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APA 7th Edition: In-Text Citations

About In-Text Citations

In APA, in-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  • In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a comma and the publication year enclosed in parentheses: (Smith, 2007).
  • If you are quoting directly the page number should be included, if given. If you are paraphrasing the page number is not required.
  • If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the title, such as italics: (Naturopathic, 2007).

Signal Phrase

If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation. Instead include the date after the name and the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation or paraphrased section. For example:

Hunt (2011) explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (p. 358).


Should I cite after each sentence?

Unfortunately citing only once at the end of the paragraph isn't enough, as it doesn't clearly show where you started using information from another person's work or ideas. The good news is you can avoid having to write full in-text citations each and every time by using a lead-in to your paragraph. For a detailed example of how to use lead-in sentences, please see Rasmussen College's FAQ page

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

Number of Authors/Editors First Time Paraphrased Second and Subsequent Times Paraphrased First Time Quoting Second and Subsequent Times Quoting

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57) (Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57)
Three or more (Case et al., 2011) (Case et al., 2011) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)

No Author and/or No Date

No Known Author:

Note that in most cases where a personal author is not named, a group author may be cited instead (eg. Statistics Canada). However, in certain cases, such as religious ancient texts, the author is unknown. Where you'd normally put the author's last name, instead use the first one, two, or three words from the title. Don't count initial articles like "A", "An" or "The". You should provide enough words to make it clear which work you're referring to from your References List.

If the title in the References list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation.

If you are citing an article, a chapter of a book or a page from a website, put the words in double quotation marks.

Capitalize the titles using title case (every major word is capitalized) even if the reference list entry uses sentence case (only first word is capitalized).


(Cell Biology, 2012, p. 157)

("Nursing," 2011, p. 9)

No Known Date of Publication:

Where you'd normally put the year of publication, instead use the letters "n.d.".


(Smith, n.d., p. 200)

No Page Numbers

No Page Numbers

When you quote from electronic sources that do not provide page numbers (like Web pages), provide another way to locate the quoted passage. You can use any of the following approaches:

Option 1: Provide a heading or section name

Bowlby described "three phases of the separation response: protest, despair, and detachment" (Garelli, 2001, Bowlby's Initial Stance section).

Option 2: Provide an abbreviated heading or section name, in quotation marks (use this if the heading or section title is very long)
        note: full section title is: Get a Litter Box and Take Care of Sleeping Arrangements

Unpleasant odors can be minimized "with scrupulous maintenance of your cat's litter box" (Syufy, 2019, "Get a Litter Box" section).

Option 3: Provide a paragraph number (count manually if they are not numbered):

It is important to remember that "study habits are very personal and what works for one student may not work for another" (Bennett, 2017, para. 3).

Option 4: Provide a heading or section name in combination with a paragraph number:

It has been shown that "moods can vary depending on weather conditions" (Stark, 2015, Mood and Weather section, para. 2).

If a source has no page numbers and there is only one paragraph, skip that part of the in-text citation. The in-text citation would have the author(s) last name(s) and the year, e.g. (Garellio, 2001).

In-Text Citation for Group or Corporate Authors

Type of Group First Time Paraphrased Second and Subsequent Times Paraphrased First Time Quoting Second and Subsequent Times Quoting
Groups readily identified through abbreviations

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

(NIMH, 2003)

(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003, p. 5) (NIMH, 2003, p. 5)
Groups with no abbreviations (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005, p. 2) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005, p. 2)

FAQ - How do I cite a work quoted in another source?

Sometimes an author of a book, article or website will mention another person’s work by using a quotation or paraphrased idea from that source. The work that is mentioned in the article you are reading is called the primary source. The article you are reading is called the secondary source.

For example, suppose you are reading an article by Brown (2014) that cites information from an article by Snow (1982) that you would like to include in your essay. For the reference list, you will only make a citation for the secondary source (Brown). You do not put in a citation for the primary source (Snow) in the reference list. For the in-text citation, you identify the primary source (Snow) and then write "as cited in" the secondary source (Brown). If you know the year of the publication of the primary source, include it in the in-text citation. Otherwise, you can omit it. See below for examples.

Examples of in-text citations:

According to a study by Snow (1982, as cited in Brown, 2014), 75% of students believe that teachers should not assign nightly homework.

Note: If you don't have the publication date of Snow's article, you just omit it like this:
According to a study by Snow (as cited in Brown, 2014), 75% of students believe that teachers should not assign nightly homework.

In fact, 75% of students believe that teachers should not assign nightly homework (Snow, 1982, as cited in Brown, 2014).

Snow (1982, as cited in Brown, 2014) concluded that "nightly homework is a great stressor for many students" (p.34).


Example of Reference list citation:

Brown, S. (2014). Trends in homework assignments. Journal of Secondary Studies12(3), 29-38.

FAQ: How do I cite more than one source in one in-text citation

If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon. List the sources alphabetically by author's last name or first word used from the title if no author is given, in the same order they would appear on the References List.


(Bennett, 2015; Smith, 2014). 

(Brock, 2016; "It Takes Two,"  2015).

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