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APA Citation Style Guide (7th ed.): In-Text Citations

Basic In-Text Citation Styles

Author Type Parenthetical Citation Narrative Citation
One author (Luna, 2020) Luna (2020)
Two authors (Salas & D'Agostino, 2020) Salas and D'agostino (2020)
Three or more authors (Martin et al., 2020) Martin et al. (2020)

Group author with abbreviation

First citation

Subsequent citations

 

(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2020)

(NIMH, 2020)

 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2020)

NIMH (2020)

Group author without abbreviation (Stanford University, 2020) Stanford University (2020)

APA Manual, 7th ed., p. 266

For more specific information about in-text citations, refer to pp. 261-269 of the APA Manual, 7th. ed.

author-date citation

https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/basic-principles/author-date

 

Author - Date Citation System

  • Each source used in a paper has two parts - the in text citation and a corresponding citation in the reference list
  • The in text citation consists of the author and the date of publication.  It appears within the text of the paper.  
  • The in text citation gives the surname(s) of the author(s) or the group author(s).  
  • Use only the year in the in text citation, even if the citation in the reference list contains a more specific date.  
  • For works with no date, use n.d. in the in text citation. 

(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.261-262)

Parenthetical and Narrative Citations

There are two formats for in-text citations - parenthetical and narrative.  In parenthetical citations, the author's name and the publication date appear in parentheses.  In narrative citations, the author's name and publication date is included in the text as part of the sentence.  

In a parenthetical citation both the author and the date appear in parenthesis and are separated by a comma.  A parenthetical citation can go at the end of the sentence or within it.  When it is at the end of a sentence, the period appears after the closing parenthesis.  

The villagers experienced extreme joy when the soldiers came with aid packages (Rewniak, 2020).

Narrative Citation

Usually the author's name appears in the text and the date appears in parentheses immediately after the author's name. If you include the author's name in the sentence, do not include it in the parentheses. Occasionally the author's name and the date both appear in the text.  When this happens do not use parentheses.  

Rewniak (2020) describes the villager's emotional reaction to the foreign aid.

In 2020, Rewniak described the villager's emotional reaction.

For further information, see Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.262-263

Omitting the Year in Repeated Narrative Citations

In general, provide the author and date in every in-text citation.  The year can be omitted from an in text citation "only when multiple narrative citations to a work appear within a single paragraph.  Once you have provided a narrative citation to a work in a paragraph, do not repeat the year in subsequent narrative citations in that same paragraph. Follow this guideline with each paragraph (i.e., include the year in the first narrative citation in a new paragraph).  Include the year in every parenthetical citation.

However, if you cite multiple works by the same author or authors, regardless of the publication years, include the date in every in-text citation to prevent ambiguity." (Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.265-266)

 

Organizations as Author

  • Works with a group author are usually spelled out each time they appear in a citation .
  •  If the group name is overly cumbersome, and the abbreviation is well known or readily understandable, the group name can be abbreviated.  
  • The first time provide the full name of the group followed by the abbreviation.  
  • Do not abbreviate the group author name in the reference list entry.  
  • "If the group name first appears in a narrative citation, include the abbreviation before the year in parentheses, separated with a comma.

The American Psychological Association [APA], 2017 described....

  • If the group name first appears in a parenthetical citation, include the abbreviatin in square brackets, followed by a comma and the year."

(American Psychological Association [APA], 2017)

(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.268)

 

Citing Multiple Works

Parenthetical citations of multiple works are listed alphabetically and separated with semicolons.

(Carson, 2019; Lewis et al., 2020; Sanders & Turner, 2018)

For two or more works by the same author, arrange by the year of publication.  Place the citations with no date first.  Provide the author's surname once and then just the date for subsequent works.

Konepeleny (n.d., 2015, 2020)

For multiple references that have an identical author (or authors) and publication year, include a lowercase letter after the year. These letters are assigned when the references are placed in order in the reference list (alphabetically by title). The year-letter combination is used in both the in-text and the reference list entry. Use only the year with a letter in the in-text citation, even if the reference list entry contains a more specific date.

(Richards, 2018a, 2018b, 2020)

When multiple citations are cited narratively within a sentence, they can appear in any order.

Rogers (2019), Mason (2020), and Pompeo (2015) studied.....

(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.263-264)

Unknown or Anonymous Author

"When the author of a work is not named, the author may be unknown (i.e., no author is listed on the work, as with a religious work) or identified specifically as "Anonymous." For works with an unknown author, include the title and year of publication in the in-text citation (note that the title moves to the author position in the reference list entry as well).  If the title of the work is italicized in the reference, also italicize the title in the in-text citation.  If the title of the work is not italicized in the reference, use double quotation marks around the title in the in-text citation.  Capitalize these titles in the text using title case, even though sentence case is used in the reference list entry.  If the title is long, shorten it for the in-text citation."

Book with no author: (Interpersonal Skills, 2019)

Magazine article with no author: ("Understanding Sensory Memory," 2018)

When the author of a work is overtly designated as "Anonymous", "Anonymous" takes the place of the author name in the in-text citation."

(Anonymous, 2017)

(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.264-265)

Works With the Same Author and Same Date

When more than one reference has the same author and publication year, include a lowercase letter after the year.  This year-letter combination is used in both the reference list entry and the in-text citation.  Use only the year-letter in the in-text citation even if the reference entry has a more specific date.

(Munroe, 2019a)

(Munroe, 2019b)

(Sawatzky, n.d.-a)

(Satwatzky, n.d.-b)

(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.267)

Authors With the Same Surname

When multiple references have authors with the same surname, include the authors' first initials in all in-text citations.  This helps to avoid confusion.

(S. Rogers, 2020)

(K. Rogers & Tonnelo, 2019)

Paraphrasing

When paraphrasing or referring to an idea contained in another work, APA encourages but does not require one to "provide an page number in the citation for a paraphrase, you may include one in addition to the author and year when it would help interested readers locate the relevant passage within a long or complex work."  (Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.269)

Direct Quotations

When quoting directly, always provide the author, year and page number of the quotation in either the parenthetical or narrative format.  

When providing a direct quote,  a page number is included.  For a single page, use p.; for multiple pages use pp.

 

Short Quotations (Fewer than 40 Words)

Incorporate a short quotation (fewer than 40 words) into the text of your essay and enclose the quotation in double quotation marks.

Morey (2019) found that the "placebo effect, which had been verified in previous studies, disappeared when only the first group's behaviours were studied in this manner" (p. 225).

 

Block Quotations (40 Words or More)

When a quotation has 40 words or more, treat it as a block quotation and omit the quotation marks.  Start a block quotation on a new line and indent the whole quotation .5 inch from the left margin.

Morey (2019) found the following:

The placebo effect, which had been verified in previous studies, disappeared when behaviours were studied in the this manner.  Furthermore, the behaviours were never exhibited again, even when real drugs were administered.  Earlier studies were clearly premature in attributing the results to a placebo effect. (p. 255)

Direct Quotations of Material Without Page Numbers

Textual works may not provide page numbers.  To directly quote a document that does not give page numbers, any of the following approaches are acceptable:

Provide a paragraph number.  You can count the paragraphs if they are not numbered.

e.g. (Rogers, para. 4).

If the document includes headings or section names, cite the heading name in the in text citation. If the heading or section name is too long, provide an abbreviated heading or section name in quotation marks to indicate that is is an abbreviation.

e.g.  (Selig, Interaction Analysis section).

If the heading or section name is too long, provide an abbreviated heading or section name in quotation marks to indicate that it is an abbreviation.

e.g. (Selig, "Nutrition" section). The original section was titled Nutrition Analysis of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets.

Provide a heading/section name with a paragraph number.

e.g. (Golan, Kuchler, & Krissof, 2017, Body Trust section, para. 3).

Audiovisual Works. Give a time stamp for the beginning of the quotation in place of a page number.

(Gendlin, 2020, 4:42).

(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.272-278)

Personal Communications

"Works that cannot be recovered by readers (i.e., works without a source element) are cited as personal communications.  Personal communications include emails, text messages, online chats or direct messages, personal interviews, telephone conversations, live speeches, unrecorded classroom lectures, memos, letters, messages from nonarchived discussion groups or online bulletin boards, and so on.

"Citing Personal Communications in the Text.  Because readers cannot retrieve the information in personal communications, personal communications are not included in the reference list; they are cited in the text only.  Give the initial(s) and surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible."

(APA Publication Manual, 7th ed., p. 260)

Parenthetical citation:

(N. Smith, personal communication, April 8, 2020)

Narrative citation:

N. Smith said in her email ....(personal communication, April 8, 2020)

Entire Websites

When citing an entire website rather than a specific document on that website, an in-text citation is with the address of the website is all that is required.  A reference list entry is not required.  

e.g. The Douglas College library has information on citing your sources (https://library.douglascollege.ca)

(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.268)