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APA Style - 6th edition: In-text Citations

This guide will provide students with examples and explanations of ways to create or identify various types of sources in APA.
  • Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018 11:22 AM
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In-text Citations

Useful Resources

General Guidelines

All sources mentioned in the paper must appear on the reference page. When using APA format, your in-text citation should follow the author-year model, for example (Smith, 2012). The author-year model always appears at the end of the sentence in parentheses. If you cite the author within the sentence, you only need to include the publication year of the source.

Shorter Quotes

  • If you quote directly from a source, make sure to include the author’s last name, year of publication, and the specific page number for the reference, if available. If you introduce the author in the sentence, make sure that the year of publication proceeds the author's last name, as is shown in Example 2.

    • Example 1: He said, “It is important to cite sources” (Smith, 2012, p.12).
    • Example 2: Smith (2012) notes "It is important to cite sources" (p. 12).

Longer Quotes

  • If a quote is 40 or more words, use a free-standing block, as shown below

According to Purdue OWL,

Students often had difficulty using APA Style, especially when it is their

first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students

failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help (199).

  • Unlike shorter quotes where you place quotations around the phrase, you do not need to add quotations around block quotes.
  • Unlike shorter quotes which continue on the same line, longer quotes require you to start the quote on a new line, which should be indented 1/2 inch or 5 spaces from the left margin.
  • Unlike shorter quotes where it is only necessary to place a period after the page number, longer quotes require individuals to include two periods--one right after the quotation and an additional one after the page reference, as is shown above.
  • Make sure to double space throughout.
  • Be sure to add the ending parenthetical citation after the closing punctuation mark.

Paraphrasing or Summarizing Quotes

  • If you cite a main idea from a source, only the author and the publication year need to be referenced.
    • Example 1: Smith (2012) believes that individuals can write well if they take the time to plan out their proposal.
    • Example 2: In 2012, Smith's research indicated that individuals that spend more time writing proposals are more likely to do well on their assignments.
    • Example 3: Good grades can be achieved through creating proposals (Smith, 2012).