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Citing Sources in APA Style: In-Text Citations

How to cite sources using APA style

In-Text Citations (also called Parenthetical References)

Use author-date method in parenthetical references that guide the reader to the source in your references list. [section 6.11-6.21, pp. 174-79]

Early onset results in a more persistent and severe course (Kessler, 2003).

Kessler (2003) found that among epidemiological samples...

When to Include Page Numbers

If your paper has a direct quotation, you must also include a page number where the quotation can be found (see our APA Quotations page).

"When you include a paraphrase in a paper, you are required to include only the author and date in the citation. You are encouraged (but not required) to also provide the page number (or other location information) for a paraphrased citation when it would help the reader locate the relevant passage in a long or complex text." - from the APA Blog

Citing Specific Examples from a Source

If the passage in your paper refers to a quote, statistic, chart, or similar specific example from a source, indicate the page (or chapter, paragraph, figure, etc.) where the example is found.

(Tannen, 1990, p. 162).   or   Tannen (1990) found a wide range of communication preferences among various age groups (p. 162).


One Author

This point has already been argued (Tannen, 1990).   or   Tannen (1990) has argued this point...


Two Authors

Use both names every time cited:

(Baker & Lightfoot, 1993)  or   Baker and Lightfoot (1993) also reported that...


Three to five Authors

Include surnames of all authors in the first citation in your text, then use first author et al. in subsequent references:

Bonoldi, Emanuele, and Politi (2009) found...    [1st citation in text]
Further more (Bonoldi et al., 2009)    [Subsequent citations]


Six or more authors

Use the first author and et al.

(Wijga et al., 2009)  or   The study by Wijga, et al. (2009) found that...


Works without authors

Use a short form of the title that starts the citation entry on the References page.

Scientists report that average temperatures in Antarctica are changing rapidly ("Cooling," 2008).


Two or more works by the same author

Use the date to guide your reader to the proper reference in your works cited list.

Morrison's early work (1977)...
Her later novel... (Morrison, 1987).

On the references page, arrange works by the same single author by year of publication.


Two or more works in the same parentheses

When your parenthetical citation includes two or more works, order them the same way they appear in the reference list (viz., alphabetically), separated by a semi-colon.

(Berndt, 2002; Harlow, 1983)


Personal Communication (in person & electronic)

First initial and last name of interviewee, the words "personal communication", and interview date.

(T. K. Lutes, personal communication, April 18, 2014)   or   T.K. Lutes indicated that... (personal communication, April 18, 2014)

Do not include personal communication on References Page.