Citing Sources Within the Text of Your Paper

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source by way of parenthetical documentation. Please do not use footnotes to cite sources. Below are some of the most commonly cited forms of material within the APA style. For other types of documents not exemplified here, please consult the web sites of the American Psychological Association, the Modern Language Association, or Turabian.

APA: In-text Parenthetical Citations

The American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines require that you use parenthetical citations to document quotations, paraphrases, summaries, and other material from a source used in your paper. These in-text citations correspond to the full bibliographic entries found in a list of references included at the end of your paper.

Single author named in a signal phrase

(Use the author's name in a signal phrase to introduce the quoted material, and place the date of the work in parentheses, immediately after the author's name. For a quotation, the page number, preceded by p., appears in parentheses after the quotation).

Social historian Richard Sennett (1980) names the tendency to come to terms with difficult experiences a "purification process" whereby "threatening or painful dissonances are warded off to preserve intact a clear and articulated image of oneself and one's place in the world" (p. 11).

Single author named in parentheses

(When you do not mention the author in a signal phrase, give the name and the date, separated by a comma, in parentheses at the end of the cited material).

The tendency to come to terms with difficult experiences is referred to as a "purification process" whereby "threatening or painful dissonances are warded off to preserve intact a clear and articulated image of oneself and one's place in the world" (Sennett, 1980, p.11). 

Two authors

Goody and Watt (1963) have gone so far as to declare that "the most significant elements of human culture are undoubtedly channeled through words, and reside in the particular range of meanings and attitudes which members of any society attach to the verbal symbols" (p. 323).

Three to five authors

(List all the authors’ names for the first reference).

Kintgen, Kroll, and Rose (1988) maintain that "just as a single definition of literacy is insufficient, so is scrutiny from within the confines of a single academic discipline" (p. xv).

In subsequent references, use just the first author's name plus et al.).

In assessing the educational quality of our schools, it is important to remember that, as Kintgen et al. (1988) explain: "the contemporary asymmetry between reading and writing can be related to use in a particular socioeconomic context" (p. xvii). 

Six or more authors

As Williams et al. (1999) demonstrated, the internet holds the potential to open consumer markets in new and unexpected ways.

Corporate author (organization, association, etc.)

(If the name of the organization or association is long, spell it out the first time, followed by an abbreviation in brackets. In later citations, use the abbreviation only.

FIRST CITATION (Food and Drug Administration [FDA], 1996) 

Works with no author

Several critics of the concept of the transparent society ask if a large society would be able to handle the complete loss of privacy ("Surveillance Society," 1998, p. 115).

Bible passage

Unfortunately, the president could not recall the truism found in Prov. 20-22 that "Wisdom is a fountain to one who has it, but folly is the punishment of fools" (New Oxford Annotated Bible).


According to an interview with Senator Jeffords press secretary, "Jeffords is comfortable with his decision. He saw a dire need to bring more balance, and a moderate voice to the debates over education, tax cuts, the judiciary and other pressing issues." (Derby).

Or you can paraphrase

Jeffords felt comfortable with his decision seeing that there was an urgent need to bring a more moderate perspective to issues such as education, tax cuts, and the judiciary. (Derby)