Learn how to cite references in the text, including how to implement the basic in-text citation formats, cite multiple works, achieve clarity, and format in-text citations with missing author and/or date information.
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Narrative: Follow the author-date method of an in-text citation when using APA Style. For a narrative citation, which is when you refer to the author(s) within the sentence, use author (year).
Parenthetical: For a parenthetical citation, which is when you refer to the author(s) after the idea is presented, use (author, year).
Two authors: Use both authors in-text with "and" between them and use both authors parenthetically with an ampersand "&" between them.
Three or more authors: Use the first author's name followed by et al. in-text and parenthetically.
Unknown author: If the work does not have an author, cite the source by its title in the signal phrase or use the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks.
Organization or Group author (i.e., Staff Writer): If the author is writing on behalf of an organization or a government agency, mention the organization in-text and parenthetically the first time you cite the source. If the organization has a well-known abbreviation, include the abbreviation in brackets the first time the source is cited and then use only the abbreviation in later citations.
Two or more works in the same parenthesis: When your parenthetical citation includes two or more works, order them alphabetically separated by a semi-colon.
Authors with the same last name: To prevent confusion in a parenthetical citation, use first initials when citing two authors with the same last name (alphabetize by the first initial).
Indirect or Secondary sources: Make sure you are always citing the author(s) whose work you are reading. If those authors cite a source, then that is an indirect source and would be cited as follows:
If you are referring to an idea from another work but you are paraphrasing or summarizing and not directly quoting the material, then you do not need to use the page number in your in-text citation.
Citing Long Paraphrases: A paraphrase may continue for several sentences in a paragraph. After citing the resource it is not necessary to repeat the citation if it is clear the information is from the same source.