a:
- website page
Simply italicize the source name if the source is a:
- Or the full reference starts with italicized information
Remember, you do not have to use the entire title in your in-text citation APA no author. You can use only the first few words from the reference list.
“First few words of the webpage, article, or chapter Title” (Year) along with the “direct quote” or paraphrase (p. number). OR First few words of book, newspaper, report, or brochure (Year) along with the “direct quote” or paraphrase (p. number).
“Here is the direct quote” or paraphrase (“Web page, Article, or Chapter Title,” Year, p. number). OR “Here is the direct quote” or paraphrase ( Book, Newspaper, Report, or Brochure Title , Year, p. number).
Citing source with no date
No date? No problem! An APA in-text citation no date situation is easier to solve than you think. Only include the author’s name and the page number.
APA in-text citation no date example:
(Foster, p. 35).
Additional APA In-Text Citation Examples
Source by a group, organization, company, or government agency.
There are two types of groups: Ones that are abbreviated often and ones that are not abbreviated.
For example, think about these two citation style types: APA and Chicago. One is abbreviated (for the American Psychological Association) and the other is usually written as is (Chicago style).
If the company is often abbreviated, in the first mention in text, display the full name and the abbreviation. In the second and any other subsequent mentions, only use the abbreviation.
Full Company’s Name (Abbreviation, Year) with the “direct quote” or paraphrase (p. number).
Company Abbrev. (Year) “direct quote” or paraphrase (p. number).
“Direct quote” or paraphrase (Full Company’s Name [Abbreviation], Year, p. number).
“Direct quote” or paraphrase (Abbreviation, Year, p. number).
Always include the full group, company, or organization’s name in each and every mention in text.
Full Name of Group (Year) with the “direct quote” or paraphrase (p. number).
“Direct quote” or paraphrase (Full Name of Group, Year, p. number).
Citing sources with different authors with the same last name
We’re not quite sure how the author of The Baby-Sitters Club (Ann M. Martin) could be used in a paper that’s also referencing the author of Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin), but hey, it could happen! It’s a Martin party! It’s important to show the reader the difference between the two individuals to prevent any confusion. To differentiate between the two authors in the text, include their first initials.
Example of in-text citation APA:
“Here’s a quote” (A. Martin, Year, p. 6). G. Martin (Year) also states “this direct quote” (p. 45).
As always, keep the author names and the dates directly next to each other. They love being together and it’s a best practice.
Citing multiple sources in the same in-text citation
List sources alphabetically and separate with a semicolon.
Be sure to list authors alphabetically.
Johnson (2019), Smith and Adams (2015), and Washington (2017), examined…
“Direct quote” or Paraphrase (Author 1 Last Name, Year published, p. number if needed; Author 2 Last Name, Year published, p. number if needed)
Parenthetical Citation Examples:
(Johnson et al., 2019; Smith & Adams, 2015; Washington, 2017)
(Honda, 2006, p. 107; Sato, 1980)
If you want to emphasize a source because it is particularly important or relevant, add “see also” before the source’s citation. Think of “see also” as synonymous with “for more information see…”
(Johnson et al., 2019; see also Smith & Adams, 2015; Washington, 2017).
Citing a source within a source
Did you stumble upon the perfect quote that’s quoted in another source? It happens all of the time and it can be a little tricky to figure out how to quote a quote.
The American Psychological Association recommends locating the original quote, if possible. Instead of relying on secondary sources, take the time to locate the original source to make sure the quote is accurate. Finding and reading through the original source also provides you with further information on your research topic!
If finding the original source isn’t possible, due to out of print titles, web pages taken down, or other factors, then it’s okay to quote the secondary source. In your writing, use the phrase “as cited in Secondary Author’s Last name, Year.”
On the reference page, include the reference for the secondary source.
As cited in Shapiro’s (2019) article, Carranza stated, “Districts 3 and 15 are showing how we can have the important conversations and take bold action on this issue.”
Carranza stated, “Districts 3 and 15 are showing how we can have the important conversations and take bold action on this issue” (as cited in Shapiro, 2019).
On the reference page, Shapiro’s article would be referenced in its entirety.
Citing audiovisual material
APA in-text citations for YouTube videos , songs, podcasts, television shows, and other audiovisual materials look a bit different than other types of sources. They include an extra piece of information: a time stamp.
Bill Nye (2017) shares that the sun is over four-hundred septillion watts (13:15).
The sun is over four-hundred septillion watts (Bill Nye, 2017, 13:15).
If you’re still scratching your head, and feeling the urge to type “how to do in-text citations APA” into Google, click here for a website that we dig.
If you’re looking for a quick fix to developing your references, EasyBib.com has you covered! Our tools can help you create an APA in-text citation multiple authors, one author, no authors, plus more!
Overview of APA Parenthetical Citations for Websites
Here’s a quick overview of how to create an in-text citation for websites. Notice that since these are for online sources, the in-text citation has no page number.
Once again, if grammar isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for help related to specific parts of speech, check out our adjective , pronoun , and determiner pages, among many, many others!
Follow our EasyBib Twitter feed to find more citing tips, fun grammar facts, and the latest product updates.
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) https:doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
Published May 21, 2019. Updated October 25, 2020.
Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau . Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and one of the in-house EasyBib librarians. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.
APA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
- Block Quotes
- et al Usage
- In-text Citations
- Multiple Authors
- Page Numbers
- Parenthetical Citations
- Reference Page
- Sample Paper
- APA 7 Updates
- View APA Guide
- Book Chapter
- Journal Article
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Website (no author)
- View all APA Examples
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An in-text citation is a shortened version of the source being referred to in the paper. As the name implies, it appears in the text of the paper. A reference list entry, on the other hand, details the complete information of the source being cited and is listed at the end of the paper after the main text. An example of an in-text citation and the corresponding reference list entry for a journal article with one author is listed below for your understanding:
In-text citation template and example:
Only the author name and the publication year are used in in-text citations to direct the reader to the corresponding reference list entry.
Author Surname (Publication Year)
(Author Surname, Publication Year)
Reference list entry template and example:
Complete information of the reference is used to guide the reader to locate the source for further reference. In the below template, “F” and “M” are first and middle initials, respectively. #–# denotes the page range.
Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the article: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (Issue), #–#. DOI
Elden, S. (2003). Plague, panopticon, police. Surveillance & Society, 1 (3), 240–253. https://doi:10.24908/ss.v1i3.3339
When you use APA style, all sources need to have in-text citations. In-text citations direct a reader to the reference entry to get more information on the source being cited in the text. If an in-text citation is not provided, your reader doesn’t know whether there is a source available in the reference list for the idea or topic being discussed in the text. Even if all the basic elements to cite a source are not available, try to provide an in-text citation with the information you do have. For example, if a source does not have an author, use a shortened version of the title in place of the author in your in-text citation. An example is given below for a parenthetical citation.
Author name available:
(Author Surname, Publication Year, p.# for direct quote)
Author name not available:
(“Title of the Work,” Publication Year, p.# for direct quote)
Therefore, in-text citations are essential to guide a reader to locate the corresponding sources in the reference list for the topics discussed in the text.
APA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
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