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APA Style 7th edition: In-text Citation Formats for Different Mediums

This guide covers stylistics of writing, formatting, and citing in APA Style 7th edition


In the previous section, we covered in-text citation basics for APA Style 7th ed..

There are additional rules for citing indirect sources, electronic sources, and sources lacking page numbers.

This section provides examples for different mediums.

Although we've tried to include most mediums, you may encounter one that we don't have listed.

If so, just contact the ERC and we will help locate the information.

One Author

If the author is mentioned in a signal phrase-Smith (2005) mentions . . .

If the author is not named in the sentence- (Smith, 2005).

Unknown Author

If there’s not an author for a source, cite the source by its title, either in a signal phrase or with the first word or two in the parenthetical citation.

When studying leadership, the behavioral approach assumes leader behaviors are influential (“Trait Theory,” 2009).

*NOTE-APA Style requires capitalizing important words in titles for in the text, but not in the reference list.

*NOTE-Book and report titles are italicized. Articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks.

Personal Communication

When citing personal communication such as interviews, letters, emails, or other person-to-person communication, cite the communicator, the medium showing it is personal communication, and the date.

(R. Jennings, personal communication, February 3, 2020).

*NOTE-Do not include personal communication in the references page.

Sources Without Page Numbers

When citing an electronic source without page numbers, include information to help readers find the text being cited. Use the heading or section name, an abbreviated heading or section name, a paragraph number (para. 2), or a combination of these choices.

Hoyt (2006), … (Postindustrial Models section, para. 3).

*NOTE-Don’t use page numbers of webpages that are printed because different computers use different pagination. Don’t use Kindle location numbers either.

Two Authors

Whether listing author in a signal phrase or at the end of the sentence, name both authors. For in-text citation, use the word "and" between names. If using end of the sentence parenthetical citation- Use the ampersand.

Research by Arnold and Barr (1990) indicates...

(Arnold & Barr, 1990)

Name of Organization

If citing a work by an organization or government agency, refer to the organization in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation the first time citing the source.

According to the Open Education Network (2019)…

If the organization uses a well-know abbreviation, include the abbreviation in brackets the first time citing the source; use only the abbreviation in later citations.

First mention: (National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA], 1998)

Subsequent mentions: (NASA, 1998)

Indirect Sources

When using a source that was cited in another source, list the original source in a signal phrase. The secondary source should be listed in your reference page and include the secondary source in parentheses. If a year is noted for the original source, include it.

Smith stated that… (as cited in Srameck, 2002, p. 45).

(Smith, 2006, as cited in Srameck, 2002, p. 45).

Places to Find Information

If you can't find an example for the particular medium you're using, contact the ERC or check APA or PURDUE OWL  

Three or More Authors

Include the first author’s name and follow with “et al.” in every citation.

Smith et al. (2005) recommend…

(Smith et al., 2005).

When writing “et al.” place a period after “al” but not “et.”

Et al. is plural so only use it if there are more than two authors.

Authors with Identical Last Names

Every now and then, a source will have two authors with the same last name. To handle this, use first initials with the last names to prevent confusion.

(J. Smith, 2005; R. Smith, 2002)

Introductions & Prefaces

When citing an introduction or preface, include the author(s) and year as in a basic in-text citation.

(Smith & Allen, 1981)

Unknown Author & Unknown Date

When using a source that doesn’t list an author or date, list the title in your signal phrase or the first word or two of the title in parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “n.d.” to note “no date”).

Research revealed that Rost’s work challenges organizations to clearly distinguish between industrial paradigms and postindustrial paradigms (“Postindustrial Paradigm,” n.d.).

*NOTE-On the References page, list the full title, which in this case is: “The Postindustrial Paradigm of Leadership.”

"In Text Citation, (Parenthetical Citation) APA 7th Edition" by Mr. Library, Colorado State University Global is licensed under CC BY 4.0