In-text citations are included throughout the course of your writing, to acknowledge the sources of information you have used to build and support your ideas. An in-text citation provides information about the author, the year the information was published, and sometimes location information such as a page number.
An in-text citation can be presented in different ways:
Stark and Lannister (2019) – the author(s) names are part of the sentence, appearing outside the brackets
(Stark & Lannister, 2019) – all the referencing information appears within the brackets
Tip! As shown above:
Additional information and examples of how to reference in-text when quoting and paraphrasing in the APA 7th style are presented below.
Paraphrasing is when you present the ideas of others in your own words.
Palladino and Wade (2010) argue that mental well-being is linked with flexible thinking.
It could be argued that mental flexibility is a key factor in well-being (Palladino & Wade, 2010).
Want to explore paraphrasing in more depth? Check out our Citing in your Writing: Paraphrasing module for information, examples and a quiz.
Quoting is when you copy the exact words from another source into your work.
Quoting example - with page numbers
According to Palladino and Wade (2010), “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (p. 147).
In fact, “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (Palladino & Wade, 2010, p. 147).
Quoting example - with paragraph numbers
Lee (2015) states that, “in APA style, double quotation marks are used to enclose quoted material” (para. 1).
“In APA style, double quotation marks are used to enclose quoted material” (Lee, 2015, para. 1).
Want to explore quoting in more depth? Check out our Citing in your Writing: Quoting module for information and examples.
When the text you are quoting is more than 40 words long, use a freestanding block of text which:
Your in-text citation will appear in brackets after the final punctuation mark and will include the author, year of publication, and page/paragraph number.
Block quotation example
In-text citations are important in academic writing, drawing the parallel between the author’s work and the sources which support it:
The function of any citation-signaller is to alert the reader to some kind of association between the citing text and the cited text. Citation-signallers may additionally, by using page references or chapter numbers, single out a particular part of the text as especially relevant. (Langham, 2005, p. 361)
When including multiple sources to support a particular point in your writing or demonstrate a consensus:
Multiple sources example
There is an established consensus that the current trend towards a warming climate is directly linked to human activity (Hegerl, 1996; Levitus et al., 2017; NASA, n.d.; Robinson et al., 2014; Santer et al., 2003).
When referencing multiple works by the same author, order chronologically in the reference list. References with no date (n.d.) precede references with dates
Bull (2010) states…
Bull, M. (2008). Governing the heroin trade: From treaties to treatment. Ashgate Publishing. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/curtin/detail.action?docID=438571
Bull, M. (2015). Punishment and sentencing: Risk rehabilitation and restitution. Oxford University Press. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/curtin/detail.action?docID=1985996
(Clarke & Fawcett, 2014b).
Clarke and Fawcett (2014a) suggest that…
Clarke, P. N., & Fawcett, J. (2014a). Life as a mentor. Nursing Science Quarterly, 27(3), 213-215. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318414534492
Clarke, P. N., & Fawcett, J. (2014b). Life as a nurse researcher. Nursing Science Quarterly, 27(1), 37-41. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318413509708
If referring to two or more publications where the primary (first) authors have the same surname, include the first author’s initials in all in-text citations, even if the year of publication differs. Initials help avoid confusion within the text and help readers locate the correct reference list entry.
In-text citations will include author initials
(B. Johnson, 2017). OR According to B. Johnson (2017)…
(M. Johnson et al., 2016). OR M. Johnson et al. (2016) state…
Academic content such as books and journal articles will often contain a lot of citations. When do you need to credit the original author (primary source)? Cite the original author when:
When citing a secondary source:
“We are part of the land, it is part of us” (Philippe, 2008, as cited in Maldonado et al., 2013, p. 610).
Philippe (2008, as cited in Maldonado et al., 2013) states “we are part of the land, it is part of us” (p. 610).
In-text citation - Indigenous knowledges
Sixteen plant parts, collected from eight separate species were assessed by the University of Western Sydney’s Health Research Institute for their antioxidant and antimicrobial potential, their effectiveness long established within the Aboriginal community (Mbabaram knowledge, as cited in Packer et al., 2019, p. 5).
Maldonado, J. K., Shearer, C., Bronen, R., Peterson, K., & Lazrus, H. (2013). The impact of climate change on tribal communities in the US: Displacement, relocation, and human rights. Climatic Change, 120(3), 601-614. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-013-0746-z
Packer, J., Turpin, G., Ens, E., Venkataya, B., Mbabaram Community, Yirralka Rangers, & Hunter, J. (2019). Building partnerships for linking biomedical science with traditional knowledge of customary medicine: A case study with two Australian Indigenous communities. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 15, 69-81. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-019-0348-6
Still confused about who to reference when the information you are looking at contains another reference? Watch this short, three minute video for further explanation, as well as examples: https://youtu.be/tkwboeng0WY