Skip to Main Content

APA Style (7th edition)

Based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition.

What are In-Text Citations? (Video)

Imagine Easy Solutions. (2014, September 30). What Are In-Text Citations? [Video file]. Retrieved from

The Two Ways We Cite Sources

When using APA citation style, you will be creating two different types of citations in your work. 1) will be your in-text or parenthetical citations which belong within the body of your literature, and 2) is your bibliographic or full-citation which belongs on the final page, which in APA is titled References.

In-text will appear literally, within the text or body of your paper. It is the short version of your full bibliographic citation and is meant to show the reader that the information that they just read was not your original content, that you are attributing it to a source, what that source is and how they may find it at the end in your Works Cited page.

Bibliographic citations are the full citation and appear in your References page in alphabetical order. They help you and the reader organize the information from the original source that you are using for your research. 

In-Text Citations

When you use ideas or quotes from any sources of information, you need to provide an "in-text" citation using parenthesis within your paper.  APA Style uses the "author-date" format for in-text citations (section 8.10).

Your in-text citation should include the following information:

  • Author(s)*
  • Year of publication

*If the author is unknown, then use the title of the work instead.

Different Ways to Create In-Text Citations

You can choose one of two methods (section 8.11):

Narrative Citation: Mention the author(s) as part of your sentence; followed by date in parenthesis. 

Parenthetical Citation: Include the author(s) and the date at the end of the sentence in parenthesis.

When using a specific part of a source such as a direct quote, tables, figures, etc. be sure to provide additional information for the specific part as such the page numbers, table number, section number, etc (section 8.13).

Example: Narrative Citation 

Example: Parenthetical Citation 

Multiple Authors

Multiple Authors

  • For in-text citations, if your source has more than one author or a group/organization author, follow this basic rule outlined in the chart below (section 8.17, table 8.1):

  • Two authors - For parenthetical citation: include both names with an ampersand (&) in between.  For narrative citation, spell out the word "and" in between the author names.

  • Three or more authors - include only the first author's name plus "et al." 

  • For group/organization author - spell out the group/organization name in the first citation with the abbreviated name; use the abbreviated name in subsequent citations.  

Table with examples of authors for in-text citations