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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, 6th 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

Guidelines:

  • 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: 

Parenthetical citation requires author and date in parentheses (Author last name, date). 

Narrative citation incorporates the author name and/or year in the narrative (as part of your sentence.)

 

Examples:

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)

Example:

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

 

Two Authors:

(Author Last Name & Author Last Name, Year)

Examples:

(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)

Examples:

(Landon et al., 2017). -parenthetical

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

Website:
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) ...

Lecture/Presentation:
(Presenter Last Name, Date)

Personal Communication 

No personal communication is included in the Reference list

Example: 

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

OR: 

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.