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MLA and APA Citations: APA In-Text Citations

Use this guide to build citations of resources for a MLA works cited list or an APA reference list

Citation Guides

You have a couple of choices when creating in-text citations:

• Use one of the Create-a-Bibliography tools on the CSM library website

• Use Word's References Tab

• Use the citation style manuals: MLA (PE 1478.G53), APA (Ref BF 76.7.P83)

•Use the citation guides found below

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab): APA Formatting and Style Guide

Citation Guides - Handbook

APA In-Text Citation Tips

General Rules for APA In-Text Citations

  • Parenthetical (aka in-text) reference point to a specific source in your Reference List.
  • These references appear in parentheses directly after the quote or paraphrase you used from the source.
  • The reference is made up of the author's last name followed by the date the resource was published, and page number(s) the quote or paraphrase appears on in the source.
  • The abbreviations "p." or "pp." come before the page number(s) in the parenthetical reference.
  • If you use the author's name when introducing the quote or paraphrase, use only the date and page number in the parenthetical reference. For example: In Hamlet, Shakespeare (2002, p. 106) says, "To be or not to be, that is the question" .


  • Be sure to check your work against a style guide, such as the Purdue OWL APA guide, or the APA Manual (call number REF BF 76.7 .P83 2010)!
  • Be sure to use the edition specified by your professor (usually the most recent)! Rules can change from edition to edition!
  • If you have any questions, ask a librarian!

APA In-Text Citations

One author

(Johnson, 2001) or "Johnson (2001) found that..."


More than one author with same last name

Add first initial

Example: In studies about animal testing, J. Henderson (1999) and M. Henderson (1998) discussed…..


Groups as authors

Use the full name of the group and publication year.

Example: (College of Southern Maryland, 2009)


More than one author

Example: (Smith and Jones, 1999) or (Smith, Jones, and Hanover,  1999)


Three or more authors

Follow the form used in the reference list. Write out all the authors’ names for the first citation in text and abbreviate with “et al.”  for subsequent citations.

Example: (Smith, Jones, Hanover and Riley, 1999) then (Smith et al., 1999) 


Direct quote or paraphrase

Include the page number(s) the quote or paraphrase appears on in the source.

Example: (Johnston , 2005, p. 12) or (College of Southern Maryland, 2005,  pp. 112-114)


No author

Use the first part of the title in place of an author. If citing a book, place title in italics:

Example: (Capital Punishment, 2010) or "In the book Capitol Punishment (2010), the idea that..."

If citing the title of journal article, book chapter, or web page, place the title in quotation marks:

Example: ("About PETA," 2012)