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APA Guide

In-Text Citations

In-text Citations appear in the body of your paper to let your reader know that you are citing a resource. In-text citations are generally very short and don't contain a lot of information.

If your reader wants to learn more about the resource you cited or wants to locate the resource on their own, then they will look at the references list to locate the additional information. This is why each in-text citation needs to have a matching reference and each reference needs to have a matching in-text citation. The reference provides the full citation information and the in-text citation shows exactly where you used the resource in your paper.

In order for your reader to easily locate which in-text citation belongs to which references list citation, the in-text citation will match the first two elements in the reference:

In-Text Citation: 

(Webb & Jones, 2009)


Webb, S. J., & Jones, E. J. H. (2009). Early identification of autism: Early characteristics, onset of symptoms, and diagnostic stability. Infants & Young Children, 22(2), 100-118.

Remember - There are two places you need to cite your sources:

  • In the actual text of your paper 
    • These are called In-Text Citations
  • In the references list at the end or your paper
    • These are called References

In this guide, the in-text citation examples shown to the left for specific sources are for paraphrases and summaries (Author-Date pattern). When citing a direct quote, you will also need to include either a page number or paragraph number (Author-Date-# pattern).

Author-Date pattern:

When you summarizeparaphrase, or otherwise refer to an idea, concept, or fact gained through your research, your citation will contain the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication:

(Smith, 2008)

(Wilson, 2014)

Author-Date-# pattern:

When you copy a portion of the text directly from a source, it is called a direct quotation. Your citation will contain the last name of the author(s), the year of publication, and page number of where the quote can be found in the source:

If you are using a source that has pages, then you will use an abbreviated p.:

(Smith, 2008, p. 4)

If you are using a source that does not have pages (a website), then you will use a paragraph number. You will count down to the paragraph where your quote is located. You will use an abbreviated para.: 

(Wilson, 2014, para. 2)

Remember - In-text citations are located within the text of your paper and references are located in the references page at the end of your paper.

Missing Information -- In some cases, elements needed to create an in-text citation my not be available, for example the date of publication or the name of the author.  Click here , then click on the tab "What if information is missing?" for assistance.

Paraphrases & Summaries

Author, Date

For summaries and paraphrases you must include the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication.  These pieces of information are never separated.

If you incorporate the author’s name into your sentence follow the author's name with the year of publication in parentheses:

In his survey of writers, Smith (2008) found that a majority of them prefer to write on a computer rather than by hand.

If you don’t use the author’s name in your sentence include the author’s last name and year of publication, separated with a comma and enclosed in parentheses, at the end of your sentence: 

Writers reported they prefer pencil to pen when they write by hand (Smith, 2008).

Direct Quotes

Author, Date, #

For direct quotes you must also include the page (p.) or paragraph number (para.) where the quote can be located in the original text. 

If you incorporate the author’s name into your sentence follow the author's name with the year of publication in parentheses and include the location in parentheses directly following the quote:

In his survey, Miller (2006) found that some writers like the sound “of graphite turning ideas into reality” (p. 72) when writing in pencil. 

If you don’t use the author’s name in your sentence include the author’s last name and year of publication and page or paragraph number separated with  commas and enclosed in parentheses at the end of the quote: 

Many writers appreciate the “ability to edit instantaneously” (Smith, 2008, p. 72) when writing in pencil or on a computer.


Multiple Authors

Use the chart below for creating in-text citations for sources with multiple authors

Type of Citation First Citation In-Text Subsequent Citations In-Text First End-of-Sentence (Parenthetical) Citation Subsequent End-of-Sentence Citations

One  author  

Smith (2012)  Smith (2012)   (Smith, 2012) (Smith, 2012)
Two authors    Smith and Miller (2012) Smith and Miller (2012) (Smith & Miller, 2012) (Smith & Miller, 2012)
Three authors Smith, Miller, and Thornton (2012) Smith et al. (2012) (Smith, Miller & Thornton, 2012) (Smith et al., 2012)
Four authors Reed, LisackSolsrud, and Buettner (2011) Reed et al. (2011) (Reed, LisackSolsrud, & Buettner, 2011) (Reed et al., 2011)
Five authors Willemssen, Reed, LisackSolsrud, and Buettner (2011) Willemssen et al. (2011) (Willemssen, Reed, LisackSolsrud, & Buettner, 2011)  (Willemssen et al., 2011)
Six or more authors Sellick et al. (2013) Sellick et al. (2013) (Sellick et al., 2013) (Sellick et al., 2013)
Group authors with readily identifiable abbreviations American Medical Association (AMA, 2013) AMA (2013) (American Medical Association [AMA], 2013) (AMA, 2013)
Group authors without abbreviations Rasmussen College (2014) Rasmussen College (2014)   (Rasmussen College, 2014) (Rasmussen College, 2014)


Block Quotes: Quotations of 40 or More Words

Quotations of 40 or more words are block quotations.  The quotation begins on a new line and the whole quotation is indented 1/2 inch from the left margin. No quotation marks are used and the citation appears at the end of the quotation after the final punctuation mark.  In fact, this is the only situation where a parenthetical reference appears outside of a period!

Here is an example of a block quotation.  Note: Normally the passage would be double spaced but, due to space restrictions, this example is single spaced.

Place direct quotations longer than 40 words in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit quotation marks.  Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph.  Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin.  Maintain double-spacing throughout.  The parenthetical reference should come after the closing punctuation mark. (Angeli, et al., 2010, para. 27)

To create a block quotation, use the block indent button:


Creating In-Text Citations in NoodleTools

Use the link above for directions on how to create in-text citations in NoodleTools.