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APA Citation Guide: (Previous/6th Edition): In-Text Citations

Citing Sources in Text

Citing sources in text can be one of the most confusing aspects of citation. Basically, anything that you didn't know before starting your research needs to be cited. But you don't want your paper to be just a collection of other peoples' words. You want your paper to be in your own words as much as possible--your voice is the most important one! Only use direct quotes when there is no other way for you to state that idea any better. Here are some examples of how to cite sources in the text of your paper. For more information, see this guide from the APA Style Blog. 

Need help determining when to quote, paraphrase, and summarize? Watch the video at the bottom of this page.

Guide to In-Text Citation



Whenever you include ideas that were not originally your own, even if you do not quote your source directly, you need to include the proper citation within the text. Some examples are included below: 

Example: Sipher (2005) concludes his essay by insisting that schools have failed to fulfill their primary duty of education because they try to fill multiple social functions.

Example: Some scholars believe that schools have failed to fulfill their primary duty of education because they try to fill multiple social functions (Sipher, 2005).

Note: You do not have to include page numbers in paraphrases. Include them only when you feel it would help the reader find the information (if it's coming from a very long work, for example). 

Short Quotations

When a direct quotation is used, always include the author, year and page number as part of the citation.  A quotation of fewer than 40 words should be enclosed in double quotation marks and should be incorporated into the formal structure of the sentence. Parenthetical citation before punctuation mark.

Example: Patients who prayed had "less congestive heart failure, required less diuretic and antibiotic therapy, had fewer episodes of pneumonia, had fewer cardiac arrests, and were less frequently intubated and ventilated" (Byrd, 1988, p. 829).

Long Quotations (block quotes)

Place direct quotations longer than 40 words in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit quotation marks.  Start the quotation on a new line, indented five spaces from the left margin.  Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation five spaces from the new margin.  Maintain double-spacing througout.  The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.


Jones' 1993 study found the following:

The "placebo effect," which had been verified in previous studies, disappeared when behaviors were studies in this manner.  Furthermore, the behaviors were never exhibited again [italics added], even when reel [sic] drugs were administered.  Earlier studies were clearly premature in attributing the results to a placebo effect. (p.199)

Indirect Quotes

When reading an article or book, you will see where the author has quoted someone else's work. Whenever possible, you want to find the original text and cite it in order to make sure that the text has been quoted correctly. However, in some cases this is not possible. If you cannot track down or get access to the original work, then you may use an indirect quote. You would include the secondary source, rather than the original, in your list of references.

Quote from Jones (2005): Sipher (1993) states, "schools have failed their primary duty of education."

Indirect Quote: According to Sipher (1993), "schools have failed their primary duty of education" (as cited in Jones, 2005, p.54). 

Indirect Quote: Some scholars believe that "schools have failed their primary duty of education" (Sipher, 1993, as cited in Jones, 2005, p.54). 

Using Quotations, Paraphrases, and Summaries

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