Formatting Guides

Formatting In-Text Citations in APA Style 7th Edition & Examples

in-text citation apa
Worried about writing a unique paper?

Use our free
Readability checker

Are you writing an essay or article and need to use an APA in-text citation? You can simply convey other people's ideas in your own words or make a direct quote APA. But you still have to refer to the taken sources. Otherwise, it will be considered plagiarism. And that can lead to severe consequences.

In APA style, in-text citation typically includes the author's last name and the year of publication. It appears in parentheses within the text of your paper.

There are may be slight variations depending on how many authors you need to mantion or availability of publication date. That's why it's important to use a correct APA in-text citation format in each specifc instance. In this article, we will go through main rules on how to make in-text citations in APA format. Read on this blog post to find out structures and examples of in-text references. 

How to Do an APA In-Text Citation

There are two main ways of APA in-text citations. You can include an author's name at the beginning of your sentence, using only last name:

Put publication date into parentheses. No punctuation is needed to highlight an author's name - just mention an author in your sentence.

Another way of formatting an APA citation is to place a quote at the end of a sentence without explicitly identifying an author. It would look like this:

As you do so, both author and publication date are enclosed into parentheses and separated by a comma. Always include the author first, then specify a date.

So let's find out how to do it step by step!

1. Find Author and Publication Date for Your Citation

For making an APA in-text citation, first of all, we need to know two main pieces of information:

  1. Author's name It has to be listed on the book's title page. It's okay if a book has more than one author. We will discuss it further.
  2. Publication date It's indicated on the title page back. Let's say this book was published in 1995.

2. APA In-Text Citation: Multiple Authors

You should cite multiple authors if this book was written by more than one person. If you have two authors, you can separate their names with ampersands. If you have more than two authors, separate their last names using commas and ampersands.

Feel free to use this APA in-text citation sample for reference:

Check out this sample of APA in-text citation with 3 authors:

If you have three or more authors, you can always use “and others''. This indicates that this book has many authors as shown below.

3. APA In-Text Citation With Page Number

When formatting an in-text citation in APA style, it's necessary to include a page number to explain where you got this information from. Let's say you find  a quote on page 123:

There are two ways you can quote this information. Regardless of which method you choose, always include page numbers at a sentence end, even if you have the author's name and publication date before that.

The page number is at the end, so put "p" with a period in front of a page number.

As before, you need to place information in parentheses at the end of your sentence and separate it with commas.

4. Punctuation: In-Text Citation APA

Last but not least, don't forget to put punctuation marks in your APA in-text citation. Quotation marks must be placed before author and date.

For example:

How to Cite in APA Style in Your Reference List

Reference list in APA citation is placed at the end of your work on a separate page. Obviously, you should provide information from in-text citations there.

1. Start With Author's Name and Publication Date

Like in-text citations, it is necessary to start a reference list with the author's name. But here, you only need initials. First, write the author's last name, then put a comma and indicate initials with periods.

For example:

If you have more than one author, include them in your quote. Then, put the publication date into parentheses.

For example:

2. Enter Full Book's Title

Unlike other types of citation, in APA style paper, you should capitalize only the first word of a title and subtitle. Our sample looks like this:

In this case, the main heading is "The World in Our Words", and the subtitle is "Why is this happening". Then, a full stop is needed.

3. List City, State, and Name of a Publishing Company

You can find the city and state of publication on the title page or its back. Use state abbreviations without dots. Put a comma between city and state and then a colon before publishing's name. Let's say a book was published by Treehouse Publishers in New York. APA in-text citation sample would be as follows:


In-text citation in APA style is made to help your reader find the information you are referring to. To make it perfect, include the author's name and year in the text. And then make a reference list, where you also add page number and publishing info. Citations could be different depending on the type of resource. A magazine article differs from a book, for example. But knowing the basics makes the process more manageable if you're trying to cite something more complex. So we hope to be helpful and wish you good luck with your academic pursuits! If you ever wonders who might write my paper in APA format, let us know.


Don't forget that you can always order any type of work from our professional writers! We can guarantee an excellent result no matter what referencing style you choose. So you don't even need to spend time worrying about formats!

Article posted on:Jun 20, 2022
Article updated on:May 10, 2023


Leave your comment here:
8/22/2022 9:03 AM
Hi, how should I do APA in-text citation when the author is already mentioned in the body of a text?
8/22/2022 9:45 AM
Hi Randi,

If there is a situation when you have already mentioned the author in the body of the text (For example, Anderson proved the theory…), then you should include only the year and page number (if possible). It will look like this: Anderson proved the theory…(2020, p. 39)

Hope this helps!
8/25/2022 8:56 AM
Hi there! From your article I understood that when I have to create an APA in-text citation with no author, the title should be included instead. But what if the title is too long? Should I shorten it somehow?
8/25/2022 9:29 AM
Hi Steve,

Yes, you are absolutely right. You should include a shortened title in your in-text citation when there is no known author. The right way to shorten your title is to include the first 2-4 words or initial noun phrase. Note that you should omit articles as well.

To give you a better understanding, here is the example: “Project procurement management: contracting, subcontracting, teamwork.” shortened will look like “ Project procurement management.”

We hope this information will help you. Good luck!