Skip to Main Content
Midwestern University Homepage

APA 7: In-Text Citations

In-Text Citation Examples

Author Narrative In-Text Citation Parenthetical In-Text Citation
One Gomez (2020) (Gomez, 2020).
Two Amari and Wang (2020) (Amari & Wang, 2020).
Three to twenty Singh et al. (2020) (Singh et al., 2020).
Twenty-one or more Mohamed et al. (2020). (Mohamed et al., 2020).
Group Midwestern University (2019) (Midwestern University, 2019).
Group with an identifiable abbreviation American Psychological Association (APA, 2020)
*first citation

APA (2020)
*subsequent citations
(American Psychological Association [APA], 2020).
*first citation

(APA, 2020).
*subsequent citations

Basic Principles of APA In-Text Citations

APA Style uses an author-date citation format to refer readers to the reference list entry.

  • Paraphrasing, quotations, adapted or reprinted tables and figures, and data sets require citations.
  • Provide citations for facts and figures that are not common knowledge.
  • Only cite works you have read. Reading the abstract doesn't count!
  • Avoid citing secondary sources (i.e. information first reported in another source).
  • Use research to support your claims:


Diabetes is an important issue in the United States.


Diabetes is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018; Romero & Smith, 2020; Wagner et al. 2019).

Summarization, Paraphrasing & Quotations

  • Paraphrasing is encouraged over direct quotations in graduate level writing. 
  • Summarize and synthesize information from studies into your own words--do not use a thesaurus to alter words and rearrange the sentence structure. 
  • Direct quotations should include the page or paragraph numbers.

Example of a Short Quotation (Fewer Than 40 Words)

Rethlefsen et al. (2015) found that, “SRs with librarian or information specialist co-authors are correlated with significantly higher quality reported search strategies” (p. 624).

Appropriate Level of Citation

  • Undercitation may result in plagiarism.
  • Overcitation, repeating the same citation every sentence in a paragraph, is distracting to the reader.

After a narrative author-date citation is provided, it is acceptable to omit the year in subsequent narrative references to the work within the same paragraph. As long as the source remains clear and unchanged in following sentences, another full author-date citation is unnecessary.

Once another citation is introduced to the paragraph or a new paragraph starts, another full author-date citation is needed. 

Example of Repeated Narrative Citations within a Paragraph

Radovic (2014) surveys primary care providers to assess their perceptions of barriers to depression care for teens. Radovic identifies barriers to treatment, such as difficulty making appointments, cost, and outside perception. The study concludes that primary care providers may need to address teen and parent barriers separately. These findings, in combination with similar research, demonstrate that providers recognize barriers to care for teens (Liu & Luna 2018; Radovic, 2014).

See Section 8.1 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition for additional examples.

Ask Us

chat loading...
TelephoneDowners Grove, IL (630) 515-6200
TelephoneGlendale, AZ (623) 572-3308
Instagram @mwu_library

APA Style Websites

Downers Grove Campus Library (630) 515-6200
Littlejohn Hall
555 31st St. Downers Grove, IL 60515

Map and Driving Directions - IL

Glendale Campus Library (623) 572-3308
Sahuaro Hall
19555 N. 59th Ave. Glendale, AZ 85308

Map and Driving Directions - AZ