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Citing Sources

In-text Citations

The information provided in this guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed. 1st printing) and the APA website


This guide explains how to use in-text APA style citations and references, why we use them, and how you can learn to use them for your courses. Not citing the source of information is plagiarism and falls under academic dishonesty penalties for your course and the college.

Note: Your instructor might have specific requirements that vary from this, so always pay attention to your instructor’s directions.


In-text Citation Examples

In-text citations are often in parenthesis or integrated into a sentence. They are used when you use a resource in your writing, either via direct quote or paraphrase. They include authors’ names, the year of publications, and when directly quoting text, and a page number. Look at the following examples:

Citation at end of sentence

Falsely balanced news coverage can distort the public perception of expert consensus on an issue (Koehler, 2016).

Citations within the text of the sentence

Koehler (2016) noted the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage.

Quoted citation at end of sentence

Effective teams can be difficult to describe because “high performance along one domain does not translate to high performance along another” (Ervin et al., 2018, p. 470).

Quoted citation within the text of sentence

Webster and Stratton (2016) described a case example of “a 4-year old girl who showed an insecure attachment to her mother, in working with the family dyad, the therapist focused on increasing the mother empathy for her child” (pp.152-153).

Note: the differences in the use of “and” versus “&,” where the parenthesis is located, and how the citations is integrated into each sentence.


Citations by author number

The number of authors included in the citation varies based upon the numbers of authors in the resource.

One author

When there is a single author, use that author for every citation (Jones, 2019).

Two authors

When there are 2 authors, use both authors for every citation (Jones & Smith, 2019).

Three or more authors

When there are 3 or more authors, use the first author followed by et al. for all citations (Baker et al., 2020).


When and where do I use in-text citations?

  • We generally cite each sentence that has information from a source within it (not merely the end of a paragraph).
  • In APA writing there is often more than one source cited within a single paragraph, so it is important to indicate what information comes from each source.
  • All cited sources then need to be referenced at the end of the assignment (see below) 



References refer to the list at the end of an article, assignment, book, or book chapter that indicates the complete information for the resources that were cited in the writing of that item. This information includes the author(s), the date, the source, etc. Normally references are on a separate page from the main portion of the written material.

  • Keep in mind that the reference format varies depending on the source you are using. • Each individual reference is left-aligned on the first line and indented on each subsequent line.
  • References are put on a reference page with the work “References” above the list (centered, normal font: no italic, bold, etc.).
  • In APA style we only include in the references those sources that were actually cited in the assignment.
  • In APA style, references alone are not enough. References merely provide the complete information for the cited sources; therefore, in-text citations are always needed as well.


Where should I go to check my citation format?