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ASA Citation Guide (6th Ed.)


About In-text Citations

Whenever you refer to information produced by someone else, you need to cite the original source in the text of your paper and in a reference list at the end of your paper. This allows the reader to follow up and learn more, while also giving credit and avoiding plagiarism (visit MacEwan's Academic Integrity pages to learn more).

ASA in-text citation guidelines are detailed below.

Basic Examples

Paraphrase There was no relationship found (Nkumbe 2016).
Paraphrase, author noted in the text  Nkumbe (2016) found that . . .
Quote  The author found that ". . ." (Lopez 2015:15).
Quote, author noted in the text Lopez (2015:15) states that ". . ." 
Two authors ". . . nothing was proven" (Nkumbe and Lopez 2016: 89).
Two authors, noted in the text  Nkumbe and Lopez (2016:89) found that . . . 
Three authors (in subsequent citations, use et al.) The authors found that ". . ." (Smith, Heller, and French 2019:5). It was also discovered that ". . ." (Smith et al. 2019:11).
More than three authors (use et al. in each citation) According to Frenzel et al. (2019:5) ". . ." 
No page numbers (omit this part of the citation) The author found that ". . ." (Lopez 2014).


Note: While ASA does not require page numbers when paraphrasing, MacEwan Library recommends doing so to avoid any academic integrity issues. To include page numbers, refer to the Quotations section below. 

When you write information from someone else’s work out in your own words, also known as paraphrasing, cite the last name of the author followed by the year of publication:

Dhungel (2017) found that day-to-day oppressions, or microaggressions, towards survivors of sex trafficking in Nepal are pervasive and make it difficult for these women to integrate back into their communities and family life.


Day-to-day oppressions, or microaggressions, towards survivors of trafficking victims in Nepal are pervasive and make it difficult for these women to integrate back into their communities and family life (Dhungel 2017).


If referring to the same work multiple times, include an in-text citation each time (do not use ibid). 

Only cite the source as many times as needed to ensure that it is clear to the reader where the information came from (bearing in mind that it is better to err on the side of caution and risk over-citing rather than under-citing):

Tsai et al. (2010) found that the effect of lowered systolic blood pressure (SBP) in hospitalized children continued after their animal-assisted therapy sessions had ended. However, the authors also found that despite a similar decrease in SBP during the alternate therapy of a puzzle session, the children’s SBP returned to their original levels after the session was complete.


If quoting information directly from a source, include a page number:

Dhengal (2017:129) categorizes microassaults into four themes: “. . ."


A recent study categorized microassaults into four themes: “. . .” (Dhengal 2017:129).


If a quotation appears on multiple pages, include an em dash between page numbers:

Survivors were frequently told that they were ". . ." (Dhengal 2017:132—133).


Quotes longer than 50 words (also known as a "block quotation") start on their own line, indented, may be single-spaced, and with quotation marks omitted. The in-text citation comes after the period: 

As one informant related:

When I recognized that it was very inappropriate and disrespectful, I went to my manager to complain but instead of supporting me she humiliated me more. I was told that this is my reality and wherever I go I will have to face this. She said there is no need to take it seriously, as she is sure they didn’t mean what they said. (Dhengal 2017:133)

Multiple Authors

Two authors, use an “and” between last names:

Bowen and Murshid (2016:224) define intersectionality as an “awareness of identity . . .” 


Intersectionality can be understood as an “awareness of identity . . .” (Bowen and Murshid 2016:224).


Three authors, include all three authors in the first citation, then use "et al." in subsequent citations:

The authors found that ". . ." (Smith, Heller, and French 2019:5). They also discovered that "..." (Smith et al. 2019:6).


More than three authors, include the first author followed by “et al.”:

Frenzel et al. (2014:5) recently discovered that frogs are ". . ." 


A recent study investigating frogs found that ". . ." (Frenzel et al. 2014:5).

Citing Multiple Works

If citing two or more works by different authors that discuss the same topic or idea, list them in order alphabetically by author last name or by date (just be consistent throughout your paper), and separate each one with a semicolon:

A number of recent studies have applied concepts of formal and informal social control . . . (see for instance, Brown 2020; Cooley et al. 2017; Parsons 2008; Winters, Lister, and Smith 2017).


If citing works by the same author written in the same year, assign an a, b, c, and so on along with the publication year in both your in-text citation and reference list entry:

According to Parsons (2008a) . . . In a work from that same year, Parsons (2008b) revealed that . . .

Citing a Source Within a Source

Whenever possible, find the original source of the information you are citing. If this is not possible, reference the original work and the work you are using as follows:

According to Weber (1919 as cited in Reynolds 2018:98) there is a ". . ." 

*Only include the work you have used (Reynolds 2018) in your reference list entry at the end of your paper. 

No Page Numbers

When quoting from a source that does not include page numbers, it is OK to omit this information from the citation:

A recent study investigating frogs found that ". . ." (Lawrence 2014).

If citing audio/visual materials, include a timestamp:

As was noted in the video, ". . ." (Notley 2022:12:32). 

 If your instructor would still like some indication of where quotes came from, visit the APA guide for examples of including sections or paragraph numbers when there is no page number available.

No Author

For sources that do not include a person as the author, use the institutional author (i.e., an organization, government, or agency serving as author):

A report by the Department of Justice Canada (2017:34) found that "..." 


According to a recent report, ". . . " (Department of Justice Canada2017:34). 


For sources with an organization name with an abbreviation, you can include the abbreviation in-text and follow this with the full name of the organization in the reference entry for this work:

- In-text: The report found that ". . . " (CNA 2020:3) 
- Reference entry:

CNA (Canadian Nurses Association). 2020. "2020 Vision: Improving Long-Term Care for People in Canada."

No Date

If no date is provided, include (N.d.) in place of a date:

According to Smith (N.d.:78) there are ". . ." 


He found that ". . ." (Smith N.d.:78).

Personal Communications

When citing a personal communication that you have permission to share in your work (e.g., an interview you have conducted or an email you have received), include information about this interaction in the text of your paper or in a footnote, but do not include this in your reference list since this is not information someone else could retrieve:

- In-text: In an interview with an anthropologist at MacEwan University, it was explained that “symbolic communication is not limited to humans . . . ” (Lisa Mutch, personal communication, March 21, 2022).
- In a footnote: 1 Lisa Mutch, interview with the author, March 21, 2022.


Knowledge Keepers and Indigenous Elders

MacEwan Library recommends that personal communications with a Knowledge Keeper or Indigenous Elder be cited in-text and in the reference list. Visit the Examples page for a reference entry template to follow.  

Through our discussion, I learned that ". . ." (Cardinal 2004).


This approach was developed by Lorisia MacLeod and NorQuest College Indigenous Student Centre staff and shared on the NorQuest College Library website in the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation under a CC BY-NC license.

Licensed under CC BY-NC | Details and Exceptions