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APA 6th Edition: Basics: In Text

Basic examples for citing sources in APA style for undergraduates or those with little experience using APA.

Author/Date citation method

In-text citations give brief details of the source of an idea or piece of information within the text of a document.
See APA (6th ed.),  pp. 175-179

Use the author-date method of citation by inserting the surname of the author and the year of publication at the appropriate point in the text. Citations used in the body of your publication identify the source of information. In-text parenthetical citations are used to give credit to the authors whose ideas or thoughts are used within the document. These internal citations allow the reader to identify the source and locate the information being addressed. APA uses a system that includes the author’s last name and the year of publication. For example: (Small, 2009).  If there is a direct quote or a specific part of the work is being referred to, the page numbers are also included. For example, (Small, 2009, p. 23). Sources may include books and book chapters, journal or magazine articles, dissertations and theses, conference papers, government reports, films, websites, blogs and wikis, discussion boards, personal communications, and more.

Citations for Paraphrased Information   See APA manual (6th ed.)

Beginning of sentence:

 Krankenstein (2006) reported that empirical research was identified.

Middle of sentence

 After looking into the issue, Lynch (2007) quit. ·

End of sentence

The report concluded were victims of cyberterrorism (Windhorst, 2004).

Some general formatting tips

- APA (6th ed.) uses hanging indentations to format reference citations in the reference list. In Microsoft Word, you can use the formatting feaure in Paragraph > Indents and Spacing > Special > Hanging to provide a clean and consistent format for the reference citations. Using this formatting option ensures that the first line of each reference citation "hangs" out to the left one half inch.

- Double spacing: The spacing of the reference citations in this APA Style Library Guide are not to scale. APA states that the reference citations in the reference list should be double spaced, but many institutions of higher education permit students to single space inside the citations and double space between citations. So, check with your academic program.

- Information included for resources retrieved online: The formatting for a resource retrieved online and in print no longer always has the same exact content. Online materials may have supplemental material not available with the print version of the same source. APA (6th ed.) recommends that you include the same elements in the reference citation in the same order for online and fixed-media sources. For the online sources, add as much information as you to provide to help others locate the source you are citing. See APA (6th ed.), p. 187 section 6.31 for more information.

- When to italicize the title: Major works like names of journals, books, movies, DVDs, and so forth are italizied, but journal articles, book chapters, and web pages do not. Thus, a video on DVD would be italicized because the DVD would be considered a major work, but a video blog post would not.

- Some citations have been modified to illustrate specific formatting points and are not for actual resources.