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APA In-Text Citations and Sample Essay 7th Edition

This handout focuses on how to format in-text citations in APA.


Proper citation of sources is a two-part process. You must first cite each source in the body of your essay; these citations within the essay are called in-text citations. You MUST cite all quoted, paraphrased, or summarized words, ideas, and facts from sources. Without in-text citations, you are technically in danger of plagiarism, even if you have listed your sources at the end of the essay.

In-text citations point the reader to the sources’ information on the references page. The in-text citation typically includes the author's last name and the year of publication. If you use a direct quote, the page number is also provided.

More information can be found on p. 253 of the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Citation Rules

Direct Quotation with the Author Named in the Text

Heinze and Lu (2017) stated, “The NFL shifted its responses to institutional change around concussions significantly as the field itself evolved” (p. 509).

Note: The year of publication is listed in parenthesis after the names of the authors, and the page number is listed in parenthesis at the end of the quote.

Direct Quotation without the Author Named in the Text

As the NFL developed as an organization, it “shifted its responses to institutional change around concussions significantly” (Heinze & Lu, 2017, p. 509).

Note: At the end of the quote, the names of the authors, year of publication, and page number are listed in parenthesis.

Paraphrase with 1-2 Authors

As the NFL developed as an organization, its reactions toward concussions also transformed (Heinze & Lu, 2017).

Note: For paraphrases, page numbers are encouraged but not required.

Paraphrase with 3 or More Authors

To work toward solving the issue of violence in prisons begins with determining aspects that might connect with prisoners' violent conduct (Thomson et al., 2019).

Direct Quotation without an Author

The findings were astonishing "in a recent study of parent and adult child relationships" ("Parents and Their Children," 2007, p. 2).

Note: Since the author of the text is not stated, a shortened version of the title is used instead.

Secondary Sources

When using secondary sources, use the phrase "as cited in" and cite the secondary source on the References page.

In 1936, Keynes said, “governments should run deficits when the economy is slow to avoid unemployment” (as cited in Richardson, 2008, p. 257).

Long (Block) Quotations

When using direct quotations of 40 or more words, indent five spaces from the left margin without using quotation marks. The final period should come before the parenthetical citation.

At Meramec, an English department policy states:

To honor and protect their own work and that of others, all students must give credit to proprietary sources that are used for course work. It is assumed that any information that is not documented is either common knowledge in that field or the original work of that student. (St. Louis Community College, 2001, p. 1)

Website Citations

If citing a specific web document without a page number, include the name of the author, date, title of the section, and paragraph number in parentheses:

In America, “Two out of five deaths among U.S. teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash” (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2004, Overview section, para. 1).

Here is a print-friendly version of this content.

Learn more about the APA References page by reviewing this handout.

For information on STLCC's academic integrity policy, check out this webpage.

For additional information on APA, check out STLCC's LibGuide on APA.

Sample Essay

A sample APA essay is available at this link.

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