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

Genome wide association studies have also provided evidence of the importance of inflammation in Alzheimer's disease (Stefansson et al., 2013, p. 114).
 

Citations, parenthetical or quoting, can appear in a paper in two ways:

1. Parenthetically: the author name and publication date appear in parentheses, for example,

References and citations are featured in blog posts about APA Style (Becker, 2021; Lee, 2016; McAdoo, 2017)

2. Narratively: the author name is incorporated into the text as part of the sentence and the year follows in parentheses, for example,

Becker (2012), Lee (2016), and McAdoo (2017) wrote blog posts about APA Style.


APAStyle.APA.org


When citing 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. (Stefansson et al., 2013, Discussion section, para. 1).

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

Type of Citation

Narrative First Citation in Text

Narrative Subsequent  
  Citations in Text

Parenthetical Format,
   First Citation in Text

Parenthetical
        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 or more authors

Leggat et al. (2009)

Leggat et al. (2009)

(Leggat et al., 2009)

(Leggat 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 and Miller (2006)

Miller (2009) and Reed and Miller (2006)

(Miller, 2009; Reed and Miller, 2006)

(Miller, 2009; Reed and Miller, 2006)

Text generated by an AI tool (eg. ChatGPT)

OpenAI (2023)

OpenAI (2023)

(OpenAI, 2023)

(OpenAI, 2023)

Primary & Secondary Sources

(as cited in Gleitman, Roizin, & Sabini, 1997) found that …

(as cited in Gleitman, Roizin, & Sabini, 1997) found that … (as cited in Gleitman, Roizin, & Sabini, 1997) found that … (as cited in Gleitman, Roizin, & Sabini, 1997) found that …

SourceAmerican Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

 

Citing a Source Within a Source

This is used when you’ve found the perfect quote within one of the articles you have found. The quote is known as the Primary source. The article you found is the Secondary source. Most of what you’ll use for assignments are secondary sources.  Secondary sources on the APA Style and Grammar Guidelines will provide more information.

For example, you’re reading a book written by Lipschutz. He cites a quote by Partridge, and you would write in your essay ...

In 1984, in the book APA Style, Partridge stated, "APA is difficult" (as cited in Lipschutz, 2019, p.1).

And for the Reference page, you would reference Lipschutz, not Partridge.


Example of the Reference:

Gleitman, H., Rozin, P., & Sabini, J. (1997). Solomon E. Asch (1907-1996). The American Psychologist
      52(9), 984–985. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.52.9.984

 

Example of the In-text Citation Found within a Secondary Article:

Asch’s thoughts in 1952 on the study of social processes, (as cited in Gleitman, Roizin, & Sabini, 1997) found that …

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