(frequently asked questions)
Remember: You must document whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or use any idea, fact, or
figure from source material (unless the material is "common knowledge"). You must document in two locations:
1) in-text parenthetical citations in the body of the paper, and 2) the alphabetized References list of all the
sources cited in your paper (on a separate page at the end of your paper).
This handout cannot answer all possible APA questions—it is merely a guide for students, covering some common
situations. For information on other sources or formatting issues not listed here, please refer to
the Publication Manual of
the American Psychological Association,
5th edition, published by the American Psychological Association, Washington,
D.C., 2001. For changes from the 4
edition, please refer to the APA web site at
Beware of other web sites with online citation information; many are not current.
PART I. IN-TEXT CITATION
(Citing directly in the body of your paper)
FOR ALL SOURCES
When using any source, you must credit its author(s). APA style favors the
author’s last name, followed by the publication date (in parentheses) at the beginning of your sentence. Also, include
page number (in parentheses) at the end of the sentence if you are quoting or paraphrasing, rather than summarizing:
Strunk (1979) determined that “latent adipose deposits also may be a cause of the problem” (p. 3).
Or you may place the author's last name, comma, and year of publication in parentheses at the end of the sentence:
Latent adipose deposits could pose additional problems (Strunk, 1979
[if not a quotation, no page number needed]
Whichever style you choose, remember that the following information is required for a complete in-text citation:
Author's last name,
Year of publication,
optional unless you use a direct quotation. For quotes, page numbers
(preceded by p. or pp.)
If page numbers are unavailable in an online source, ignore this
requirement or use paragraph numbers—see pp. 120-121 of 5
Most books, magazines, online journals, brochures, and edited material are cited in your text in the above manner. (See
sample paragraphs on reverse.) However, the following types of sources are treated somewhat differently:
(see pp. 208-209 of 5
When you use the authors’ names in your sentence, you use “and” to connect the two (or the last two) authors.
However, when you cite the names at the end of the sentence in parentheses, use “&.”
When the in-text reference is to a work by 2 authors, cite both names each time.