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APA 6th ed. Style Guide: Citing Sources in Text


The table below provides examples of how to cite your sources in text, whether you use the author's name as part of the narrative or you include the citation information in parentheses (called a parenthetical citation). For more information, refer to sections 6.11-21 of the APA Style Manual, 6th edition.  

Type of Citation First citation in text  Subsequent citations in text Parenthetical format Parenthetical format, subsequent citations in text
One work by one author Hasan (2017) Hasan (2017) (Hasan, 2017) (Hasan, 2017)
One work by two authors Gilaie-Dotan and Doron (2017) Gilaie-Dotan and Doron (2017) (Gilaie-Dotan & Doron, 2017) (Gilaie- Dotan & Doron, 2017)
One work by three authors  Christo, Géo, and de Figueiredo Antunes (2013) Christo et al. (2013)  (Christo, Géo, & de Figueiredo Antunes, 2013) (Christo et al., 2013)
One work by four authors Elbulok-Charcape, Rabin, Spadaccini, and Barr (2014) Elbulok-Charcape et al. (2014) (Elbulok-Charcape, Rabin, Spadaccini, & Barr, 2014) (Elbulok-Charcape et al., 2014)
One work by five authors Belknap, Larson, Abrams, Garcia, and Anderson-Block (2012) Belknap et al. (2012) (Belknap, Larson, Abrams, Garcia, & Anderson-Block, 2012) (Belknap et al., 2012)
One work by six or more authors Miller et al. (2018)  Miller et al. (2018) (Miller et al., 2018) (Miller et al., 2018)
Groups (readily identified through abbreviation) as authors World Health Organization (WHO, 2018) WHO (2018)  (World Health Organization [WHO], 2018) (WHO, 2018) 

Frequently Asked Questions about In-Text Citation: 

How do I cite a direct quote? (6.03)

When quoting, always provide the author, year, and specific page number. If the work doesn't have pages, use a paragraph number instead. If the quotation is less than 40 words, incorporate it into the text and enclose it with double quotation marks. If the quotation appears in mid-sentence, include the author(s) and year the sentence, and include the page number in parentheses after the quote. 

Robbins et al. (2003) suggested that the "therapists in dropout cases may have inadvertently validated parental negativity about the adolescent without adequately responding to the adolescent's needs or concerns" (p. 541), contributing to an overall climate of negativity. 

If the quotation appears at the end of the sentence, include the author(s) and year with the page number in parentheses after the quote. 

Confusing this issue is the overlapping nature of roles in palliative care, whereby "medical needs are met by those in the medical disciplines; nonmedical needs may be addressed by anyone on the team" (Csikai & Chaitin, 2006, p. 112). 

For help citing block quotations, see section 6.03 of the APA Manual.

What if the work doesn't have an author? (6.15)

In text, use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article, chapter, or web page and italicize the title of a periodical, book, brochure, or report: 

("Study Finds," 2016) 

the report Mental Health and College Students (2017)

How do I cite more than one source in the same parentheses? (6.16)

In some cases, you may want to cite more than one source as evidence (in a literature review, for example). In that case, order the citations in the same order in which they appear in the reference list, separated by semicolons. If citing more than one work by the same author, order them by year of publication, separated by commas. 

(Fischer et al., 2011; Hasan, 2017; Polman et al., 2008)

(Drapalski, 2016, 2018)

How do I cite an indirect (secondary) source? (6.17)

An indirect or secondary source is one that is cited in another person's work. Whenever possible, find and cite the original work. In some cases, however, the original work may be unavailable, and so you must rely on the secondary citation. However, use this type of source sparingly! Consult a librarian for help finding the original source if needed. Provide the secondary source in the reference list, NOT the original source; in text, name the original work and give the citation for the secondary source (listed in your reference list): 

Gunderson's research (as cited in Kuthrapali, 2017) 

How do I cite a personal communication? (6.20)

Cite personal communications such as emails, letters, telephone conversations, personal interviews, etc. in the text only. Since you can't provide retrieval information for these sources, they are not included in the reference list. Gie the initials as well as the surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible for when the communication occurred: 

N.D. Tyson (personal communication, June 10, 2017)

(M. Gillespie, personal communication, May 15, 2018)

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