Skip to Main Content

APA Style

In-Text Citations

Citing works allows you to give credit to individuals whose ideas, theories and research have directly influenced your work and provides documentation for any facts and figures you have used.

There are two main ways of citing work in your paper:

Direct quotation: reproducing the words exactly as they appear in the original text.

Paraphrasing: rewriting the original information in your own words.

The APA style guide recommends that it is better to paraphrase as it allows you to summarize information from one or more sources and more effectively integrate this material into your own paper or argument. Direct quotations should be used for reproducing an exact definition or when you want to respond to the exact wording of an authors work.

Note: some instructors or assignment guidelines may place limits on the number of direct quotations you may use in a paper. You should consult with your instructor if you are unsure of these limitations.

Narrative citations

Narrative citations incorporate the authors name directly into the text as part of the sentence. The publication date is included in parentheses after the authors name.

Note: When paraphrasing an authors work you do not need to cite a page number, however, you may use one when it would help a reader locate relevant passages in longer works. Direct quotations should include the page number.

Paraphrasing example:

Vassilopoulos (2004) showed that anticipatory processing before social interactions was specific to individuals with high levels of social anxiety, even when controlling for general negative affect.

Direct quotation example:

Lepore (2014) notes that "Marston later came to believe that there is no better form of psychological propaganda than a comic book" (p. 37).

Parenthetical Citations

Parenthetical citations are placed at the end of a sentence and include both the author's name and publication date in parentheses. For direct quotations you should include the page number. For paraphrased citations it is not required to include page numbers but you may opt to if it would help the reader locate the relevant passage in longer works.

Paraphrasing example:

Individuals often suffer from debilitating anticipatory anxiety about future stressful experiences (Vassilopoulos, 2004).

Direct quotation example:

"Marston later came to believe that there is no better form of psychological propaganda than a comic book" (Lepore, 2014, p. 37).

Long Quotations

For a quotation that is 40 words or more, leave out quotation marks, start the quote on a new line that is indented half an inch from the left margin. Double space the entire quotation.

Block Quote Double-Spaced

No Author

No Author

If there is no author mentioned (very common with websites) use a shortened version of the title. If you are using the title of an article/page from a website, put the title in quotes. If you are citing a book, put the title in italics. If there is a date, include it.

Article/Page from Website Examples:

Many fish populations are declining due to contemporary methods of fishing and farming ("Sushi Consumer Guide," 2017).

Book example:

"St. Francis College has a proud heritage of preparing students to take their places as leaders in their fields" (The Cord, 2016).

Different Authors, Same Name

Different Authors, Same Last Name

Provide each author's first initial. If they share the same first initial, provide the full first name.

In the play, Death of a Salesman, a character declares "Not finding yourself at the age of thirty-four is a disgrace!" (A. Miller, 1949, p. 16), but only a decade later members of the counterculture movement of the 1960s would reject this notion of a "life oriented toward work, status, and power" (T. Miller, 2012, p. 124).

Same Author, Two Different Works

Same Author, Two Different Books

If you have two different books by the same author, published in the same year, assign lower case letters (a, b, c) to the year.  Match the letters to the order in which the books appear in your works cited page.

Research by Berndt (1981a) illustrated that...

The Bible

The BibleYou do not need to list classical religious texts like the Bible in your works cited page but you must include an in-text citation when you quote from it.

Include the book of the bible, the chapter and verse and the name of the edition. 

During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said "blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them" (Matt. 5:5 New Jerusalem Bible).


eBookSince the page number of many ebooks are not consistent (i.e. they change depending on the device and font settings) you should not use page numbers for in-text citations. You can omit this information or use paragraph numbers if possible.

Winters describes the a summer thunderstorm noting how "the first drops strike their light civic stripes on the pavement" (para. 2).