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AMA Writing Guide: In-text Citations

This research guide provides a brief introduction to the AMA 11th edition.

General Rules

To see an example of the reference list in an AMA formatted paper, take a look at the sample papers provided by Liberty University's Writing Center. The 'Reference' page is usually the last section of the paper. If your report includes an appendix, the appendix is provided after the reference list. Section 3.0 of the AMA Manual provides additional information about references. 

  • Citations in AMA style are ordered consecutively (numerically) in the order that they appear in the report. Citations are presented as superscripted numbers (abc1) inserted at the end of the sentence, with a corresponding numbered reference entry in the reference list. Superscripted information never contains any spaces whatsoever. Ensure that you use an endnote in the reference list, not a footnote. Every time you use a resource, you will use the same endnote number for that resource, no matter how many times you cite the work. 
  • Some sentences may include multiple citations (abc2,3-5,14). Individual references are separated by a comma, and a range of references are denoted by a single dash. 

  • If you want to direct your reader to a specific page in a resource, add the page number in parenthesis after the citation, with no spaces.

    • Example: As Rethlefsen et al report: "Problematically, however, the many guidelines for reporting systematic review searches share few common reporting elements."1(p1)
    • Example: Page and colleagues argue that "[systematic reviews] can provide syntheses of the state of knowledge in a field, from which future priorities can be identified."3(p179)
    • Example: Systematic reviews are commonly used in the fields of nursing, medical and health sciences, and public health.4,6(pp23,30),11 
  • Use Arabic superscript numerals inside colons and semicolons, and use superscript numerals outside periods and commas (To err is human1; to forgive,divine)
  • Only use authors' surnames in text. For references with two or more authors mentioned in text, use the first author's surname followed by "et al," "and coauthors," or "and colleagues." 
  • Abbreviations such as et al, eg, and etc do not have periods (.) in the AMA Manual
  • The Bible is cited parenthetically without an endnote citation; however, it is also acceptable to include a citation number and corresponding endnote reference entry. 
    • Parenthetical example: As Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NRSV) tells: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."
    • Endnote example: Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NRSV).