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APA Style: In-Text Citations

The basics

When using information from a source (website, book, article, etc.), place the author's last name and the publication date in parentheses at the end of your sentence. The period goes after the citation. For example, a sentence like this might appear in your paper:

Falsely balanced news coverage can distort the public’s perception of expert consensus on an issue (Walker, 2019).

Or, you could also use the author name and date in a sentence, like this:

Walker (2019) noted the many of the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage.

Direct quotes

When you quote directly from any source, place quotation marks around the text, and also include a page number, if available:

“The survey found that more than 65% of participants believe the news they consume is mostly unbiased” (Walker, 2019, p. 35).

If the source has no page number, cite another specific part of the text. Some examples include:

(Jones, 2017, pp. 32-34) -- page range

(Moss & Holt, 2018, para. 5) -- paragraph number

(Patterson, 2019, Table 1) -- table number

(Young, 2020, Slide 7) -- slide number

Single author

(Walker, 2019)

Falsely balanced news coverage can distort the public’s perception of expert consensus on an issue (Walker, 2019).


Walker (2019) noted many of the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage.

Two authors

(Roberts & Lombardi)

Researchers found significant differences in the cancer rates of people who used sunscreen when compared to those who did not (Roberts & Lombardi, 2010).

Three authors

(Phillips, Hubert, & Morris, 2015)

“Quotations are effective in research papers when used selectively” (Phillips, Hubert, & Morris, 2015).

More than three authors

Use first author's last name followed by "et al." (abbreviation for Latin phrase meaning "and others")

(Reece et al., 2017)

"Researchers note the importance of teaching students with autism, multiple disabilities, and intellectual disability to problem solve" (Reece et al., 2017).

No author

Most credible sources have an author. In a few cases -- mainly webpages -- there may be no author listed. In this case, use a shortened source title, using quotation marks or italics when appropriate.

(Symptoms of schizophrenia, 2016)

"While the positive symptoms may come to mind when you think of schizophrenia, the negative symptoms are often the most debilitating, leading people to drop out of work, school, and everything that matters to them in life" (Symptoms of schizophrenia, 2016).

No date

Use author last name followed by "n.d." for "no date"

(Wilson, n.d.)

One researcher stated that the number of Asiatic elephants in Yunnan province had doubled in two decades (Wilson, n.d.).

Block quotes

Block quotes are used for direct quotations that are longer than 40 words. Indent the entire quote and do not use quotation marks. Use single-spacing and end the sentence with a period and then insert your in-text citation.

Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration. For example:

They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte, 2009, p. 83)

Personal Communication

Emails, phone calls, and in-person interviews are cited in-text only and are not listed on the References page.

(John Smith, personal communication, January 20, 2020)

or, in your sentence:

John Smith (personal communication, July 15, 2020) of the Surry County Health Department stated that the rate of infant mortality has fallen throughout the United States during the past decade.

Classical Works

Classic works should be cited in-text only and not listed on the References page. The published date is not very important to these works, but the translation, version, and/or section (verse, chapter, etc.) should be noted.

(Aristotle, trans. 1984)

(Psalm 25:4, King James Version)

(Qur'an 4:3-5, Oxford World's Classics)