APA: In-Text Citations

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The examples found in the APA section are based on the style guide Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., 2020.

APA in-text citations use an author-date system. This means that if the author’s name is a part of the text, it is immediately followed by the date in parentheses. The page number comes at the end of the citation, in parentheses.

  • If the author is not named in the text, include the author’s name, the date and the page numbers in parentheses at the end of the cited material. This is known as a parenthetical reference.
  • If you are paraphrasing, you can simply add the author and date. Though APA encourages you to include a page number when paraphrasing, it is not required.
  • The in-text citation gives just enough details to point your reader to the source of information found in your list of references.


  • Indicate the author’s last name, the year of publication and the page number(s).
  • Note that you are not required to include page numbers when you are paraphrasing.
  • The author may be mentioned in the text or within the parentheses at the end of the cited material.


Levan (2012) explains that “violence is not condemned, and is often revered among inmates” (p. 63).

The prison environment is organized as a heirarchy where inmates have different roles depending on where they find themselves within this structure (Levan, 2012).

  • Indicate both last names, the date and the page number.
  • Note that you are not required to include page numbers when you are paraphrasing.
  • When using a parenthetical reference at the end of the cited material, separate the authors’ names by an ampersand (&).


Knudtson and Suzuki (1992) were concerned with the authenticity of native sources used in their research.


Anthropological research has provided “ecologically insightful accounts of native views of the natural world” (Knudtson & Suzuki, 1992, p. 23).

  • Begin with the last name of the first author followed by “et al.” (meaning “and others”). Follow with a comma and the date.


Esbensen et al. (2010) looked into the causes and treatments of youth violence.

This analysis of youth violence concluded that “girls commit a substantial amount of violence” (Esbensen et al., 2010).

  • Indicate the name of the group, corporation or organization in the text or in parentheses at the end of the cited material.


The report put out by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (2011) confirmed  “that the aging of Canada’s population will likely put pressure on the health care system to adapt to meet Canadians’ needs” (p. 128).


The report confirmed “that the aging of Canada’s population will likely put pressure on the health care system to adapt to meet Canadians’ needs” (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2011, p. 128).

  • If the organization has a familiar abbreviation, include the abbreviation in square brackets the first time it is cited and use just the abbreviation in further citations from the same organization.


First citation: (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [CAMH], 2003)

Second citation: (CAMH, 2003)

  • Include the title in your in-text citation.
  • If the title is long, include the first couple of words of the title.
  • The title of an article, a chapter or a web page should be put in quotation marks; the title of a book or a report should be in italics.


The city of Calgary has made large tracts of land available for development (“Regional,” 1993).

  • Use n.d. where you would normally place the year.
  • Many online sources don’t have page numbers. In this case, use a paragraph number if it is provided or count the number of paragraphs from the beginning of the text and include them in the parentheses like this: (Smith, 2009, para. 23).
  • If the document has headings but no paragraph numbers, include the heading and the number of paragraphs down from the heading.


Cummings (2012) concluded that “melatonin treatment for certain sleep problems in children and adolescents can be useful” (Conclusion, para. 1).


A runtime is the time between the start and end of a piece of audiovisual media. Videos, songs, podcasts and audiobooks are all sources with runtimes.
  • When writing an in-text citation for a source with a runtime, provide the timestamp corresponding to the beginning of the quotation instead of the page number.
  • Give the numbers as displayed in your media player, separated with colons.
  • If the source is under 1h, only provide numbers for the minutes and seconds. If it is under 10 minutes, do not add a 0 before the minute number.


Concerns about providing weapons to Ukraine include the Russian leader’s reaction, because “if the war is going badly for Putin, then his answer is to escalate” (The Economist, 2022, 0:49).

Thanks to cognitive-behavioral therapy, Melissa now understands that “it’s okay to feel disappointed” (Tsong, 2019, 0:38:15).

  • This may be a book, a journal article, a website or other long work.
  • Simply include the author’s name and date. Do not include page numbers.
  • When citing an entire website without making reference to a specific idea or excerpt, include the electronic address in your text.


In Wisdom of the Elders, Knudtson and Suzuki (1992) show parallels of the close kinship of native peoples around the world to their natural environment.

The success of immigrant integration has been studied in Australia (Collins, 2013).

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health website (http://www.camh.net) reflects the amalgamation of the Addiction Research Foundation and The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

  • Personal communications (email, private letters, personal interviews, memos, etc.) are not included in the reference list. This type of source is included only in your text.
  • Give the author’s initals and last name as well as the most exact date possible.


One of his colleagues admitted that the research was creating a lot of discussion (J. Doyle, personal communication, May 15, 2008).

  • If you are using a quotation of 40 words or longer, start it on a new line, indented about 1.25 cm from the main margin, and double-spaced.
  • At the end of the quote, add a space and then insert the parenthetical reference.
  • Note that the parentheses come after the concluding punctuation.


The researchers found that:

As long as programs target the known risk factors and adhere to the principles of effective intervention, youths should be affected in positive ways. Importantly, addressing even a few risk factors can have modest effects for youths who experience multiple risk factors in multiple domains. (Esbensen et al., 2010, p. 190)

  • If you are using a work that was cited in another source (secondary source), name the original work in your text and cite the secondary source in the parenthetical reference beginning with “as cited in.”
  • Your list of references would only include an entry for the source you consulted yourself: in this case, the book by Knudtson and Suzuki.


French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss refers to the worlds of the shaman and the scientist as “two parallel modes of acquiring knowledge about the universe” (as cited in Knudtson & Suzuki, 1992, pp. 8-9).