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Citing Sources (Citation Styles): In-text Citations

APA Intext Citations

Many Social Science disciplines use APA format for citing sources.  The most recent guide is the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  See our additional page to format in-text or parenthetical citations.  

The following examples of the most commons types of in-text citations are based on the 7th edition (2020) of the APA manual.  For additional examples, consult chapter 8 (starting with section 8.10 on page 261) of the APA Manual or browse the APA Style online guide at  There is a particularly useful chart about in-text citations on page 266.

Single Author
8.10–8.13, 8.23

In-text citation rule:  For paraphrasing and quotations, always include the author's last name and the date published.  Paraphrases do not have to include page numbers (and some instructors may prefer this method, so check with them). However, in the new edition of the APA Manual, they are recommended.

Referring the author in the text: According to Ball (2001), the earth contains many bright colors (p.10).

Author not referred to in the text: The earth contains many bright colors (Ball, 2001, p.10).

Multiple Authors

If a work has only two authors, cite both names each time you reference the material.


According to Bird and Martin (2005), Robert Oppenheimer led a tragic life.

. . . led a tragic life (Bird & Martin, 2005).

If a work has three or more authors, give the name of only the first author followed by "et al." (meaning "and others") unless doing so would create ambiguity.


Johnson et al. (2010) attempted this experiment.

. . . of this experiment (Johnson et al., 2010).

If following the above rule causes ambiguity, such as when the same authors are credited in more than one work published in the same year, include as many authors as necessary to distinguish the sources, as instructed in section 8.18 on page 267.


Howard, Fine, and Besser (2017)
Howard, Fine, and DeRita (2017)

If after giving enough names to differentiate sources, there are two or more additional authors, add "et al.". If there is only one additional author, include the last author's name instead of "et al." EXAMPLES:

Howard, Fine, Besser, et al. (2015)
Howard, Fine, DeRita, et al. (2015)
Howard, Fine, DeRita, and Healy (2015)

Works with no author

For an in-text citation for a source with no identified author, your in-text citation will include the first part of your reference, usually the title.

EXAMPLE (article): When research is completed in a timely manner, student grades are better ("How To Succeed," 2010).

EXAMPLE (book): (Interpersonal Skills, 2019).

Corporate author (easily identified by acronym)


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2007), high cholesterol levels are affecting children as well as adults.

In subsequent in-text citations, you should use NIMH (2003).

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