Formatting Guides

AMA In-Text Citations: Format Basics & Examples

AMA In Text Citation
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When you write an assignment for a medical research topic, you may need to include AMA in-text citations in the body of your paper. In-text citations are short references that provide the reader with brief information about used sources. The most common style for citing medicine-related sources is the American Medical AssociationAMA citation format

In this guide, you’ll learn how to cite in AMA in text, so you can feel confident about the accuracy of your research.

AMA In-Text Citation Format

When referring to someone's ideas, you must include an in-text citation to help readers locate information. Unlike APA in-text citations, in AMA style you won't deal with the author-date system.

AMA format in-text citation typically requires a superscript number that corresponds to a numbered reference list on the final pages of your document. A superscript number should be placed at the end of the sentence after the punctuation mark. Take a look at this example to grab a general idea.

AMA in-text citation example

Studies show that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease.¹

As you can see, the superscript "¹" denotes that the source is listed first in an AMA reference list. So if your readers need more detailed information about this source, they will head to your references section. 


Moreover, a lack of regular exercise is linked to hypertension.¹

Connection Between AMA In-Text Citation and Reference List

The main idea behind in-text citations is to help readers find relevant sources and build a link between them. That’s why AMA citation format requires you to arrange numbered references in the same order as they appear in a text. Small details like that can make your paper look more professional, so take them into consideration when working on an AMA style paper.

Where and How to Place AMA In-Text Citations

Integrate AMA in-text citations whenever any ideas are quoted or paraphrased. This way, you will be giving credit to existing research and avoid plagiarism issues.

The general rule states that you need to include a superscript number at the end of your sentence after a period. You may also insert a numeral right after the author's name or after a clause where idea seems complete.

Example of superscript citation

Smith and Jones² reported that the incidence of heart disease is on the rise.

Here, the superscript number appears after the names "Smith and Jones," indicating that these insights came from their case study.

But how to go about cases, when there are other punctuation marks? Let's see how to create an AMA style in-text citation when other punctuation is involved.

Punctuation in AMA In-Text Citation Format

In AMA style, there are specific guidelines for using punctuation with in-text citations. First of all, there should be no spaces between a superscript number and the preceding or following word.

When it comes to  punctuation marks, there are 2 ways you can use a numeral – before or after your punctuation.

If you’re citing an idea that ends with a period, comma, question/exclamation mark, or quotation mark, place a superscript number after the ending punctuation.

Example of punctuation in AMA in-text citations

According to Johns,³ the prevalence of obesity is highest among individuals with low income. The scholar further state that  “the burden of obesity is largely concentrated among the poor.³

A superscript number goes before a colon, semicolon or em dash.


The incidence of melanoma is highest among fair-skinned individuals with a history of sunburns; therefore, it is important to take appropriate sun protection measures.

As a rule, parentheses are not used in in-text citations. But if you need to refer to extra details listed within parentheses, leave a superscript number inside.


A recent study found that regular exercise can help prevent the onset of various diseases (e.g., Type 2 diabetes).

If there is no punctuation mark, use a superscript before any additional words or phrases. Here's how to cite in AMA in text if punctuation is absent:


Brown believes that the number of cases will only grow in the near future and calls for immediate action.

Page Numbers in AMA In-Text Citation

When you’re introducing a direct quote, adding page numbers in AMA in text citations is necessary. This is an essential rule in almost all citation styles and AMA style isn’t an exception. In this case, the structure of your superscript numerals will change.

Citing a Single Page in Text in AMA Format

Most frequently, you will need to cite a specific passage on a single page in your text. Mention a page number after "p." in parentheses after the numeral. A superscript number should stay outside the brackets with no extra spacing.


Significant progress has been made in the last decade toward reducing health disparities.7(p. 205)

Citing Multiple Pages in Text in AMA Citation Format

To acknowledge someone’s ideas spread out through several pages, you will need to specify the page range after "pp." within parentheses. Show a range with an en dash. Here's how your AMA in-text citation in this case will look:


The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is highest among individuals with a family history of the disease.8(pp. 22-25)

If you are referring to the individual pages, separate numbers with commas. No space is needed.


Recent research by Smith9(pp. 30,34-35) demonstrated that lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

How to Cite Multiple Sources in Text in AMA Format

When there are 2 or more sources in the same sentence, use a comma in your AMA in-text citation to separate them.


It has been found that regular physical activity can help prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.10,13

If you are acknowledging several sources in a consecutive order, insert an en dash between numbers.


Several recent studies12-15 have shown that regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease.

If you need to mention multiple sources along with page numbers in your AMA citation in text, list page numbers and put a comma after them.


Some researchers11(pp. 27-31),12(p. 44),13-15 have demonstrated benefits of a healthy lifestyle for people suffering from diabetes.

Referring to Authors in Text in AMA Format

It is essential to mention the author’s name when you are introducing a source. Any credentials should be written in plain text, not in superscript.


According to Johns,12 the prevalence of obesity is highest among individuals with low income.

But there may be situations when you will need to reproduce ideas of 2 or more authors. Let's figure out how you can do this in AMA style.

AMA In-Text Citation With 2 Authors

In AMA format, when citing a source with two authors in-text, list both authors' last names in the order they appear in an original work. Use a conjunction "and" between 2 names.


Jones and Kim13 found a link between depression and chronic pain.

AMA In-Text Citation With Multiple Authors

When you are citing a source with 3 or more authors, use the first author's last name followed by "et al."


Smith et al.14 concluded that regular exercise can improve cognitive function in older adults.

Bottom Line on How to Cite in AMA in Text

In text citation in AMA format helps other researchers to trace back your sources and verify their accuracy. Following guidelines will help you avoid plagiarism in your research paper and make it easier for your readers to locate the original source. We hope that this guide was helpful. Now you have all essential information to get started with creating superscript citations for your study.

FAQ About AMA In Text Citation Format

1. How do I cite a direct quote in AMA in-text citation?

To present a direct quote in AMA in-text citation, you should include a source number and the page number or range in a superscript format. A superscript number should be placed after quotation marks. Here’s an example: The researcher states that “regular exercise can have a positive impact on mental health.”12,p.35

2. What is the difference between Chicago footnotes and AMA superscript citations?

The primary difference between Chicago footnotes and AMA superscript citations is the placement of the citation. In Chicago style, the full citation appears either as a footnote at the bottom of the page or as an endnote at the end of the document. In AMA style, you will use a superscript number in your text and list full information on the source in a reference list.

Article posted on:Apr 25, 2023
Article updated on:Jun 16, 2023


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