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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

APA Style 7th Edition Tutorials for Students in Psychology and Social Work

The citation tutorials are based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition).

In-Text Citations: Author-Date Citation System

In scholarly writing, it is essential to acknowledge how others contributed to your work. Both paraphrases and quotations require citations. Follow the APA principles to create proper in-text citations.

APA Style uses the author–date citation system to create an in-text citation, which appears within the body of the paper and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication. This in-text citation enables your reader to locate the corresponding entry in the alphabetical reference list at the end of your paper. Therefore, the in-text citation components include: author, date, and page number of the quotation if there is a direct quote. 

  1. In an in-text citation, provide the surname(s) of the author(s) or the names(s) of the group author(s). Group author could be an organization.
  2. In an in-text citation, provide the date, which is only the year, The year as date component must match the date in the reference list entry. 
  3.  In an in-text citation, when quoting directly, always provide the page number of the quotation in the author-date citation system.  

Remember the rule: Each work cited must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix). There is correspondence between a reference list entry at the end of the paper and an in-text citation in the text of your paper. Refer to the image below:Author–Date Citation System image

Two Formats of In-Text Citations: Parenthetical or Narrative

In-text citations may be parenthetical or narrative.

  • In parenthetical citations, the author name and publication date appear in parentheses. Use an ampersand (&) between names for a work with two authors or before the last author when all names must be included to avoid ambiguity. e.g. The dangers of misinformation (Koehler, 2016) cannot be ignored. 
  • In narrative citations, the author name is incorporated into the text as part of the sentences and the year follows in parentheses. Always spell out the word “and.” for a work with two authors. The date appears in parentheses immediately after the author name. e.g. Koehler (2016) noted the dangers of misinformation.

Number of authors to include in in-text citations
The format of the author element of the in-text citation changes depending on the number of authors and is abbreviated in some cases.

  • For a work with one or two authors, include the author name(s) in every citation.
  • For a work with three or more authors, include the name of only the first author plus “et al.” in every citation (even the first citation).

The following table shows the basic in-text citation styles:

Number of Authors in In-Text Citations

For more information, click on Parenthetical versus Narrative In-Text Citations from official APA Style website.