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APA Citation Style Guide

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About In-text Citations

An in-text citation appears in parentheses within the text of a paper, in order to indicate that a source is being cited. Every in-text citation must correspond to a reference at the end of the paper.

In-text citations include the author's last name and the publication date. 

If the author's name is already given in the text of the paper, then it is not given again inside the parentheses.

Example:
Williams (2002) claims that keeping pets is beneficial for seniors.


If the author's name is not  in the text of the paper, then it is given inside the parentheses.

Example:
Research suggests that keeping pets is beneficial for seniors (Williams, 2002).


If the citation is for a direct quotation, then the page number is included at the end of the quotation.

Example (with author's name already given in the text):
According to Williams (2008),  "keeping companion animals has been shown to have a positive impact on the general well being of older adults" (p. 10).

 

Example (with author's name not already given in the text):
Research on seniors and pets suggests that that keeping pets has a "positive impact on the general well being of older adults" (Williams, 2008, p. 10).

Two or More Authors

Two Authors:

When the authors' names occur inside of the parentheses, they are connected with the symbol "&”; but when they occur outside of the parentheses, they are connected with the English word “and".

Examples:

It has been found that sleep is related to academic performance (Gray & Watson, 2002).

Gray and Watson (2002) found that when students had good quality sleep, they performed better academically.

 

Three, Four or Five Authors:

Name all the authors the first time the reference occurs, then in subsequent citations, use only the first author, followed by "et al." and a year.

Examples:

First time: Keller, El-Sheikh and Buckhalt (2008) found that academic performance is affected by poor sleep habits.

Second time:  Keller et al. (2008) also found that lower math achievement is also related to sleep problems.

 

Six or more Authors:

Cite only the last name of the first author followed by "et al." and a year

Example:

Elagra et al. (2016) found that poor sleep quality in dental students related to poor academic performance.

Corporate Author

When an organization, rather than an individual, takes responsibility for the creation of a work, that organization is treated as a collective or corporate author.


Example:
...(Statistics Canada, 2013).

 

Examples with corporate author already named in the text:

According to Statistics Canada (2013) ...

Figures from Statistics Canada (2013) indicate that..
 

Secondary Sources

Sometimes an author will refer to another author's research.  If the original source is relevant to your research, then you should make every effort to find it and read it.  If this is not possible, then the in-text citation should include both the source that you have read and the source that you have not read, but only the source that you have actually read should be included in the references.

Templates:

In-text citation:

(Author Surname, as cited in Author Surname [of the source you read], Year)

or

(as cited in Author Surname [of the source you read], Year)

Examples:

In-text citation:

The mastery of APA increases an author's chance of scoring well on an assignment (Culver, as cited in Jones, 2009).

or

According to Culver (as cited in Jones, 2009), learning APA "can be tough, but like any skill, it just takes practice" (p. 23).

 

Note: Cite only the secondary source [the source you read] in the reference list.

Reference:

Jones, J. (2009). Scholarly writing tips. Minneapolis, MN: Publishing House.

Citing a source multiple times in one paragraph

When citing the work of the same author multiple times in one paragraph, you do not need to reference the author at the end of each sentence. That would look clunky and make your writing stilted. Instead, introduce the author with a full in-text citation at the beginning of the paragraph and then, again, at the end. For the body of the paragraph, you can refer to the author by name or pronoun.

Example:

According to Spitzer's (2010) study the effects of radiation on humans presents...Spitzer's study developed the guidelines needed to test...The most important find in his study was that....Spitzer concluded the benefit of radiation...The evidence that proves these guidelines work (Spitzer, 2010).