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APA Style

In-Text Citations

In scholarly writing, it is essential to acknowledge the work of others. Readers need to understand how youthe writerare building on, examining, and engaging with the work that has come before you.

Plagiarism & Citations

In APA Style, acknowledging others' work with in-text citations any time you use their ideas is imperative. When you summarize, paraphrase, or use a direct quotation, in-text citations must accompany that text. If in-text citations are not included, by default, the writer is claiming credit for others' work. This is considered plagiarism.

Persuasiveness & Citations

Your work is more credible and persuasive when your arguments and conclusions are backed up by citations to other research. 

In-Text Citation Format

There are two formats for in-text citations: parenthetical and narrative. In general, the format is Author, date, page number. Note that a URL is not a scholarly citation.

  • At the end of a sentence (Parenthetical citations): The author(s) name(s) and the publication year are in parentheses at the end of a sentence.
    • Example for a paraphrase: This is a parenthetical citation for a paraphrase (Smith, 2014).
    • Example for a direct quote: This is a "parenthetical citation with a direct quote when the source has page numbers" (Smith, 2014, p. 3). This is a "parenthetical citation with a direct quote when the source does not have page numbers" (Smith, 2014, para. 5).
  • Within a sentence (Narrative citations): The author name is part of the sentence followed by the year in parentheses.
    • Examples for a paraphrase: Smith (2014) noted that ...; In 2014, Smith found that ... 
    • Examples for a direct quote: Smith (2014) noted that "page numbers or paragraph numbers must be used in a direct quote" (p. 3). In 2014, Smith noted that "page numbers or paragraph numbers must be used in a direct quote" (para. 5). 

Use narrative citations to put more emphasis on the author and parenthetical citations to put more emphasis on the information. But for better flow, especially if you have a lot of citations, vary between parenthetical and narrative formats.

Learn more about APA in-text citations by clicking here.


Examples:

For two authors

Parenthetical: Personality dimensions are effective predictors of university student reading preferences and behaviors (Schutte & Malouff, 2004).

Narrative: Schutte and Malouff (2004) identified personality dimensions that predicted reading preferences and behaviors in university students.

For three or more authors

Parenthetical: Most of the students in one study reported that they purchased a textbook they never used in the course (Kinskey et al., 2018).

Narrative: Although textbook costs are an important deterrent to purchasing them, Kinskey et al. (2018) found that lack of use was a bigger deterrent; 85% of students in their study purchased a textbook they never used. 

For a group author (note second use is abbreviated)

Parenthetical: In 2018, eight people were killed every day in distracted driving related crashes (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2021). They estimate that is about 3,000 people a year (CDC, 2021).

Narrative: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2021) reported that in 2018, eight people were killed every day in distracted driving related crashes. According to the CDC (2021), that is about 3,000 people a year.

The reference page would list these as the sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Distracted driving. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/distracted_driving/index.html

Kinskey, C., King, H., & Lewis Miller, C. (2018). Open educational resources: an analysis of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities student preferences. Open Learning, 33(3), 190–202. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680513.2018.1500887 

Schutte, N., & Malouff, J. (2004). University student reading preferences in relation to the big five personality dimensions. Reading Psychology, 25(4), 273–295. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702710490522630

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is restating an author's idea in your own words. It is a way to use a source without directly quoting the information. However, it is much more than just changing a few words! Learn more about paraphrasing from the Purdue OWL

  • When you paraphrase, you must include an in-text citation with the author and year. Page or paragraph numbers are not required for a paraphrase, but you may include them.
  • Paraphrasing demonstrates to your reader that you understand the original material and have applied your own knowledge to its presentation.
  • Paraphrasing also allows you to maintain the flow of your paper by using your own wording and writing style. 
  • The key to paraphrasing is writing information in your own words. You should restate the material without changing the meaning of the original source. In general, paraphrases are shorter than the original quote.

A paraphrase can continue for several sentences. When it does, cite the work after the first mention. You do not need to cite it again as long as it is clear in the context of your writing that the same work is continuing to be cited. However, do cite it again if: 

  • the paraphrase continues to a new paragraph; or
  • the paraphrase incorporates multiple sources or switches among sources

Paraphrasing Tips:

  1. Understand the original material by reading the material and looking up any unknown words or terms. 
  2. Look away from, or cover, the original material and express the information in your own words. Imagine you are explaining it to a family member or friend.
  3. Compare your writing to the original material. Can you answer "yes" to each of these?
    • Does my paraphrase retain the original meaning of the material? 
    • Did I simplify the material?
    • Is it expressed in my own writing style? Did I change the sentence structure? Did I change the wording?
       

Example

APA Citation:
Thomas, C. A. (2014). Antonio's (happy ending): Queer closure in all-male Twelfth Night. Comparative Drama, 48(3), 221-240. https://doi.org/10.1353/cdr.2014.0018

Quote from the article:

"It is more or less common knowledge, popularized by John Madden's film Shakespeare in Love, that in Shakespeare's time male actors played female roles because women were forbidden from appearing on the public stage. Young men (called "boy-actors") played romantic ingénues, such as Juliet, whereas male actors played comic roles and older women, such as Juliet's Nurse and Lady Capulet" (Thomas, 2014, p. 211). 

Paraphrase:

During the Elizabethan Era, women were not allowed to act so male actors played both masculine and feminine parts (Thomas, 2014, p. 211).

  • The original context of the quote is maintained.
  • The sentence is more concise (19 words versus 60 words).
  • The wording is modified - "young men" and "mature male actors" are combined into one term - male actors.

Principles of Direct Quotation

Quoting

Quoting is taking a word-for-word section from a source. When you quote materials you must include an in-text citation. Since college-level assignments should typically be written in your own words, direct quotes should be used minimally*. Unless a quote conveys important context in its original form, try paraphrasing information. 

*Some instructors at Lynn do not allow direct quotes. Read assignment instructions and confirm with your instructor if direct quotes are allowed. 

Citing Direct Quotations

For direct quotations, provide the author, year, and page number of the quotation in the in-text citation in either the parenthetical or narrative format (see above).

Examples of how to provide page numbers
Single Page Multiple Pages Without Page Numbers

(Author, year, page number)

p. 52, p. S52, p. e343

(Author, year, pages)

Continuous pages:  pp. 56-57

Discontinuous pages: pp. 34, 64

If there are no page numbers find another way to locate the quotation. 

  • Heading or Section Name: 

(​Smith, 2020, Investments section).

If abbreviating the section heading because it is too long, put it in quotes 

(Jones, 2019, "What is the most" Section). 

  • Paragraph number (count manually if not numbered)

(Williams, 2018, para. 3)

  • Heading or section in combination with paragraph number. 

(Brown, 2020, Seizure section, para. 5). 

Learn what to do when you have a source with the same author and dates.

Short quotations (fewer than 40 words)

  • Incorporate it into your own text
  • Enclose it in double quotation marks

 

Block quotations (40 words or more)

  • Do not use quotation marks to enclose a block quotation.
  • Start a block quotation on a new line and indent the whole block 0.5 in. from the left margin.
  • Double-space the entire block quotation.
  • Do not add extra space before or after it.
  • If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph an additional 0.5 in. See an example on this page or in Section 8.27 of the Publication Manual (available in the library).
  • Either (1) cite the source in parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation or (2) cite the author and year in the narrative before the quotation and place only the page number in parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation.
  • Do not add a period after the closing parenthesis in either case

 

Example of a block quotation with in-text citation

Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training or by industry-subsidized research. It’s proper use is to enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically, socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by gathering or “accessing” what we now call “information” – which is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first. (Berry, 2002, para. XXVI)

The reference page would list this as the source: 

Berry, W. (2002). Thoughts in the presence of fear. Catholic New Times, 26(16).

Sources

APA Style. (n.d.). Paraphrasing. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/paraphrasing

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: The official guide to APA style (Seventh ed.). American Psychological Association.

Information compiled from sections 8.11-12, 8.17, 8.21, and 8.23-28.


Sources for the examples:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Distracted driving. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/distracted_driving/index.html

Kinskey, C., King, H., & Lewis Miller, C. (2018). Open educational resources: an analysis of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities student preferences. Open Learning, 33(3), 190–202. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680513.2018.1500887 

Schutte, N., & Malouff, J. (2004). University student reading preferences in relation to the big five personality dimensions. Reading Psychology, 25(4), 273–295. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702710490522630