Skip to Main Content

APA Citation Guide for the 7th ed: In-Text Citation

In-Text Citations

What is an In-Text Citation?

In-text or in-line citations in the body of your paper point the reader to specific sources listed on your Reference page. They usually include the author’s last name or title (if no author is given) and the year of publication (if there is no publication date use n.d. for no date). For more information on in-text citations, visit Owl at Purdue's page on In-Text Citations. In-text citations help prevent plagiarism. As stated in the Reference page of this guide, reference entries and In-text citations must match, expect for special cases.

How Do I Create an In-Text Citation?

There are three ways to cite the source in your text:

  1. Narrative: The author's name is worked into the text as part of the narrative, followed by the publication year of work in parentheses. 
    Example: Smith (2010) states that while Type 2 diabetes is often found in older adults, more recently it is also being found in children.

  2. Parenthetical: The author's name (or title of article, if no author is listed) and publication year are placed in parentheses at the end of your sentence. Include a comma between the author's name and publication year.
    Example: While Type 2 diabetes is often found in older adults, more recently it is also being found in children (Smith, 2010).

  3. Direct Quote: When using direct quotes you must use quotation marks to indicate that are you are using the exact words of the author and then include the author's name, publication year, and page numbers in parentheses at the end of the quote.
    Example: One study found that “the listener's familiarity with the topic of discourse greatly facilitates the interpretation of the entire message” (Gass & Varonis, 1984, p. 85).
    Note: When using a direct quote of 40 words or more, create an indented block of text without quotation marks. 

For more examples of Narrative and Parenthetical in-text citations please review the APA Manual.

Remember: most anything you cite in the text of your paper need to have a full citation on the reference list page and vice versa.