APA in-text citation
If you’re a student or researcher, you know that citing your sources is critical to writing any academic paper. In particular, the American Psychological Association (APA) style is one of the most widely used citation styles in the social sciences. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of APA in-text citation, from the formatting and style guidelines to the most common sources you’ll need to cite.
What is APA in-text citation?
APA in-text citation is a system of referencing sources within the body of your paper. Whenever you use a source, such as a quote or an idea, you must include an in-text citation to give credit to the original author. This allows readers to locate the source quickly and verify your presented information.
Formatting and Style Guidelines for APA in-text Citation
The formatting and style guidelines for APA in-text citation are relatively straightforward. You’ll need to include the author’s last name and the year of publication in parentheses after the relevant information. For example:
- According to Smith (2019), “the sky is blue.”
If you’re citing a direct quote, you must include the page number where the selection can be found. For example:
- “The sky is blue” (Smith, 2019, p. 12).
If you’re citing a source with multiple authors, you’ll need to include their last names in the citation, separated by commas. For example:
- According to Smith, Jones, and Brown (2020), “the ocean is vast.”
If a source has three or more authors, you can use “et al.” instead of listing all their names. For example:
- According to Smith et al. (2020), “the mountains are tall.”
Common Types of Sources for APA in-text Citation
Books Citing in APA In-text Citation
When citing a book, you must include the author’s last name and the year of publication. If the reader has multiple authors, list them all. The title of the book should be in italics. For example:
- (Smith, 2018)
Journal articles Citing in APA In-text Citation
When citing a journal article, you’ll need to include the author’s last name and the year of publication, just like with a book. You’ll also need the article’s title, the journal’s name, the volume number, and the page numbers. For example:
- (Jones, 2017, “The effects of climate change,” Journal of Environmental Science, 4, 56-67)
When citing a website, you must include the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the web page’s title. You’ll also need the URL and date you accessed the webpage. For example:
- (Brown, 2020, “How to cite APA,” https://www.example.com, accessed on October 1, 2022)
Tips for Effective APA in-text Citation
Here are some tips to help you cite your sources effectively and efficiently:
- Use a citation generator or manager to keep track of your sources and ensure consistency in your citations.
- Double-check the formatting and style guidelines for each source type to ensure that you follow APA guidelines.
- Be consistent in your citation style throughout your paper.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to cite your sources. It’s easier to keep track of your sources as you go along than to try to remember where you found
- Don’t wait until the last minute to cite your sources. It’s easier to keep track of your sources as you go along than to try to remember where you found each piece of information.
- Remember to cite both direct quotes and paraphrased information.
- Use signal phrases to introduce your sources, such as “according to” or “as Smith (2019) argues.”
- If you’re citing a source mentioned in another source, use “qtd. in” to indicate that you’re citing a secondary source. For example: (Jones, 2015, qtd. in Smith, 2019)
Common Errors to Avoid
Here are some common errors to avoid when citing your sources in APA style:
- Forgetting to include a citation for a source.
- Failing to have all of the necessary information in the citation.
- Mixing up the order of the information in the citation.
- Using the wrong punctuation or capitalization in the source.
- Failing to use quotation marks around direct quotes.
- Remember to avoid citations in your conclusion paragraph.
1. Should I include APA in-text citations for every sentence in my paper?
No, you only need in-text citations when using information from a source that isn’t common knowledge.
2. How do I cite a source without an author in APA In-text citation style?
If a source has no author, use the first few words of the title in place of the author’s name.
3. Do I need to include a reference list using in-text citations?
Yes, you should have a reference list at the end of your essay that includes all the sources you cited in your article.
4. How do I cite a source I found within another source?
Use “qtd. in” to indicate that you cite a secondary source.
5. What is the penalty for not citing sources properly?
Not citing sources properly can result in accusations of plagiarism, leading to a failing grade or even expulsion from your academic program. It’s essential to take the time to cite your sources correctly.
6. Can I use footnotes instead of in-text citations in APA style?
Footnotes can be used in APA style, but in-text citations are preferred for citing sources.
7. How do I cite a source with multiple authors in APA style?
If a source has two authors, include both names in the citation. If a source has three or more authors, include the first author’s name followed by “et al.” in the citation.
8. Do I need to include page numbers in APA in-text citations?
Yes, you should have page numbers when citing a specific page or section of a source.
9. Can I use endnotes instead of footnotes in APA style?
Endnotes can be used in APA style but are not the preferred method for citing sources.
10. What should I do if I’m unsure how to cite a source in APA style?
Consult the APA Publication Manual or a reputable online resource for guidance on how to cite different types of sources in the APA style. If you’re unsure, ask your instructor or a librarian for help.
APA in-text citation is an essential part of academic writing, allowing you to give credit to the sources that you use in your paper. By following the formatting and style guidelines for APA in-text citations and keeping track of your sources as you go along, you can ensure that your citations are accurate and consistent. Remember to avoid common errors and to use signal phrases to introduce your sources effectively.