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APA Style Guide: In-Text Citations

This guide is designed to help students learn about APA style and cite sources for their research.

In-Text Citations

Citing sources no longer means endnotes or footnotes. It is a simple way of noting that you are borrowing an author's words or ideas by inserting a brief parenthetical acknowledgement in your paper that includes the author's last name, the year the material was published, and the page reference:

"Reliable ways to forecast rates of extinction, both in relation to global warming and in general, still elude us" (Botkin et al., 2007, p. 228).

When the reader sees this reference to Botkin et al., they know to refer to the References portion of the paper to find the complete bibliographic citation.


It is not necessary to provide a page number in your citation if you are paraphrasing the content or have put the ideas of the author into your own words; however, if you think it will be difficult for the reader to locate the passage you are citing, you should still provide a page number.  If you are paraphrasing, do not use quotation marks.

Citing Web Sites:

For web sites or other electronic sources that do not provide page numbers, use the paragraph number preceded by the abbreviation para., e.g. (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2007, para. 4). You may also cite the heading of a section of the resource to direct the reader to the appropriate place in the document, e.g. (Botkin et al., 2007, Discussion section, para. 1).

Below are some examples of how to format in-text citations:

Type of CitationFirst Citation in TextSubsequent Citations in TextParenthetical Format, First Citation in TextParenthetical Format, Subsequent Citations in Text
One work by one author Carpenito-Moyet (2007) Carpenito-Moyet(2007) (Carpenito-Moyet, 2007) (Carpentio-Moyet, 2007)
One work by two authors Smith and Nederost (2008) Smith and Nederost (2008) (Smith & Nederost, 2008) (Smith & Nederost, 2008)
One work by three to five authors Leggat, Smith, and Speare (2009) Leggat et al. (2009) (Leggat, Smith, & Speare, 2009) (Leggat et al., 2009)
One work by six or more authors Stutz et al. (2009) Stutz et al. (2009) (Stutz et al., 2009) (Stutz et al., 2009)
Groups as authors (readily identified through abbreviation) Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC, 2011) HRSDC (2011) (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada [HRSDC], 2011) (HRSDC, 2011)
Groups as authors (no abbreviation) University of Pittsburgh (2005) University of Pittsburgh (2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005)
Two or more works by the same author cited together Gogel (1990, 2006) Gogel (1990, 2006) (Gogel, 1990, 2006) (Gogel, 1990, 2006)
Two or more works by two or more authors cited together: in alphabetical order by first author's surname Miller (2009) and Reed, Morin, Basil, and Greene(2006) Miller (2009) and Reed et al., (2006) (Miller, 2009; Reed, Morin, Basil, & Greene, 2006) (Miller, 2009; Reed et al., 2006)

Source: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: Author.

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