Citing References In-Text: APA Style

Aside from the list of references at the end of a paper, the APA style also concerns citations within the actual text. APA stands for American Psychological Association, which provided a set of standards for writing down references in research papers, journals, and similar articles.

An Introduction

Written works that utilize the APA style have a content that is characterized by double spacing between every line. Be sure that all pages are standard-sized, or 8.5″x11″ to be exact. The margins for all sides of a page should span one inch (1″). The majority of works in the APA style come in the Times New Roman font that is sized 12.

Aside from theses and journals, academic papers that do not involve research, such as essays, might also require a format in this style.

A Guide to Citation

Citations make sure that researchers and students do not simply take the original statement from another person or research work as their own. These can be identified as quoted, sometimes paraphrased, ideas that convey information or opinion. You can find in-text citations within sentences, and paragraphs may contain a number of these.

Learn various approaches of in-text citation in the APA style through this comprehensive guide.

If a Reference Involves Just One Author

First, write down the author’s last name. This is followed by a comma, and then the year when the resource material by the author, such as a textbook, was published. While both last name and date are often enclosed in parentheses (), in some cases only the date is enclosed. For more accuracy, you may add the page number where the statement can be found in your reference.

Examples: (Zhang, 2003); according to Kaplan (1996); (Tomlinson, 1997, p.314)

If a Reference Mentions Several Authors

Numerous published works that are worthy of citation involve two or more authors. It is important to recognize the contributions of every author with respect.

In the APA style, the last names of two authors within the parentheses should be joined with an ampersand (&). As this is a citation, refrain from using “and”; this is more appropriate in the actual text of formal writing. After citing the last names, place a comma and follow it with the year of publication.

In case that you need to cite three authors, separate the first two last names with a comma. Place a comma and then an ampersand (&) between the second last name and the third last name. Put a comma after the third last name before citing the year of publication.

The use of ampersand (&) still applies in citations that involve four or five authors. When you need to cite six authors, begin by writing the last name of the first author. After that, write “et al” that is followed by a period and a comma. Based from Latin, the phrase “et al” means “and others” in layman’s terms. After the comma, indicate the year of publication and enclose them all in parentheses.

Feel free to add the reference’s page number if you want to.

Examples: (Schmidt & Bjørnstad, 2005); (Kozlovsky, Makarov, & Darin, 1989, p. 762); (MacNally et al., 2001)

If a Reference Involves Organizations such as Government Agencies

You might obtain references from organizations rather than from individuals. This includes a publication that is authored by a particular organization, such as a government agency. Just write the organization’s name, followed by a comma and the year of publication.

If you would mention an organization continuously in your work, you may use its acronym after stating its whole name at the beginning.

Examples: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003); later on: (CDC, 2003)

If a Reference Lacks an Author

When you encounter a reference that does not come with an author, simply indicate the reference material’s title or write the first word or two. Longer works should be italicized or underlined; on the other hand, shorter works are written between quotation marks.

Examples: (Microbiology Fundamentals, 1999); (“Sub-Saharan Civilization”, 1991)

Nowadays, citation in the APA style is used widely in research and the academic setting. Furthermore, this style classifies a research paper into four main parts: the Title Page, the Abstract, the Body, and the References.

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