APA Citation Resources

APA In-Text Citation Guide

Citing sources briefly in the body of your work enables readers to locate the full citation in your reference list.

  • References

    Citing References in Text

    Each time you quote a source directly, paraphrase an idea, or refer to something that another person said or wrote, identify the original source by inserting the author’s last name and the date within the text of your paper.

    • These arguments against standardized education (Duckworth, 1986) explore science as a process of discovery.

    Each source you cite must also appear in the reference list at the end of your paper.

    Page Numbers for Direct Quotations

    Give page numbers for direct quotations.

    • As Dewey (1938) noted, the educational continuum was united by this “connectedness in growth” (p. 75).

    Note that any sentence punctuation comes after the closing parenthesis.

    Quotations of 40 or More Words

    1. Display quotation in a free standing block of text.
    2. Omit quotation marks.
    3. Start on a new line.
    4. Indent whole block half an inch from the left margin.
    5. If there is another paragraph, indent the first line a half inch.
    6. Double space the entire quotation.
    7. After the final punctuation mark of the quoted source, add the citation in parentheses.
  • Dates

    The Author’s Name and Date

    If the author’s name is used in the text, only the date needs to be inside parentheses. When both the author and the date are used in the citation, separate them with a comma.

    • Duckworth (1986) discussed this.
    • In 1986, Duckworth argued…

    If the author’s last name and the date both happen to appear in the text, there is no need to give further reference.

    Second Mention

    You need to include the year only once when referring to a particular study within a paragraph as long as the study will not be confused with other studies.

    • In her study of how individuals learn about density, Duckworth (1986) makes a critical case… Duckworth also found…
  • Reference to Particular Parts of a Source

    Page Numbers, Chapters, Figures, and Numbers

    When referring to a particular part of a source, give the page number, chapter, figure, or table at the appropriate place in the text. Abbreviate page but not chapter.

    • (Meyers & Jackson, 1991, p.78)
    • (Johnson, 1990, Chapter 5)
  • Two or More Authors

    Two Authors

    When a work has two authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs in text. When citing two authors in the text, join their names by the word “and.” In parenthetical material, in tables, and in the reference list, join the names by an ampersand (&):

    • As Keisel and Drapewski (1990) demonstrated…
    • As has been shown (Keisel & Drapewski, 1990)…

    Three, Four, and Five Authors

    When a work has more than three authors and fewer than six, cite all the authors the first time the reference occurs; subsequently, only the last name of the first author followed by “et al.” and the year.

    •  Marra, Jacobson, Hardy, Krance, and Center (1982)… [first citation] Marra et al. (1982)… [subsequent citations]

    Six or More Authors

    If there are six or more authors, cite only the first author and replace the rest with the abbreviation “et al.” For example, Kosslyn, Koenig, Barrett, Cave, Tang, and Gabrielli (1996) would always be cited as:

    • Kosslyn et al. (1996) found that…
  • References to Sources Quoted by Other Authors

    When to Use “as cited in”

    If you are referring to a source cited by another author, use the following form:

    • Ainsworth’s study (as cited in Kagan, 1984) demonstrated…

    Note: Be sure to list Kagan’s work, not Ainsworth’s, in your reference list, since you found the information in Kagan.

  • Personal Communications: Emails & Interviews

    Data that is not recoverable is called “personal communications” and can include the following:

    1. Private letters
    2. Memos
    3. Some electronic communications, e.g., email
    4. Personal interviews
    5. Telephone conversations
    6. Something heard in a lecture

    Cite personal communications in the text only. They are never included in a reference list. Give the initials of the communicator and an exact date as possible.

    • T. K. Lutes (personal communication, April 18, 2001)
    • (V.-G. Nguyen, personal communication, September 28, 1998)