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APA Citation Guide

Use to this guide to help you with formatting your paper using APA style format

General Information

In-text citations are the citations that you include within your paper. APA uses the author-date method for in-text citations. Your in-text citations must match what you have on your reference list! There are many rules for writing in-text citations and this page will only cover the basics, for complete information please see the APA Manual, specifically chapter 8.

Writing In-Text Citations

You can write in-text citations in two different ways. You can use the author's name as part of the sentence and then place the year in parentheses. The second option is to place both the author information and the year in parentheses. When you are using a direct quotation you must include the page number (for print items) or paragraph number (for electronic/web-based items).

One of the major changes in the 7th edition of APA is that if an item you are using has three or more authors you only list the first author followed by the phrase et al.  

Examples:

According to Earp (2010) graduate students... 

Graduate students tend to utilize ... (Earp, 2010)

"A concern of most libraries has been that they are seen as antiquated by students ..."(Earp & Earp, 2008, p. 108)

Number of authors Parenthetical in-text citation Narrative in-text citation
One author (Earp, 2010) Earp (2010)
Two authors (Earp & Wright, 2009) Earp and Wright (2009)
Three or more authors (Onwuegbuze et al., 2004) Onwuegbuzi et al. (2004)

Personal Communications: In some cases, the items that are used in writing a paper are not recoverable by others (such as class lectures and personal emails). APA recommends that any items that are considered nonrecoverable should be cited as personal communications.  Personal communications should have an in-text citation but will not have an entry on the reference page. 

Examples:

The library worked with 75 students in their plagiarism school program (V. Earp, personal communication, January 6, 2020).

V. Earp (personal communication, January 6, 2020) stated that the library has helped over 75 students with citation questions this semester.