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APA 7th ed. Style Guide

Help with using the APA 7th ed. Style Guide for writing.

An in-text citation is a reference within your paper to the source that informed your writing. APA format generally utilizes the author-year model, for example (Smith, 2012). Please see examples below for more guidance. Remember that all sources mentioned in the paper must also appear on the reference page except for personal communications (such as private letters or telephone conversations) and general references to whole websites (versus a specific page or item on the website).

Paraphrasing or Summarizing Sources

If you are paraphrasing or summarizing a main idea from a source, only the author and the publication year need to be referenced. There are several different ways to do this.

  • Example 1: Smith (2012) believes that individuals can write well if they take the time to plan out their proposal.
  • Example 2: In 2012, Smith's research indicated that individuals that spend more time writing proposals are more likely to do well on their assignments.
  • Example 3: Good grades can be achieved through creating proposals (Smith, 2012).

Quoting Sources

If you quote directly from a source, make sure to use quotation marks and include the author’s last name, year of publication, and the specific page number for the reference, if available. If you introduce the author in the sentence, make sure that the year of publication follows the author's last name, as shown in Example 2.

  • Example 1: He wrote, “It is important to cite sources” (Smith, 2012, p. 12).
  • Example 2: Smith (2012) notes, "It is important to cite sources" (p. 12).

Multiple Authors

Two Authors

When quoting, summarizing or paraphrasing from works by two authors, follow these guidelines. More information is available from APA Style here.

When referring to the work in a sentence, reference the authors by last name connected by 'and'.

  • Example : Lockhart and Carter (2014) believed that…

For in-text citations, list both author's names connected by an ampersand (&).

  • Example 1: Students retain more information through active learning (Lockhart & Carter, 2014).
  • Example 2: "Active learning serves as an effective means of aiding memory retention" (Lockhart & Carter, 2014, p. 145).

Three or More Authors

When quoting, summarizing or paraphrasing from works with three or more authors, list only the first author’s last name in all citations followed by “et al.”

  • Example 1: Mangum et al. (2018) described the process as….
  • Example 2: The findings suggested a correlation between the two variables (Mangum et al., 2018).
  • Example 3: "This study suggests a strong correlation between the two variables proposed by the author's prior research" (Mangum et al., 2018, p. 201).

Longer Quotes

If a quote is 40 or more words, use a free-standing block, as shown below:

Human society is located between these two; a society of persons who are material individuals, hence isolated each within itself but nonetheless requiring communication with one another as far as possible here below in anticipation of that perfect communion with one another and God in life eternal. The terrestrial common good of such a society is…superior the proper good of each member but flows back upon each. (Martain 1966, p. 59)

  • You do not need to add quotations around block quotes.
  • Block quotes require you to start the quote on a new line, which should be indented 1/2 inch or 5 spaces from the left margin.
  • Double space the entire block quotation, and do not put extra spaces above or below it.

Unlike shorter quotes where you place a period after the page number, longer quotes require a period at the end of the quote but not after the page number in the parenthetical citation, as shown above.

Sample Papers

To see an example of citations in an APA 7th ed. formatted paper, take a look at a sample paper below.

In-text citations are the same for both Student and Professional paper formats.