Answered By: Paul Lai
Last Updated: Aug 09, 2015     Views: 2847

When referring to information from a source in your own text, per APA guidelines, you will include the author, the year of publication, and sometimes the page number of the source. (The page number is required only with direct quotations.) This list of information is called an in-text citation. Any time you use information that is not originally your own, you will want to include an in-text citation.

An in-text citation points the reader to your reference list, often called a reference citation. For more tips on creating reference entries, see What information is included in a reference citation?.


 Types of Citations  Parenthetical citations  Narrative citations
 In-text citation  variations   The researcher completed the study  (Johnson, 2013).  Johnson (2013) completed the  research study.

 Direct quotation
 citation variations 

 One source stated that “APA is incredibly  fun” (Johnson,  2013, p. 222).  Johnson (2013) stated, “APA is  incredibly fun”  (p. 222).


Placement of Citations

Your citation should come directly after the information that it is referring to. Usually citations are found in one of two places:

  • At the beginning of the sentence in an introductory phrase:

According to Johnson (2013), students enjoy using APA style.

  • At the end of the sentence in parentheses:

One source discovered that students enjoy using APA style (Johnson, 2013).

However, if you are referring to multiple sources in one sentence, sometimes a citation may need to come in the middle of a sentence. For example,

One source claimed that APA was fun (Johnson, 2013), while another source disagreed (Smith, 2013).

Note that because the first part of the sentence has a different source than the second, the citation of Johnson is in the middle of the sentence, while the citation of Smith is at the end.


Additional Resources:  


Further Questions?

Would you like a current or future assignment to be reviewed by the Writing Center?  If so please visit the Writing Center's Paper Review Website and make an appointment with us! 

Do you have other general writing questions? Ask OASIS ! 

Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form and Style Review? Email the form and style editors at [email protected].

Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage

Related Topics

More Information

Need more information? Ask us!

Or browse Quick Answers by Topic.