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In-Text Citations

See Chapter 8 in the Publication Manual for more information.

You must cite the author and publication year of a source in the text of your paper.  Types of sources include

  • Ideas that you have paraphrased
  • Direct quotes
  • References to data or data sets
  • Reprinted tables, figures, or images found on the internet that are free or licensed in the Creative Commons

Use the author-date citations system to cite references in your text. One or both of these elements will be in parenthesis, depending on the situation.  All sources that are cited in text will be in the references list at the end of the paper.  If you are using a direct quote, you must include the page numbers.


  • Kessler (2003) found that among epidemiological samples....
  • Early onset results in a more persistent course (Kessler, 2003).   - Note - the period comes after the citation.

If you cite a direct quote, the citation requires the page or paragraph number:

  • Through brain scans of live chimpanzees, researchers have found that, as humans, "the language controlling..." (Begley, 1998, p. 57).
  • Basu and Jones (2007) went so far as to suggest the need for "regulation in cyber space" (para. 4).

When citing multiple works, place the citations in alphabetical order, separating them with semicolons.

(Edwards, 2012; Flygare et al., 2019; Steba, 2015)

Type First Citation In-Text Subsequent In-Text Citations
1 Author (Flygare, 2017) (Flygare, 2017)
2 Authors (Flygare & Edwards, 2017) (Flygare & Edwards, 2017)

3 or More Authors

(Flygare et al., 2017) (Flygare et al., 2017)
Groups - Abbreviated (Central Intelligence Agency, 2017) (CIA, 2017)

See section 8.17

Personal Communications - section 8.7; 8.8

Personal communications such as interviews, emails, private letters and such are cited in the text of your paper, but not in your reference list.  Your reference list should only contain retrievable data.  If your reader will not be able to recover the source, do not included it in your reference list. 

Type In-Text Citation Reference
Personal communication - interview, letter, etc. (K.D. Voyles, personal communication, October 13, 2017) Not included


Classroom or Intranet Resources

When the audience you are writing for can retrieve the works you used, such as class notes posted in D2L, cite the works using the formats in the Reference examples.  If the work is intended for a wider audience who will not have access to these sources, cite the sources as personal communications.


Citing a website can be tricky because a website may not have a traditional page number or author.

  • If you can not determine the author or organization, use a short version of the title of the page.
  • If there is no date, use the abbreviation "n.d."
  • In place of a page number, use the paragraph number.  

Example:  (Guide to style, n.d., para. 3)

APA Style Blog: How to Cite Something you Found on a Website in APA