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APA 7th Edition Referencing Guide1

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). You must include a page or paragraph number if you are quoting information, but do not have to if you are paraphrasing information.


All in-text citation examples in this guide include a page or paragraph number just as an example to show you how it looks in both types of in-text citations for the times you do need to use them.  It does not mean you always need to include them when paraphrasing.

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. The year always appears in brackets after the author's name. 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). 
NOTE: Page/paragraph numbers are optional for paraphrased information.


Parenthetical citations

This form of citation includes the author's name, date, and page/para. number (if it's for a quote) all in one set of parentheses/brackets. Typically, they occur at the end of a sentence containing secondary material, but can also be within a sentence. 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).
NOTE: Page/paragraph numbers are optional for paraphrased information.


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.).

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 or reference 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), or you might want to replicate an image or photograph that you have found in a written work.

When presenting an idea from an author when you have not read their original work but have found it paraphrased or quoted by someone else, you should ideally 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.

Example - written information

Reference list entry

Andrews, M. (2006). Management in the modern era: Working with a home-based team. Johnson and Hill.

In-text citations

Page/paragraph numbers are optional for paraphrased information.

White (1999, as cited in Andrews, 2006) argues that …

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

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


Example - images in a written text

Reference list entry

Axcell, R. (2006). The beautiful citation: Capturing the art of referencing. Hidden Library.

In-text citation

(Carlisle, in Axcell, 2021, p. 34).

Include the publication date of the original work (if known). 
Only Axcell's work appears in the reference list.
For an example of how the in-text citation looks with the image, figure number and title, see here.

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

How do I cite a web source that is broken up into headings?

If you are citing a webpage, or another web-based source, like a journal article that has no page numbers, you can use the sub-headings on the page. This is particularly useful for pages that are long, have many paragraphs, and tend to have their information organised under headings.

Use the paragraph number under the relevant heading, as well as the heading.

Write the heading in sentence case and add the word "section" after it.


Reference list entry

Pantaleo, S. (2005). ‘Reading’ young children’s visual texts. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 7(1).

In-text citations

Page/paragraph numbers are optional for paraphrased information.

As Panataleo (2005) notes... (Classroom context section, para. 3).

: ... (Pantaleo, 2005, Classroom context section, para. 3).

How do I cite information from non-consecutive pages or paragraphs?

If you have information in the same sentence that comes from two or more different places in the same source and you would like to provide a page or paragraph number, cite the page or paragraphs in the same set of brackets.

In-text citation
Morris (2021) notes that...(paras. 1, 4, 7).
Kereopa (2024) states ... (pp. 45, 52).

How do I cite information from more than one (consecutive) page or paragraph?

If you have information that comes from more than one page or paragraph that occur straight after each other and you need to provide a page or paragraph number, note the formatting below:

In-text citation
Morris (2021) notes that...(paras. 1-3).
Kereopa (2024) states ... (pp. 45-46).
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