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Citing Sources: In-text Citations - APA

This guide indicates the appropriate form for layout, in-text citations, and bibliography for MLA, APA, and Chicago formatted papers.

Creating an In-text Citation with APA

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Verbs in a Signal Phrase

Select tense carefully: Use the past tense to express an action or a condition that occurred at a specific, definite time in the past, as when discussing another research’s work and reporting your results.

Correct
Sanchez (2000) presented similar results
Incorrect
Sanchez (2000) presents similar results
 
Verbs in signal phrases: 
acknowledged
added
admitted
agreed
argued
asserted
believed
claimed
commented
compared
confirmed
contended
declared
denied
disputed
emphasized
endorsed       
granted
illustrated
implied
insisted
noted
observed
pointed out
reasoned
refuted
rejected
reported
responded
suggested
thought
wrote

Using a Signal Phrase

Examples of signal phrases (Bedford Handbook 583)

In the words of researchers Redelmeier and Tibshirani (2007),"...."

As Matt Sundeen (2005) noted, "...."

Patti Pena, mother of a child killed by a driver, pointed out that, "...."

"...." wrote Christine Haughtney (2008).

"...." claimed wireless spokesperson Annette Jacobs (2007).

When to Use an In-text Citation

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To summarize:

  • If you had to go to a source to find the information, cite it.
  • If all the information in a paragraph comes from the same source, you may cite at the end of the paragraph. If, however, you have used more than one source in the paragraph, provide the citation after the material borrowed.

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Quoting Sources

When you quote a source, you include the author's exact words in your text. Use "quotation marks" around the author's words. Include signal phrases and an in-text citation to show where the quote is from.

Paraphrasing & Summarizing Sources

When you paraphrase or summarize a source, you restate the source's ideas in your own words and sentence structure. Select what is relevant to your topic, and restate only that. Changing only a few words is not sufficient in paraphrasing/ summarizing. Instead, you need to completely rephrase the author's ideas in your own words. You do not need to use quotation marks.

Always use in-text citations when you paraphrase or summarize, to let the reader know that the information comes from another source. Continue to use signal phrases as well. For more information about paraphrasing, please review the content on the paraphrasing page.

In-text Citations with APA - One Author

If the author's name is in your text, you do not need to repeat it in the in-text citation.

Format
Signal phrase, Author (Year), "quote" (p. page number).

Example
One researcher, Carol Gilligan (2005), concluded that "women impose a distinctive construction on moral problems" (p. 105).

If the author's name is not in your text, you  must include it in the in-text citation.

Format

Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, year, p. page number).

Example

As a result, studies suggest that "women impose a distinctive construction on moral problems" (Gilligan, 2005, p. 105).

In-text Citations with APA - Two Authors

Use last names only. Add an "&" before the second name.

Format
Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, & Author, Year, p. page number).

Example
According to a study, "The poor and minorities were victims" (Frieden & Sagalyn, 2005, p. 29).

In-text Citations with APA - Three to Five Authors

First time cited
Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, Author, & Author, Year, p. page number).

Example
Our text discussed the "ethical dilemmas in public relations" (Wilcox, Ault, & Agee, 2005, p. 125). 

Subsequent times cited
Signal phrase, "quote" (Author et al., Year, p. page number).

Example
As mentioned before, there may be "ethical dilemmas in public relations" (Wilcox et al., 2005, p. 125).

In-text Citations with APA - Six or More Authors

In either the signal phrase or parentheses, give only the first author’s last name, followed by et al.

Format
Signal phrase, "quote" (Author et al., Year, p. page number).

Signal phrase with First Author et al. (Year) …

Example
Recent research showed that … (Graham et al., 2010). 

According to a research study by Graham et al. (2010), …

In-text Citations with APA - No author

Use shortened version of title.

Format
Signal phrase, "quote" ("Shortened Title", Year, p. page number). Note: Titles of articles in "Quotation Marks", titles of Books or Longer Works are italicized.

Example
One article stated that, "A death row inmate may demand his execution for notoriety" ("Right", 2005, p. 135).

In-text Citations with APA - Electronic Sources with No Page Numbers

A database source is NOT the same as an Internet source. Most sites do not reproduce the article exactly as it was published in the original journal or magazine. If you find an article on a news website, such as the BBC site or CBC site please remember to cite the source as a website.

Use author or title and year. 

For an electronic source without pages but with numbered paragraphs, use “para.” and the paragraph number. If there are no numbered paragraphs, provide a section header.

Format
Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, Year).

Signal phrase, "quote" (Shortened title, Year).

Example
According to a study, "Twins reared apart report similar feelings" (Palfrey, 2005, Conclusions section).

In-text Citations with APA - Electronic Sources with No Publication Date

Use the abbreviation “n.d.” for “no date.” 

If there are no page numbers on an electronic source, you can use numbered paragraphs. Use "para." and paragraph number or provide a section header.

Format
Signal phrase with author’s name (n.d.), “quote” (p. page number).

Signal phrase, “quote” (Author, n.d., p. page number).

Example
According to Magnus (n.d.), "it has been difficult to identify a connection between watching television and eating habits" (p. 67).

APA Checklist - Quick Guide for Printing

Citation Tools

Sources:

This LibGuide is based on the APA Citations LibGuide created by Montgomery College Libraries. The content and format are used with permission.

The APA Formatting Style Guide by OWL at  Purdue was also used with permission.