APA Style Guide

Find examples and information about how to include information about how to use the APA Guidelines in the text of you paper.

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In-Text and Parenthetical Citations

It sounds painful but it doesn’t have to be! Parenthetical documentation or in-text citations means you are telling the reader where you got any information that did not come from inside your own head. This is more obvious when you are directly quoting from a source, but it is also needed when you have summarized or paraphrased from a source and even when you get an idea from somewhere else. 

So how do you do it? As the names imply, you are going to put the information about the source in parentheses in the text of your paper (rather than in a footnote, where the source information is at the bottom of the page, or in an endnote, where it goes at the end of your paper).

You only need to list the last name(s) of the author(s) and the page number(s) where you found the quote or information you are using.* Make sure the source information in parentheses matches your bibliography at the end of your paper. If an entire portion of your paper is referencing one source, cite the author and page number(s) the first time and then just the number(s) after that. If you are going back and forth between different sources, you need to cite the author each time you switch. In order to avoid plagiarism, it is extremely important that you cite all words and ideas that you get from somewhere else.

* Note that the punctuation for the sentence goes AFTER the final parenthesis, like this: (Ridlen, 20-21).

More Information: See pages 174-79 of the APA Manual, 6th edition for further explanation and examples.



Quote with author’s name in text

Smith (2006) argues “...” (p. 112).

Quote with author’s name in reference

This is described as, “…” (Smith, 2006, pp. 112-4).

Paraphrasing with author’s name in text

Smith (2006) suggested this too.

Paraphrasing author’s name in reference

This fact has been stated... (Smith, 2006).

No author – give an abbreviated title, usually one word (italics for books and “quotations” for articles)

This book... (Long, 2005).
This article... (“Long,” 2005).

Entire website – use URL

The library site is one good resource (http://www.fontbonne.edu/academics/library/).

Quote from website – use paragraph

Smith is unequivocal: “…” (2000, para. 4).

More than one author with same last name

P. L. Smith (2003) and J. M. Smith (2005)

More than one author in text

Smith and Lee agree that (2006)

More than one author in reference

Studies suggest... (Smith & Long, 2006).

More than one work

Critics agree ... (Smith, 2006; Lee, 2004).

More than one work by same author published the same year

The evidence suggests ... (Smith, 2006a; Smith, 2006b; Smith, 2006c)

Smith (2006a) believes ...

It has been reported ... (Smith, 2006c)

Pointers for Paraphrasing

APA Style Basics

Use these basic guidelines when preparing your final draft:

Prefer white, 8-1/2 by 11-inch paper. Use 1-inch margins at top, bottom, left, and right (1 inch = 2.5cm).

Choose a clean, 12-point font like Times New Roman. Double-space the text throughout; do NOT justify.

Include a header on the top of every page. In the header, you should have a page number (align right) and a short version of your paper’s title in uppercase (align left).

Your paper should have 4 major sections:

  1. Title page
  2. Abstract page
  3. Main body
  4. References

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