Skip to main content
University of Newcastle Library guides

APA 7th Style:  In-text Citations

UON Library guide for the APA 7th referencing style

What are in-text citations?

 

An in-text citation is a short entry within your text to point the reader towards the full entry in your reference list.

When inserting a citation for APA in-text, include the author's surname and year of publication, enclosed in brackets ( ).

For example: (Smith, 2019)

Example text is shown below with in-text citations:

If you include a direct quote, that is word-for-word, from another source the in-text citation must include the author, year and page number where the quotation appeared.

When paraphrasing a source (putting it into your own words), it is not required to include page numbers in the in-text citation, however it may still be useful to do so to help the reader locate the paraphrased information in a large source such as a textbook.

 

In-text citations where the author is unknown

 

If the source has no author, include the Title and year as your in-text citation.  Where the title is long you are able to shorten it for use with in-text citations.

Note that full capitalisation should be used when using a Title in your in-text citations.

There are two ways to do this:

 

1)  Where the reference list entry has the title in italics (e.g. for books), you should also italicise the title in the in-text citation:  (Title of Resource, Year)

For example:  A book with no author

... as suggested by theory-guided evidence-based practice (Source Book of Human Anatomy, 2010).

 

2)  Where the reference list entry title is not in italics (e.g. for a dictionary entry), you should enclose the title in double quotation marks:  ("Title of Resource," Year)

For example:  Magazine article with no author

... reports that the first stage of labour is significantly shorter ("Giving Birth," 2009).

Note that the comma is enclosed by the double-quote marks, not after them.

In-text citations with 1 author

 

Every time you paraphrase, or use an idea from another source you must include an in-text citation to that source.

The general format for a source that has 1 author is:  (Author surname, Year)

For example:

Australian education providers will need to address a number of challenges to ensure standards of special education are fully supporting students with special needs and their families (Dempsey, 2019).

OR

Dempsey (2019) concluded that Australian education providers will need to address a number of challenges to ensure standards of special education are fully supporting students with special needs and their families.

In-text citations with 2 authors

 

Every time you paraphrase, or use an idea from another source you must include an in-text citation to that source.

If the source has 2 authors the general format for each in-text citation to that source is:  (1st Author surname & 2nd Author surname, Year)

For example:

New technologies need to be evaluated before large scale investment is made by organisations (Marra & Edmond, 2014).

OR

Marra and Edmond (2014) suggest that new technologies need to be evaluated before large scale investment is made by organisations.

In-text citations with 3 or more authors

 

Every time you paraphrase, or use an idea from another source you must include an in-text citation to that source.

If a source has 3 or more authors, cite only the first author's surname followed by 'et al.':  (1st Author surname et al., Year)

For example:

Comparison and sampling based on the grounded theory model formed the basis for data analysis (Endacott et al., 2019).

OR

Comparison and sampling based on the grounded theory model formed the basis for data analysis undertaken by Endacott et al. (2019).

 

In-text citations for corporate authors

 

If the source is a corporate author (eg. a university, association, or government department) include the corporate author's name within the in-text citation, plus the year of publication, in the format:  (Corporate Author, Year)

Example:

Thousands of teachers, principals, early childhood workers and academics have graduated and gone on to make their mark in and out of the classroom in communities (University of Newcastle, 2009).

OR

Research conducted by the University of Newcastle (2009) suggested that thousands of teachers, principals, early childhood workers and academics have graduated and gone on to make their mark in and out of the classroom in communities.

 


If an author's name is known by a common acronym (eg. ABS  for Australian Bureau of Statistics, AIHW for Australian Institute for Health and Welfare), include the full name, plus the acronym in the first in-text citation, in the format:  (Corporate Author [CA], Year)

Example:

"Over half of people aged 15 years and older (56%) considered their overall health to be very good or excellent, and 29% stated that their health was good" (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2009, p. 3).

 

In subsequent references, include just the acronym:  (CA, Year)

Example:
... 19% of people aged 18 years and over were current daily smokers (ABS, 2009).

In-text citations for works with the same author/s and year

 

Whenever you reference more than a one work by EXACTLY the SAME author (or exactly the SAME group of authors whose names are listed in exactly the same order) and published in the SAME year.

[Note with groups of authors that if the lead author is the same but the order (or authors included) changes, the pattern below cannot be used. See more on the next tab on this page.]

Where the authors/s and year are the same:

  • arrange these sources in the Reference List alphabetically by author/s and then title;
  • assign letter suffixes in lower case (a, b, c, d ...) to the Year in the order that sources are in the Reference List.
  • Use the letter suffixes assigned in the Reference List to help distinguish the sources for your in-text referencing

Examples are shown below for:

  • EXACT SAME single (1) author & SAME Year
    • See the Brown 2010a, b, c examples.
  • EXACT SAME two (2) authors & SAME Year (with EXACT SAME ORDER of AUTHORS NAMES)
    • See the Gregson & Edwards 2009a, b examples.
  • EXACT SAME three (3) authors & SAME Year (with EXACT SAME ORDER of AUTHORS NAMES)
    • See the Ostler, Peters & Zu Tan Chang 2012a, b examples.
    • Note that for subsequent uses, the in-text citations for 3 or more authors would change to (Ostler et al., 2012a) and (Ostler et al., 2012b).

 

No publication date

 

Every time you paraphrase, or use an idea from another source you must include an in-text citation to that source.

If no publication date is available, after the name of the author substitute ‘n.d.’ (no date) for the year.

Example:

Peterson's study (n.d.) showed that pictures of kittens on Facebook are popular.

In-text citations for different groups of authors with the same lead author and year

 

It is common to find articles published by similar groups of authors on particular topics. In many cases these groups of authors will publish a number of articles in the same year. When the lead (first) author is different this is not an issue. Where the lead author is the same it can create an identification issue between sources for in-text referencing.

Where the authors listed in the group are exactly the same, in the same order in the same year, follow the pattern for 'Same Author/s and Same Year' (i.e. adding letters after the Year to distinguish the in-text citations) from the previous tab on this page.

Where the lead author is the same but the other authors are different (names or order) in the same year, this pattern is not suitable. To cite these kinds of references in-text, the citations must include enough extra authors to help differentiate the citations. Examples are shown below.

Reference list examples:

Both of these references have 6 authors. In normal circumstances (Silva et al., 2017) would be the standard formatting for either reference if it was by itself, but as we need to include both in the reference list we need to differentiate them in-text.

Incorrect In-text:

(Silva et al., 2017a)

(Silva et al., 2017b)

Correct In-text:

(Silva, Kurappu, et al., 2017)

(Silva, Maduwage, et al., 2017)

We need to include as many authors in the citations as possible to help differentiate the references in-text. See the p. 267 of the Publication Manual for more information.

 

In-text citations for works by authors with the same surname

 

Whenever you reference works by authors who SHARE the SAME SURNAME, but who are in fact different people:

  • Add the first initials of the lead (first) author to the in-text citation to identify the specific reference.
  • Do this for all instances of the reference.
  • This pattern should be followed even if the year of publication is different.
  • Note that this should be done for the lead (first) author only.
  • If you have multiple references where the lead (first) authors share the same surname and first initial, include the authors full name in square brackets after their initial in the reference list (e.g. Smith, R. [Robert]. (2014). Locating the correct ...) and include their first and last names for the in-text citation, e.g. (Robert Smith, 2014).

Adding the initial to the author names helps readers avoid confusion with the in-text referencing and allows easier location of entries in your reference list.

 

Reference list examples:

Here we have two articles written by two different authors with the same surname, Campbell:

 

In-text citations:

As the above examples have 3 authors the in-text citations will follow the required pattern for that number of authors.

Both studies (A. Campbell et al., 1993; W. K. Campbell et al., 2005) provided participants with …

OR

Both A. Campbell et al. (1993) and W. K. Campbell et al. (2005) provided participants with …

In-text citations for secondary sources

 

Sources cited within another source are known as 'secondary sources'. In-text citations to secondary sources must name the original source, and also provide a citation for the secondary source. 

As an example of a secondary source is provided here:

Situation:  An article written by Featherstone in 1999 was found useful for historical perspective. The Featherstone article includes a quote from another article, written by Begley in 1990. If we cannot access the original Begley article, we could reference Begley as a secondary source:

... research has been conducted studying the falling PPH rates in the third stage (Begley, 1990, as cited in Featherstone, 1999)

OR

Begley’s study (1990, as cited in Featherstone, 1999) ...

By following this pattern we are crediting the original author while being able to reference the source we are actually using.

For more information see the page on Secondary sources.

In-text citations that include multiple references

 

More than one publication

If you need to cite more than one publication within an in-text citation, include each source alphabetically separating each citation with a colon. For example:

...several reviews (Featherstone, 1999; Gates, 2010; Muldoon, 2008) have found that...

 

Two or more publications by the same author

If you need to cite two or more publications by the same author, list by year of publication, earliest year first. Separate each year with a comma.

For example:

...found that participants were negatively affected (Smith, n.d., 2003, 2005)...

 

Same author with the same publication date

Identify works by the same author with the same publication date by adding a suffix (a, b, c, etc) after the year. Ensure that the corresponding reference list entries are assigned the same suffix.

For example:

(Keleher & Joss, 2007a, 2007b)

Paraphrasing

 

Paraphrasing means putting someone else's ideas into your own words. This helps to show that you have understood the source and are able to apply it within your assignment.

When paraphrasing a source it is not required to include page numbers in the in-text citation, however it may still be useful to include the page numbers if the paraphrased information is from a source such as a textbook where the reader may have difficulty locating the original information within the source.

While not officially required in APA, some lecturers at UON may ask you to include page numbers for all your in-text citations - check with your lecturer if this is the case for their class.

Direct quotations

 

If you include a direct quote, that is word-for-word, from another source the in-text citation must include the author, year and page numbers where the quotation appeared.

Direct quotations must be accurate and follow the wording, spelling and punctuation of the original source.

The general format of an in-text citation to a direct quotation is: 

For quotes from a single page - (Author surname, Year, p. Page number)

For quotes crossing over multiple pages - (Author surname, Year, pp. Page number-Page number)

 

Variations will occur depending on the number of authors. (See examples below)

 

Direct Quotations - 1 author

If you include a direct quote, that is word-for-word from a source which has 1 author, the general format of the in-text citation appears:  (Author's surname, Year, p. X)

“These films absorb, through a collage of images, traces of the Italian inheritance of neo-realist cinema” (Acciari, 2014, p. 14).

 

Direct Quotations - 2 authors

If you include a direct quote, that is word-for-word from another source which has 2 authors, the general format of the in-text citation appears:  (1st Author surname & 2nd Author surname, Year, p. X)

"The convergence of media means that the dichotomy between old and new media economies is hard to maintain" (Gorton & Garde-Hansen, 2013, p. 298).

 

Direct Quotations - 3 or more authors

If you include a direct quote, that is word-for-word from another source which has 3 or more authors, the general format of the in-text citation appears as:  (1st Author surname et al., Year, p. X)

Sanders et al. (2013, p. 92) reported a "direct proportional increase" in the understanding of these new technologies in a classroom setting.


 

Quotations of sources without pagination:

Pages 264 and 273 of the APA 7 manual discuss how to cite specific parts of sources that do not have pagination:

  • For a PowerPoint, use the Slide number, e.g. (Sato, 2020, Slide 4)
  • Use a timestamp for films or video, e.g. (Vsauce, 2013, 0:45).  For more on using timestamps see the page on Video & Audio
  • Use a paragraph for a web page, e.g. (Australian College of Midwives, n.d., para. 4) - count the paragraphs if they are not numbered
  • Use a section of a document, e.g. (NSW Health, 2018, "What You Need to Know" section)
  • Use chapters for an ebook without pagination, e.g. (Vasquez, 2020, Ch. 4)

 

Quotations under 40 words:

Quotations of less than 40 words should form part of your text, and be enclosed in double quotation marks.

Example:

"Historically, nursing competence has long been associated with the more technical aspect of function" (Axley, 2014, p. 218).

 

Quotations over 40 words:

Quotations of 40 words or more should not be enclosed in quotation marks. Instead, set the quotation apart - starting on a new line, indenting the quote. Note that the page reference is at the end, after the full-stop (.).


Omitting words from a quotation:

A quotation may be shortened from that included in the original source by including three spaced ellipses points (...) within the quotation to indicate where the omitted words had been included.

Example

Whereas, other researchers "believe that the third stage of labour is a much neglected stage in the process of labour ... and it deserves much greater attention" (Harris & Clark, 2011, p. 856).


 

Errors in original sources

Errors in the original source may be identified within a quotation by including the word (sic) in italics and brackets immediately after the error. This shows the reader that the error was in the original source, not in your usage of it.

Choosing between 'and' or '&' for in-text quotations

 

Basic In-Text Citation Style

As the name authordate system implies, APA Style in-text citations include the author and date, either both inside parentheses or with the author names in running text and the date in parentheses. Here are two examples: 

  • After the intervention, children increased in the number of books read per week (Smith & Wexwood, 2010). 
  • Smith and Wexwood (2010) reported that after the intervention, children increased in the number of books read per week. 

The "and" in Smith and Wexwood is written as an ampersand ('&') inside parentheses and as a word ('and') outside of parentheses, as shown in the examples above.

 

Multiple In-Text Citations

When multiple studies support what you have to say, you can include multiple citations inside the same set of parentheses. Within parentheses, alphabetize the studies as they would appear in the reference list and separate them by semicolons. In running text, you can address studies in whatever order you wish. Here are two examples: 

  • Studies of reading in childhood have produced mixed results (Albright et al., 2004; Gibson, 2011; Smith & Wexwood, 2010).
  • Smith and Wexwood (2010) reported an increase in the number of books read, whereas Gibson (2011) reported a decrease. Albright et al. (2004) found no significant results. 

Same single reference used over consecutive sentences

 

There may be times when you need to use the same reference multiple times in consecutive sentences (or even a whole a paragraph) where there are no other references to break up the in-text citations.

As long as it is made clear that you are referring to the same source, you do not need to repeat the (Author, Year) citations throughout the paragraph. An example is presented below:

 

Smith and Jones’ (2020) study assessed Alzheimer’s patients living in care facilities.  Their findings suggested that male patients were more likely to become violent when confused, lashing out at those around them, including care-givers.  They further noted that these outbursts often occurred after periods of agitation or excitement.  While their study had limitations due to a small sample size, the results are consistent with other studies conducted in similar locations (see Burns, 2019; Porter & Niles, 2017; Rupert et al., 2018).

 

The study undertaken by Smith and Jones (2020) can be linked to ...

The bolded text above shows examples of how it is possible to refer back to a source repeatedly in the same paragraph without needing to continually add the in-text citation for (Smith & Jones, 2020).  By adding these referral words it is still clear which article we are referring to within the paragraph.

Notice, however, that once we introduce additional references into our text (or start a new paragraph), we need to reintroduce the full in-text citation to make it clear for the reader.

 

For other examples, see pages 265 and 270 of the Publication Manual.


Click Ask the library below to access Library help and information 

Ask the Library

UON Referencing Guide