How Do You Write a Citation in APA Style?


Quick Answer

To write an in-text citation in the American Psychological Association style, use the author-date format. When the author’s name appears with a direct quotation, the year follows the name and is enclosed in parentheses. The page number, also enclosed in parentheses, is placed at the end of the direct quotation after the closing quotation mark.

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Full Answer

The citation comes at the end of a quotation or at the end of each sentence within a paragraph that requires a reference, even if all of the information in the paragraph is from the same source. Writers place the citation in parentheses before the end punctuation.

For up to five authors of the same source, all last names are in the first citation. For each reference thereafter, writers only list the last name of the first author followed by et al. When a source has more than five authors, only the first author followed by et al. is in the beginning and in the subsequent citations. Sources without an author use the title of the publication instead. References at the end of the paper lists the author’s name, title of the publication, title of the journal, book, or edited volume, page number, and website address and date of access for online sources.

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