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APA Guide - 6th Edition: Step 2: In-Text Citations

Step 2: Generate APA In-Text Citations

When you write a paper, you sometimes include a direct quotation from one of your information sources. And you sometimes paraphrase or summarize an information source in your own words.

An APA In-Text Citation gives credit to those information sources within the body of your paper and also connects the reader to your Works Cited page.

The format of an In-Text Citation varies if you are quoting directly or if you are paraphrasing/summarizing. 

Follow these examples for in-text citations; consult with your librarians or APA style guides for more complex information sources and situations.

Quoting Directly

Direct quote - if including author name in sentence

Otto (1958) states that believing and experiencing the holy are entirely different phenomena--that we can "become consciously aware of it as an operative reality, intervening actively in the phenomenal world" (p. 143). 

Publication year after author name; page number - including p. - surrounded by parentheses - inserted after quotation marks and before period.

Direct quote - if not including include author name in sentence

Believing and experiencing the holy are entirely different phenomena, and we can "become consciously aware of it an as operative reality, intervening actively in the phenomenal world" (Otto, 1958, p. 143).  

Author name, publication year and page number - including p. - surrounded by parentheses and inserted after quotation marks and before period.

Note: The above examples of in-text citations tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 143 of a work by an author named Otto.  

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If a reader wanted more information about this source, he/she could turn to the References page, where, under the name of Otto, they will find the following citation:

Otto, R. (1958). The idea of the holy. London: Oxford U.P.

Paraphrasing/Summarizing

Paraphrasing - if including the author name in a sentence

Otto (1958) differentiaties between believing and experiencing the holy as an operative reality.  

Paraphrasing - if not including the author name in a sentence

Believing and experiencing the holy are different phenomena (Otto, 1958).  

If a reader wanted more information about this source, he/she could turn to the References page, where, under the name of Otto, they will find the following citation:

Otto, R. (1958). The idea of the holy. London: Oxford U.P.

Source within a source

Source within a source

If you use a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. List the secondary source in your reference list and include the secondary source in the parentheses.

Johnson argued that...(as cited in Smith, 2003, p. 102).

Note: When citing material in parentheses, set off the citation with a comma, as above. Also, try to locate the original material and cite the original source.

Source: OWL Purdue