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APA 7 Style Guide: In-text citations

A guide to using APA style in writing research papers

Writing in-text citations

The in-text citation is a brief note within your text that indicates the source material. It should properly attribute any ideas, paraphrases, or direct quotations, and should direct readers to the entry in the References list.  For every different source you cite, you must include the full information about the source at the end of the paper in the References page.  Your readers may want to find your sources and read them for themselves. 

APA uses an author-date format for citations; you must include the author's name and the source's date every time, as well as the page number if possible.


 Examples of in-text citations:

According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).

Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199); what implications does this have for teachers?

According to Jones (1998), APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners (p. 199).

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

  • A long quotation of over 40 words should be set off:

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)

  • You may cite more than one source at a time:

Studies of reading in childhood have produced mixed results (Albright, Wayne, & Fortinbras, 2004; Gibson, 2011; Smith & Wexwood, 2010).

Smith and Wexwood (2010) reported an increase in the number of books read, whereas Gibson (2011) reported a decrease. Albright, Wayne, and Fortinbras (2004) found no significant results.

  • If your source has no named author, use an abbreviated version of the title.

The dictionary defines "liberty" as "the quality or state of being free" (Merriam-Webster's, 2003).

APA Handbook

Find more help!

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) has an excellent online style guide.  Take a look for more help!

Want to try a new, free software tool to build your bibliography?  MyBib is the best tool we've seen for building and keeping a list of citations.  It's easy to use and lets you switch between several styles.  Try it out at