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APA Style (6th ed.) : In-Text Citations

This guide provides examples of references cited according to the American Psychological Association (APA) style. Most examples and all guidelines are extracted from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing)

For more information

For more examples and guidelines on in-text citations, please refer to pages 174-179 of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).

Two authors

When a work has two authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs in text. For parenthetical citations, separate the the authors' names with an "&":

  • as Kurtines and Szapocznik (2003) demonstrated
  • as has been shown (Jiireskog & Siirbom, 2007)

Corporate authors

The names of corporate authors (e.g., corporations, associations, government agencies, etc.) are usually spelled out each time they appear in a text citation.

  • According to the University of Pittsburgh (2008)
  • The report (University of Pittsburgh, 2008) clearly states that

However, if the name is long and if the abbreviation is readily understandable, you may abbreviate the name in the second and subsequent citations.

First citation

  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003)
  • (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003)

Subsequent citations

  •  NIMH (2003)
  • (NIMH, 2003)

Two or more works within the same set of parentheses

Arrange two or more works by the same author by the year of publicaton. In-press citations will be listed last. Give the author's last name once and for each subsequent work, give only the date.

Same author, different works

  • Teaching materials are available (Department of Agricultural Innovations, 2009, 2011)
  • Past studies indicate that (Siskel, 1999, 2011, in press)

For two or more works by different authors, list entries in alphabetical order by the first author's surname; separate the citations with semicolons.

Two or more works by different authors

  • Past studies have indicated (Billey, 2000; Chomsky & Lathe, 1999)
  • Several studies (Miller, 2000; Shafranske & Mahoney, 2001)

Citing specific parts of a work

To cite a specific part of a work, indicate details of the page, chapter, figure, etc. Always give page numbers for direct quotations.

  • (Center for Avian Disease Control, 2009, p. 11)
  • (Bakusen, 1995, Chapter 5)

Note: "Page" is abbreviated but not "Chapter".

Single author

The author-date method of citation requires that the last name of the author and the year of publication be inserted in the text at the
appropriate point:

  • Kessler (2003) found that among epidemiological samples
  • Early onset results in a more persistent and severe course (Kessler, 2003)

If the name of the author appears as part of the write-up, as in the first example, cite only the year of publication in parentheses, Otherwise, place both the name and the year, separated by a comma, in parentheses (as in the second example).

In rare cases, both the year and the author are given as part of the write-up. In this case, you can leave out the parentheses.

  • In 2003, Kessler's study of epidemiological samples showed that

Multiple authors

When a work has three, four, or five authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al.,(with a period after al) and the year if it is the first citation of the reference within a paragraph.

First citation in text:

  • Kisangau, Lyaruu, Hosea, and Joseph (2007) found
  • as has been shown (Nishimoto, Salcido, Aranda, & Land, 1998)

Subsequent citations:

  • Kisangau et al. (2007) found
  • as proven (Nishimoto et al., 1998)

When a work has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year for the first and subsequent citations.

  • Littlewood et al. (1997) have found ... 
  • ... as has been previously demonstated (Littlewood et al., 1997)

No author identified or anonymous works

When a work has no known author, cite the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article, a chapter, or a web page and italicize the title of a periodical, a book, a brochure, or a report.

  • learning to format research papers ("Using APA," 2001).
  • the book College Bound Seniors (2008) states that

If an author is specifically listed as anonymous, cite the word Anonymous, followed by a comma and the date.

  •  (Anonymous, 1998)

Secondary sources

For a reference that was obtained from another source, you have to name both the Original and Secondary Source in your citations. List the Secondary Source in your Reference List and include the Secondary Source in parentheses in the in-text citation.
  • In Seidenberg and McClelland's study (as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993), ...

In the Reference List (include Secondary Source):

  • Coltheart, M., Curtis, B., Atkins, P., & Haller, M. (1993). Models of 
          reading aloud: Dual-route and parallel-distributed-processing 
          approaches. Psychological Review, 100, 589-608.