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APA 6th edition: In-text Citations

In-text Citation Examples

Paraphrasing is when you put another person's ideas into your own words. When paraphrasing, name the author(s) and include the publication date but you do not have to cite the page number:

Smith and Gould (2009) recognized that eating cake is fun.

OR

Eating cake is fun (Smith & Gould, 2009).

 

For an organization as author use the full name of the organization within the sentence and the first parentheses:

 

The Northern Alberta Alliance on Race Relations (2008) proposed that ….

 

If the organization is known by an abbreviation, show the abbreviation in square brackets next to the full name the first time it is cited:

 

(Northern Alberta Alliance on Race Relations [NAARR], 2008)

Subsequently, cite the abbreviation:

(NAARR, 2008)

For an unknown author use the title in the sentence or the first word or two of the title in parentheses if it is enough to distinguish it from other titles.  Remember that book and report titles are italicized, and chapter and article titles are in quotation marks. All titles have major words capitalized when used in-text:

 

(Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 2003)

OR

(“Learning Citation”, 2013)

*Remember that book and report titles are italicized, and chapter and article titles are in quotation marks.

 

For 2 authors cite both authors every time; use “and” between the names in the sentence, and & (ampersand) between the names in the parentheses:

 

Harkreader and Hogan (2004) concluded that …….

OR

(Harkreader & Hogan, 2004)

 

For 3 to 5 authors list all authors the first time you cite: 

 

(Sommers, Johnson, & Beery, 2007) 

Subsequently, list the first author followed by et al.:

(Sommers et al., 2007)

 

For 6 or more authors list only the first author’s name, followed by et al.:

 

(Gilbert et al., 2004)

 

For more information please see pp. 39-40 of Clearly APA: The NorQuest Guide to APA Style.

If your quote is less than 40 words, put it in "quotation marks". In addition to the author(s) name(s) and year of publication, the page number is included if the citation is for a direct quote: 

Roach (2004) states that “a sound knowledge of basic pharmacologic principles is essential if the nurse is to safely administer medications” (p. 1).

OR

(Roach, 2004, p. 1)

 

If a direct quote is from online material without pagination, cite the paragraph number if there is one, or cite the heading and number of the paragraph. If the heading is very long, use a short title in quotation marks:

(Healing Lodges, 2013, para. 4)

OR

(“Elizabeth I,” 2008, Childhood, para. 1)

 

If a direct quote is from audiovisual material, cite the screen name/author, publish date, and timestamp:

(16x9onglobal, 2016, 2:09)

 

If your quote is more than 40 words, the complete quote must be indented another 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) from the left margin and does not use quotation marks. This is also called a block quote. For more information please see pages 42-43 of Clearly APA: The NorQuest Guide to APA Style. 

Many famous persons have commented on the process of lifelong learning. Krishnamurti (1981) noted the following:

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning. (p. 57)

 

Three ellipsis points ( . . . ) may be used to indicate that you have omitted words from the original quotation. If the omission is between two sentences, use 4 points (. . . . ).

  • Original Sentence: "Qualitative research tries to gain in-depth understanding of life as it unfolds in a natural setting without manipulating it."
  • Example (using three spaced ellipsis points): Qualitative research is a type of research "to gain in-depth understanding of life . . . in a natural setting without manipulating it" (Davies & Logan, 2012, p. 9).
  • Original Sentence: "Please note that using a structured questionnaire with a few open-ended items for the participants to state their views and opinions is not "qualitative" research." Although the researcher will use a simplified content coding process similar to methods used in qualitative research, the overall spirit of the study is an attempt to quantify, and thus is considered a quantitative and not a qualitative study"
  • Example (using four spaced ellipsis points): Davies and Logan (2012) stated that "using a structured questionnaire with a few open-ended items for the participants to state their views and opinions is not "qualitative" research". . . . and thus is considered a quantitative and not a qualitative study" (p. 18).

If you need to insert an addition or explanation into a quotation to give context or make it grammatically correct (e.g. capital letter), use square brackets [ ] around the insertion.

  • Original sentence: There were over a hundred cat staying at the local shelter.
  • Example (with correct grammar): There were over a hundred cat[s] staying at the local shelter.
  • Original sentence: "Its members are 22 years old or younger, so it's too soon to tell how Gen Z will fare in the nursing workplace" (College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta, 2018, p. 13)
  • Example (with explanation): "Its members are 22 years old or younger, so it's too soon to tell how Gen Z [born between mid-1990s to mid-2000s] will fare in the nursing workplace" (College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta, 2018, p. 13).

You can make the following changes without an explanation:

  • first letter of the first word in a quotation to upper or lowercase.
  • punctuation at the end of a sentence in order to make it grammatically correct.
  • single quotation marks to double and vice versa.

To cite a source that was cited in another source (secondary source), name the original source in the sentence, but list the secondary source in your reference list and in the parenthetical citation:

Erikson concluded that "…exact words…." (as cited in Jones, 2008, p. 55).

Original source author(s) concluded that "...exact words..." (as cited in secondary source author(s), date, p. xx)

or

Erikson concluded that …paraphrase… (as cited in Jones, 2008).

Original source author(s) concluded that ...paraphrase... (as cited in secondary source author(s), date)

For more information please see pages 44-45 of Clearly APA: The NorQuest Guide to APA Style.

If your quote is more than 40 words, use a block quote. The page number is included outside the ending punctuation: 

Many famous persons have commented on the process of lifelong learning. Krishnamurti (1981) noted the following:

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with an education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning. (p. 57)

 

For more information please see pages 42-43 of Clearly APA: The Norquest Guide to APA Style.

For a reprint of original material where there are two dates, one being the original publication date and the second being the date of publication of the reprint, use both dates in chronological order separated by a slash:
 

(Gourevitch, 1998/2017) 

If one parenthetical citation includes two or more references, order them the same way they appear in your References list, and separate them with a semi-colon:

 

(McGrath, 2001; Pretty, 2003)

 

For two or more references with the same author in the same year, use lower-case letters (a, b, c) with the year to organize the entries in your References list. Also use the lower case letters with the year in the in-text citations:

 

 

(City of Edmonton, 2010a)

(City of Edmonton, 2010b)

(City of Edmonton, 2010c)

 

 

If there are two or more references with the same last name and same year, include first initials in your in-text citation: 

 

(M. Smith, 2010)

(J. Smith, 2010)

 

 

For two sources by the same author, give the author’s surname once, followed by the date of each work in chronological order:

 

(Robertson, 2000, 2005)

Figures must have a caption immediately underneath them. The caption begins with the word Figure followed by an Arabic number, both in italics. Next is a brief explanation which serves as the title.

  • If it is reprinted and untitled, make up your own brief description as title and put it in [square brackets].
  • Refer to figures in text by their number (Figure 1 or Figure 2), not as "the figure below" or "the figure above".
  • Text in a caption is sans serif font (Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Futura). Font size must be between 8 and 14 point.
  • Everything is double-spaced.

 

Caption for material reprinted from a journal article:

Figure #. Brief, but complete explanation. Adapted [or Reprinted] from “Title of Article,” by A. B. Creator and C. D. Creator, year, Title of Journal, volume, p. xx. Copyright year by Name of Copyright Holder. 

Figure 1. Photograph of the varied structural cross-beams utilized in the Eiffel Tower, Paris. Reprinted from “An architect’s perspective of Paris,” by J. C. Simpson, 2008, Journal of Professional Travel 49(8), p. 23. Copyright 2008 by the International Association of Travel Research.

 

Caption for material reprinted from a book:

Figure #. Brief, but complete explanation. Adapted [or Reprinted] from Title of Book by A. B. Creator and C. D. Creator. Copyright year by Publisher or Copyright Holder.

Figure 2. Water flowing over top of the weir on the River Avon beneath the Pulteney covered bridge in Bath, UK, 2008. Reprinted from Travels with my Aunt by J. Reid. Copyright 2009 by Where's That? Publishers.

 

Caption for material reprinted from a website:

Figure #. Brief, but complete explanation. Adapted [or Reprinted] from Title of website by A. B. Creator and C. D. Creator, year, URL. Copyright Year by Name of Copyright Holder.

Figure 3. Girl with dog. Reprinted from “Kathy’s pix” by K. Zarft, 2010, http://www.pixbook.ca/kzarft/2409357. Copyright 2010 by Kathy Zarft.

 

Caption for material reprinted from the Public Domain (Pixabay, ClipArt, Wikimedia):

Title by Creator, CC0, Public domain, available at URL. 

Owl, Snow, Snow Owl, Bird, Forest, Eyes, Yellow, Close

[Snow owl] by -gerry-, CC0, Public domain, available at https://pixabay.com/en/owl-snow-snow-owl-bird-forest-3184032/

For examples please see pages 50-51 of Clearly APA: The NorQuest Guide to APA Style. 

Tables begin with the word Table followed by an Arabic number, both in italics, above the table. This is followed on the line below (double-spaced) by a title in italics, also above the table.

Tables must have a note immediately underneath. This is the word Note: (in italics) followed by descriptive note(s) for the table, then the source of the table (if not created by the author).

Note: From [Adapted from] Title of webpage, by A. B. Author and C. D. Author, year. Retrieved from http://url

  • All abbreviations and special formatting (italics, parentheses, dashes, boldface, etc.) must be explained.
  • Everything is double-spaced in the table title and notes (not the table itself).
  • Within the table every column must have a column head and vertical lines are NOT used (only horizontal).
  • The table must be referred to by number in the text. e.g.: ...as shown in Table 4, the responses of.... Do not say, "in the table above".

Note for material adapted from a website:

Table 9

APA 6th edition Research guide Page Hits 2013

Note: Adapted from NorQuest College Library Research Guides Usage Statistics by Springshare Libguides, 2014. Retrieved from http://libguides.norquest.ca/admin_stats.php

For personal communications such as letters, memos, emails, personal interviews and telephone conversations, cite the personal communication in the text, and include the author's initials in addition to the author's last name and provide a date as specific as possible:

(J.J. Doe, personal communication, December 3, 2008)

 

Do not include classical works such as the Bible, Qur’an or ancient Greek and Roman works in the reference list. Cite the work in the text. You may cite the year of the translation or version you used:

(1 Cor. 13:1, Revised Standard Version)

(Qur’an 5:3-4)

(Aristotle, trans. 1931)

 

*NorQuest Library has noted that an exception to this should be Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers 

 

NorQuest Library has noted that the formal APA style does not have a format for Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers so we have developed this citation style in the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation. 

Unlike other personal communications, Elders and Knowledge Keepers should be cited in-text and in the reference list. The in-text citation format should follow the same guidelines as noted in the paraphrase and direct quote tabs: 

Delores Cardinal described the nature of the... (2004).

OR

The nature of the place was... (Cardinal, 2004).

The citation format for the reference list can be found in the References tab under miscellaneous.

Note: If you would like to approach an Elder or Knowledge Keeper for teachings, remember to follow protocol or if you are unsure what their protocol is, please ask them ahead of time.

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What is an In-text Citation?

In-text citations appear in the body of a paper and include the author(s) name(s) and the year of publication of the reference used. If it is a direct quote, the page number is also included. For more information see Part 4 of Clearly APA: The NorQuest Guide to APA Style beginning on p. 39. 

TIP: It is usually easier to do your References first, then use them to derive your in-text citations.

Video: APA: In-text Citations

APA in text citations

How-to Videos: Citing References in Text

Citing References in Text

Learn how to cite references in the text, including how to implement the basic formats, cite multiple works, achieve clarity, and format references with missing author and/or date information.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Secondary Sources

Learn how to use and cite secondary sources, that is, sources that discuss or cite material originally presented in another, or primary, source.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Direct Quotations and Paraphrasing

Learn how to cite and format direct quotations and block quotations, make and indicate changes to direct quotations, and cite paraphrased material.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Personal Communications

Learn how to cite personal communications, including emails, classroom lectures, personal interviews, text messages, letters, and telephone conversations, as well as how to cite or discuss other types of interviews, such as recoverable interviews or research participant interviews that serve as a data source for your study.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.