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APA Style (7th ed.)

In-Text Citation


When you use others' ideas (paraphrases) and direct quotes, you must cite your source by including:

  1. Author's last name

  2. Publication year

  3. (Only for direct quotes) Page number of the quote


The purpose of in-text citation is to direct the reader to the full citation on the References list, which will have the full publication details. 


You are encouraged to write your in-text citations in several ways:

  • Author's last name and publication year in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Ex. There is not a strong correlation between a high GPA and students who began reading at an early age (Kahneman & Klein, 2009).

  • Author's name in the text with the publication year in parentheses after it.

Ex. ‚ÄčKahneman and Klein (2009) found that there is not a strong correlation between a high GPA and early readers.‚Äč


Jump to more specific examples by using the table below: 


One-Two Authors: Direct Quotes Quoting a Quote
One-Two Authors: Paraphrasing Author with Acronym Name
Three+ Authors Two Citations in One Sentence
No Author Personal Interviews

One or Two Authors: Direct Quotes 

Include the author's last name(s), with an ampersand if needed between the two; publication date; and page number(s).

Ex. Although businesses collect a lot of information on their customers' buying patterns, "it is not enough to know how customers behave, you also need to know why" (Kahneman & Baudin, 2009, p. 522).


One or Two Authors: Paraphrasing 

Cite the author, publication year, and page numbers if needed.

Ex. Many insects and animals have a larger spectrum of color vision than humans, including ultraviolet and infrared (Gadhavi & Krupin, 2009).


Three or More Authors (see p. 266-267 in Manual)

In every citation, cite only the first author followed by "et al."

Ex. A study by Alloy et al. (2009) examines the relationship between bipolar personality and substance abuse.


No Author (see p. 264-265 in Manual)

Cite the first few words of the source's entry in the Reference list, which is usually the title. The title will be italicized if it's italicized in the References list, or if it's not italicized, put it in "quotation marks" to identify it as the title here. 

Article or Website

Ex. From 2010 to 2022, the U.S. Mint will issue quarters featuring United States National Parks ("Quarter to Feature Smokies," 2009).

Book or Report

Ex. Getting plenty of sleep is essential to academic success (College Bound Seniors, 2008).


Quoting a Quote (see p. 277 in Manual)

If at all possible, APA tells you to find the original source and cite that source directly. 

However, if you cannot find the original source, you can cite the quote as a secondary source. Cite the quoted author in the text and the author of the article at the end. In this example, Jonsen and Willse are the authors of the source that you cannot retrieve (i.e. the secondary source), and Kosek is the author of the source that you have in-hand.

Ex. Jonsen and Willse concluded "there was no direct correlation between the two factors" (Kosek, 2011).


Authors with Acronym Name (see p. 268+ in Manual)

For short names where the abbreviation would not be readily understandable, write out the name each time. For long names where the abbreviation is familiar, write out the name with the acronym in brackets for the first reference, then use just the acronym.

Ex. In 2012, approximately 1 in 68 children were diagnosed with a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016).

However, the entry in the References list should still spell out the full name. 


Two Citations in One Sentence (see p. 263 in the Manual)

Order the citations alphabetically by the first author's last name. 

Ex. Several studies (Nakano et al., 1999; Gadhavi & Krupin, 2009; Walker et al., 2008) cite the need for more replication studies.

For works by the same author, order them by publication year: give the last name once and then the dates.


Personal Interviews (see p. 259 in Manual)

Only cite interviews in-text, not on the references list.

Ex. Individual researchers are not eligible for many private foundation grants, because often those funds are only given to nonprofit organizations (P. Karga, personal communication, May 3, 2019).

More questions? Check out the authoritative source: APA style blog