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APA Quick Citation Guide

Citing Sources in APA Style

In-Text Citation Guidelines

Purpose: briefly identifies the work you are quoting or paraphrasing, with a corresponding full citation in the reference list so readers can find your sources. Include in-text citations whenever you: 

  • Paraphrase (summarize ideas from a source) 

  • Directly quote from a source 

  • Refer to data or adapt a table, figure, or image from the source 

In-Text Citations should: 

  • Include the author’s name and the year of publication 

  • Appear immediately after the relevant section (not necessarily at the end of a long clause or sentence) 

  • Always come before punctuation marks 

In-Text Citation Formats

(Author, Year) 
  • Professors want students to cite their sources when writing research papers (Smith, 2020). 

Author (Year) 
  • Smith (2020) argues that students should cite their sources when completing research assignments. 

(Author, Year, page number) 
  • Many believe that “students must learn how to cite sources before starting to work on any research assignment” (Smith, 2020, p. 55). 

Author (Year) … (page number) 
  • Smith (2020) suggests that “students […] learn how to cite sources before starting to work on any research assignment” (p. 55). 

Other formats for specific circumstances: 
  • Additional information is included with the citation: 

    • Professors may not know where to start when teaching students how to cite sources (see Smith, 2020, for more details). 

    • Students may not know a particular citation style (such as APA; Smith, 2020). 

  • Author and year appear in the sentence: 

    • In 2020, Smith shared the results of a study... 

  • Multiple sources cited in the sentence: 

    • Several studies show that students who write APA style papers with good reference lists receive better grades (Smith, 2020; Lee & Wong, 2018).