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Cite Sources: APA Style

General Information on APA

  • This page contains examples of commonly used formats from the APA-7th ed.
  • Cite sources that you have used in the body of your paper (in-text citation) and in the Reference List at the end of your paper.
  • Double space all of the citations on your Reference page.
  • Indent the second and following lines of the citation 5-7 spaces.

Note: The APA Citation Style is generally used for psychology, social sciences, and health disciplines. Please check with your instructors which style to use in your assignments

Create In-Text Citations in APA Style

What is an In-Text Citation? 

In-text citations are short references that lead the readers to the Reference List entries for the sources you have used in your research paper. The signal word/phrase that you use in the text must match the first thing that appears on the corresponding entry on the Reference List.

In APA, the author's or authors' last name(s) and the year of publication from which the summary or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text and a complete reference should appear on your Reference List page. If the in-text is a direct quotation, you must include the page number(s) in addition to the author(s) and year of publication.

Quoting Sources

When you quote a source, you include the author's exact words in your text. Use "quotation marks" around the author's words or create a block text for long quotations. Include signal phrases and an in-text citation to show where the quote is from.

Paraphrasing & Summarizing Sources

When you paraphrase or summarize a source, you restate the source's ideas in your own words and sentence structure. Select what is relevant to your topic, and restate only that. Changing only a few words is not sufficient in paraphrasing/ summarizing. Instead, you need to completely rephrase the author's ideas in your own words. You do not need to use quotation marks.

Always use in-text citations when you paraphrase or summarize, to let the reader know that the information comes from another source. Continue to use signal phrases as well.

Signal phrases let your reader know that you are quoting or summarizing from another source.


  • In the words of researchers Redelmeier and Tibshirani (2010), "..."
  • As Matt Sundeen (1965) has noted, "..."
  • Patti Pena (1999), mother of a child killed by a driver distracted by a cell phone, points out that "..."
  • "...," writes Christine Haughtney (2016, p.26).
  • "...," claims wireless spokesperson Annette Jacobs (1982).
  • from Bedford Handbook (2020, p.583)
acknowledges comments endorses reasons
adds compares grants refutes
admits confirms illustrates rejects
agrees contends implies reports
argues declares insists responds
asserts denies notes suggests
believes disputes observes thinks
claims emphasizes points outwrites

In-Text Examples in APA Style

Narrative citation when the author's name is included in your text:
Page numbers are optional for in-text citations that do not include a quotation.

Kohler (2016) experimentally examined how journalistic coverage influences public perceptions.

Koehler (2016) noted that in "more politically charged issues, such as climate change, people who lack expertise nevertheless have strong preexisting opinions" (p. 12). 

Format for parenthetical citation when the author's name is not included in your text:

Falsely balanced news coverage can distort the public's perception of expert consensus on an issue (Koehler, 2016). 

Use last names only. Add an "&" before the second name.

According to a study, "The poor and minorities were victims" (Frieden & Sagalyn, 2005). 

In et al., et should not be followed by a period. Only al should be followed by a period.

Our text discussed the "ethical dilemmas in public relations" (Wilcox et al., 2005). 

When there is no author listed or identified as specifically as Anonymous, include only the title and the year of publication in the in-text citation.   If Anonymous is used, put that as author. If the title of an unknown book is not italicized in the reference list, then put double quotation marks around the title in the in-text citation. Magazine and news articles are also put in double quotes. 


With the right supports, evidence-based practices can be used to improve communications in many different teams (Interpersonal Skills, 2019).

Haptic memory is mediated through the sensory receptors and lasts about 2 seconds ("Understanding Sensory Memory," 2018).

When the author is an organization or a government agency, mention the organization in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation the first time you cite the source.

According to the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020) anyone with flu-like symptoms should normally stay home until they are better to avoid spreading the flu to others. 

To cite a specific part of a source, provide an author-date citation for the work plus information about the specific part such as pages, sections, tables, slides, etc.


According to one study, "The poor and minorities were victims" (Frieden & Sagalyn, 2005, p. 29).

Scientific disciplines explain aesthetic response differently from the humanities (Shimamura, 2017, Chapter 3).

Police have started to target dissidents with technological abilities (Shadid, 2011, para. 3).

Children and the elderly both experience positive outcomes when they perceive a moderate level of control (Thompson, 1991, Table 1).

Create a Reference List in APA Style

Some guidelines for the list of references at the end of your paper:

  • Alphabetize your reference list by the first word of the citation (usually the author's last name).
  • Double space all the citations on your reference page. Indent the second & following lines of the citation 5-7 spaces.
  • Only capitalize the first word of the document title (and proper nouns). If there is a colon, only capitalize the first word after the colon, and any proper nouns.  


Achterberg, J. (1985). Imagery in healing. Shambhala Publications. 

American Psychological Association. (2017). Stress in America: The state of our nation.

Baider, L., Uziely, B., & Kaplan De-Nour, A. (1994). Progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery in cancer patients. General Hospital Psychiatry, 16(5), 340–347.

 Ball, T. M., Shapiro, D. E., Monheim, C. J., & Weydert, J. A. (2003). A pilot study of the use of guided imagery for the treatment of recurrent abdominal pain in children. Clinical Pediatrics, 42(6), 527–532.

Bernstein, D. A., & Borkovec, T. D. (1973). Progressive relaxation training: A manual for the helping professions. Research Press.

Cite Books and E-Books in APA Style

Books with no author given:
Title of book. (Year). Publisher.


World almanac and book of facts. (2000). Funk.

Books or e-books with one author:
Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year). Title of book. Publisher.


Burgess, R. (2019). Rethinking global health: Frameworks of power. Routledge.

Books with two authors:
Last Name, First Initial(s), & Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year). Title of book. Publisher.


Krisberg, B., & Austin, J. F. (2001). Reinventing juvenile justice. Sage.

Books with more than two authors:
APA now requires listing up to 20 authors for a source in the references list. For works with more than 20 authors, list the first 19, insert an ellipsis (…) point, and then list the last author's name.


Smith, J., Jones, B. E., Brown, K. E., Doe, J., Chan, L., Garcia, S. M., White, C-G., Fernández, J., Ahmed, A. J., Zhào, L., Cohen, D., Watanabe, K., Kim, K., Del Rosario, J., Yilmaz, P. K., Nguyễn, T., Wilson, T. H., Wang, W., Kahale, A. ... Zhang, Z. Z. (Date). Title. Source.

Books with an editor:
Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (Year). Title of book. Publisher.


Johnson, C. L., & Tuite, C. (Eds.). (2009). A companion to Jane Austen. Wiley-Blackwell.

Books with edition or volume number:


Montney, C. B. (Ed.). (1994). Asian American information directory (5th ed.). Gale.

E-books from a website with a DOI:
If the URL or DOI in your citation needs to be put on more than one line of text, do not add a hyphen. Do not add a period at the end of the URL or DOI. A shortened URL or DOI (e.g., tiny URL) is accepted if it takes the reader to the exact source. For e-books, the format, platform, or device (e.g., Kindle) is not included in the reference.

Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year). Title of book. Retrieved Month Day, Year DOI or URL (If no DOI, use URL)


Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist Therapy (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.

E-book from a database:
The database name is not required. If a DOI is available, use that. Include the database name only if your instructor requires it.


Hersen, M. (2000). Advanced abnormal child psychology. Lawrence Erlbaum.

E-book with no DOI and a non-database URL:


Christian, B., & Griffiths, T. (2016). Algorithms to live by: The computer science of human decisions. Henry Holt and Co.

Cite Articles and Reports in APA Style

Articles by 2-20 Authors: 
Use an ampersand(&) before the final author's name. Include a DOI if it is available. For articles with article numbers, include the article number instead of the page range.
Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year). Title of article. Title of Publication, Vol(issue), Page(s).


Weisz, J. R., McCarty, C. A., & Valeri, S. M. (2006). Effects of psychotherapy for depression in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 132(1),132- 149.

Articles by 21 or more Authors:
List the first nineteen authors, then put an ellipsis (. . .) before the final author’s name, but no ampersand.

Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Magazine, Page(s).


Lavelle, M. (2008, June 11). Behind the teen birth decline. U.S. News & World Report, 63-65.

Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, Page(s).


Hall, T. (2008, February 24). IQ scores are up. The New York Times, pp. F1, F5.

Cite Websites, Streaming Media, and More in APA Style

If you reference an entire Web site (not a specific part of or document on the site), only give the address (URL) in the text. No entry is needed in the Reference list.

Example (in the text of your paper)

The Maryland Department of Health provides information about state services (

Citing web pages:
Last Name, First Initial(s). Year, Month Day). Title of document. Site Name. URL


McNeely, L. (2018, July 10). NCHC Releases Major Health Care Affordability Report. National Coalition on Health Care.

Only cite content that can't be accessed anywhere else. 


User Name [twitter handle]. (Year, Month Day). First 20 words of tweet [image or video] [Tweet]. URL


Capital Weather Gang [@capitalweather]. (2022, May 8). All the rain Friday and Saturday sent debris surging down the Potomac River. This heron decided to go along for [thumbnail video] [Tweet].


User Name [handle]. (Year, Month Day). First 20 words of post [image or video]. URL


National Alliance on Mental Illness [@namicommunicate]. (2022, May 1). It's our FAVORITE month of the year! Let's kick off #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth! During this month let's come together, share our lived [Instagram photograph].

Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year, Month Day). Title of video [Video]. Platform. URL


Baker, N. (2007, February 7). March of the librarians [Video]. YouTube.

DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

The DSM-5 Online is available through MC Library's database collection (MC login required off-campus). To cite, use the DOI for the section being referred to - individual chapters and other parts of DSM-5 have been assigned DOIs. Put the DOI in the publisher position. (See the supplemental information for more detail.)

Example: DSM-5 online

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Anxiety disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Example: DSM 5 in print

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Sleep-Wake Disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Association.

Learn More

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APA Resources

Try It

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The following activities can help strengthen your APA citation skills.

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