In Text Citation Essay Apa Citation

This LibGuide is to help you use the American Psychological Association (APA) style guide, which is frequently used for the social sciences including education, management, psychology, and the health sciences.


This guide can help you with the more fundamental tasks including:

1. Reference Formats - examples and explanations for citing your sources in the various formats for your References list

2. Formatting Your Paper - how to set up your paper including the margins, font, and your References list, and view a sample paper

3. In-text citations - also known as parenthetical notation - how to cite your references in the text of your paper

4. EndNote - bibliographic citation software, which can help format your citations and is freely available for download to CSS faculty, staff, and students 

5. Ethically Use Sources - information on the College's academic honesty policy and turnitin, an online tool to detect where sources need to be cited

NOTE: This guide is in no way a replacement for the actual manual, which is several hundred pages long, and can be found in the Library on reserve or at a bookstore near you. Please consult the APA 6th edition manual for authoritative information in greater detail. Also feel free to talk with a librarian for more help.

Key features:

  • In the text of your paper, be sure to document at least two pieces of information each time you cite a source:
    1. The last name of the author or authors (or first words of the title if no author’s name is given).
    2. The year of publication of the source.
  • If you actually give a quote from the source, the page number for the quotation should also be included.

Here are some examples of APA in-text citations

Author named in your sentence:

Jones (2004) performed a detailed study on children’s eating habits.

Author cited in parentheses:

The study (Jones, 2004) examined children’s eating habits.

  • Note: If you do not mention the author’s name in your sentence, the author’s name should be given in the parenthesis. Separate the author’s name and the year of the study with a comma.

Author and year listed in the sentence:

In 2004, Jones performed a detailed study on children’s eating habits.

  • Note: No in-text citation is needed here because the author and the year of the study are listed in the sentence.

Specific citations of pages or chapters:

The study (Jones, 2004) found that “children tend to prefer grazing over set meal times” (p. 68).

The idea that “children tend to prefer grazing over set meal times” was documented in the study (Jones, 2004, p. 68).

  • Note: It is acceptable to include the page number in a separate parenthetical reference. The page number can also be included in the parenthetical reference.

Source with two authors:

As Calhoun and Keller (1997) point out, “Income –based rankings are not the only measure of development” (p. 400).

Although income-based rankings are important, the “are not the only measure of development” (Calhoun & Keller, 1997, p. 400).

  • Note: When you include the authors’ names in your sentence, use the word “and.” If you use the names in the citations, use the ampersand (&).

Three to five authors:

The first time you mention the source, include it in your sentence and list all authors.

As Calhoun, Keller, and Litner point out,“Income –based rankings are not the only measure of development” (p. 400).

The next time you reference the source, name only the first author, followed by “et al.” in place of the other names.

Although income-based rankings are important, the “are not the only measure of development” (Calhoun et al., 1997, p. 400).

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