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APA 7 Citation Style: In-Text Citations

Students' guide to APA 7

APA In-text Citations

APA In-Text Citations

When writing an APA paper you use two types of citations: 

  1. in-text (or parenthetical) citation
  2. References page citation. 

These citations are directly linked.  Any in-text citation should reflect a citation in your References page at the end of your APA paper.

 

The in-text citation is a brief reference to your source which then leads your reader to your References page for the full citation. 


In APA, an in-text citation has at least two elements, but sometimes three.

 

When using a direct quote, the in-text citation includes the author(s) last name(s), the year of publication, and the page number. 

 

When paraphrasing or summarizing, the in-text citation includes the author(s) last name(s) and the year of publication.

 

For example, if you have within your paper something like this:

"Our students' sense of self is shaped by many factors" (Varner, 2018, p. 75).

Someone reading your paper would know that if they turned to your References page and looked alphabetically for Varner, they would find the complete citation for the reference and if they looked up that source, the quote would be on page 75.

 

This same information could be written in a couple of different ways.  For example:

According to Varner (2018), "our students' sense of self is shaped by many factors" (p. 75). 

 

Or you could paraphrase the information:

There are numerous causes that contribute to a student's sense of self (Varner, 2018).

 

Paraphrasing could also look like this: 

Varner (2018) noted that there are numerous causes that contribute to a student's sense of self.

 

The same is true for summarizing

According to Varner (2018), students' sense of self has many causes.

Or

Students' sense of self has many causes (Varner, 2018). 

 

When writing papers for college, you should use signal phrases to indicate that you are about to use a source.  In APA, these signal phrases are in the past tense.  For examples of how signal phrases are use and a list of signal phrases for APA, check out this resource: Verbs Used in APA Style Signal Phrases.


What is important to know is that whether you are directly quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing a source, you must include the in-text citation.  If you don't, then you are actually plagiarizing. 

 

To see in-text citations for various types of sources, please see the WCCC APA 7 Citation Style Guide

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Washington, New Jersey 07882
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