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Everything You Need to Know About APA In-Text Citations

apa format template

How do you cite your sources in the APA style? When do you include the author’s name in your citation?

What about other information, like the title of the book or article or even where it was published? You may have heard some or all of these questions before; unfortunately, there is not one set answer to any of them. 

However, with this helpful guide on how to cite sources in APA referencing style, you will be able to create perfect citations every time!

What are in-text citations? 

An in-text citation references another work (generally a source) inserted into your text. They usually indicate that you have quoted from or summarised another writer’s ideas and are not necessarily citations per se; however, they can also be used for citations of works that you have paraphrased (in whole or part). 


The purpose of an in-text citation is simple: to alert readers of your sources and encourage them to consult those sources for further information. Author name(s), year of publication, and page number(s) should always be included in in-text citations. 


Author names should appear within parentheses following any direct quotations or if you are directly referencing their ideas. For example, The term “technology” has been defined by McLuhan as “extensions of man” (McLuhan 1964, p. xvii). This passage is taken from Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.


When do you need them? 

When citing sources within a text, you need to include in-text citations. These references show your readers where you got your information and which page of which source you used. In certain scenarios—for example, when writing an academic essay on a psychology topic—you will have to provide a full reference list at the end of your document. 


This list should be formatted under APA guidelines. How do you write them? A standard in-text citation looks like this: (Author Year). There will appear to be two authors if there are (this Author A & Author B Year).


If there is more than one author, it will look like (Authors A–Z Year). For multiple authors, use first initials followed by surnames. For single authors, use just their surname.


Do you need an APA reference list? 

If you are referencing a single source, there is no need for an APA reference list. However, a list of references at the end of your essay is required if you cite multiple sources.


It is common for people to use an author-date system rather than reference in the text; if that is what your assignment requires, then so be it! You may be required to produce an academic paper in APA format or an essay on How to Write a Paper in APA Style.


The easiest way to write an academic paper in APA style is by creating a table of contents with page numbers and inserting references after each quote or paraphrase. Then, all you have to do is number your pages and add any necessary headers.


The components of an APA reference list 

The reference list is at the end of your paper and should include all references cited in your essay. Author(s), publication date, title, journal or newspaper name, volume number (issue number for newspapers), and inclusive page numbers are all included in the reference list.


Example: (Smith, 2014; Greenstreet & Smith, 2013; Jones et al., 2012) The components of an APA citation within the text: If you have used material from another source in your work, you must cite it within your text by using parenthetical citations. 


Include information such as the author’s surname and year of publication within parentheses directly after the relevant quote or paraphrase. When there are several authors, add et al. after the first author’s name.


Example: (Greenstreet & Smith, 2013) Book Title: Author Year Published Publisher Page Number.


Tips on creating your Reference list 

This is an essential part of your paper because it shows that you are using third-party sources and not making them up. Your list of references will be at the end of your work, and they are only put there so that readers can find where you got your information. 


It will have a few different sections in it. Right after your text, the first one should have all your citations written in order, starting with a name, year published, and page number if they had one. 


Then there will be another section for any extra things you want to include, like ibid or et al. Then finally, on a separate line at least two spaces away from everything else, is your reference list, which has all of those same pieces of information but in alphabetical order by author’s last name. 


Cite Sources Using APA Style References (Examples Included) Tips on creating your table: Tables help people visualise large amounts of data quickly and easily.


What if there is no author or date? 

What if there is no author? If you are using a work without an author or date, look for information about where or how it was published. Include a publisher and a publication date for your reference entry. 


What if there is no page number? If you cannot find page numbers in your source, provide sufficient detail so that someone else can locate your source easily. For example, you might say on p. 3 of chapter 5 instead of just p. 3. Remember: page numbers may vary between editions of a book! 


Do not panic! Use the name of the organisation or website instead

Your readers want to know the source’s name rather than where they can find it. So, instead of citing the name of a company or website that provides information about brain fitness and memory, use their website URL in the text. 


Since most sources have multiple URLs, you will have plenty of options for finding your quote or piece of data. Get permission from an organisation before referencing them in your paper, but everything should fall into place once you do that. The right fit.


Remember, your writer’s responsibility is to credit others’ work.

Referring to the American Psychological Association (APA), citation style is one of many commonly used styles for citing references and sources in writing. Referring to a website is not significantly different from citing printed material.


To maintain consistency with other APA guidelines, you must ensure your reference matches what you have written in the text. The same rules apply as if you were physically putting a paper source within your essay—capitalisation, punctuation, page numbers, and so on should match. 


If you are unsure how to cite any source correctly or need help with formatting, Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us; we are here to help (yes, it is free).

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