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APA (7th) Citation Style Guide

In-Text Citations

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

page number is required for direct quotes, and encouraged for paraphrasing.

You will incorporate this information two ways into your text: parenthetically or narratively.

General Format

The author's last name is used for the in-text citation.

Example:

(Anderson, 2014, p. 25)


Multiple Authors

Up to two authors can be listed in an in-text citation, separated with an ampersand (&).

Example:

(Johnson & Swede, 1999)

For references with three or more authors, you will only include the first author and then the words et al.

Example:

(Shecker et al., 2009)


Organizational Author

If the work is authored by an organization, company, or group, list that entity's full name in the in-text citation.

Example:

(Hamline University, 2020)


Common acronyms of organizations can be used.  You may introduce it in your first in-text citation and then use the abbreviation in all subsequent citations.

Example: 

(American Medical Association [AMA], 2012)

(AMA, 2012)


No Author

If there is no author listed for a reference, you will use the title, or the 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.


Example:

("What Now, Little Man," 2015).

&

(Oxford English Dictionary, 1956).


Narrative Citations

Narrative citations are the preferred method of citing quotes. You can also use them for paraphrasing or summarizing. Narrative citations are generally better for the 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 the Writing Center at George Mason University on Signal Phrases.


Template

Last name (Year) ... "quote" or paraphrase (p. X).


Examples:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019), rates for diabetes,  are much higher in the US than in other industrialized countries (para. 4).

Jessup (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).

Taylor et al. (2012) explored the impact of attentional bias and rumination on test anxiety in first-year university students.


Parenthetical Citations

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.

Template

Recall that a page number is not necessary for paraphrasing, but is encouraged.

(Author, Date, p. X)


Examples:

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).


Combining Citations

To include two or more different resources in one citation, use a semicolon to separate them:

Example:

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).

Year

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.

Example:

(Smith, 2010)


No Date

If there is no date for a reference, use the abbreviation n.d.:

Examples:

(Hamline University, n.d.).

Smith (n.d.) states that...


Same Author/Date

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.

Examples:

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.

(Hamline University, 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.

Page Numbers

If you are using information from a single page, use the abbreviation p.

Example:

(Volker, 2010, p. 29)

If your quote (or paraphrase) spans multiple pages, use the abbreviation pp., and separate the two numbers with an en dash (–).

Example

Volker (2010) 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.

  • para. 1

  • Slide 8

  • Conclusions section

Example:

One of the author's main points is that "people don't rise from nothing" (Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5).


Media

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.

Example:

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).

In Text Citing

Narrative Citations

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.

Template

Last name (Year) ... "quote" or paraphrase (p. X).

Examples:

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.


Parenthetical Citations

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.

Template

Recall that a page number is not necessary for paraphrasing, but is encouraged.

(Author, Date, p. X)

Examples:

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).


Combing Citations

To include two or more different resources in one citation, use a semicolon to separate them:

Example:

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).