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APA Citation Guide (6th edition): In-Text Citation

This guide shows you how to cite using APA 6th edition

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 a comma and the publication year enclosed in parentheses: (Smith, 2007).
  • If you are quoting directly the page number should be included, if given. If you are paraphrasing the page number is not required.
  • If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the title, such as italics: (Naturopathic, 2007).

Signal Phrase

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 date after the name and the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation or paraphrased section. For example:

Hunt (2011) 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).

FAQ - How do I cite two or more works by the same author with the same year of publication?

When you are citing two different sources that share the same author and year of publication, assign lowercase letters after the year of publication (a, b, c, etc.). Assign these letters according to which title comes first alphabetically. Use these letters in both in-text citations and the Reference list.

Example In-Text:

Paraphrasing content from first source by this author (Daristotle, 2015a). "Now I am quoting from the second source by the same author" (Daristotle, 2015b, p. 50).

Example Reference List entries:

Daristotle, J. (2015a). Name of book used as first source. Toronto, ON: Fancy Publisher.

Daristotle, J. (2015b). Title of book used as second source. Toronto, ON: Very Fancy Publisher.

FAQ - Do I need to cite after each sentence in a paragraph?

Unfortunately citing only once at the end of the paragraph isn't enough, as it doesn't clearly show where you started using information from another person's work or ideas. The good news is you can avoid having to write full in-text citations each and every time by using a lead-in to your paragraph. For a detailed example of how to use lead-in sentences, please see Rasmussen College's FAQ page

FAQ - How do I cite a work quoted in another source?

Sometimes an author of a book, article or website will mention another person’s work by using a quotation or paraphrased idea from that source. (This may be called a secondary source.) For example, the Kirkey article you are reading includes a quotation by Smith that you would like to include in your essay.

The basic rule is that in both your References list and in-text citation you will still cite Kirkey. Kirkey will appear in your References list – not Smith. You will add the words “as cited in” to your in-text citation.

Examples of in-text citations:

According to a study by Smith (as cited in Kirkey, 2013) 42% of doctors would refuse to perform legal euthanasia. Smith (as cited in Kirkey, 2013) states that “even if euthanasia was legal, 42% of doctors would be against this method of assisted dying” (p. 34).

Example of Reference list citation:

Kirkey, S. (2013, Feb 9). Euthanasia. The Montreal Gazette, p A10. Retrieved from Canadian Major Dailies.

FAQ: How do I cite more than one source in one in-text citation

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. List the sources alphabetically by author's last name or first word used from the title if no author is given, in the same order they would appear on the References List, e.g.:

(Bennett, 2015; Smith, 2014). 

(Brock, 2016; "It Takes Two,"  2015).

Quoting and Paraphrasing: What's the Difference?

There are two ways to integrate others' research into your assignment: you can paraphrase or you can quote.

Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation.

Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly it was originally written. When quoting place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation.

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

Number of Authors/Editors First Time Paraphrased Second and Subsequent Times Paraphrased First Time Quoting Second and Subsequent Times Quoting
Two

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57) (Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57)
Three to Five (Case, Daristotle, Hayek, Smith, & Raash, 2011) (Case et al., 2011) (Case, Daristotle, Hayekm, Smith, & Raash, 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)
Six or More

(Case et al., 2011)

(Case et al., 2011) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)