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APA 7th Edition Guide: In-Text Citations

Compiled by Dr. Alicia Palmer, Ed.D, M.A., M.Sc., B.Ed., Grad Cert Tech. from resources within the LibGuide Community and APA

What is an In-Text Citation

The APA Style uses in-text citations. An in-text citation is a reference made within the body of text of an academic paper. It alerts the reader to a source that has informed your own writing. Include an in-text citation when you refer to, summarize, paraphrase, or quote from another source. This will help you avoid plagiarism. For every in-text citation in your paper, there must be a corresponding entry in your reference list.

APA 7th ed. In Text Citations Video

In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations 

To ensure the originality of your own work, it is important to cite the work of those individuals whose ideas, theories, or research have directly influenced your work.

Important Reminders:

  • Both paraphrases and direct quotations require citations
  • If you reprint a table or figure, you may need to seek permission from the copyright holder
  • Each work cited in the text must appear in the reference list (vice versa)
  • For a work with three or more authors, include the name of only the first author, plus "et al." in every citation

Parenthetical Citation

A parenthetical citation is both the author and the date, separated by a comma. It can appear within or at the end of a sentence. When a parenthetical citation is at the end of a sentence, put the period after the closing parenthesis.

Example: Falsely balanced news coverage can distort the public's perception of expert consensus on an issue (Koehler, 2016).

Narrative Citation

A narrative citation is when the author appears in running text and the date appears in parentheses immediately after the author name for a narrative citation. 

Example: Koehler (2016) noted the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage. 


In rare cases, the author and date might both appear in the narrative - in this case, do not use parentheses. 

Example: In 2016, Koehler noted the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage.

Example of a Reference List Entry & an In-Text Citation

Reference list entry:

Alexander, P.A. (2018). Past as prologue: Educational psychology's legacy and progeny. Journal of Educational

          Psychology, 110(2),147-162. 

Parenthetical citation: (Alexander, 2018)

Narrative citation: Alexander (2018)

Citing Multiple Works

When citing multiple works, place the citations in alphabetical order, separating them with semicolons. 

Example: (Adams et al., 2019; Shumway & Shulman, 2015; Westinghouse, 2017)

Citing Specific Parts of a Source

Provide an author-date citation for the work plus information about the specific part. Specific parts of a source that can be cited include pages, paragraphs, sections, tables, figures, chapters, and slide numbers in PowerPoint.

  • In the reference list, provide an entry for the entire work (not only the part that you used).

Example: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019, p.10)