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APA Help

Quick Guide to APA Citations

Use this Quick Guide as a checklist when formatting your citations in APA 7th style. For specific examples of citations, see the tabs on the left.

Include BOTH parts of the APA citation:

In-text citations (placed in your paper wherever you are quoting or paraphrasing a source)
Reference list citations (placed at the end of your paper in an alphabetized reference list) 

If you quote OR paraphrase a source, you must cite it.

"Paraphrasing" includes describing someone else's idea in your own words. 
A quotation requires a "locator" which is the exact page number or paragraph number of the quote 

Do not include sources in your reference list if you did not use them.

In APA, reference citations are not a list of sources you read! Only include a source in your reference list if you quoted or paraphrased that source with an in-text citation in your paper.

Each in-text citation must match its reference list citation.

The author name and year in the reference list citation and in-text citation must be the same. If you make a correction to the author and/or date in one of your references, you must also edit all of the corresponding in-text citations.


In-Text Citations

This is the basic in-text citation format. The author is usually the last name of a person but may be a group or other name. See the tabs on the left of this guide to see specific examples.

Citing paraphrased information:

(Author, Year).

Citing a direct quote:

(Author, Year, p. 3). OR (Author, Year, para. 3).

In-text Citation Examples

Paraphrasing a source with TWO AUTHORS:

(Tindall & Curtis, 2019).

Paraphrasing a source with THREE OR MORE AUTHORS:

(Amida et al., 2021).

Paraphrasing a source authored by a GROUP/ORGANIZATION with NO DATE:

(U.S. Department of Homeland Security, n.d.).

Reference List Citations

This is the basic reference format, but it will look different depending on the type of source you are citing. See the tabs on the left of this guide to see specific examples.

Author. (Date). Title. Source. URL


Reference List Citation Examples

Reference list citation for a journal article with THREE OR MORE AUTHORS:*

Amida, A., Appianing, J., & Marafa, Y. (2022). Testing the predictors of college students' attitudes toward plagiarism. Journal of Academic Ethics, 20(1), p. 85-99.

Reference list citation for an online article/webpage with ONE AUTHOR: 

Bailey, J. (2022, July 6). 5 things new students need to know about plagiarism. Plagiarism Today.

Reference list citation for a source with a GROUP AUTHOR and NO DATE:

U. S. Department of Homeland Security. (n.d.). What is plagiarism?

*Never use "et al." in a reference citation. Include every author's name, up to 20 authors. For guidance on citing works with more than 20 authors, see the 2023 Reference List Instructions PDF below.