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APA Style, 7th edition - Citing Sources

In-Text Citations

  • As you write your paper, you must cite your sources within the text of your paper.  These are called in-text or parenthetical citations.  APA format follows the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author’s last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Smith, 2019), and the reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.  If you are quoting verbatim you must include the page numbers in your in-text citation, such as (Smith, 2019, p. 25-27).  If you are paraphrasing, include the author and date, with no page numbers.  All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper (with the exception of a source that is personal communication).
  • When there is no author, use the title of the article or chapter in place of the author. If the title is long, you can shorten it to the first few words. See p. 264-265, 8.14 Unknown or Anonymous Author, for more information.
  • See the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.), Ch. 8, "Works Credited in the Text," starting on p. 251, for more information.
  • Note: A very useful chart that summarizes how to construct in-text citations, is located on the inside cover of the 7th edition of the APA manual.  A similar chart is reproduced below.

Did you know that you can OVER cite? Generally, if you are using information from one source in the same paragraph, you only need to use an in-text citation in the first sentence-- as long as it is clear to the reader that all of the information in the paragraph is from the same source. See the APA Style's page on Appropriate Level of Citation for more information.

Basic Citation Styles


Author Type

Parenthetical Citation

Narrative Citation

One author

(Walker, 2017)

Walker (2017)

Two authors

(Walker & Allen, 2014)

Walker and Allen (2014)

Three or more authors

(Bradley et al., 1999)

Bradley et al. (1999)

Group author with abbreviation

First citation*


Subsequent citations



(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2019)

(NIMH, 2019)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2019)

Group author without abbreviation

(University of Pittsburgh, 2019)

University of Pittsburgh (2019)


Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (7th ed). American Psychological Association, 2020.