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APA 7th Edition Referencing Guide

A Wintec Library guide to referencing in APA 7th edition style

What is an in-text citation?

When referencing in APA style, you need to include an in-text citation every time you quote or paraphrase a source in your work. In-text citations go in the body of your writing, and briefly acknowledge the source of the information you have used. Each in-text corresponds to a full reference list entry on a separate page at the end of your document.

In-text citations typically include:

  • The author's surname (or the corporate author's name)
  • The date of publication
  • A page number (or paragraph number)

What does an in-text citation look like?

There are two ways to include in-text citations in your writing, known as narrative and parenthetical citations. You will likely use a mixture of both in your work, depending on whether you are quoting directly or paraphrasing, and the structure of your sentences. Using both kinds also ensures variation in your writing so it is engaging to read.


Narrative citations

This form of citation includes the author's name directly in the 'narrative' of your writing, with the year and page/para. number in separate sets of parentheses. You will typically use this style when introducing a direct quotation, but it can also be used when paraphrasing. For example:

According to the American Psychological Association (2020), "the guidelines for APA style are meant to be applied to manuscripts being submitted for publication or to student papers" (p. xxii).
Molina (2019) argues that the last century has brought significant changes to spiritual practice (p. 50). 

Parenthetical citations

This form of citation include the author's name, date, and page/para. number all in one set of parentheses at the end of a sentence containing secondary material. You will likely use this form of citation with paraphrased information, though it can also be used for direct quotations. For example:

The Publication Manual is intended as a guide for both published works and student assignments (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. xxii).
It may, however, be argued that "spirituality has gone through a transition in the modern and postmodern periods" (Molina, 2019, p. 50).


Sample Paragraph

The following paragraph shows what a passage of text looks like with both narrative and parenthetical citations (red used for emphasis):

The American Psychological Association (APA, 2020) defines plagiarism as the act of presenting the words, ideas, or images of another as your own” (p. 254). To avoid plagiarism, students should give proper credit to the sources from which they have gathered information, whether they are quoting the material directly or paraphrasing (APA, 2020). Pulver and Adcock (2010) remind students that quotations must begin and end with quotation marks (p. 18). Some sources such as websites can be difficult to reference correctly; to help, Kelly (2000) advocates the use of a referencing guide.


Each in-text citation corresponds to a full reference list entry (below):

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Kelly, K. R. (2000). Author guidelines for electronic references. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 22(2), 95-96.

Pulver, B., & Adcock, D. (2010). Information literacy skills: Organizing and using information. Heinemann.


How do I cite someone quoted in another author's work (a secondary citation)?

Occasionally, you may wish to quote or paraphrase information in a resource that has been attributed to another author (i.e., not the author of the resource you're reading). Ideally, you should find the original source and quote/paraphrase directly from that, providing a reference list entry for the original work.

For example, if you read a work by Andrews in which White is quoted, you should try to find White's work, quote or paraphrase from that, and include it in your reference list. If it's not possible to find or read White's work, however, you should acknowledge White as the original source, followed by Andrews as the secondary source. Use the phrase 'as cited in' to indicate one source has been cited in another.


Examples 

Narrative citation
White (1999, as cited in Andrews, 2006) argue that …

Parenthetical citation
… (White, 1999, as cited in Andrews, 2006).

Note
Include the publication date of the original work (if known). Only Andrews' work appears in the reference list.

See the Publication Manual (7th ed.), section 8.6, p. 258. 

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