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APA Citation Guide (7th 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, which includes using other's work, including words, ideas, results and processes, in your own work without giving proper credit (visit MacEwan's Academic Integrity pages to learn more).

APA 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, p. 15).
Quote, author noted in the text Lopez (2015) states that ". . ." (p. 15).
Two authors "... nothing was proven" (Nkumbe & Lopez, 2016, p. 89).
Two authors, noted in the text  Nkumbe and Lopez (2016) found that . . . (p. 89).
Three or more authors The authors found that ". . ." (Frenzel et al., 2019, p. 5).
Three or more authors, noted in the text According to Frenzel et al. (2019) ". . ." (p. 5). 
No page numbers (use section and/or paragraph numbers) The author found that ". . ." (Lopez, 2014, Research Methods section, para. 5).


Note: While APA does not require page numbers when paraphrasing, MacEwan Library recommends always 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 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 (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 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 (also known as a "block quotation") start on their own line, indented, double-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, 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 or more authors, include the first author followed by “et al.”:

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


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

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 . . . (see for instance, Brown, 2020; Cooley et al., 2017; Frenzel et al., 2014; Parsons, 2008; Winters et al., 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) there is a ". . ." (p.98).

*Only include the work you are using (e.g., Reynolds, 2018) in your reference entry. The page number is for the work you are using (e.g. Reynolds, 2018, p.98).

No Page Numbers

Ensure that readers can locate the quoted passage. Options include...

Use a section heading:

It was revealed that ". . ." (Parsons, 2018, Services section)


Count down the page and include a paragraph number:

Worley (2020) revealed that ". . ." (para. 5)


Use a section heading and a paragraph number:

Hurley et al. (2020) revealed that ". . ." (Demographic Information section, para. 7).


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

It was explained that . . . (Zaidi, 2019, "Participatory Action" section, para. 2)


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 group author (i.e., an organization, government, or agency serving as author):

A report by the Department of Justice Canada (2017) found that "..." (Introduction section, para. 1). 


According to a recent report, ". . . " (Department of Justice Canada2017, Introduction section, para. 1). 


For sources with an organization name with an abbreviation, you can include the abbreviation the first time and use it in the rest of your paper. If there is no abbreviation, you must put the name in full.

First mention: ". . . " (Canadian Nurses Association [CNA], 2020, para. 3) Second mention: ". . . " (CNA, 2020, para. 3)


For sources without a person or group author, start the citation with the work's title in quotes:

The news article stated that ". . . " (Homeless Veterans in Focus,” 2017, para. 7).


A news article in the paper, Homeless Veterans in Focus” (2017), stated that ". . ." (para. 7).

No Date

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

According to Smith (n.d.) there are ". . ." (p. 78). 


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

Personal Communications

When citing a personal communication (e.g., a personal interview you have conducted or an email you have received), 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).

Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers

A conversation with an Indigenous Elder or Knowledge Keeper is also considered to be a personal communication, but follows different rules. If you have spoken with an Indigenous Elder or Knowledge Keeper, provide an in-text citation with as much detail as possible to describe and contextualize the information you are citing, including their full name, nation or Indigenous group, location and any other relevant information followed by "personal communication" and the date or date range when the correspondence took place:

In-text citation: (Walter Cardinal, Goodfish Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 6, lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, personal communication, June 5 2020).

Note: MacEwan Library recommends that Elders and Knowledge Keepers be cited in-text and in the reference list. Visit the Examples page for a template to follow. 

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