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APA 6th Edition Citation Style: In-text citation


To check the full In-text citations guidelines, please refer to the print Publication Manual available at USEK Library pp. 169-179.

To check tenses to use in your paper, please check pages 65-66 of this Publication Manual.

Using In-text Citations

In-text citations must be placed in your paper every time you use a source. 

APA style uses the author- date method with brackets ( ) to include 3 parts in this order: 

(1) author(s) (last name); 

(2) publication year; and 

(3) page or paragraph number.

If you are directly quoting the material, you have to make reference to the author's last name, the year of publication and the pages, for example, (Khoury, 2010, p.10), and a full reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

If you are referring to an idea and you are NOT directly quoting the material (paraphrasing or summarazing), you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference. All sources that are mentioned in the body text should appear in your reference list at the end of the paper.

In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining

  • Proper nouns, including author names and initials must be always capitalized.
  • When referring to the title of a source within a paper, all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source should be capitalized. Exceptions apply to verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

    (Note: in the References list, only the first word of a title should be capitalized: e.g. Publication guides.)

  • The first word after a dash or colon should be capitalized: e.g. "APA Style: The Publication Manual."
  •  The titles of  longer works such as books, edited collections should be italicized: e.g. Virtual Reference Librarian.
  • The titles of shorter works such as journal articles, articles from edited collections should be quoted: e.g. "Multimedia: Constructing Worlds".

Direct Quotation-Short

Short Quotation Format:

“…” (Author last name, year of publication, page).

e. g. (Khoury, 1990, p. 10)

It is recommended to use signal phrases in in-text reference; Three ways can be followed:

  • According to Khoury (1990), "Students had difficulty using APA citation style, because it was their first time" (p. 199).
  • Khoury (1990) found "students had difficulty using APA citation style" (p. 199); what to do to resolve this issue?
  • If the author is not named in a signal phrase, you must place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.

          He stated, "Students had difficulty using APA style" (Khoury, 1990, p.199).

Direct Quotation-Long

Long Quotation Format:
  • Direct quotations that are 40 words or longer should be placed in a free-standing block of typewritten lines without quotation marks.
  • The quotation should be started on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin.
  • The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark. See example below:

Begly 's (1990) study that was cited and used in several student studies and researchers papers found the following:


     that men and women whose faces are rated very attractive

    are no healthier as adolescents or adults than people rated,

    well, homely.  Attractiveness wasn't even related to the number

    of children the person had, casting doubt on whether beauty is

    a market for fertility, as the theory claims.( p.3)

Summary and Paraphrase


  • When paraphrasing or summarizing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of  publication in your in-text reference.

  • Note that APA guidelines recommend to also provide the page number (it is not mandatory).


Examples below:


According to Khoury (1990), APA 6th edition style is difficult for first-time learners.


APA referencing is a difficult citation format for first-time learners (Khoury, 1990).

Secondary Source

A secondary source is when the idea of an author is published in another author’s work but you have not accessed the original author’s text.

What to do in this case?

  • Include both the original author and the author of the work where idea was found in the in-text reference.

  • Add "as cited in" before the author in the in-text reference. For example - (Original author last name, as cited in Author last name of work where quote found, Year)

  • In the reference list, provide the details of the author of the work in which you found the quotation or idea.