Tips

 APA uses the author-date system for in-text citations.

You can cite at the end of the sentence (known as a parenthetical citation) OR within the sentence (known as a narrative citation).

For a parenthetical citation, you put the author last name and the publication year in parentheses with a comma in between; for example

In a recent survey, 42% of teachers in high-poverty schools indicated they avoid assigning homework that requires internet access (Klein, 2019).

For a narrative citation, you only need to put the publication year in parentheses after the author last name; for example:

According to Klein (2019), in a recent survey 42% of teachers in high-poverty schools indicated that they avoid assigning homework that requires internet access.

These citations are based on this reference list entry:

Klein, A. (2019, September 25). Lack of internet access hamstrings homework efforts; "The homework gap: Teacher perspectives on digital divides". Education Week39(06), 6.

One Author

For one author, cite last name and date.

Parenthetical citation example:

In an oligarchy, Plato says that citizens value money the most and laws are designed to benefit the wealthy (Bauman, 2018).

Narrative citation example:

Bauman (2018) goes on to say Plato taught that in an oligarchy citizens value money the most, and laws are designed to benefit the wealthy.

Based on this reference list entry:

Bauman, D. C. (2018). Plato on virtuous leadership: An ancient model for modern business. Business Ethics Quarterly28(3), 251–274. https://doi-org.libdb.dccc.edu/10.1017/beq.2017.31

Two Authors; Page Number

Cite both names every time used; note that for a parenthetical citation a "&" is used between names, and for a narrative citation, "and" is used.

For a single page, use "p. #"; for a range of pages use "pp. #-#".

Parenthetical citation example:

The benefits of spending time in nature include better concentration and reduced stress (Rakow & Eells, 2019, p. 18).

Narrative citation example:

Rakow and Eells (2019, p. 18) state that better concentration and reduced stress are some of the benefits of spending time in nature.

Based on this reference list entry:

Rakow, D. A., & Eells, G. T. (2019). Nature rx: Improving college-student mental health. Cornell University Press.

More Than Two Authors

Cite the first author followed by "et al." every time used.

Parenthetical citation example

In a recent article, it was stated that “SNAP improves food security, reduces poverty, and is associated with improved health for millions of Americans” (Keith-Jennings et al., 2019).

Narrative citation example:

Keith-Jennings et al. (2019) states that “SNAP improves food security, reduces poverty, and is associated with improved health for millions of Americans.”

Based on this reference list entry:

Keith-Jennings, B., Llobrera, J., & Dean, S. (2019). Links of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with food insecurity, poverty, and health: Evidence and potential. American Journal of Public Health109(12), 1636–1640. https://doi-org.libdb.dccc.edu/10.2105/AJPH.2019.305325

Group Author; No Date

Cite group author and date; for subsequent citations group author name may be abbreviated if appropriate.

Parenthetical citation example:

About 10%-20% of known pregnancies end in a miscarriage before the 12th week of pregnancy (Mayo Clinic, n.d.).

Narrative citation example:

Before the 12th week, 10%-20% of known pregnancies end in a miscarriage the Mayo Clinic (n.d.) states.

Based on this reference list entry:

Mayo Clinic. (n.d.) Miscarriage. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354304

No Author

Use the title of the work when no author is indicated; long titles may be shortened. If a title is not italicized enclose in double quotation marks and capitalize the main words. Titles italicized in the reference should be italicized here and main words should be capitalized.

Parenthetical citation example:

A 2018 study indicated that without adequate magnesium levels, vitamin D supplements may possibly lead to vascular calcification (“Low Magnesium,” 2018).

Narrative citation example:

The study “Low Magnesium Levels Make Vitamin D Ineffective” (2018) found that without adequate magnesium levels, vitamin D supplements may possibly lead to vascular calcification.

Based on this reference list entry:

Low magnesium levels make vitamin D ineffective: Up to 50 percent of US population is magnesium deficient. (2018, February 26). ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180226122548.htm

Direct Quotes - Page #(s) Available

In-text citations follow both short and long quotations immediately; page number(s) are also included.

For a short quote (less than 40 words):

 Spalding told the author that "he was a 'born' actor - that, in a sense, his whole life was 'acting'" (Sacks, 2019, p. 116).

For a long (block) quote (40 words or more):

In these performances, the comedies and mishaps of his life - the often absurd situations he found himself in - were raised to an extraordinary dramatic and narrative intensity. When I inquired about this, Spalding told me that he was a “born” actor - that, in a sense, his whole life was “acting.” He wondered sometimes if he did not create crises just for material - an ambiguity that worried him. (Sacks, 2019, p. 116)

These quotes are based on this reference list entry - note that page numbers are not included here:

Sacks, Oliver. (2019). Everything in Its Place : First Loves and Last Tales. Vintage.

Direct Quotes - No Page #(s) Available

When page number(s) are not available, other means to efficiently lead readers to the quoted text are utilized. Paragraph numbers or section names are two commonly used means.

For instance, here is an example where paragraphs were counted and used in place of page number(s):

The lighthouse example was original [sic] used by economists as an example of a situation where government provision of a good was necessary, because lighthouses could not easily impose charges on ships passing at sea, and so a private firm could not earn a profit by investing to build a lighthouse (Taylor, 2020, para. 2).

Based on this reference list entry:

Taylor, T. (2020, July 24). An update concerning the economics of lighthouses. Conversable Economist. https://conversableeconomist.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2020-07-28T15:33:00-05:00&max-results=7

Here is an example where a section name is used in place of page number(s):

We in this country are like homeowners who inherited a house on a piece of land that is beautiful on the outside but whose soil is unstable loam and rock, heaving and contracting over generations, cracks patched but the deeper ruptures waved away for decades, centuries even (Wilkerson 2020, "An Old House and an Infrared Light" section).

Based on this reference list entry:

Wilkerson, I. (2020, July 1). America's enduring caste system. The New York Times Magazine. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/magazine/isabel-wilkerson-caste.html

Specific Parts of a Source

To cite a specific part of a source, such as a table or a photograph, create a reference list entry for the entire work:

Na, A., Richburg, K., & Gugala, Z. (2020). Clinical considerations for return to driving a car following a total knee or hip arthroplasty: A systematic review. BioMed Research International 2020, 1–10. https://doi-org.libdb.dccc.edu/10.1155/2020/8921892

Then specify the part in the in-text citation; for example, here's the parenthetical citation for a table from the above reference list entry:

(Na, 2020, Table 6)

Please note that the description of the specific part (in the above example, "Table") is not always standardized. Therefore, research paper writers should try to be as consistent as possible when using descriptions they have created.