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APA Style Guide

In-text Citations

If you are making a direct quote or paraphrasing an author's ideas into your own words you must make a parenthetical or an in-text citation

Parenthetical citations are brief.  Full details about the cited work are included in the reference list at the end of the paper. The format of the citation and whether or not parentheses are used  will depend on how you are using the author's words or ideas.

It's important to keep track of sources as you write your paper.  If you need help developing a system of keeping track, talk to a librarian for assistance.

Examples

Author and year of publication are the two basic elements of APA parenthetical citations. In cases where there is no named author, the title (often shortened) of the work is used. These citations are brief and are meant to allow the reader to find the full details in the reference list. 

The same format is used for ideas and quotes from books and articles (from newspapers, magazines or journals). You cite print and online sources in the same manner.

General Format:

(author's surname, date of publication).

For direct quotes, add a page number.

For example if citing a direct quote from a publication by Robertson, the text would look like this:

It may be true that "in the appreciation of medieval art the attitude of the observer is of primary importance..." (Robertson, 1972, p.112).

Citations should be placed within the text as close as possible to the end of the quote or idea. Remember, all parenthetical citations must be listed in your reference list at the end of the paper. The only exceptions are personal communication (such as interviews), classic works (such as the Bible or Quran), and entire web sites.

These are some of the most common types of parenthetical citations. You may need to cite a source not listed here. Consult the books or websites listed on this guide for help, or talk to a librarian.

Single author -- Use author's surname and year of publication within the parenthetical citation:

It may be true that the attitude of the observer is the most important element in the appreciation of medieval art (Robertson, 1972).

Single author; author's name used in your text -- cite the year of publication within the parenthetical citation:

It may be true, as Robertson maintains, that "in the appreciation of medieval art the attitude of the observer is of primary importance..." (1972).

Two authors -- List both authors' surnames and year 

Three, four or five authors -- When a work has three, four, or five authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author, followed by et al. and the year. 

Six or more authors -- Cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year for the first and subsequent citations.

Citing multiple authors in one parenthetical citation -- Authors should be alphabetized and appear like this:

(Author, 2000; Author, 2008; Author, 1997).