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Citation Guides: APA Citations

Formatting papers using APA or MLA styles

In-Text Citation Examples

In-text Citation Examples

     All in-text citations include the author name and the year. When paraphrasing, simply add the name and year in parentheses (Jones, 2003).While this is the standard format, you may facilitate the flow of your writing byrephrasing it to say that Jones (2003) believed you could be flexible whennecessary. APA encourages, but does not require, the inclusion of a page or paragraph number for paraphrases.    
To acknowledge a direct quote, always include the page number with thein-text citation. For example, "This is what a short quote would looklike" (Jones, 2003, p. 17).  Or, similar to the example for paraphrases above,Jones (2003) found that "you could be a little flexible to facilitate the flow of your writing" (p. 17).     
Jones stated the following, to illustrate in-text citation flexibility with longer block quotes in the text of your paper:      This is an example of a longer quote of more than 40 words. Each line of a block quote is indented 1/2" from the left margin only. The entire block quote is double-spaced.        
 When a block quote is longer than one paragraph, indent the second paragraph. Add the author, year and page number in parentheses at the end of the block quote. (Jones, 2003, p. 17)

Citation Examples

Books and chapters

Authored book

Ayers, H. (1998). Classroom management: A practical approach for primary and secondary teachers. London, England: Fulton.

Chapter in an edited book

Cohen, D. K., & Barnes, C. A. (1993). Pedagogy and policy. In D. K. Cohen, M. W. McLaughlin, & J. E. Talbert (Eds.),Teaching for understanding: Challenges for policy and practice (pp. 207-239). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Chapter/Entry in a reference book (no author)

Portugal. (2007).  In J. J. Arnett (Ed.), International encyclopedia of adolescence (Vol. 2, pp.795-812). New York, NY: Routlege.

Translated Book

Bolano, R. (2012). The savage detectives (N. Wimmer, Trans.). London: Picador. (Original work published 1998).


Journal article with up to and including seven authors:

Crawford, M., and Witte, M. (1999). Strategies for mathematics: Teaching in context. Educational Leadership, 57, 134-138.

Journal article with eight or more authors:

 Johnson, C. A., Bound, L., Jones, P. P., Smith, D. J., Lind, R. E., Miller, S. J., ...Yuckyuck, H. (2003). Reading for pleasure: A concept analysis. Journal of Laughter, 26(5), 1-11.

Note: Journals that have multiple issues in a volume include issue information in brackets after the volume number.

Magazine article 

Grey, C. (1992, September).  Childhood immunizations. Chatelaine, 65(9), 38.

Newspaper article

Simon, P. (2009, November 7). Stoic Albertan attitude to sick days has morphed into viral paranoia. Edmonton Journal, p. B1.

Book Review

Goodman, A. L. (1951, July 16). Catcher in the rye [Book review]. New Republic, 125, 20.

General web resources

Blog post

Trompstein, J. (2008, January 21). Re: The future of the world [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Wiki entry

Renaissance (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 24, 2009 from

Informally published or archived information

Smith, J. (2008, October). Child development: Motor skills in early infancy [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

Email Communications

E-mail communications from individuals should be cited as personal communications. Because they do not provide recoverable data, personal communications are not included in the reference list. Cite personal communications in text only. Give the initials as well as the surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible.

T. K. Lutes (personal communication, April 18, 2001)

(V.-G. Nguyen, personal communication, September 28, 1998)

Facebook Post

H. T. Coutts Education Library. (2012, May 24). Is a deskless classroom the way of the future? [Facebook update]. Retreived from


Always cite the DOI, if one is available. If the ebook has no DOI, which is common, cite the URL where it is available.

Check out this great flowchart from the APA style blog for DOI v. URL decision making! 

Want to know more about DOIs? Read about them here!

Citing secondary sources

On occasion, you may wish to refer to an author's work that is mentioned in a source which is not the author's original.  Name the original author in the in-text citation, followed by (as cited in secondary source, date).  

For example, if you want to cite Smith's idea, which you read about in Jones' book... you would provide an in-text citation for Smith's study (Smith, as cited in Jones, 2002). In the reference list, include a reference only for the Jones' book, which is the secondary source where you found your information.

Author Examples

Multiple Authors?

2 authors?
Cite both authors every time (Jones & Smith, 2011).

3 to 5 authors?
Cite all authors the first time (Jones, Smith, & Brown, 2011), but after that just cite the first one listed (Jones et al., 2011).

6 or more authors?
Only cite the first named author, followed by et al. (Smith et al., 2011)

When listing multiple authors for in-text citations, use the "&" symbol within brackets (Jones & Smith, 2011).

Quoting vs. Paraphrasing

direct quote involves copying exact words or phrases from your source material, while paraphrasing involves summarizing someone else's ideas or thoughts into your own words.

Each time you quote or paraphrase a source, you must include both an in-text citation (in brackets), and an entry in your final reference list.

What's the difference?

While direct quotes require quotation marks and a page number (or paragraph number if there are no pages), paraphrasing does not.