Skip to main content

APA Style: In-Text Citations

Links to helpful websites, citation examples, and personal assistance using the style guide of the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • URL:

Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing in APA

APA style uses a parenthetical, author-date format for in-text citations. After a quotation or reference, add parentheses containing the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number of the work being cited. Use a single "p." for one-page, and a "pp." for multi-page quotations.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, p. 7).

If you use more than one work by the same author published in the same year, use the letters a, b, etc., after the year.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007a, p. 7).

If a reference list includes more than one author with the same last name, add the first initials to in-text citations.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss, 2007, p. 7).

If two or more authors wrote the work, see the "Basic APA Citations" table below.

If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.

Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss (2007) observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (pp. 7-8).

If no author name is available, use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use quotation marks around titles of articles or web pages and italicize titles of books, periodicals, or reports. Treat in-text citations to legal materials such as court cases, statutes, and legislation the same as works with no author.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Fox in Socks, 2007).

If no page numbers are available, as is the case with some electronic journals, paragraph numbers and/or headings should be referenced.

Example: Smith and Jackson (2012) found that no significant effects resulted from their planned intervention (Discussion section, para. 5).

For additional examples, see pages 92 and 170-177 in the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (2010).

Webpage with no author

Cite in text the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the webpage's title) and the year it was published online. Use double quotation marks around the title or abbreviated title, like this example:   ("All 33 Chile Miners," 2010).

Emails, Interviews, and Other Personal Communications in APA

According to 6.20 ("Personal Communications") of the APA Style Manual:

"Personal communications may be private letters, memos, some electronic communications (e.g. email or messages from nonarchived discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards), personal interviews, telephone conversations, and the like.  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. Jones (personal communication, April 18, 2001)
(J. A. Smith, personal communication, September 25, 1999)

Interviews which have been recorded and are available in an archive, or which have been transcribed and published should be cited in a reference list according to 7.10 ("Archival Documents and Collections") of the APA Style Manual.

Basic APA Citations

Type of Citation First Citation in Text Subsequent Citations in Text Parenthetical Format, First Citation in Text Parenthetical Format, Subsequent Citations in Text
One work by one author Walker (2007) Walker (2007) (Walker, 2007) (Walker, 2007)
One work by two authors Walker and Allen (2004) Walker and Allen (2004) (Walker & Allen, 2004) (Walker & Allen, 2004)
One work by three to five authors Bradley, Ramirez, and Soo (1999) Bradley et al. (1999) (Bradley, Ramirez, & Soo, 1999) (Bradley et al., 1999)
One work by six or more authors Wasserstein et al. (2005) Wasserstein et al. (2005) (Wasserstein et al., 2005) (Wasserstein et al., 2005)
Groups as authors (readily identified through abbreviation) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003) NIMH (2003) (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003) (NIMH, 2003)
Groups as authors (no abbreviation) University of Pittsburgh (2005) University of Pittsburgh (2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005)

Source: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: Author.

Ask a Librarian


These APA examples were originally created by Scott Pfitzinger, Information Commons & Technology Librarian at Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, and adapted with permission by Jon Ritterbush, E-Resources and Serials Librarian at University of Nebraska-Kearney. Other users of LibGuides are welcome to use this Guide as a template and to make changes as necessary to fit their custom needs.