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General Guidelines for In-Text Citations

Reference Citation In-Text

The APA citation system uses the Author, Year citation style. Most citations begin with the last names of the authors or the authoring organization, followed by the year of publication. Past tense reporting verbs are generally favored by APA style. The Purdue OWL  cites the rules and has many examples (The Basics). Or visit the "official" APA website for in-text citations.  Direct quotes and paraphrases should also include the page number to help the reader locate the information. For phrases quoted from websites or other sources page numbers, provide readers with another way to locate the passage, such as paragraph numbers, heading names, or other identifiers. 

Citing Web Pages In-Text

Cite web pages in-text as you would any other source, using the author and year if known (Author, year). If the author is not known, use the title and the date as the in-text citation (for long titles just use the first few words). Your in-text citation should lead your reader to the corresponding entry in the reference list. For sources with no date use n.d. (for no date) in place of the year: (Jones, n.d.).  Examples are found at the Purdue OWLl site ("Electronic Sources" and "Sources without Page Numbers") as well as the APA website.

Multiple Authors

The rules for naming multiple authors have been revised for the APA 7th edition. For one or two authors, list all author names each time you refer to them. For three or more authors, list the first author’s name followed by the phrase “et al.” every time. See these links at the Purdue OWL and the APA site for more information and examples about authors.


Text and Table from Guide to APA 7th Edition References (TLC: Teaching and Learning Center), University of Washington Tacoma, 2019. See their entire PDF handout in tab 3 of this Guide. Used with permission.

More Information on In-Text Citations

More information on APA 7th edition in-text citation guidelines is found at the Purdue OWL site.