An in-text citation concisely identifies the source of information or ideas. It helps the
readers to locate the corresponding entry in the reference list at the end of your paper.
You should include an in-text citation every time you paraphrase or quote from a source.
In this video, you’ll learn how to use in-text citations according to the APA
Style 7th edition guidelines. I’ll explain what information to include,
how to integrate it in a sentence, and what to do with multiple authors and missing information.
Hi, I’m Jessica from Scribbr, here to help you achieve your academic goals.
The in-text citation always consists of the author’s last name and the publication year,
no matter the source type.
If you're citing a specific part of a source,
also include a locator. For books, this is usually a page number,
for videos a timestamp, and for webpages, you may use a paragraph number or heading.
You only need to include the page number when you're using a direct quote.
To keep your in-text citations correct and consistent,
you can use Scribbr’s free citation generator. Just click, and paste, it’s that easy!
Now, you can integrate the in-text citation into a sentence
using either a parenthetical or narrative citation.
For parenthetical citations, write the author name and publication year within parentheses.
These are usually placed at the end of the sentence, just before the period.
There is a positive correlation between social media usage and
anxiety symptoms in teenagers (Parker, 2019).
For narrative citations, the author's name appears naturally within a sentence.
Place the publication year directly after the author’s name, like the example here.
Parker (2019) found a positive correlation
between social media usage and anxiety symptoms in teenagers.
When your source has multiple authors, a maximum of two authors are included
in the in-text citation, if there are more you use "et al" which means ‘and others’.
For a source with 2 authors, you use an ampersand between them, followed by the year.
So here, it’s Harris ampersand Cook comma 2020.
When your source has 3 or more authors, simply take the first author's last
name and add “et al." comma publication year. If your institution follows the APA 6th edition,
it’s a little bit different, you can check out this video!
What if the source you’re using is missing some key information? Let’s take a look.
If the author is unknown, but you know the organization that created it, in this example
it’s Tesla, then you should use the organization name. If you don’t, then use the title.
The costs of solar energy have decreased by 34% in the past three years (Tesla, 2020).
When using the title, format it the same way as in the reference list,
so either in italics or in double quotation marks, and always use title case capitalization.
If the title is long, it's shortened in the in-text citation.
("U.S. Flood Risk" 2015) (Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2017)
You might also come across sources without a publication year. In that case,
use n.d. for no date. (Johnson, n.d.).
If you’re quoting a specific passage, but your source doesn’t have page numbers,
include an alternative locator such as a timestamp,
chapter or paragraph number instead. Timestamp: (Liu, 2020, 03:26)
Chapter number: (Johnson, 2019, Chapter 3) Paragraph number: (McCombes, 2016, para. 4)
We have covered the basics of in-text citation and some of the common exceptions.
There are a few more, such as when you're citing works from two different authors
with the same last name or several works from the same author in the same year.
In these situations, the in-text citation may be ambiguous.
Check out our article to learn what to do in these scenarios.
Click this playlist to watch more about APA 7, I’ll see you there!