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MLS 452: Research Methods & Project: APA Citations

In-text Citations

Follow the author-date method of in-text citation

  • Paraphrases and quotations both require citations
  • Only cite actual works you have read and ideas you are incorporating into your own writing
  •  (Last Name, Year) appears in the sentence you’re citing
  • A complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper

For more information, see Basic Principles of Citation from the APA Style online. 

Summary or Paragraph

If you are paraphrasing an idea you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference. It is best practice to provide the page number.

  • Example of paraphrasing with author's name:

According to Jones (1998), APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners.

  • Example of paraphrasing without author's name:

APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners (Jones, 1998, p. 199).

Short Quotation

  • If you are directly quoting include the author, year or publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by “p.”)
  • Example of direct quotation with author's name:

According to Jones (1998), “students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time” (p. 199).

  • If the author’s name is not in the signal phrase, place the author’s last name, year of publication, and page number in the parentheses after the quotation.
  • Example of direct quotation without author's name:

She stated, “Students often had difficulty using APA style” (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.

Long Quotation

Direct quotations 40 words or longer should be in a free-standing block of typewritten lines without quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin. Type the entire quotation on the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.


Example of long quotation:

Jones’s (1998) study found the following:

Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help. (p. 199)