Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APA Citation Guide (APA 7th Edition): In-Text Citation

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

Number of Authors In-Text Citation Example
One

 (Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Balogun, 2019)

Two

 (Author's Last Name & Author's Last Name, Year)

 Example: (Boudreau & Gibbons, 2019)

Three or more

 (Author's Last Name et al., Year)

 Example: (Basili et al., 2020)

Group author with abbreviation

First citation

Subsequent citations

 

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

 (NIMH, 2020)

Unknown Author

For works with unknown author, include the title and year of publication in the in-text citation.  Note: the title moves to the author position in the reference list entry, too. 

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.  

 

Examples:

Book with no author: (Interpersonal Skills, 2019)

Magazine article with no author: ("Professional self-efficacy and job satisfaction," 2019)

 

Anonymous authors

When the author of a work is overtly desginated as "Anonymous," "Anonymous" takes the place of the author name in the in-text (and reference) citation. 

(Anonymous, 2018)

In-Text Citation For More Than One Source

If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon.

 Note: In APA, the sources within the in-text citations need to be in alphabetical order by author's last name. 

Examples:

(Balogan, 2019; Cao et al., 2019)

("Professional self-efficacy and job satisfaction," 2019; Yada et al., 2020) 

 

About In-Text Citation

In APA, in-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  • In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by the year of publication enclosed in parentheses. Example: Here's a paraphrased sentence (Smith, 2018).
  • If the author's name is not given, then use the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the reference list. Example: This is a paraphrase ("Professional self-efficacy and job satisfaction," 2019).

 Note: The period goes outside the brackets, at the end of your in-text citation.

Quoting Directly

When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name, year of publication, and page number:

Mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (Hunt, 2016, p. 358).

No Page Numbers

When you quote from electronic sources that do not provide page numbers (like Web pages), cite the Author Name, Year of publication, and another way of locating the quoted passage. Some examples include: provide a heading or section name, or provide a paragraph number.

"Three phases of the separation response: protest, despair, and detachment" (Garelli, 2019, What Can You Do section).

"Three phases of the separation response: protest, despair, and detachment" (Garelli, 2019, para. 1).

Long Quotations

What Is a Block Quotation?

If your quotation is 40 words or more, it is a long quotation and should be treated as a block quotation. 

Rules for Long Quotations

There are 4 rules that apply to block quotations:

  1. Do not use quotation marks to enclose a block quotation. 
  2. Start a block quotation on a new line and indent the whole block 0.5 in. from the left margin. If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph an additional 0.5 in.
  3. Double-space the entire block quotation.  Do not add extra space before or after it. 
  4. Either a) cite the source in the parentheses after the quotation's final punctuation OR b) cite the author and year in the narrative before the quotation and place only the page number in parentheses after the quotations's final punctuation. Do not add a period after the closing parenthesis in either case. 

Example of a Block Quotation

At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding, 1954, p. 186)

 

At the end of Lord of the Flies, Golding (1954) illustrates the boys' realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (p. 186)

Paraphrasing

When you write information or ideas from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion.

Include a full in-text citation with the author name and year of publication. For example:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt, 2016).

Signal Phrases

If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the page number if it is a direct quotation.  For example:

Hunt (2016) explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (p. 358).

If you are paraphrasing, include the author's name and publication year in parentheses. 

Hunt (2016) explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research.

Repeated Use of Sources

In general, include the author and date in every in-text citation.  If you need to repeat a citation, repeat the entire citation;  do not, for example, include on a page number.  The year can be omitted from a citation only when multiple narrative citations to a work appear within a single paragraph. 

Example:

Cell biology is an area of science that focuses on the structure and function of cells (Smith, 2019). It revolves around the idea that the cell is a "fundamental unit of life" (Smith, 2019, p. 17). Many important scientists have contributed to the evolution of cell biology. Smith identified Mattias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann as the scientists who formulated cell theory in 1838.