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APA 6th and 7th Edition Citation Guide

In-Text Citations

In-text citations are required when information from an outside source is included in your APA style essay. These citations always contain the author, then the year of the source. For direct quotes, a page number is mandatory, and included using "p."; for paraphrasing, including this information is encouraged, but not absolutely necessary.

Jones (2019) ... (p. 5)

(Jones, 2019, p. 5)

This information is usually put in brackets/parentheses ( ), although it can be arranged in different ways following the Author, Year, p. # order within a sentence, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1: If the author's name is mentioned in your sentence, keep the year immediately after the author's name, and put any page/paragraph numbers at the end of the quoted or paraphrased information:


According to a study by Lopez (2016) for the Pew Research Center, although 95% of Latinos in America believe the Spanish language to be an incredibly important aspect of their culture, 71% believe speaking Spanish is not necessary for an individual to be considered Latino (p. 1).

Example 2: If the author's name is not mentioned in your sentence, include all of that information in the same set of brackets at the end of the quoted/paraphrased information:


Throughout the rest of the study, “the behaviors were not exhibited again. Earlier studies were clearly premature” (World Health Organization, 2017, p. 38).
***Note: as shown above, no punctuation needs to be included at the end of the quote; the period for the end of the sentence is placed after the citation in parentheses.***

Example 3: If your directly quoted source does not have page numbers, include a paragraph number using "para." instead:


As Lu (2002) points out, locally-produced films have "long captured the enthusiasm and love of dedicated fans from all over the world" (para. 2).
***Note: for information found across multiple paragraphs, use "paras." : (Lu, 2002, paras. 1-4).***

Example 4: If your cited information is found on a range of pages, "pp." is used, and the start and end page numbers are separated with a dash:


Although there was no evidence in this study that the placebo effect occurred when using a different method of assessment, the authors failed to clarify which behaviours were studied (Smith & Wesson, 2017, pp. 38-40).
***Note: if the information is found on non-consecutive pages, separate the pages with commas instead of a dash: (Smith & Wesson, 2017, pp. 38, 41, 47).***

For more general information on in-text citations, see page 174 of the APA 6th edition manual (starting under the heading "Citing References in Text").

For in-text citations with one author, always include the author's last name and the year of the source. No initials for the author's first or middle name are necessary. Page/paragraph numbers are mandatory when directly quoting, and optional when paraphrasing.


When you mention the author in your sentence and use a direct quote:

As Harper (2019) explains, although they used to form the bedrock of the disciplines, these theories have been described in recent years as "more outdated than Freud" (p. 9).

When you do not mention the author in your sentence and use paraphrasing:

Although many studies have shown a correlation between these two trends, the only study able to prove causation had far too small a sample size to be considered trustworthy (Mihaylova, 2018).

When you have multiple sentences that are cited from the same one-author source, use linking phrases to make it clear that all the information you're using is from the same place. Different page or paragraph numbers can also be used to indicate where in the source the information came from, as shown below:

Throughout his case study, Calvo (2018) expresses the importance of those from different "professional cultures - scientific and engineering" being able to collaborate in developing and successfully promoting new products and innovations (p. 12). The author then goes on to describe examples of such innovative developments, including Tegaki AI (p. 13). His conclusion re-emphasizes the importance of cross-training and collaboration in developing advanced technological products in a start-up context (p. 26).

For more information on citing sources with one author, see page 174 of the APA 6th edition manual (Section 6.11).

For in-text citations with two authors, include the last names of both authors in each in-text citation, separated with the "&" symbol. Include the rest of the information (year, page/paragraph number) the same as you would for any other source.

Note that when the authors' names are mentioned in your sentence, the word "and" is used instead of the "&" symbol, as shown in the examples below:


When the authors are mentioned in your sentence:

Contrary to popular belief, the literature review conducted by Frith and Loprinzi (2018) found that using Facebook actually improved the participants' impressions of their own well being, and thus their self-esteem; however, the authors also suggest that additional "innovative strategies" are needed to study this link further (p. 1).

When the authors are not mentioned in your sentence:

In the past, healthcare professionals approached patient care on a more case-by-case basis; nowadays, this approach is beginning to transition to a mindset that focuses on population care, prevention, and the improvement of the overall healthcare system in working with different populations (Grimes & Weller, 2012).

For more information on citing sources with multiple authors, see page 175 of the APA 6th edition manual (section 6.12).

For in-text citations with three to five authors, include the last names of all the authors in the first in-text citation, using the "&" symbol prior to the final listed author, as shown below:

(Law, Kwok, Chan, Chan & Yip, 2019).

In subsequent in-text citations, use only the last name of the first listed author followed by "et al." which means "and everyone else":

(Law et al., 2019).

In both cases, include the rest of the information (year, page/paragraph number) the same as you would for any other source.

Note that when the authors' names are mentioned in your sentence, the word "and" is used instead of the "&" symbol, as shown in the examples below:


When the authors are mentioned in your sentence (first citation):

Even though Kinesiology Tape is very commonly used in the sports world, the study conducted by Gomes, de Freitas, Brown, Behm and Marchetti (2018) found that using the tape had no statistically significant impact on a wide range of performance aspects.

When the authors are mentioned in your sentence (subsequent citation):

The participants of the aforementioned study by Gomes et al. (2018) were healthy, resistance-trained men between the ages of 19 and 31.

When the authors are not mentioned in your sentence (first citation):

While some household tasks, such as cooking, are becoming increasingly shared, there are still some aspects of household labor that have remained consistently in the domain of women (e.g., household shopping) or men (e.g., home maintenance) (Guppy, Sakumoto & Wilkes, 2019).

When the authors are not mentioned in your sentence (subsequent citation):

In their conclusion, the authors go on to partially attribute gender convergence in household labor in Canada to a shift in which "commerce, education, and politics have become more central in modern life while the relative power of the family has declined" (Guppy et al., 2019, p. 198).

For more information on citing sources with multiple authors, see page 175 of the APA 6th edition manual (starting from section 6.12) and page 175 (Table 6.1).

For sources with six or more authors, include only the last name of the first listed author followed by "et al." (which means "and everyone else") for each in-text citation. Include the rest of the information (year, page/paragraph number) the same as you would for any other source.

Note that in the reference list, the first six authors will be listed, followed by an ellipsis (...) then the name of the final listed author. See the "Reference List" tab for more on this.


When the authors are mentioned in your sentence:

The research conducted by Disney et al. (2019) provides new strategies to further investigate how the ability to visit clients and work outside the office (or the inability to leave one's office) can influence the effectiveness of social services and the personal health of social workers.

When the authors are not mentioned in your sentence:

Although many studies have focused on the stress-reducing effects of music on trained musicians, the authors of this study also suggest that even "those with no previous musical training can have a short-term stress reduction experience by playing music" (Fallon et al., 2019, para. 3).

For more information on citing sources with multiple authors, see page 175 of the APA 6th edition manual (starting from section 6.12) and page 175 (Table 6.1).

A corporate author is when an institution, organization, business, or other named group is the credited author of a source. Some common corporate authors include the following:

- Canadian Nurses Association 

- World Health Organization

- American Psychological Association

- Alberta Education

- Statistics Canada

Citing a corporate author generally has no difference from other in-text citations; just use the name of the institution/organization as the author. However, as with other abbreviated terms in APA papers (see "Overall Formatting"), if the organization's name can be abbreviated, that abbreviation must be established the first time the name of the organization is mentioned, as shown in the examples below.


Non-abbreviated corporate author

The number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries in Canada decreased between August 2018 and August 2019; this was accompanied by a 2.5% overall increase in employment across the country, "while the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 5.7%" (Statistics Canada, 2019, para. 2).

Setting up the abbreviation for a corporate author

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) provides resources, information, and advocacy related to and on behalf of registered nurses. According to the CNA (2015), "scope of practice" refers to the authorized activities and responsibilities of both individual nurses and the nursing community as a whole (p. 14).

For more information on citing groups as authors, see page 176 of the APA 6th edition manual (section 6.13).

If a source does not have an author, the title is used in its place. If the title is long, it can be shortened. For example:

All 33 Chile Miners Freed in Flawless Rescue --> "All 33 Chile Miners Freed"

The titles of shorter, partial works (e.g. journal/newspaper articles, book chapters, website tabs) are included in "quotation marks," whereas the titles of longer, complete works (e.g. full journals, full books, entire websites) are written in italics.

Hazards of Primary Care in Aging Populations --> Hazards of Primary Care


For a news article with no author:

By October, the rescued miners were finally able to celebrate their survival with their families ("All 33 Chile Miners Freed," 2010).

For a full book with no author or editor

If a source has no year or date, use "n.d." in place of the year/date:

The range of course options at the University of Toronto includes two different sections for Applied Statistics (University of Toronto, n.d.).

For more information on citing works with no author, see page 176 of the APA 6th edition manual (section 6.15).

When the source you are reading has cited its information from another source, you have two choices:

1. Whenever possible, locate the original source, read it, and cite it in your paper, or

2. If the original source is impossible to locate, include the information for the original author in your sentence, then cite the source you read along with the words "as cited in."

For example, if you want to cite this section of an article written by Stacey and Cook in 2019:


This conceptualisation of resilience is reminiscent of definitions found in the field of engineering, where the term resilient is applied to the description of a material which, when placed under pressure, returns to a steady state (Joseph, 2013). 


You can mention Joseph (2013) in your sentence, but cite Stacey and Cook, as shown below:


Even though Joseph (2013) defines resilience in the context of engineering, the idea of returning to a steady state even under stress can apply just as much to a person as it does to a material substance (as cited in Stacey & Cook, 2019, p. 2).

For more information on citing secondary sources, see page 178 of the APA 6th edition manual (section 6.17).

If the same information is expressed in multiple sources, you can cite those sources within the same set of brackets. Separate each source with a semicolon (;) and arrange the sources in alphabetical order by the last name of the first listed author of each source.

Note: Do not rearrange the order of the authors within one source - they chose which order to put themselves in!


Although there was no evidence in either of these studies of the placebo effect when using a different method of assessment, the authors failed to clarify which behaviours were studied (Reed & Barrett, 2014; Smith, 1994).

For more information on citing multiple sources within the same parentheses, see page 177 of the APA 6th edition manual (section 6.16).

When placing images directly into your assignment, place the full citation immediately below the image. When you discuss the image in your text, give it a name, such as Figure 1, in addition to the full citation immediately beneath the image, and refer to it as Figure 1. If you are discussing a particular work of art, you may refer to it by the artist or title, as it may be well known.   

Clip art from Microsoft Word or PowerPoint (pre-2013) does not need citations. Describe the location (for example: image was downloaded from MSWord) in the text when referring to the image.

Remember to cite the source you are using. If you have a book, cite the book. If you are looking at the original work, cite the original work. Do not cite the original work if you have not personally seen it. 


Online Image

Artist, A. B (Role of author). (Copyright year). Title of work [Medium: painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, etc.]. Retrieved from

In Print

Artist, A. B (Role of author). (year of work). Title of work [Medium]. In A. Author of book, Book title (p. # of image). Place: Publisher.  


Image from a database:

Brodrick, C. (Artist). (1852-58). Plan of Leeds town hall [Drawing]. Retrieved from

Image from a Website:

Steblovskyy, K. (Photographer). (2015). Swanlike End [Photograph]. Retrieved from

Image from a book:

Renoir, P. A. (1987). Young girl and a cow at Saint-Briac [Oil on canvas]. In J. Le Paul, Gaugin and the Impressionists at Pont-Aven (p. 137). New York: Abbevill Press.

*Note: for books you will put the year of the book not the date the art was created or copyrighted so the reader can find the source that you used.

Image from social media

Khiza Music. (2015, March 5). [Image of a mother holding a child]. Retrieved from

Creative Commons instructions:

Creative commons image citations look different because they are copyrighted differently. By indicating the CC info (e.g. CC BY 2.0) the reader is able to know if the image can be shared, modified, and/or sold.

  • For example, CC BY 2.0 means that anyone is able to share and adapt the image for personal or commercial use so long as the original author has been credited and any changes have been noted. The original author is not able to change these rights as long as these rules have been followed.


“Title of work” by Author or screen name is licensed under CC info

Example: “Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco” by tvol is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Information regarding Creative Commons citing came from “Best practices for attribution”. (2014). Creative Commons Wiki. Retrieved from

For more information on citing images, see page 151 (section 5.21) of the APA 6th edition manual.

If you communicate with someone through private letters, private emails, conversations or text messages, cite the person's initials, last name, the words "personal communication," and the exact date when the conversation took place. Include this information in text, as shown below:

T. K. Lutes (personal communication, April 18, 2001) states...


"quote" (T. K. Lutes, personal communication, April 18, 2001).

Note that there is no reference entry at the end of your paper for these citations. Personal communications are cited in-text only.

For more information on citing personal communications, see page 179 in the APA 6th edition manual (section 6.20).

For quotes with 40 words or more, format your quotation as follows:

Create a freestanding block, separated from the paragraph with the quote starting on a new line, and indent all lines of the paragraph about .5 inches from the left margin. Do no use quotation marks, unless there is a quote within your quote. As a quote should not end a paragraph, continue the paragraph with no indentation.

To illustrate his point, Orwell (2008) describes Winston’s experience:

Whatever was written on the paper, it must have some kind of political meaning. So far as he could see there were two possibilities. One, much the more likely, was that the girl was an agent of the Thought Police, just as he had feared. He did not know why the Thought Police should choose to deliver their message in such a fashion, but perhaps they had their reasons. (p. 113)

Winston’s thoughts about the message from the girl and the Thought Police turned out to be unfounded once he read the girl’s message.

Cite the quotation the same way you would normally cite, and make sure the font, size and spacing are consistent with the rest of your paper. Note that in the case of block quotations, the period at the end of the quote comes before the citation in parentheses at the end, not after, as it does with other quotations.

For more information on formatting block quotations, see pages 92 (section 4.08) and 170 (section 6.03) of the APA 6th edition manual.

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