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APA Citations: APA In-Text Citations

Information on citing sources in American Psychological Association format (7th edition).

Creating In-Text Citations

To avoid plagiarism, you must cite your sources when using them in your papers, both in the body of your paper (in-text citations) and in the list of references at the end (References).

In-text citations are brief, and generally include only the surname of the author, year, and page number.

1 Author: Some depth psychologists wonder whether the function of dreams is "taking them, as it were, back into the world in the form of enhanced self-understanding" (Flanagan, 2000, p. 41).
2 Authors: a Jungian view suggests that "dream symbols, or any other symbols for that matter, are attempts to individuate the anima, persona, shadow, and other archetypes and to unify them into a harmonious, balanced whole" (Hall & Nordby, 1999, p. 119).
3+ Authors: Sleep deprivation often results in "disruptions in cognition and memory deficits" (Spielman et al., 2017, p. 124).
No Author, No Date, No Page Number: It is thought that dreams "are the stories the brain tells during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep" ("Dreaming," n.d., "What Dreams Mean," para. 1).


There are also many ways to integrate the quote and brief citation information into the body of your paper:

Parenthetical Citation (Citation parts are all placed in the parentheses at the end of the quote): In REM sleep, there are often "pulses going to areas of the cortex that are known to be active when we are having vivid visual experiences while awake" (Flanagan, 2000, p. 13).
Narrative Citation (Citation parts are integrated with the narrative of the sentence): Thomas (2019) summarizes Jung in stating that play occurs between two dimensions: "the reality of the dream image and the material reality of our daily lives" (p. 100).
Paraphrase, no author (The content is summarized, rather than quoted): Many psychologists believe that dreams are a manifestation of repressed thoughts ("Dreams," 2016, pp. 334-335).
Secondary Source Citation (A quote is quoted in another work): One psychoanalytic theory claims that dreams are "the royal road to the unconscious" (Freud, 1900/2010, as cited in "Dreams," 2016, p. 334).

Notes on Formatting In-Text Citations

In-text citations should include the author's last name, year, and page number with every quote, generally in parentheses after the quote.


  • 1 author: Cite the surname.
  • 2 authors: If citing in parentheses, use "&" to separate their surnames. If using their names outside of parentheses, use "and."
  • 3+ authors: Cite the first surname plus the words "et al." Leave the rest of the authors out of the in-text citation.
  • No author: Use a shortened form of the title. Shorten the title to the first few words if it's long.


  • Use the year of publication.
  • No date: Use "n.d." where the date should go.
  • Republished: If the title is republished, or is generally known to be a classic, include both the original publication date and current publication date (1900/2010). The original publication date may be either in the current title's bibliography or on the open web.

Page Number

  • Shorten "page" to "p." (p. 4)
  • If your quote spans 2+ pages, use "pp." and include the page range. (pp. 4-5)
  • No page number: Use the paragraph number. If it is a long document, cite the section heading, shortened as needed, and the number of the paragraph following it ("Dreaming," para. 1.).
  • Video or audio recording: Use the time stamp in place of the page number. (TEDx Talks, 2014, 9:34)

A few more general notes:

  • Paraphrasing: This a summary of an author's idea rephrased in your own words. Quotation marks are not necessary because you are not using the author's exact words, but an in-text citation is still required.
  • Block quotations: If a quotation contains more than 40 words, do not use quotation marks. Indent the entire quote 0.5" from the left margin and include the in-text citation in parentheses at the end.
  • Secondary Source Citations: When possible, pull quotes directly from the original author's work. If the primary source is not available, you can create an indirect citation by using the quote from a secondary source. In the in-text citation, include both the original author of the quote (the primary source) and the author who is quoting them (the secondary source) and separate these names with "as cited in." Include both publication years, if known (check the secondary author's References page for the citation of the original work). Only the secondary source needs to be included on your References page.