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Citation Style - APA

Why In-text Citations?

In-text citations are used in the body ("in the text") of research papers or assignments when you use information from sources.

In-text citations are used to provide the reader with:

  • which sources in the References page the writer is referring to
  • when the information was published

ALSO REFER to: In-Text Citations: The Basics 

Note: Except for a few sources (like interviews), an in-text citation must have a matching source on the References page.

In-text Citing Examples

How to Cite a Direct Quote (pp.170-171)

When you incorporate a direct quotation into a sentence, you must cite the source. Fit quotations within your sentences, enclosed in quotation marks, making sure the sentences are grammatically correct.
 
Gibaldi (2003, p. 109) indicates that, “Quotations are effective in research papers when used selectively.”
Remember that “[q]uotations are effective in research papers when used selectively” (Gibaldi, 2003, p. 109).
In 2003, Gibaldi wrote that, “Quotations are effective in research papers when used selectively” (p. 109).
 
If a quotation is 40 words or more, omit quotation marks and use a block format in which the quotation is indented about ½ inch (or 5 spaces) from the left margin.

How to Cite Summaries or Paraphrases

Even if you put information in your own words by summarizing or paraphrasing, you must cite the original author or researcher and the date of publication. You are also encouraged to provide a page or paragraph number; check with your instructor to see if page numbers are required.

For example, a paraphrase of Gibaldi’s earlier quotation might be identified as follows:

Within the research paper, quotations will have more impact when used judiciously (Gibaldi, 2003, p. 109).

 


How to Cite Sources when the Primary Authors have the same Surname (p.176)

If two or more of your sources are written by authors with the same surname, include the first author's initials with the surname in every in-text reference.
 
Example:  Among studies, we review M. A. Light and Light (2008) and I. Light (2006) ... 


How to Cite Different Numbers of Authors 

When a work has 2 authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs. When a work has 3-5 authors, cite all the names the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, use the surname of the first author followed by et al. When a work has 6+ authors, use the surname of the first author followed by et al. every time the reference occurs in the text (p.175).
 
Note: There is a helpful chart on how to cite references with different numbers of authors on page 177 of the Manual.

How to Cite Information If There are No Authors
When there is no author(s) listed, use the title of the work in place of the author's name. Italicize titles of books, entire web sites, etc. Put titles of articles, chapters, or individual web pages in quotation marks.

Example: Interaction between student and teachers is the "most effective way to determine understanding" (Teaching excellence, 2002).


How to Cite Information If No Page Numbers Are Available
(pp.171-172)
 
If a resource contains no page numbers, as can be the case with electronic sources, then you cannot include a page number in the parentheses. However, if the source indicates paragraph numbers, use the abbreviation “para” and the relevant number in the parentheses. If the paragraph number is not visible, cite the heading and the paragraph number following it.
 
As Myers (2000, para. 5) aptly phrased it…
(Beutler, 2000, Conclusion, para. 1)

How to Cite Information When You Have Not Seen the Original Source (p.178)

Sometimes an author writes about research that someone else has done, but you are unable to track down the original research report. In this case, because you did not read the original report, you will include only the source you did consult in your References. The words “as cited in” in the parenthetical reference indicate you have not read the original research.
 
Fong’s 1987 study (as cited in Bertram, 1996) found that older students’ memory can be as good as that of young people, but this depends on how memory is tested. [Do not include Fong (1987) in your References; do include Bertram (1996).]

How to Cite when you are Altering a Direct Quote

When you need to leave out part of a quotation to make it fit grammatically or because it contains irrelevant/unnecessary information, insert ellipses (pp.172-173).
 
If you must add or slightly change words within a quotation for reasons of grammar or clarity, indicate the change with square brackets (p.173).