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APA Style for Writing: In-Text Citation

This guide will cover APA format for papers.

About In-Text Citation

In APA, in-text citations are inserted in the body 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 at the end of the paper.

  • In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a comma and the publication year enclosed in parentheses: (Smith, 2007).
  • If you are quoting directly the page number should be included, if given.
  • If you are paraphrasing the page number is not required.
    ( Note: Although not required, APA encourages including the page number when paraphrasing if it will help the reader locate the information in a long text. Check with your instructor to determine if page numbers are needed for your coursework.)
  • If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the title, such as italics: (Naturopathic, 2007).

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

Number of Authors/Editors First Time Paraphrased Second and Subsequent Times Paraphrased First Time Quoting Second and Subsequent Times Quoting
Two

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57) (Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57)
Three to Five (Case, Daristotle, Hayek, Smith, & Raash, 2011) (Case et al., 2011) (Case, Daristotle, Hayekm, Smith, & Raash, 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)
Six or More

(Case et al., 2011)

(Case et al., 2011) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)

Quoting and Paraphrasing: What's the Difference?

There are two ways to integrate others' research into your assignment: you can paraphrase or you can quote.

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.

See our Paraphrasing page for detailed information about paraphrasing in APA

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.

See our Quoting page for detailed information about quoting in APA

Quoting

When you quote directly from a source, enclose the words in quotation marks and add the page number to the in-text citation. There are two basic formats which can be used.:

The homeless were typically neglected growing up since they "commonly come from families who are riddled with problems and marital disharmony" (Rokach, 2005, p. 477).

 

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. Include the date after the name and the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation. 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).

As Rokach (2005) notes, the homeless "often have no one to care for them and no one knows them intimately" (p. 477).

 

What Is a Long Quotation?

If your quotation extends to more than forty words as you're typing your essay, it is a long quotation. This can also be referred to as a block quotation.

Rules for Long Quotations

There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:

  1. The line before your long quotation, when you're introducing the quote, usually ends with a colon.
  2. The long quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
  3. There are no quotation marks around the quotation.
  4. The period at the end of the quotation comes before your in-text citation as opposed to after, as it does with regular quotations.

Example of a Long Quotation

At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding, 1960, p.186)

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Paraphrasing

When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt, 1993).

 

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 year of publication following his/her name:

 

According to Smith (2017), wearable technology will positively impact supply chains by improving worker safety and product quality.

Hunt (1993) noted that mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research after the publication of John Bowlby's studies.

Original Source

Homeless individuals commonly come from families who are riddled with problems and marital disharmony, and are alienated from their parents. They have often been physically and even sexually abused, have relocated frequently, and many of them may be asked to leave home or are actually thrown out, or alternatively are placed in group homes or in foster care. They often have no one to care for them and no one knows them intimately.

Source from: 

Rokach, A. (2005). The causes of loneliness in homeless youth. The Journal of Psychology, 139, 469-480. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Example: Incorrect Paraphrasing

The homeless come from families with problems. Frequently, they have been physically or sexually abused, or have lived in group homes. Usually no one cares for them or knows them intimately (Rokach, 2005). 

Note: In this incorrect example the writing is too similar to the original source. The student only changed or removed a few words and has not phrased the ideas in a new way. 

Example: Correct Paraphrasing

Many homeless experience isolation in part due to suffering from abuse or neglect during their childhood (Rokach, 2005).

Note: The example keeps the idea of the original writing but phrases it in a new way.

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Missing Information

No Known Author:

Where you'd normally put the author's last name, instead use the first one, two, or three words from the title. Don't count initial articles like "A", "An" or "The". You should provide enough words to make it clear which work you're referring to from your References List.

If the title in the References list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation.

If you are citing an article, a chapter of a book or a page from a website, put the words in double quotation marks.

Examples:

(Cell Biology, 2012, p. 157)

("Nursing," 2011, p. 9)

No Known Date of Publication:

Where you'd normally put the year of publication, instead use the letters "n.d.".

Example:

(Smith, n.d., p. 200)

No Page Numbers

When you quote from electronic sources that do not provide page numbers (like Web pages), cite the heading and the paragraph number following it:

Bowlby described "three phases of the separation response: protest, despair, and detachment" (Garelli, 2001, Bowlby's Initial Stance section, para. 3).

If a source has no page numbers, no paragraph numbers and no headings, skip that part of the in-text citation. The in-text citation would have the author(s) last names and the year, e.g. (Garellio, 2001).

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FAQ

When you are citing two different sources that share the same author and year of publication, assign lowercase letters after the year of publication (a, b, c, etc.). Assign these letters according to which title comes first alphabetically. Use these letters in both in-text citations and the Reference list.

Example In-Text:

Paraphrasing content from first source by this author (Daristotle, 2015a). "Now I am quoting from the second source by the same author" (Daristotle, 2015b, p. 50).

Example Reference List entries:

Daristotle, J. (2015a). Name of book used as first source. Toronto, ON: Fancy Publisher.

Daristotle, J. (2015b). Title of book used as second source. Toronto, ON: Very Fancy Publisher.

Consider the following APA Style guidelines if you are referring to titles of sources within the body of your paper

Titles of longer works, such as books, films, YouTube videos, reports, and periodicals
  • Italicize the title and capitalize major words
  • Examples:
    • In her book, Pride and Prejudice
    • The film The Wizard of Oz
    • Toronto Star
Titles of shorter works, such as articles, book chapter, blog post, and song titles
  • Surround the title with quotation marks and capitalize major words
  • Examples:
    • In Basil Johnston's article, "Modern Cannibals of the Wild"
    • "An Investigation of the Relationship between Resilience, Mindfulness, and Academic Self-Efficacy"

For more information, see "How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style

Sometimes an author of a book, article or website will mention another person’s work by using a quotation or paraphrased idea from that source. (This may be called a secondary source.) For example, the Kirkey article you are reading includes a quotation by Smith that you would like to include in your essay.

The basic rule is that in both your References list and in-text citation you will still cite Kirkey. Kirkey will appear in your References list - NOT Smith.

You will add the words “as cited in” to your in-text citation.  

Examples of in-text citations:

According to a study by Smith (as cited in Kirkey, 2013) 42% of doctors would refuse to perform legal euthanasia.

Smith (as cited in Kirkey, 2013) states that “even if euthanasia was legal, 42% of doctors would be against this method of assisted dying” (p. 34).

Example of Reference list citation:

Kirkey, S. (2013, Feb 9). Euthanasia. The Montreal Gazette, p. A10. Retrieved from Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies database.

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 on the References List, e.g.:

(Bennett, 2015; Smith, 2014). 

(Brock, 2016; "It Takes Two,"  2015).

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