Whether you directly quote, paraphrase, or summarize an idea, fact or argument that is not your own, you must include an in-text citation.
All in-text citations must have a corresponding entry on the References list, except for personal communications (personal letters, e-mails, in-person interviews, etc. . .), which only need to be cited in text.
Here are some basic rules for citing sources in-text:
Whenever paraphrasing or summarizing a source, include the surname of the author(s), a comma, and the year of publication in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The period in the sentence goes after the citation. APA calls this a "parenthetical citation."
example: By linking his work to the memory of the martyred president, Whitman was able to salvage his respectability (Ryan, 2011).
If you name the author in your sentence, place the year of publication in parentheses immediately after the name. APA calls this a "narrative citation."
example: According to Ryan (2011), by linking his work to the memory of the martyred president, Whitman was able salvage his respectability.
APA does not require you to include page numbers when paraphrasing or summarizing. However, this may be required by your teacher, or you may want to include them if you want your reader to be able to find the specific portion of the source that you are paraphrasing. In those cases, include the page number(s) in the parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence. Precede the page numbers with "p." for a single page, or "pp." for multiple pages. Put an "en" dash "-" between ranges of numbers, providing only the first and last page in the range. Put commas between discontinuous page numbers (e.g. if you paraphrased content from page 5 and page 8 of a source in a single sentence).
example: By linking his work to the memory of the martyred president, Whitman was able to salvage his respectability (Ryan, 2011, pp. 61-62).
If using a narrative citation, place the page number(s) separately in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
example: According to Ryan (2011), by linking his work to the memory of the martyred president, Whitman was able to salvage his respectability (pp. 61-62).
If you use a direct quotation from a source, include the author's surname, the year of publication, and the page number(s) in parentheses immediately after the quotation. Precede the page numbers with "p." for a single page, or "pp." for multiple pages. Put an "en" dash "-" between ranges of numbers, providing only the first and last page in the range. Put commas between discontinuous page numbers (e.g. if you quoted content from page 5 and page 8 of a source in a single quotation). APA calls this a "parenthetical citation."
example: While it was asserted that "many parents today believe that they have so many demands on their time that they simply do not have the time to monitor everything their children are doing" (Becker-Olsen & Norberg, 2010, p. 91), there was little evidence of this presented in the study itself.
If you name the author(s) in your sentence prior to the quote, place the year in parentheses immediately after the author(s) name(s). Place the page number(s) in parentheses immediately after the quotation, following the rules for page numbers stated above.
example: While Becker-Olsen and Norberg (2010) noted that "many parents today believe that they have so many demands on their time that they simply do not have the time to monitor everything their children are doing" (p. 91), there was little evidence of this presented in the study itself.
If a quotation appears at the end of a sentence and ends with a period or comma, omit the period or comma from the quotation and place the period after the in-text citation. If the quotation ends with an exclamation point (!) or question mark (?), include them in the quotation, but also place a period after the in-text citation.
In APA, include a complete citation every time your paraphrase, summarize or quote from a source, even if you are repeating the citation. Do not use "Ibid." when citing multiple times from the same source in a row. You may, however, omit the year of publication from citations when citing the same source multiple times in the same paragraph. If you start a new paragraph and continue to cite from the same source, you must include the year in the first citation for that source in the new paragraph.
Any work that cannot be recovered by your readers is cited in your text only as a personal communication. This can include emails, text messages, online chats or direct messages, personal interviews (not published and not a participant in your research), telephone conversations, live speeches (no recording available), unrecorded classroom lectures (if lecture notes or PowerPoint slides were not distributed), memos, letters (unpublished), and messages from non-archived discussion groups or bulletin boards.
Only use a personal communication citation when the non-retrievable source is the only source of the information you wish to cite. If it is possible to recover the information elsewhere, cite the recoverable source instead. For example, if you learn about research done on a topic through a telephone conversation, you should track down the research, read it, and cite the research itself. Only cite the conversation itself if it contained new information that cannot be found anywhere else.
example: (M. Flanagan, personal communication, December 16, 2019)
If using a narrative citation, place "personal communication" in the parentheses immediately after the author's name, before the date.
example: M. Flanagan (personal communication, December 16, 2019)
Unless your teacher instructs you to do otherwise, do not include the personal communication in your List of References, as the information you provide will not help your reader retrieve the source.
The following are variations that you will use in your in-text citations to account for sources with multiple authors, group authors, and no known author or anonymous author.
If the work you are citing has two authors, list the surnames of both authors in the citation. Separate last names with a comma. Place an ampersand (&) before the second author's surname when using a parenthetical citation. You may use "and" between the two surnames for a narrative citation.
example: The study of Hemingway's work became increasingly interesting to women scholars in the 1970s (Broer & Holland, 2002).
In a narrative citation, name both authors, then place the year of publication after the second author's name.
example: Broer and Holland (2002) assert that the study of Hemingway's work became increasingly interesting to women scholars in the 1970s.
If the work has three or more authors, use only the first author's last name, followed by "et al."
example: An aggressive, appropriate, and compassionate care strategy may help reduce suffering and other adverse effects of delirium in older patients (Balas et al., 2012).
In a narrative citation, only list the first author in the sentence, followed by "et al." Then place the year of publication in parentheses after the "et al."
example: Balas et al. (2012) found that an aggressive, appropriate, and compassionate care strategy may help reduce suffering and other adverse effects of delirium in older patients.
The only exception to this rule is if using "et al." will cause ambiguity between sources. For example, if you were using two sources published in the same year that had the same first author, but different second, third, etc. . . authors, you would want to include as many author's names as are necessary to differentiate between the sources.
(Kapoor, Bloom, Montez, et al., 2017) not (Kapoor et al., 2017)
(Kapoor, Bloom, Zucker, et al., 2017) not (Kapoor et al., 2017)
If you happen to be citing two works by the same author, the inclusion of the year in the in-text citation is sufficient for differentiating one work from the other in your text.
example: Neil Postman is known for his work as a media theorist and cultural critic, particularly his theory about television as a form of mass addiction (Postman, 1985). Later, he would expand his groundbreaking theory on television to incorporate how society treats technology as a whole, seeking "its authorisation in technology, find[ing] its satisfactions in technology, and tak[ing] its orders from technology" (Postman, 1993, p. 71).
In a case where you are using two or more works by the same author that were published in the same year, add a lowercase letter to the end of the year, starting with "a," according to the order in which the works appear in your List of References. In other words, it would be "2000a" for the first work from 2000, then "2000b" for the second work from 2000 by the same author. Only add the letter in cases where you have multiple works by the same author from the same year.
If a work has a group author (e.g. an association, working group, etc. . .) instead of an individual author, or a combination of group or individual authors, list the group as the author in the in-text citation. You can sometimes abbreviate the name, if the abbreviation is well-known (e.g. "American Psychological Association" as "APA"). Do not create your own abbreviation for the group.
In a parenthetical citation, place the abbreviation in square brackets [ ].
example: (American Psychological Association [APA], 2017)
In a narrative citation, place the abbreviation in parentheses, before the year.
example: The American Psychological Association (APA, 2017) states that. . .
After you list the abbreviation in the first citation, you can use the abbreviation in all citations that follow without having to include the full name.
When the author(s) is not identified anywhere in your source, include the first few words of the title. Include enough of the title to make it easily identifiable to your reader. Sometimes, you may have to include more than a few words of the title in order to differentiate it from the title of another work that you use. You will have to use your judgment. Place quotation marks around the abbreviated title if it is an article, chapter, or web page. Italicize the title if it is a periodical, book, brochure, or report.
example: "The spill eventually polluted 1,300 miles (2,092 kilometres) of indented shoreline, as well as adjacent waters, as far south as the southern end of Shelikof Strait between Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula" ("Exxon Valdez," 2017).
If you name the title of the work in the sentence, you may place the year in parentheses immediately after the title, just as you would with an author's name.
example: As noted in "Exxon Valdez Oil Spill" (2017), the Valdez was converted to an ore carrier in 2008, and, under the name Oriental Nicety, sold for scrap in 2012.
Note: If the works is explicitly signed as "Anonymous," list "Anonymous" as the author of the work. Do not use the title in place of the author.
When making a direct quotation from a source that does not include page numbers, or uses an alternative numbering to page numbers, do the following.
For works with canonical numbering (e.g. Book, chapter, verse, act, scene, line, or canto numbers), see In-text citation: Specific rules for Religious works, Classical works, and other works with canonically numbered sections.
If you are citing a source with no page numbers, headings, or section titles, you should provide a paragraph number. Count paragraphs manually if they are not numbered. Include the abbreviation "para." before the paragraph number.
example: The central Ontario Town of Angus suffered significant damage thanks to a tornado that came through the town on Tuesday, June 18, 2014 (Sieniuc et al., 2014, para. 1).
DO NOT use location numbers from Kindle ebooks and other commercially-available ebook formats. These numbers change depending on screen size and font size, and are unreliable for the purposes of citation.
Provide the heading or section name to help readers locate the part of the source where you drew you quotation.
example: (Gecht-Silver & Duncombe, 2015, Osteoarthritis section).
Abbreviate the heading or section name in quotation marks to indicate that it is abbreviation if the section name is too long to cite in-text in full. Provide enough of the section name to make it easy to identify and differentiate from other sections in the source.
It is possible to provide a paragraph number in addition to a heading or section name if you wish to be more specific. When counting paragraphs, count from 1 with the first paragraph of the section where you are citing. If the source provides you with paragraph numbers, provide them.
example: (DeAngelis, 2018, Musical Forays section, para. 4)
Audiovisual sources such as films, podcasts, audiobooks and songs will usually have an option to pick a specific time in the source. This specific time is called a "time stamp." When quoting or otherwise referencing something from a specific point in a time stamped audiovisual source, it is important to include the timestamp. Include the time for the beginning of the quotation, and include the hour, minute, and second, separate by colons. If the source is less than an hour long, or if the quotation takes place within the first hour of the source, omit the hour.
Note: If a timestamp is not available in the source that you used, do not try to estimate the time.
example: To which Batman responds "Batman's life lesson number two: vigilantes don't have bedtimes" (Lord, Miller, Lin, Lee, & McKay, 2017, 48:44-45).
When referencing translated, reprinted, republished, or reissued works, include both the year of publication of the original work and the year of publication of the translation, reprint, republication, or reissue. Separate the years with a slash, with the earlier year first.
example: (Thuy 2009/2012)
If you name the author in your sentence, place the years in parentheses immediately after the name as a narrative citation.
example: Thuy (2009/2012)
Religious works, such at the Bible, Quran, Torah, or the Bhagavad Gita, are usually treated as having no known author. Instead, name the book in italics, then list the chapter, verse, or line (as available), separated by colons. For the year, list the original publication date of the version or translation you are using, if possible, then the publication date of the copy you are using. Do not use the standard abbreviations for the books of the Bible (e.g. 1 Peter, not 1 Pet.)
example: "Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but one who rejects a rebuke goes astray" (Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version, 1989/2007, Proverbs 10:17).
Classical Greek and Roman works will normally included standardized book and line numbers. Use these instead of page number when citing the work. Separate the book and line numbers (as available) with colons. For the year, since the original publication date of the text is only approximately known, include "ca." (the abbreviation for "circa," which means "approximately") before the year. Use "BCE" ("Before Common Era") with the year number to indicate a work written prior to the first year of the current calendar. Also include the publication date of the version which you are citing.
example: As Odysseus states "Of all that breathes and crawls across the earth, / our mother earth breeds nothing feebler than a man" (Homer, ca. 750 BCE/1996, 19:150-151).
Classic plays such as the works of Shakespeare will normally include standardized Act, Scene, and Line numbers. Use these instead of page numbers when citing the play. Separate Act, Scene, and Line with periods. For the year, list the original publication date of the version or translation you are using, if possible, then the publication date of the copy you are using. Do not use standard abbreviations for the titles of Shakespearean plays (e.g. Macbeth, not Mac.).
example: As the second witch says in the opening line's of Macbeth "When the hurly-burly's done, / When the battle's lost and won" (Shakespeare, 1623/1997, 1.1.3-4).
Whenever possible, always use the original source for any information you use in your essay. However, sometimes it isn't possible to find the original source (e.g. the source is out of print, unavailable through the Library, or not available in a language you can read). In those cases, APA allows you to cite the information from what it calls a secondary source. A secondary source is a book, article, etc, that quotes or references a piece of information, but is not the original source of that information. When citing a secondary source of information, use the following format:
(the name of the author or title if author is unknown, the year of the original source (if available), as cited in the name of the author of the secondary source, year of publication of the secondary source, page numbers)
example: Miriam Makeba was once dubbed the "Star of Venice" (Drum, 1959, as cited in Feldstein, 2013, p. 56).
In this example, the October 1959 issue of Drum magazine is the original source of the quote about Miriam Makeba. Since we couldn't find a copy of Drum, we used a book by Feldstein, which is where we first found the quote.
If the year of the primary source is unknown, leave it out of the in-text citation.
If you name the primary source in the sentence, place the year for the primary source immediately after the author (or title, if the author is unknown). Place "as cited in," followed by the secondary source author(s)' last name, followed by the year of the secondary source, and the page number where the primary source is cited.
example: Drum (1959) once dubbed Miriam Makeba the "Star of Venice" (as cited in Feldstein, 2013, p. 56).
APA citation only provides guidance for citing Indigenous Elders or Knowledge Keepers as a "personal communication." However, Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers hold a significant role as carriers of knowledge and history for their respective Nations or Communities, they should not be treated in the same fashion as an email or a phone call. Therefore, in the spirit of reconciliation, NorQuest College Library has developed the following template, which Marianopolis College Library recommends for use in your work.
Unlike most personal communications, Indigenous Elders or Knowledge Keepers should be cited both in-text and in your List of References. For List of References formatting, see our examples page.
Note: If you would like to approach an Elder or Knowledge Keeper for teachings, remember to follow protocol or if you are unsure what their protocol is, please ask them ahead of time.
example (Elder/Knowledge Keeper names in your text): Delores Cardinal (2018) described the nature of the....
example (Elder/Knowledge Keeper not named in your text): The nature of the place was... (Cardinal, 2018).
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: The official guide to APA style, 7th edition, published by the American Psychological Association, is the authoritative guide to APA style. It is designed to be used by anyone that uses APA style in their work, from students to researchers. However, there are specific sections in the guide that detail the streamlined formatting that should be used for student work. Copies of the Publication Manual are available at the Reserve Desk in the Library.