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APA Citation Style Guide (7th Edition): In-text Citations


In-text Citations

When you are quoting or paraphrasing someone’s words, you must give that person credit with an in-text citation. An in-text citation (in the body of your paper) directs readers to the corresponding reference list entry.


APA uses the Author-Date system. Your citation within the text should include the author’s last name, followed directly by the year.                 (author's last name, year)


When directly quoting someone or citing a specific part of a source, your citation should list the author, year and specific information about the source, such as page number, paragraph number, chapter or table.                        (author's last name, year, page number)


Note: If there is no author, use the title of the work in place of the author’s name.

For more help with In-text Citations, see the APA Style website.

Setting up an In-text Citation

There are three ways of setting up an in-text citation, depending on your sentence. 

#1:  Narrative Citation: If the name of the author appears in your text, insert the year of publication in parentheses after the author’s name.

Example:  Malchiodi (2007) argues that structured art projects are beneficial to homeless youth.

#2:  Parenthetical Citation: If the author’s name is not in your text, add the author’s name and publication year at the end of the sentence.

Example:  Art therapy falls into two camps: those who believe in its ability to heal and those who regard it as a communication tool (Malchiodi, 2007).

#3: If you are quoting directly from the author's work, include the page number or, if from an online source without pagination, include the paragraph number:

In-text Citation with page number: Malchiodi rightly observes that artists "have long understood the potential of art to express and make sense of our inner world" (Malchiodi, 2007, p. 42).

 Complete citation: 

  Malchiodi, C.A. (2007). The art therapy sourcebook. McGraw-Hill.

In-text Citation with paragraph number: People planning for retirement need more than just money—they also “need to stockpile their emotional reserves” to ensure they have adequate support from family and friends (Chamberlin, 2014, para. 1).

Complete citation:

Chamberlin, J. (2014, January). Retiring minds want to know. Monitor on Psychology, 45(1).

Number of Authors to Include

If there are two authors, list both names every time you refer to the work.

In-text Citation: As Stephens and Rains (2011) demonstrate, using complementary information . . .

In-text Citation: As the study shows, (Stephens & Rains, 2011), using complementary . . .

If there are three or more authors, only cite the first author, followed by et. al. and the date.

In-text Citation: Elliott et al. (1987) .....

In-text Citation: (Elliott et al., 1987)

Complete Citation:

Elliott, R., Hill, C.E., Stiles, W.B., Friedlander, M.L., Mahrer, A.R., & Margison, F.R. (1987). Primary therapist

  response modes: Comparison of six rating systems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

  55(2), 218-223.