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Documenting APA Within the Text

The APA’s in-text citations identify a source by a name (usually an author name) and a year (for print sources, usually the copyright year). You can often incorporate the relevant name, and sometimes the year, into your sentence. Otherwise, put this information into parentheses.

If you refer to a work more than once in a paragraph, give the author name and date at first mention and then give only the name after that. The exception is when you have more than one work by the same author.

Citations of Paraphrases

Author Named in a Signal Phrase

You can introduce the material being cited with a signal phrase that includes the author’s name. The signal phrase allows you to:

  • Prepare readers for the source
  • Keep the parenthetical citation brief

Example

Desmond Morris (1977) notes that people from the Mediterranean prefer an elbow-to-shoulder distance from each other.

Author Not Named in a Signal Phrase

Put the name of the author and date of publication whenever you paraphrase material.

Note that you have to cite the source here even though you are not using a direct quote.

Example

People from the Mediterranean prefer an elbow-to-shoulder distance from each other (Morris, 1977).

Citations of Direct Quotations

In APA, the citation of a direct quote not only includes the author and date, but also the page reference.

Author Named in a Signal Phrase

Put the name, date, and the page reference in parentheses immediately following the quotation.

Example

A recent report of reductions in SAD-related “depression in 87 percent of patients” (Binkley, 1990, p. 203) reverses the findings of earlier studies.

Author Not Named in a Signal Phrase

When the author’s name will be incorporated into the words introducing the quotation, the date is placed immediately after the author’s name. The page number will be in parentheses immediately following the quotation.

Example

Binkley (1990) reports reductions in SAD-related “depression in 87 percent of patients” (p. 203).

Other Citations

Quotation Forty Words or Longer

Long quotations are block indented ten spaces; quotation marks are omitted; no period is used after the citation.

Example

Jet lag is a common problem among those who travel great distances by jet airplane to different time zones:

Jet lag syndrome is the inability of the internal body rhythm to rapidly resynchronize after sudden shifts in the timing. For a variety of reasons, the system attempts to maintain stability and resist temporal change. (Bonner, 1991, p. 72)

Citation of a Work Discussed in a Secondary Source

If you mention the secondary source in the text, put “as cited in” followed by the primary source. If you do not mention the secondary source in the text, put the secondary source author(s) followed by “as cited in” and then list the primary source.

Example

In the Smith (as cited in Miller, 1996) study, the researcher discovered some positive evidence.

The second passage was a 161-word poem by Richard Eberhart titled “Seals, Terns, Time” (as cited in Brown & Milstead, 1975).

Additional Studies

In APA, you can list relevant studies even if you do not discuss them. By including these studies in your text, you allow the reader to find other studies if they need more information.

To list these studies, put e.g., followed by the studies listed alphabetically by author’s last name.

Example

A growing body of research had indicated that variations of electrical activity from the brain can be used to identify a person’s manner of processing information (e.g., Davidson & Schwartz, 1977; Doktor & Bloom, 1977).

The information written on this page has been excerpted from the handbooks:
Hacker, D.
A Writer’s Reference. (2003). (5th ed.). Boston: St. Martin's.
American Psychological Association. (2001).
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Troyoka, L. Q.
Quick Access: Reference for Writers. (1998). (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River.
Updated January 28, 2005 by Renee Brown
 

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