Answered By: Jonathan Faerber
Last Updated: May 09, 2020     Views: 26806

APA 6th Edition (scroll down for APA 7th Edition)

An in-text citation provides sourcing information about quoted or paraphrased text. The purpose of the in-text citation is to indicate that the quoted or paraphrased information originated with someone else and to give your reader sufficient information that they can then find the corresponding reference in your reference list. Citations appear in the main text and provide specific information about the quoted or paraphrased information; references appear in the reference list at the end of the work and provide general information about the resource so that the reader can locate the resource used by the author. Each instance of information taken from another source must be cited; in other words, an entire paragraph of information cannot be cited with one citation at the end of the paragraph. Rather, each individual instance of information from another source must be cited, with the citation appearing immediately after the quoted or paraphrased text. For example, according to the American Psychological Association (2010), “references in APA publications are cited in text with an author-date citation system” (p. 174). Alternatively, the same text could be presented as “references in APA publications are cited in text with an author-date citation system and are listed alphabetically in the text” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 174).

The standard format for a citation to quoted text is (author last name/corporate author, year of publication/copyright, location reference). For a printed resource or a document in PDF format, the location reference will be a page number. For electronic resources that are not paginated, use a paragraph number (e.g. para. 4) or “if the document includes headings and neither paragraph nor page numbers are visible, cite the heading and the number of the paragraph following it” (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 172). For example: (Government of Canada, 1968, p. 5), (Brown, 2008, para. 7), or (Jones, 2006, "Recommendations", para. 4). If your quotation breaks over two pages, you can provide a page range in the citation: (Government of Canada, 1968, pp. 5-6). For more information, please see page 177 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association, 2010) for a chart that compares the basic citation styles, as well as the information provided below. For information on how to create a citation when source information is missing, please see "Writing In-Text Citations in APA Style" from the APA Style Blog. See "Where should an in-text citation be placed?" for more information. For information on citing paraphrased information, please see "What is paraphrasing?".

When presenting information in a paragraph, you may find that you’re citing repeatedly from the same resource. While APA style doesn’t use ibid., you can use a shortened citation format after the first full citation. Please visit "I'm quoting/paraphrasing repeatedly from the same author in a paragraph. Can I put one citation at the end of the paragraph (APA)?" for information and examples.

Reference

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

APA 7th Edition

An APA Style in-text citation, together with a corresponding reference entry, identifies the source of quoted or paraphrased text (American Psychological Association [APA], 2020, p. 253). In-text citations in APA Style can include the following three parts:

  • The author’s last name or the name of the organization that authored the resource
  • The year the resource was published
  • Page, paragraph number, or other information that will allow the reader to locate the specific information

All three elements are required for in-text citations for quoted text, and the author name and year are always required in citations for paraphrases. These three elements, the author, date, and page or paragraph number, are typically combined in the following two ways:

  • Lee (2019) stated that “quoted text” (p. 1).
  • Furthermore, it was found that “quotation” (Lee, 2019, p.1).

The first of these is called a narrative citation, since the author name is outside of parentheses, and the second is called a parenthetical citation, since the parentheses enclose the entire in-text citation. Note that when the author’s name is part of the sentence text, the year will follow the author’s name even though the page or paragraph number is placed after the quotation or at the end of the sentence (APA, 2020, p. 271). For more information, please see Where Should an In-text Citation be Placed (APA Style)?.

When citing a specific paragraph from a long and complex text without page numbers, include a heading (or an abbreviated heading—in quotation marks—if the heading is quite long) instead of paragraph numbers, or a heading for a section plus the paragraph number(s) in that section. For example: (Jones, 2006, "Recommendations", para. 4). If your quotation breaks over two pages, you can provide a page range in the citation: (Government of Canada, 1968, pp. 5-6). For more information, please see page 272 in the APA Style manual for a chart that compares the basic citation styles, as well as the information provided below. For information on how to create a citation when page or paragraph numbers are difficult to locate, please see How Do I Cite an Ebook without Page Numbers in APA Style? as well as Direct Quotation of Material Without Page Numbers, which is a resource by the APA. For general information on in-text citations, please see In-Text Citations and Basic Principles, both of which are APA resources, and RRU’s Quoting, Summarizing, and Paraphrasing.

When presenting information in a paragraph, you may find that you’re citing repeatedly from the same resource. While APA style doesn’t use ibid., it is not always necessary to repeat citations within paragraphs focusing on a specific resource. Please visit I'm Quoting/Paraphrasing Repeatedly From the Same Author in a Paragraph. Can I Put One Citation at the End of the Paragraph (APA)? for information and examples.

Reference

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000