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APA Citation - South Bend-Elkhart: In-Text

Quotation Marks

Quotations always require the page number of the source.  For non-paginated material, include the paragraph number when possible (Robinson, 1999, para. 7), or the abbreviation n.p. when not (Robinson, 1999, n.p.)

Short quotes (under 40 words): Short quotes should be placed within quotation marks in the body of your text.

  • Robinson (1999) concluded that "students preferred print formats during evening study sessions" (p. 78).
  • The research concluded that "students preferred print formats during evening study sessions" (Robinson, 1999, p.78).

Long quotes (over 40 words): Are not placed in quotation marks.  Rather, they are set aside in block text using a five-space margin for every line.

Paraphrasing or summarizing: Do not require page numbers, but they are encouraged.


Writing an author's words in your own words is perfectly acceptable as long as you acknowledge the original author.

Here is an example of a citation with a single author:

Policy advocates need to have a clear idea as to what kind of changes they would like to see in a specific agency, community, or within society as a whole (Jannsen, 1999).

Remember to provide a full citation of the author's work on your references page.

Here is an example of a citation with two authors:

Social work is a profession with a dual focus (Popple & Leighninger, 2011).

Direct Quote


You can directly quote from an author as long as you include the author's name, the year the book/article was published, and the page number of the quotation.

Here is an example:

 “Just as in direct service, administrative, or community organizing practice, we become effective policy advocates only as we learn key concepts and develop pivotal skills” (Jansson, 1999, p. 19).


Make sure that Jansson's work is fully cited in your references page.


Classical works (such as the Bible, Qur’an)  (Publication Manual, p. 178)
Do not include classical works such as the Bible, Qur’an or ancient Greek and Roman works in the reference list. Cite the work in the text. You may cite the year of the translation or version you used.  Examples of in-text citations for classical works:
(1 Cor. 13:1, Revised Standard Version)
(Qur’an 5:3-4)
(Aristotle, trans. 1931)

Intext - Websites

Citing a website within text can be tricky because a website may not have a traditional page number, author, or year. In this scenario, you can do the following:

  • Instead of an author, use a short version of the title in quotations.
  • If there is no date, use the abbreviation "nd."
  • In place of a page number, give a name of the section of the website, and a paragraph number.

Here is an example:

("National Center for Education Statistics," n.d, What's New section, para 2).

In-Text Citations

APA Style requires that you cite an author within the body of your paper in addition to having a full citation on the references page. You can directly quote an author or paraphrase an author. These are just a few examples of how to cite sources within your paper. 


When more than one author is listed for a source inside a parenthetical reference: Use an & 
  • Example: According to a recent survey, Muskingum students prefer books to e-books (Robinson & McLaughlin, 2009).
When more than one author is listed for a source in the text of your paper: Use the word "and"
  • Example: Robinson and McLaughlin's survey suggested that students prefer books to e-books (2009).
When a source has 3-5 authors: Cite every name first.  Subsequent citations may use "et al."
  • Example, 1st citation: (Ellenburger, McLaughlin, Bronkar, & Adamich, 2010)
  • Example, later citations: (Ellenburger, et al., 2010)
When a source has 6 or more authors, you may always use "et al."
When using more than one source in a single citation, separate the sources with a semicolon:
  • (Bronkar, 2006; Robinson, 2009)
When two or more authors share the same last name, use their initials to prevent confusion:
  • (N. Robinson & K. Robinson, 2008)
When using multiple works from the same author published in the same year, label your sources using a lowercase letter after the publication year.  Use the same label scheme in your works cited page:
  • (Ellenburger, 2007a)
  • (Ellenburger, 2007b)

Unknown or Organizations as Authors
When an author is unknown, cite a useful portion of the title (usually the first word or two).  Use italics or quotation marks depending on the length of the item:
  • ("Vegetarian Chili," 2006)
When an organization is an author, spell the organization's name the first time and provide an acronym, if desired. Thereafter, you may use the acronym in your citation.
  • Example, 1st citation: (American Library Association [ALA], 2007)
  • Example, later citations: (ALA, 2007)
Electronic Sources
When citing electronic sources, follow all the above rules as closely as possible.  In addition:
  • Sources with no identifiable publication date use the abbreviation "n.d." (Bronkar, n.d.)
  • When quoting a source with no page numbers, try to help the reader by including paragraph number (Bronkar, n.d., para. 7)