In-Text Citations: The Basics
APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).
Contributors: Joshua M. Paiz, Elizabeth Angeli, Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderlund, Allen Brizee, Russell Keck
Last Edited: 2018-02-21 02:50:04
Reference citations in text are covered on pages 169-179 of the Publication Manual. What follows are some general guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay.
Note: APA style requires authors to use the past tense or present perfect tense when using signal phrases to describe earlier research, for example, Jones (1998) found or Jones (1998) has found...
APA citation basics
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference. All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining
- Always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials: D. Jones.
- If you refer to the title of a source within your paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source: Permanence and Change. Exceptions apply to short words that are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs: Writing New Media, There Is Nothing Left to Lose.
(Note: in your References list, only the first word of a title will be capitalized: Writing new media.)
- When capitalizing titles, capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound word: Natural-Born Cyborgs.
- Capitalize the first word after a dash or colon: "Defining Film Rhetoric: The Case of Hitchcock's Vertigo."
- Italicize the titles of longer works such as books, edited collections, movies, television series, documentaries, or albums: The Closing of the American Mind; The Wizard of Oz; Friends.
- Put quotation marks around the titles of shorter works such as journal articles, articles from edited collections, television series episodes, and song titles: "Multimedia Narration: Constructing Possible Worlds;" "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry."
If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by "p."). Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.
According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).
Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199); what implications does this have for teachers?
If the author is not named in a signal phrase, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.
She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.
Place direct quotations that are 40 words or longer in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.
Jones's (1998) study found the following:
Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citingsources. This difficulty could be attributed to thefact that many students failed to purchase astyle manual or to ask their teacher for help. (p. 199)
Summary or paraphrase
If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference, but APA guidelines encourage you to also provide the page number (although it is not required.)
According to Jones (1998), APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners.
APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners (Jones, 1998, p. 199).
APA Referencing Example:
Guralnik, Ferrucci, Simonsick, Salive and Wallace (1995) claimed that good nutrition and a physically active lifestyle have known benefits for prolonging functional independence and reducing the risk of disability, institutionalisation and mortality among older adults. "While improved dietary choices are seen to have a positive impact on normal ageing" (Drewnowski & Evans, 2001, p. 90), participation in regular physical activity is associated with improved ability in daily tasks, a decreased risk of falls and a decrease in the symptoms of chronic disease (Faber, Bosscher, Chin, & van Wieringen, 2006; Fiatarone et al., 1990). Even commenced later in life, and independent of disease or disability, research shows that a physically active lifestyle is an essential component of prolonged capacity in activities of daily living, referred to as functional wellbeing (Sims et al., 2006). However, while it has been reported that older adults are aware of the benefits of physical activity, less than 30% adhere to the national prescribed guidelines (Manini, Druger & Ploutz-Snyder, 2005; Marquez, Bustamante, Blissmer, & Prohaska, 2009).
At baseline, Spearman's correlation coefficients were used to investigate the associations between all variables. A strong association was defined as a moderate to large correlation, > 0.3 and > 0.5, respectively (Cohen, 1988).
With the aim of improving nutritional and activity choices for individuals and families, educators encourage greater knowledge of health, education, welfare, neighbourhoods and food supply by promoting environmental and individual barrier awareness to healthy eating and physical activity (Bartholomew, Parcel, Kok, Gottlieb, & Fernandez, 2010).
Ageing and nutrition is a growing global challenge as life expectancy increases, particularly for women. For example, the incidence of osteoporosis in older women involves its own special nutritional needs, emphases and patterns of malnutrition (World Health Organization [WHO], 2014a). Furthermore WHO (2014a) reveals in almost all countries women comprise the majority of the older population. Nutrient profiling assists to determine nutritional composition related to disease prevention (WHO, 2014b).
"Financial security, social networks and level of education are all factors in successful ageing, and reinforce the need for broad multifactorial modelling" (Marquez et al., 2009, p. 15). In the present study, individuals were members of a social network of independently funded retirees which may explain their physically active lifestyle when compared to the norm for their age group. However, these factors were not measured, nor accounted for in any of the data analysis (LaFrenz, 2005).
Bartholomew, L. K., Parcel, G. S., Kok, G., Gottlieb, N. H., & Fernandez, M. E. (2010). Planning health promotion programs: An intervention mapping approach. Retrieved from http://www.cdu.eblib.com.au.ezproxy.cdu.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=644777
Chodzko-Zajko, W., Schwingel, A., & Park, C. (2009). Successful aging: The role of physical activity. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 3(1), 20-28. doi: 10.1177/1559827608325456
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale: L. Erlbaum Associates.
Drewnowski, A., & Evans, W. (2001). Nutrition, physical activity, and quality of life in older adults: Summary. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Science, 56(2), 89-94. doi: 10.1093/gerona/56.suppl_2.89
Faber, M., Bosscher, R., Chin, A., & van Wieringen, P. (2006). Effects of exercise programs on falls and mobility in frail and pre-frail older adults: A multicenter randomized controlled trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87(5), 885-896. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16813773
Fiatarone, M., Marks, E., Ryan, N., Meredith, C., Lipsitz L. A., & Evans, W. (1990). High-intensity strength training in nonagenarians: Effects on skeletal muscle. Journal of the American Medical Association, 263(1), 3029-3034. Retrieved from http://faculty.fullerton.edu/leebrown/pdf/Files/Academic/Fiatarone-strengthtrainingoldpeople.pdf
Guralnik, J., Ferrucci, L., , E., Salive, MSimonsick., & Wallace, R. (1995). Lower-extremity function in persons over the age of 70 years as a predictor of subsequent disability. North English Journal of Medicine, 332(4), 556-561.
LaFrenz, C. (2005, December 5). Financial security: Start saving before middle age; Take a long-term view of retirement. The Adelaide Advertiser. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.cdu.edu.au/docview/355356506?accountid=10424
Manini, T., Druger, M., & Ploutz-Snyder, L. (2005). Misconceptions about strength exercise among older adults. Journal of Ageing and Physical Activity, 13(1), 422-433. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16301754
Marquez, D., Bustamante, E., Blissmer, B., & Prohaska, T. (2009). Health promotion for successful aging. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 12(7), 12-19. doi: 10.1177/1559827608325200
Sims, J., Hill, K., Hunt, S., Haralambous, B., Brown, A., Engel, L.,… Ory, M. (2006). National physical activity recommendations for older Australians: Discussion document. Retrieved from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/B656FF3728F48860CA257BF0001B09D9/$File/pa-guide-older-disc.pdf
World Health Organization. (2014a).Nutrition for older persons. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ageing/en/
World Health Organization. (2014b). Nutrient profiling. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/profiling/en/
Note: The document above is an example of the layout and format of an essay paper in APA Style.This document is not a referencing guide. Use the APA Style Guide to compile your citation and reference list.