Skip to main content

COVID-19 Library Services Update

APA 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 to the author and avoiding plagiarism.

APA in-text citation guidelines are detailed below.

Basic Examples

Paraphrase There was no relationship found (Nkumbe, 2016).
Paraphrase, author in text  Nkumbe (2016) found that . . .
Quote  As she stated, ". . ." (Lopez, 2015, p. 15).
Quote, author in text Lopez (2015) states that ". . ." (p. 15).
Quote from a website (use paragraph numbers)  As she stated, ". . ." (Lopez, 2014, para. 5).
Two authors Nothing was proven (Nkumbe & Lopez, 2016).
Two authors, in text   Nkumbe and Lopez (2016) found that . . .

Adapted from In-text Citations: Rules and Examples by Concordia University-Portland. CC BY-NC-SA.


Note: According to APA, including a page number when paraphrasing is optional. However, it is best to check with your course instructor as some require page numbers. If so, follow the instructions in the next section below for quoting information.

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 in the same paragraph, only cite the source as many times as needed to ensure that it is clear to the reader where the information came from:

Tsai, Friedman, and Thomas (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 at the end of each quote:

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


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


If a quotation appears on multiple pages, include pp. before the page numbers:

Survivors were frequently told that they were ". . ." (Dhengal, 2017, pp. 132-133).


Quotes longer than 40 words start on their own line, indented, and with quotation marks omitted: 

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, p. 133)

Multiple Authors

Two authors, use an “and” between last names, or an “&” symbol if the citation is in parentheses at the end of a sentence:

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


Intersectionality can be understood as an “awareness of identity . . .” (Bowen & Murshid, 2016, p. 224).


Three to five authors, include all the first time you reference the work. In subsequent references, just include the first author followed by “et al.”:

". . ." (Frenzel, Bowen, Spraitz, Bowers, & Phaneuf, 2014, p. 9), and then ". . ." (Frenzel, et al., 2014, p. 5).


Six or more authors, only cite the first author followed by “et al.”:

" . . ." (Liegghio, et al., 2017, p. 19). 

Citing Multiple Works

If citing two or more works by different authors that discuss the same topic or idea, list them in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author appearing on each work, and separate each one with a semicolon:

A number of recent studies have applied concepts of formal and informal social control . . . (Cooley, Moore, & Sample, 2017; Frenzel, Bowen, Spraitz, Bowers, & Phaneuf, 2014; Winters, Jeglic, Calkins, & Blasko, 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 (as cited in Reynolds, 2018) there is a . . .

*Only include the work you are using (e.g., Reynolds, 2018) in your reference entry. 

No Page Numbers

Use a section heading, if available, and a paragraph number:

Worley Parsons (2018) revealed that . . . (Services, para. 1)


For long headings, shorten it to the first few words in quotation marks:

Zaidi (2019) explained that . . . ("Participatory Action," para. 1)


If no page numbers or headings, count down and provide a paragraph number:

The Canadian Diabetes Association (2019) recommended that ". . ." (para. 21)


". . ." (The Canadian Diabetes Association, 2019, para. 7)


For audiovisual materials (e.g., videos, podcasts) include a timestamp indicating when a quote begins:

". . ." (Trudeau, 2018, 5:04).

No Author

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

According to CBC News (2017) . . .


For sources with no author or corporate author, include the first few words of the title in double quotes (or the entire title if it is short):

... as was related in a recent news story (“Homeless Veterans in Focus,” 2017, para. 7).

No Date

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

According to Smith (n.d.) there are . . . 


". . ." (Smith, n.d., p. 78).

Personal Communications

When citing a personal communication (e.g., an interview, a lecture, an email), the citation occurs within the text of your paper, but is not included in your reference list since this is not retrievable information:

In an interview with an anthropologist at MacEwan University, it was explained that “symbolic communication is not limited to humans . . . ” (L. Mutch, personal communication, March 21, 2019).


As MacEwan University anthropologist Lisa Mutch explained, “symbolic communication is not limited to humans . . . ” (personal communication, March 21, 2019).
This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International license. For exceptions, see the Library Copyright Statement.