The following covers the most common in-text citation scenarios. For more specific information about in-text citations, refer to pp. 261-269 of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed.
|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
(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2020)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2020)
|Group author without abbreviation||(Stanford University, 2020)||Stanford University (2020)|
(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, p. 266)
(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.261-262)
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.
Humanity needs to rethink our agricultural practices to make them sustainable by becoming stewards of the land (Fitzgerald & Gershuny, 2019).
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.
Fitzgerald and Gershuny (2019) describe how humans have a stewardship obligation to both the land and to future generations.
In their 2019 essay, Fitzgerald and Gershuny discuss challenges, tools, and opportunities for the future of agriculture.
For further information, see Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.262-263.
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).
Works with a group author are usually spelled out each time they appear in a citation.
(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, p. 268)
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)
"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."
(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, pp.264-265)
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.
(Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, p.267)
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)
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, p.269)
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)
According to the APA Style, it is important to avoid both undercitation (plagiarism) and overcitation. The website states that "...it is considered overcitation to repeat the same citation in every sentence when the source and the topic have not changed. Instead, when paraphrasing a key point in more than one sentence within a paragraph, cite the source in the first sentence in which it is relevant and do not repeat the citation in subsequent sentences as long as the source remains clear and unchanged." (Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020, p.254).
To do this, you can make it clear in subsequent sentences that you are still referring to that initial citation. Some was you could do this include using language like "according to the authors" or "they also found" or "the article states."
Trigg (2022) found that owning a pet "may be leverageable in interventions for mental health an wellbeing improvement during cancer recovery" (p.834). In the study, the author found that cancer survivors who were also pet owners found benefits in the companionship and affection they received from their pets. The article was, however, limited by the COVID-19 pandemic which "reduced the overall sample size" (p.848).
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)
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, p.268)
"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)
(N. Smith, personal communication, April 8, 2020)
N. Smith said in her email ....(personal communication, April 8, 2020)