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APA Citation Style (7th Edition)

Quoting, paraphrasing, in-text citing

Each time you quote or paraphrase a source, you must include an in-text citation as well as an entry in your reference list. 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.

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.

  • Parenthetical citation: include the author name and the year in parentheses. 
    • (Jones, 2003).
  • Narrative citation: mention the author in your sentence, immediately followed by the date. 
    • Jones (2003) believed you could be flexible when necessary.
  • Direct quotes: include the page number with the in-text citation. 
    • "This is what a short quote would look like" (Jones, 2003, p. 17). 
    • Jones (2003) found that "you could be a little flexible to facilitate the flow of your writing" (p. 17). 
  • Block quote (more than 40 words): 
    • Indent 0.5" from the left margin. The entire block quote is double-spaced. 
    • When a block quote is longer than one paragraph, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph.
    • Add the author, year and page number in parentheses at the end of the block quote. (Jones, 2003, p. 17)

(See sections 8.10-8.36 of the APA Publication Manual, 7th ed.)

Level of Citation

It is important to cite at the appropriate level, meaning you don't want to cite too little nor too much. To learn more about this, have a look at the APA Style site:

More than one author?

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

3 or more authors?
Cite the first author listed plus et al. (Jones et al., 2011).

(See section 8.17 of the APA Publication Manual, 7th ed.)

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).  

For example, 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.

(See section 8.6 of the APA Publication Manual, 7th ed.)