Answered By: Caryl Wyatt
Last Updated: Feb 15, 2018     Views: 23

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. 

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.


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).


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).

More examples

For more examples of in-text citations, see our citation guide's APA Citation page.


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