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APA Style

In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations

APA Style requires that you cite an author within the body of your paper in addition to having a full citation on the references page. You can directly quote an author or paraphrase an author. These are just a few examples of how to cite sources within your paper. 

  • In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a comma and the publication year enclosed in parentheses: (Jones, 2015).
  • If you are quoting directly the page number should be included, if given. If you are paraphrasing the page number is not required.
  • If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the title, such as italics: (Concessions, 2010).

Direct Quoting

You can directly quote from an author as long as you include the author's name, the year the book/article was published, and the page number of the quotation.

Here is an example:

 “Just as in direct service, administrative, or community organizing practice, we become effective policy advocates only as we learn key concepts and develop pivotal skills” (Jansson, 1999, p. 19).


Make sure that Jansson's work is fully cited in your references page.


Writing an author's words in your own words is perfectly acceptable as long as you acknowledge the original author.

Here is an example of a citation with a single author:

Policy advocates need to have a clear idea as to what kind of changes they would like to see in a specific agency, community, or within society as a whole (Jannsen, 1999).

Remember to provide a full citation of the author's work on your references page.

Here is an example of a citation with two authors:

Social work is a profession with a dual focus (Popple & Leighninger, 2011).

Signal Phrase

Signal Phrase

If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the date after the name and the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation or paraphrased section. For example:

Hunt (2011) explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (p. 358).

Citing a Citation or Quoting a Quote

Sometimes you may use information cited in another source. For example, you may want to use information that the author "Smith" cited from the author "Jackson." There are two possible ways of handling it. You can:

  1. Find the article written by "Jackson" and cite directly from that author.
  2. Name "Jackson" as a source in your paraphrase, but only cite "Smith" in the references page.

Here is an example:

Jackson's study (as cited in Smith, 2009) suggests....

You would only need to cite "Smith" in your references page, since this is the author you have read.

What about Websites?

Citing a website within text can be tricky because a website may not have a traditional page number, author, or year. In this scenario, you can do the following:

  • If you can not determine the author or organization, use a short version of the title of the page.
  • If there is no date, use the abbreviation "nd."
  • In place of a page number, give a name of the section of the website, and a paragraph number.

Here is an example:

(What's new, n.d, para 2).