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APA Style Guide: In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations

Single author

APA requires that the author's last name and the document's date of publication be included in all in-text citations.

  • In one research study (Rogers, 2014), employees were more likely…
  • In the study by Rogers (2014), employees were more likely…
  • In 2014, Rogers demonstrated that employees were more likely…

Note: Unless you are providing a direct quote, you do not need to include page numbers.

Two Authors

Cite both authors when referencing the work.

  • In the study by Emory & Jones (2013), employees were more likely…

 

Three to Five Authors:

The first time that you reference the work, cite all authors and the publication date. In all references after that, you only need to cite the first author followed by "et al.".

  • First citation: (Kernis, Cornell, Sun, Berry, & Harlow, 1993)
  • Subsequent citations: Kernis et al. (1993) found that managers…

 

Six or More Authors:

Cite only the first author, followed by "et al." and the year.

  • Callaway et al. (2012) found that managers…
No Author

When a source has no named author, cite the first words of the reference (usually the title). Use quotes for articles, websites, etc., and italics for periodical titles, books, reports, and the like.

  • The site suggests that employee motivation was linked to office culture (“Culture Troubles,” 2015).
  • The report identifies six ways to improve morale (Building Bridges, 2009).

 

Note: court cases, statutes, legislation, etc. are treated as authorless works.

Short Quotations

A quotation is usually considered "short" if it is less than 39 words. Short quotations should adhere to the following rules:

  1. Direct quotes are enclosed within quotation marks.
  2. A parenthetical citation is included immediately after the quote.
    1. The in-text citation includes author, year of publication, and page number for reference.

Example:

  • She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.
Long Quotations

A quotation is considered "long" if it is 40 words or more. Long quotations should adhere to the following rules:

  1. Quote is placed in a free-standing block of text.
  2. The entire quote block is indented ½ inch from the right and left margins.
  3. No quotation marks are used around the quote.
  4. All text is double-spaced.
  5. A parenthetical citation is included after the closing punctuation mark.
    1. Citation should include author, publication date, and page number for reference.

Example:

Jones's (1998) study found the following:

Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help. (p. 199)

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The citation examples on this page and on subsequent pages have been borrowed from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/1/), and from the Defiance College Pilgrim Library Writing Center APA Style Guide (http://library.defiance.edu/c.php?g=333902&p=2243144).