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APA Help (7th Ed)

In-Text Citations

In-text citations direct the reader to a specific source on your references page.

In-Text Citations Overview
Author Parenthetical Citation Narrative Citation
One author (Smith, 2019) According to Smith (2019)...
Two authors (Smith & Hill, 2018) As Smith and Hill (2018) say...
Three or more authors (Smith et al., 2020) Similar to Smith et al. (2020)...
Group author (Davenport University, 2019) According to Davenport University (2019)...
Group author with an abbreviation

First citation: (American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU], 2020)

Subsequent citations: (ACLU, 2020)

First citation: As the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU, 2020) writes...

Subsequent citations: According to the ACLU (2020)...


One Author

If sentence names author

If you name the author in your sentence, you need to include the publication year in parenthesis.


  • According to Meechum (2010), the company’s stock price is predicted to rise.

If sentence doesn't name author

If you do not include the author’s name in the sentence, place the author’s name and year in parenthesis at the end of your sentence.


  • The company’s stock price is predicted to rise (Meechum, 2010).

Page Numbers

If you are quoting, you also need to include the page or paragraph number where the quote can be found. This is similarly encouraged (though not necessarily required) when paraphrasing to help guide the reader to the relevant passage.


  • “The company’s stock price is likely to rise” (Meechum, 2010, para. 5).
  • “There have been fewer reported cases of the flu this year” (Patel, 2010, p. 3).

Group Author

When citing a source written by a group author, write out the full name of the group.  If the organization has a common abbreviation, it should be added in brackets in the first citation, and then used in later citations.

First citation:

  • (American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU], 2010)

Second citation:

  • (ACLU, 2010).

Multiple Authors

2 authors

If there are 2 authors, type both names every time you cite the source.


  • Xing and Allen (2009) found the seniors in the test group embraced new technology.
  • Seniors in the test group embraced new technology (Xing & Allen, 2009).

3 or more authors

If there are 3 or more authors, use the first author’s name and et al.


  • Reyes, et al (2009) recorded the reaction to human rights violations along the United States-Mexico border.

No Author

If no author is listed use a shortened version of the title in quotations.


  • The county is experiencing rising unemployment (“Unemployment Figures,” 2010).

Personal Communication
(interviews, e-mails, etc.)


Include the first initial and last name of the person interviewed, the words, “personal communication,” and the date of the interview.  Personal communication is not added to the References list.


  • M. Schroeder (personal communication, January 25, 2009) emphasized the importance of immunization.
  • Immunization is important (M. Schroeder, personal communication, January 25, 2009).

Citing Indirect Sources

Indirect sources are sources referenced outside their original location (e.g. a speech or book quoted in a different book). To cite these, mention the original author in the body of your paper, then cite and reference in APA format the secondary work that quoted the original.


First Author said that... (as cited in Second Author, year)


Johnson argued that... (as cited in Smith, 2018)

Videos: In-Text Citations

APA 7: In-Text Citations

APA 7: In-Text Citations