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APA 6: In-Text Citations

Tips and information on using APA formatting and styling on your research

Citing Sources

You must use in-text citations to cite all information that you obtained from other sources. APA uses an author-date style of parenthetical citations. For paraphrased information, the model is: (Author's last name, year of publication).  

For example:

Coca-Cola was originally invented by an American pharmacist to be used as a stimulating tonic (Standage, 2005).

Direct quotes require a page number: 

"Teacher-as-mediator is not simply managing behavior; she is teaching social skills and suggesting ideas to enrich play" (Jones & Reynolds, 2011, p. 36).

You do not need to include the title of the book or author's first names for in-text citations.

Chart of In-Text Examples

Type of Citation

First Citation

Subsequent Citations

Parenthetical Format, First Citation 

Parenthetical Format, Subsequent Citations

1 work by 1 author

Marcuse (2003)

Marcuse (2003)

(Marcuse, 2003)

(Marcuse, 2003)

1 work by 2 authors

Hunt and Wilkins (2007)

Hunt and Wilkins (2007)

(Hunt & Wilkins, 2007)

(Hunt & Wilkins, 2007)

1 work by 3-5 authors

Baxter, Smith, Taylor, and Hunt (2005)

Baxter et al. (2005)

(Baxter, Smith, Taylor, & Hunt, 2005)

(Baxter et al., 2005)

1 work by 6 or more authors

Johnson et al. (2010)

Johnson et al. (2010)

(Johnson et al., 2010)

(Johnson et al., 2010)

Groups (identified by abbreviations) as authors

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2007)

CDC (2007)

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2007)

(CDC, 2007)

Groups (no abbreviation) as authors

University of Pittsburgh (2010)

University of Pittsburgh (2010)

(University of Pittsburgh, 2010)

(University of Pittsburgh, 2010)

2 or more works

Harlow (1999) and
Smith (2001)

Harlow (1999) and
Smith (2001)
  (Harlow, 1999; Smith, 2001)  (Harlow, 1999; Smith, 2001)
2 or more works by 1 author in the same year Jones (2009a)
Jones (2009b)
Jones (2009a)
Jones (2009b)
(Jones, 2009a)
(Jones, 2009b)
(Jones, 2009a)
(Jones, 2009b)
Personal Communication (not included in
Reference page)
J. Smith (personal communication, March 19, 2016) J. Smith (personal communication, March 19, 2016) (J. Smith, personal communication, March 19, 2016) (J. Smith, personal communication, March 19, 2016)

Adapted from American Psychological Association. (2009). Crediting sources: Citing references in text. Publication manual of the American psychological association (6th ed., p. 177) Washington, D.C.: Author.

Image reproduced from "APA Style Guide" by Alexis Carlson Indian River State College, licensed under CC 4.0