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APA (7th ed.) Citing Guide: In-text Citations

APA 7th Edition

This guide is representative of the 7th edition Publication Manual of APA and focuses on a student paper structure.

APA examples are not exhaustive and focus on referencing and citations. Assistance from your professor and/or Writing Centre is suggested for clarification.

Users are responsible for interpretation of APA style guidelines and to seek further assistance when necessary.

Effective September 2020.

Key Terminology

Reference list entry includes all 4 elements (who, what, when, where) that lead a reader to the actual source.

In-text citation is an abbreviated connection from the paper to the reference list and usually is composed of the author and the date of the source.

Every in-text citation must have a corresponding and complete reference list entry.

In-text citations can be written in different ways. They can be quotes, paraphrased, or summarized. The in-text citation is written in the parenthetical or narrative format.

Parenthetical in-text citations means the author and the date are both included within brackets, e.g. (Robertson, 2020)

Narrative in-text citations include the author within the sentence or paragraph structure leading to the quote, paraphrase, or summary. The date must still be included but typically is in brackets. Page or paragraph numbers may also be included in the brackets to direct the reader to the specific content. For example: Robertson (2020) stated that "libraries contribute in many ways to students' academic success" (p. 5).

A signal phrase generally introduces the narrative in-text. In the example above, "Robertson (2020) stated" is the signal phrase.

Quoting is the use of the exact words from the source and are inside quotation marks.

Block quoting is a quote that is longer 40 words and is indented within your paper. See Publication Manual Section 8.27.

  • indented 0.5 inches
  • double spaced
  • no extra paragraph spacing around block quote

Paraphrasing information requires you to write it in your own words and not just replace a few words or switch the order. This is considered plagiarism and is an example of patch writing.

Summarizing information requires the main ideas in your own words and should be shorter than the original text. A good example of summarizing is when you explain to someone else what the book or movie is about in a few key sentences. If you are summarizing multiple works, create one in-text citation that lists each work separated by a semicolon. For example: (Chu et al, 2016; MacPherson & Leung, 2019; Smith, 2015). The works should be listed alphabetically. Each work needs to be represented on the references page. See Publication Manual Section 8.12.

APA Style, Author-Date Citation System

APA Style, In-Text Citations

Webpage Quote (Block, Paragraph Number)

When directly quoting from a webpage without page numbers or section headings, count the paragraphs and indicate a paragraph number in your in-text citation:

Here's an example of an article from Oregon State University, News and Research Communications.

Screenshot of article from OSU News & Research Communications, demonstrating a webpage that has no page numbers or section headings.
Image source: Klampe, M. (2011, August 17). Study: College students not eating enough fruits and veggies [Press release]. Oregon State University: News and research communications. http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2011/aug/study-college-students-not-eating-enough-fruits-and-veggies

Block quotation from this page with paragraph number:

Cardinal, who is an expert in the psychological and social aspects of health and exercise, said the larger take-away message is that proper eating and nutrition is not integrated enough into our society. He said the surveyed students came from OSU, where healthy options are available in dining halls. (Klampe, 2011, para. 7)

Reference list entry:

Klampe, M. (2011, August 17). Study: College students not eating enough fruits and veggies [Press release]. Oregon State University: News and research communications. http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2011/aug/study-college-students-not-eating-enough-fruits-and-veggies

Signal Phrases

Signal phrases are used to introduce or lead into a quote. They help the reader to know that you are introducing information from another source.  Some common signal phrases are reports, illustrates, claims, etc.

Direct quote using a signal phrase, include the author(s), date and page number:

Smith (2014) reported that "...." (p. 43)

Paraphrase using a signal phrase, include author(s), date and page number:

Smith (2014) reported that ....this is a paraphrase and sentence or idea... (p. 43).

Note: Sometimes a page number is required when you use a signal phrase. Use a page number when you are summarizing information from a specific page. If you are using a signal phrase to summarize a whole work, a page number is not required.

Multiple Authors

Two authors:

If a work has two authors, all of your in-text citations must have both authors, followed by the date.

  1. ...this is a paraphrased sentence or idea (Smith & Brown, 2014).

However, if you have already mentioned the authors in the running text of your sentence, then only list the date.

      2. Smith and Brown (2014) reported that...

Notice in example #1, an "&" is used inside the brackets. In example #2, the full word 'and' is used since the authors are mentioned in the narrative text

Three or more authors

If a work has three or more authors, then give the first author's last name followed by "et al." and then include the date:

  • ...this is a paraphrased sentence of a work with six or more authors (Smith et al., 2014).
  • The research of Smith et al. (2014) reports that...

Group author without abbreviation 

If the author of a work is a group (e.g., corporation, association, government agency or study group) then include the group name followed by the year.  

  • ...this is a paraphrased sentence or idea (University of Toronto, 2014).
  • According to University of Toronto (2014) they claim...

Group author with abbreviation 

If the group name has a short form, then for the first, in-text occurrence, use the full name of this group, followed by its shortened form in square brackets, then the date.  For subsequent occurrences, just use the short form of the group name followed by the date:

...this is a paraphrased sentence or idea (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2014).
This is the second paraphrased sentence or idea (NIMH, 2014).

See Publication Manual Sections 8.17-8.21.

Missing Information

When information to create the reference list entry is missing, see APA Style website or the Publication Manual, Table 9.1. Examples are also provided for the in-text citation to match the reference list entry with missing elements.

Secondary Source Reporting on Primary Source

You may be reading a source (secondary source) that reports information from another source (primary source).

First, try to find and access the primary source. If you can, complete a reference list entry and in-text citations from the primary source. This is the preferred approach; check with your professor.

If you are unable to access the primary source:

  • reference list entry will be the secondary source
  • in-text citation will identify the primary source with author(s) and date and then indicate "as cited in" the secondary source.

Example:

Let's say you found this article and wanted to create an in-text for the "success of nursing services is an important factor"

article example referencing another source

Image Source: Kavuran, E., & Turkoglu, N. (2018). The relationship between care dependency level and satisfaction with nursing care of neurological patients in Turkey. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(2), 725–733.

It is preferable to find the original article (use the reference list entry to find it) and prepare an in-text and reference list entry from the Evans et al.article, the original source.

Here is an excerpt from the Evans et al. paper that could then be cited and referenced in your paper. In this instance, we were able to find the primary source material.

article text

Image Source: Evans, M. L. , Martin, M. L. & Winslow, E. H. (1998). Nursing care and patient satisfaction. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 98(12), 57–59.

In-text citation:

In the Evans et al. (1998) paper "nursing care was the primary determinant of overall patient satisfaction" (p. 57).

See Publication Manual, Section 8.6 or APA Style, Secondary Sources.

Quotation Containing Citation From Other Works

To directly quote the highlighted section of an article on concussions, see the example below:

Screenshot of a paragraph from the article mentioned, that illustrates an in-text citation within the part of the article that is being cited.
Image Source: Davies, S. C., & Bird, B. M. (2015). Motivations for underreporting suspected concussion in college athletics. Journal Of Clinical Sport Psychology, 9(2), 101-115.

Direct quotation in body of paper or report:

"Although most concussions heal on their own within 2-3 weeks (Collins, Lovell, Iversion, Ide & Maroon, 2006), some individuals experience persistent postconcussion symptoms" (Davies & Bird, 2015, p. 103).

Reference list entry:

Davies, S. C., & Bird, B. M. (2015). Motivations for underreporting suspected concussion in college athletics. Journal Of Clinical Sport Psychology, 9(2), 101-115.

In-text citation:

(Davies & Bird, 2015)

See Publication Manual, Section 8.32.

Personal Communications

The personal communication citation format in APA is used when an interaction occurs but there is no print or online record of the conversation or transmission of information. Examples of personal communications might include:

  • A private email exchange, message or conversation online
  • A private phone call, interview or written letter
  • A social media exchange that is not publicly available

Personal communications are not included on your references page. Personal communications are included in your in-text citation.

Example:

(S. Smith, personal communication, April 17, 2020)

See Publication Manual, Section 8.9 or APA Style

Parenthetical In-text Example vs. Reference List

Example:

Image Source: Benzie, R. (2020, January 10). Booming Ontario launches push to attract more young people to trades with thousands of jobs unfilled. Toronto Star, https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/01/10/booming-ontario-launches-push-to-attract-more-young-people-to-trades-with-thousands-of-jobs-unfilled.html

Parenthetical Examples
  In-text Reference List Entry (hanging indent excluded)
Direct Quote "province's labour pool starved for skilled workers" (Benzie, 2020, para. 1) Benzie, R. (2020, January 10). Booming Ontario launches push to attract more young people to trades with thousands of jobs unfilled. Toronto Star, https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/01/10/booming-ontario-launches-push-to-attract-more-young-people-to-trades-with-thousands-of-jobs-unfilled.html
Paraphrase There is a shortage of skilled workers in Ontario. The Ontario government is encouraging young people to consider the skilled trades as a career (Benzie, 2020, para. 1). Benzie, R. (2020, January 10). Booming Ontario launches push to attract more young people to trades with thousands of jobs unfilled. Toronto Star, https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/01/10/booming-ontario-launches-push-to-attract-more-young-people-to-trades-with-thousands-of-jobs-unfilled.html
Summary Ontario has a shortage of skilled trades workers and the government has recently started a marketing campaign to promote these professions (Benzie, 2020, para. 1). Benzie, R. (2020, January 10). Booming Ontario launches push to attract more young people to trades with thousands of jobs unfilled. Toronto Star, https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/01/10/booming-ontario-launches-push-to-attract-more-young-people-to-trades-with-thousands-of-jobs-unfilled.html

Narrative In-text Example vs. Reference List

Example:

Image Source: Benzie, R. (2020, January 10). Booming Ontario launches push to attract more young people to trades with thousands of jobs unfilled. Toronto Star, https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/01/10/booming-ontario-launches-push-to-attract-more-young-people-to-trades-with-thousands-of-jobs-unfilled.html

 

Narrative Examples
  In-text Reference List Entry (hanging indent excluded)
Direct Quote Benzie (2020) wrote "the Ontario government is urging more young people to enter the trades" (para. 1). Benzie, R. (2020, January 10). Booming Ontario launches push to attract more young people to trades with thousands of jobs unfilled. Toronto Star, https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/01/10/booming-ontario-launches-push-to-attract-more-young-people-to-trades-with-thousands-of-jobs-unfilled.html
Paraphrase Benzie (2020, para. 1) reported there is a shortage of skilled workers in Ontario. Benzie, R. (2020, January 10). Booming Ontario launches push to attract more young people to trades with thousands of jobs unfilled. Toronto Star, https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/01/10/booming-ontario-launches-push-to-attract-more-young-people-to-trades-with-thousands-of-jobs-unfilled.html
Summary Benzie (2020, para. 1) reported Ontario has a shortage of skilled trades workers. Benzie, R. (2020, January 10). Booming Ontario launches push to attract more young people to trades with thousands of jobs unfilled. Toronto Star, https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/01/10/booming-ontario-launches-push-to-attract-more-young-people-to-trades-with-thousands-of-jobs-unfilled.html