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APA Style In-Text Citations (Examples)

What are APA style in-text citations? The references below use the APA Publication Manual 7 (released on October 2019). Learn how to properly cite a source or reference in APA style format in this full APA format citation guide. Read the other guides to learn how to cite other source types according to research papers, professional papers, scholarly journal’s, and student essays.

Understanding APA in-text citations: what is APA style?

APA is a writing format for academic documents. These documents typically include scholarly journals, books, student essays, and other educational material. For example, in the field of behavioral and social sciences (including sociology, education, health science, criminal justice, and psychology) APA style is used as a standard format for research.

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. The APA became involved in journal publishing in 1923. And in 1929, an APA committee had created a seven-page writer’s guide published in the Psychological Bulletin. Editions of the APA manual have since evolved. With major releases in 1974, 1983, 1994, 2001, 2009, and 2019. Each with their edition titles.

For example, the 2019 edition is referred to as “APA 6” style. Revisions of the APA style guide tend to follow developments of the English language and linguistics as a whole.

APA Style 7th Edition font suggestions

APA Publication Manual 7 requires that chosen fonts be accessible to readers and consistent throughout essays and research papers. The APA Manual does not specify a certain typeface or font for papers. They do recommend the following typefaces with their point sizes as follows:

FontPoint size
Lucida Sans Unicode10-point
Times New Roman12-point
Computer Modern10-point
APA Style font recommendations

What is an APA in-text citation?

In the Publication Manual, on pages 117-118, it suggests that authors of research papers should use the past tense or present perfect tense for signal phrases that occur in the literature review and procedure descriptions. For example, this would include the phrase: Smith (1999) found. Or Smith (2009) has found.

In-text capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining rules to follow:

Always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials.D. Smith
When referring to the title of a source within a student or professional paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater with the title of a source.Change and Dynamics
In reference lists, only the first word of a title should get capitalized.Writing new humans.
When capitalizing titles, capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound wordHuman-Born Creatures
Capitalize the first word after a dash or colonDefining Humans: The Case of the Brain
If the title of the first word is italicized in the reference list, use double quotation marks and title case capitalizationThe One Where We Couldn’t Go

Short quotations

When directly quoting a work, you’ll need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for reference. This reference is proceeded by a “p.” that indicates the reference to the page number. For a span of multiple pages, use “pp.” and then the page numbers separated by a dash or en dash.

Multiple pagesJohnson (1998), “this is the time.” (p. 199)
Single pageJohnson (1998), “this is the time.” (pp. 199-201)

Long quotations

Always place quotations that are 40 words or longer in a free-standing block of lines. And omit the quotation marks around them. Start your quotation on a new line with an indentation that is a 1/2 inch from the left margin.

Here is an example of a long quotation:

Jone’s (1998) study found the following:

Student’s often had the ability to use APA style in academic writing. Although decided when they returned to home that they would no longer need the information that they were given in formal education. This is a unique case where students decide a path for themselves that’s different than their formal education. (p. 220)

When quoting from sources without pages

When quoting sources without pages, you can use other formats. This includes (paras. 7-8) to include the paragraphs from the source. Or a table reference (Table 5). Always include the source in your reference list and then the following citation information.

When writing a summary or paragraph

When writing a summary or paragraph, you can simply make reference to the author and year of publication in the in-text reference. You can omit the page numbers.

APA 7th Edition Formatting and Style Guides:

Here are more resources on APA style:


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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