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APA Citation Style

Quoting, paraphrasing, in-text citing

A direct quote involves copying exact words or phrases from your source material, while paraphrasing involves summarizing someone else's ideas or thoughts into your own words.

Each time you quote or paraphrase a source, you must include both an in-text citation (in brackets), and an entry in your final reference list.

What's the difference?

While direct quotes require quotation marks and a page number (or paragraph number if there are no pages), paraphrasing does not.

(Publication Manual, 2010, p.170-172)

All in-text citations include the author name and the year in parentheses: (Jones, 2003).

You can also mention the author in your sentence, followed by just the date: "Jones (2003) believed you could be flexible when necessary.

If you are quoting directly, include the page number with the in-text citation. For example, "This is what a short quote would look like" (Jones, 2003, p. 17).  Or, similar to the example for paraphrases above, Jones (2003) found that "you could be a little flexible to facilitate the flow of your writing" (p. 17). 

A block quote (more than 40 words) is indented 1/2" from the left margin only. The entire block quote is double-spaced.

When a block quote is longer than one paragraph, indent the second paragraph.

Add the author, year and page number in parentheses at the end of the block quote. (Jones, 2003, p. 17)

(Publication Manual, 2010, p.175)

Citing secondary sources

If you are referring to an author's work that is quoted in a secondary source, name the original author in the in-text citation, followed by: (as cited in secondary source, date).  

If you want to cite Smith's idea, which you read about in Jones' book, you would provide an in-text citation for Smith's study (Smith, as cited in Jones, 2002). In the reference list, include a reference only for Jones' book.


More than one author?

2 authors?
Cite both authors every time (Jones & Smith, 2011).

3 to 5 authors?
Cite all authors the first time (Jones, Smith, & Brown, 2011), but after that just cite the first one listed (Jones et al., 2011).

6 or more authors?
Only cite the first named author, followed by et al. (Smith et al., 2011)


When listing multiple authors for in-text citations, use the "&" symbol within brackets (Jones & Smith, 2011).


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