Skip to main content

APA Style Examples: In text

Find how to cite a web page, journal, book, eBook, textbook, magazine, newspaper, video, DVD, TV show, Twitter, Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, or blog post. Find how to format in-text/parenthetical citations, papers or title pages and cite when no author.

In text/parenthetical

One author:

  • Web Usability Studies are commonly conducted in libraries (Mardis, 2014).

Two authors (cite both author names in every reference):

  • Other authors also agreed that libraries should adapt rapidly to change (Mardis & Johnson, 2014).

Three or more authors (include the name of only the first author plus "et al." in every citation, including the first citation, unless ambiguity is created):

  • This is an important issue highlighted by additional authors (Baudino et al., 2020).

If ambiguity occurs when citation is shortened to first author, write as many names are needed to distinguish references and abbreviate the rest to "et al.":

  • (Mardis, Baudino, Sweet, et al., 2019). 
  • (Mardis, Baudino, Munson, et al., 2019). 

If both authors have the same surname, include the first author's initials in all text citations, even if the year of publication differs (p. 267, section 8.20):

  • (J. Smith & Taggert, 2018; T. A. Smith, 2016).

If both authors have the same surname and first initial, provide the authors' full name:

  • (Lori Mardis, 2015).

 

 

One author:

  • In 2015, Mardis has noted that Web Usability Studies are commonly conducted in libraries (p. 5).
  • Mardis has noted that Web Usability Studies are commonly conducted in libraries (2015, p. 5).
  • Mardis (2015) has noted that Web Usability Studies are commonly conducted in libraries (p. 5).

Two authors:

  • Mardis and Johnson argue that libraries should adapt rapidly to change (2014, para. 5)

 

Three or more authors (include the name of only the first author plus "et al." in every citation, including the first citation, unless ambiguity is created):

  • This is an important issue highlighted by Baudino et al. (2020).

If ambiguity occurs when citation is shortened to first author, write as many names are needed to distinguish references and abbreviate the rest to "et al.":

  • Mardis, Baudino, Sweet, et al. (2019) state that libraries should create learning commons. 
  • Mardis, Baudino, Munson, et al. (2019) provide examples of maker spaces incorporated into libraries. 
  • An abbreviation of a group author can sometimes be used in-text if the abbreviation is well-known, will avoid repetition, or will appear 3+ times in a paper.
    • Provide the full name the first time the group author is referenced
      • The Modern Language Association (MLA, 2019) states . . . 
      • (Modern Language Association [MLA], 2019)
  • Do not abbreviate group author name in the reference list
  • When there is no author, the title moves to the first position of the references entry.
  • Long titles can be shortened for in-text citations.
  • If the title of the work is italicized in the reference, also italicize the title in the in-text citation. If it is not italicized in the reference list, surround the title in double quotation marks within the in-text citation.  Capitalize the titles in the text using title case (sentence case in reference list).  
    • Book with no author: (Management by Proxy, 2019).
    • Magazine article with no author: ("Diabetes and You," 2020).

Example:

All 33 Chile miners freed in flawless rescue. (2010, October 13). Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39625809/ns/world_news-americas/  

  • To cite in text use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title or abbreviated title.

      IN TEXT

      ("All 33 Chile Miners," 2010).

When citing a specific part of a source, list the author, date, plus information for the specific part (pages, paragraphs, sections, tables, figures, footnotes, webpage, time stamps, slide numbers).  

For example:

  • (Council on Environmental Quality, 2019, p. 5).
  • (Johnson, 2017, pp. 5-18). 
  • (Mardis, 2018, Chapter 5).
  • (Duncan, 2020, Slide 8).
  • (Young, 2017, Table 3).
  • (Howel, 2020, paras. 3-4).

When multiple studies are relevant to your argument, place the citations in alphabetical order and separate with semicolons within parentheses. In running text, address studies in whatever order is wished. 

  • Fluency studies for third grade students have produced mixed results (Baudino & Wyatt, 2013; Brady, 2010; Mardis, Drew, & Johnson, 2012).
  • Mardis, Drew, and Johnson (2012) reported an increase in fluency among third grade students, while Brady (2010) reported a decrease. Baudino and Wyatt (2013) found no significant differences in reading fluency. 

Arrange two or more works by the same authors in chronological order (place citations with no dates first) with the authors' surnames listed once.

  • (Department of Motor Vehicles, n.d., 2016a, 2016b, 2018).

To signify the source(s) that are most relevant to your point, place those citations first within parentheses listed alphabetically and then insert a semicolon and a phrase (i.e., "see also") before the remaining citations that are listed in alphabetical order.  This highlights for the reader the most recent and/or important research on the topic.  

  • (Mardis & Drew, 2020; see also Albright, 2017; Johnson et al., 2018; Zork, 2016).
Loading ...

Note

Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed., for more examples of citing references in text (Chapter 8, pages 253-278).

[ B. D. Owens Library ] B.D. Owens Library | 800 University Dr. Maryville, MO 64468 | 660.562.1193 [ Twitter ] [ Facebook ] [ Instagram ] [ Spotify ] [ Pinterest ]