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Writing and Citing: APA 7th Edition: In-Text Citations

A guide to help users create citations using American Psychological Association Style, 7th edition.

What's in-text citing?

"In-text" means citing the source of information in the body of text, for example:

  • In the text of an essay.
  • In the outline of a speech.
  • In a slide of a powerpoint.


Every time you cite a source in your text, there has to be a corresponding citation in the References page at the end of your essay or assignment.

General Information


  • Both direct quotations and paraphrases from other sources need a citation.  
  • All sources that are cited in text must also appear on the references page. 
  • Only cite the sources whose information you included within your paper. 
  • Use in-text citations sparingly; APA7 does not recommend over-citation. 
  • Cite all sources that are not common knowledge. 

Parenthetical vs Narrative citation: 

The parenthetical citation requires the author's last name and the date/year the work was published in parentheses (Author's last name, Year). Make sure to add the page number (if you have one) in parentheses if you are using a direct quote (Author last name, Year, p. #)

Narrative citation incorporates the author name and/or year in the narrative (as part of your sentence). Make sure to include the page number at the end in parentheses if you use a direct quote (p. #). 


Narrative: Huskin (2016) suggests that classroom activities that include writing help students stay engaged. 

Narrative: In 2016, Huskin suggests that classroom activities that include writing help students stay engaged. 


Parenthetical (paraphrase): Classroom activities that include writing help students stay engaged (Huskin, 2016).

Parenthetical (direct quote): “Writing activities increase students’ learning and engagement” (Huskin, 2016). 


References Page:

Huskin, P. R. (2016). Engagement strategies for increasing student writing success. Education, 136(3), 283–290. 

Quoting, Summarizing, and Paraphrasing

Summary vs Paraphrase vs Quote – Click image to redirect to WritingScape website

Citing Images in-Text

When citing images under the image in-text (including Powepoint slides):

Basic Format:

Figure X. An explanation or description of figure. Reprinted [or adapted] from Book Title (page number), by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Last Name, Year, Publisher. 

Figure From a Website:

Figure X. Descriptive phrase that serves as title and description. Reprinted [or adapted] from Title of Website, by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Last Name, Year, URL.

Format Variations

Single Author: 

(Author Last Name, Year)


“Writing activities increase students’ learning and engagement” (Huskin, 2016). 


Two Authors:

(Author Last Name & Author Last Name, Year)


(D'Amico & Barbarito, 2016) -parenthetical

D'Amico and Barbarito (2016) state... -narrative

*note: use the "&" in parenthetical citation, use "and" in narrative


Three and More Authors:

(Author Last Name et al., Year)


(Landon et al., 2017). -parenthetical

Landon et al. (2017) write... -narrative


No Author:

*specifically for no author, for organization/owner as author, see next section below.

(Title, date) -parenthetical

Title (date) -narrative


Edited Book, No Author:

*For in-text citations, use editor names in place of author names.

(Editor Last Name & Editor Last Name, Year).

(Catapano & Critchley, 2016).


Chapter From Anthology:

*When citing chapter from anthology, use the chapter author as the author, not the editors. 

(Chapter Author Last Name, Year).

(Glaspell, 2016). 

Other Formats

Websites are cited the same as other sources in-text, in the (Author, Date format).

If no author, follow the below guidelines: 

Many reliable resources published by the government, educational institutions or organizations do not have a specific author. In this case, the organization that published the resource becomes the author. 

(Organization, date). -parenthetical 

Organization (date) -narrative 

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020). 
*note: following citations of the same source can be shortened to (CDC, 2020).  

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2020) ...

(Presenter Last Name, Date)

Personal Communication 

No personal communication is included in the Reference list


Dr. Phyllis Jackson (personal communication, October 1, 2016) felt the salt content in many canned soups was misleading to consumers. -narrative 


Dr. Jackson felt the salt content in many canned soups was misleading to consumers (P. Jackson, personal communication, October 1, 2017).  -parenthetical 

NOTE: Personal Communications do not appear in the References page. 

The APA Blog Style explanation in full is here.