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APA Style Guide - 7th edition

A guide to APA style

Rules and Variations

Almost every work cited in a paper has two parts:  an in-text citation and a corresponding reference.

  • The in-text citation leads the reader to the full citation in the References list so that the reader can identify and retrieve the work.
  • In-text citations always include author and date and sometimes include page numbers (see Paraphrasing, Short and Long Quotations).   
  • In-text citations contain author's last names, but not initials. 

Basic In-Text Citation Styles:

Author type Parenthetical citation Narrative citation
One author (Sheetz, 2017) Sheetz (2017)
Two authors (Blanford & Morrison, 2019) Blanford and Morrison (2019)
Three or more authors (Miller et al., 2020) Miller et al. (2020)
Group Author (Harvard University, 2020) Harvard University (2020)


⇒ Parenthetical citation: 

  • The escape rooms enhance the critical thinking skills highlighted in the curriculum (Mayer & Toates, 2016)

⇒ Narrative citation: 

  • Mayer and Toates (2016) use escape rooms to...

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your text.)

Scroll through the subsequent tabs, above, for variations of in-text citations.  

For more details see pages 261–269 in the APA Manual.

Paraphrasing, putting another writer's ideas into your own words, is generally preferred to direct quotes.  

  • Although it is not required to provide page(s) or paragraph numbers in the in-text citation when paraphrasing, you may include them when it would help readers find the material in longer works (e.g., a book).


The American Psychological Association (2020) states that in-text citations must accompany an entry in the

References list (pp. 261–263).

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your text.)

  • A long paraphrase could continue for several sentences. Cite the work being paraphrased on first mention. Once the work has been cited, it is not necessary to repeat the citation as long as it is clear that the same work continues to be paraphrased, e.g., all one paragraph.  
  • If the paraphrase continues into a new paragraph, reintroduce the citation. 

For more details see pages 269–270 in the APA Manual.

For direct quotations shorter than 40 words

  • always include the author, year and page number,
  • enclose in double quotation marks, 
  • incorporate the quotation into the text,
  • put the punctuation mark after the parenthetical citation. 


Patients 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).

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your text.)

For more details see pages 270–272 in the APA Manual.

For direct quotations 40 words and longer 

  • type in a a free-standing block of typewritten lines,
  • omit quotation marks,
  • start the quotation on a new line, indented five spaces from the left margin,
  • type the entire quotation with the new margin,
  • indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation five spaces from the new margin, 
  • maintain double-spacing throughout, including before and after the block quote,
  • put the parenthetical citation after closing punctuation mark.


Jones' 1993 study found the following:

The "placebo effect," which had been verified in previous studies, disappeared when behaviors were studied 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)

(Hint:  Do not use highlighting in your text.)

For more details see pages 272–273 in the APA Manual.

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