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APA Referencing 7th ed.: In text citations

Referencing in the body of your text

At the point in your text where you refer to or use another person's work or ideas, such as paraphrasing, summarising or using direct quotes, you need to provide an in-text reference.  The in-text reference includes the name of the author(s), the year of publication.

The in-text reference serves as a short reference to the full citation which is provided in the reference list  at the end of your text.

Things to remember

Some things to remember about formatting

The author and date are needed for the in-text citations
  • If there is no author - use the first few words of the title (or complete title if short)  in quotation marks to replace the author's name (see example).
  • You don’t need to give the author’s initials in the in text citation.
  • When indirectly referring to a source that has two authors use ‘&’ instead of and within your brackets (Polit & Beck, 2010, p. 238), but when you are directly referring to them within your sentence you need to use ‘and’ e.g. Polit and Beck (2010) state that “…” (p. 238).
  • If there are Three or more authors, use only the surname of the first author et al., and the year:

  • ... for all learning (Mussen et al., 2015).

  • For a  corporate author who is well known by their shortened name, use their name in full for the first citation and place the abbreviation in square brackets:

           The research shows ... (Taranaki District Health Board [TDHB], 2016).

    For subsequent citations: Use the abbreviation:


    It is considered ... (TDHB, 2016).

  • When shortening the name of a corporate author - as above - only use square brackets if the abbreviation is within rounded brackets e.g. (Taranaki District Health Board [TDHB], 2016). If shortening within a sentence use rounded brackets for the abbreviation.
Direct quotes

Your in text citation for direct quotations should include author, date, and page numbers.
A short quote (fewer than 40 of the author's exact words) is enclosed in double quotation marks.

"Complexity is also measured in terms of the knowledge an organisation needs to have about its environment" (Robbins, 2000, p. 31).

In the following example, involving the same quote as above, the author's surname is part of the sentence, so it is not placed in the brackets. The year of publication and page number are added in brackets immediately after the author's surname. Only the author's exact words are enclosed in double quotation marks.

Robbins (2000, p. 31) states that complexity can also be "measured in terms of the knowledge an organisation needs to have about its environment".

A long quote (more than 40 of the author's exact words) should begin on a new line and all lines of the quote indented 5 spaces. Double quotation marks are not used. Use a colon at the end of the sentence immediately before the quote:

Data measurement and collection procedures must be rigorous in order to increase the likelihood of obtaining valid and reliable information.   Indicators such as the change in the number of hotel rooms or employees directly employed in tourism are relatively easy to collect, although the difficulty in compiling an accurate and comprehensive database increases as the destination becomes larger (Palmer, 1992, p. 123).

Omitting material

Use 3 dots within a quote to indicate that you have omitted words from the original source, e.g. "Some Māori health providers also work with rongoā ... Rongoā is practised by tohunga" (Scott, Webb, & Kostelnick, 2018).

When quotations are complete sentences 
  • They need to be referred to in, or linked to, the previous and/or following sentence. This will show your understanding of the quote.
When citing multiple works

When you are citing more than one work, you can either place all the authors in parentheses or include them as part of the sentence.

When using parentheses:

  • List in alphabetical order and separate by semicolons (;) e.g. (Brown et al., 2015; Jones, 2012, Smith, 2018).
  • See page 263 of the manual for more details

When including them as part of your sentence:

  • The names can be listed in any order e.g. White (2017), Jones (2012), and Davies (2019) agree that...