Skip to Main Content

In Text Citations

For an overview of the ways to cite electronic information in text in APA style, see the Purdue OWL, which provides an overview of the basic in text citation formats.

The APA Style website provides an overview of information regarding citations in text of electronic material on the APA Frequently Asked Questions page, including e-mail communications, entire websites, web pages with no authors, and website material with no author, no year, and no page numbers.

For more information on short and block quotes see here

APA Manual

For complete information on citing references in text, see Chapter 6 of your APA manual. Note, specifically, the instructions on direct quotations, paraphrasing and acknowledging another author, as this determines how the in-text citation is formatted.

"Each reference cited in text must appear in the reference list, and each entry in the reference list must be cited in the text. Make certain that each source referenced appears in both places and that the text citation and the reference list entry are identical in spelling of the author names and year" (Publication Manual of the APA, p. 174).

One Work by One Author


  • ​Kessler (2003) found that among epidemiological samples....
  • Early onset results in a more persistent and severe course (Kessler, 2003).

"If the name of the author appears as part of the narrative, as in the first example, cite only the year of the publication in parentheses. Otherwise, place both the name and the year, separated by a comma, in parentheses (as in the second example)." (APA, p. 174)

One Work by Multiple Authors


  • ​... positive health changes across the nation (Chertok & Hoover, 2009).
  • Kisangau, Lyaruu, Hosea, and Joseph (2007) found.... [Use as first citation in text.]
  • Kisangau, et al. (2007) found...[Use as subsequent first citation per paragraph thereafter]
  • Kisangau et al. found...[Omit year from subsequent citations after first non-parenthetical citation within a paragraph]

"When a work has two authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs in the text; use the ampersand (&) between names within parenthesis.  When a work has three, four, or five authors, cite all the authors the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by et al. (not italicized and with a period after al) and the year if it is the first citation of the reference within a paragraph." (APA, p.175)

One Work, Six or More Authors

Harris et al. (2004) argued............

"Six or More Authors: Use the first author's name followed by et al. Include the year every time." (APA, p. 175)

Works with No Authors Listed OR Corporate Author


"No Author identified:  Cite in text the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year.  Use double quotation marks around the title of an article, a chapter or a web page and italicize the title of a periodical, a book, a brochure or a report. (APA p. 176).

... on free care ("Study Finds," 2007).
... the book College Bound Seniors (2008) explains the college application...
Corporate Author identified:  Groups that serve as authors (corporations, associations, government agencies, etc.) are spelled out the first time they appear.  They may be abbreviated in subsequent in-text citations if the name is long and cumbersome and if the abbreviation is familiar (p. 176 of the APA Manual).

first in-text citation:  (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003)
subsequently:  (NIMH, 2003).

Citing Specific Parts of a Source

"To cite a specific part of a source, indicate the page, chapter, figure, table, or equation at the appropriate point in the text. Always give page numbers for quotations (see section 6.03). Note that page, but not chapter, is abbreviated in such text ciations:" (APA p. 179). 

(Jones & Harriett, 2008, p. 12)

(Shimamura, 1989, Chapter 3)

See Section 6.05 for details on how to do an in-text citation for an electronic source that does not have page numbers listed.