Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

How to Do In-Text Citations in APA Format

As you start writing your paper, you realize you need to include in-text citations in the proper APA format. In-text citations in APA 7 are sometimes called “parenthetical” citations because they are placed inside parentheses within a sentence. You may also place them within a sentence directly.

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Purpose of In-Text Citations

Writing a research paper usually means you’re referencing other people’s research to back up your thesis statement or research argument. It’s important to find credible sources. You want to use the best information you can find for your paper.

Since you’re using other people’s work, you have to give them credit in your own paper. Giving researchers and writers credit for using their thoughts and words is called “citation.”

If you’re quoting or paraphrasing someone’s words, follow them in your APA paper with the author’s name and date of the work. For direct quotes, you’ll also include the page number. This brief mention within the text matches up to a source entry in your reference list.

Internal Citations Format

Woman writing down in text citations in apa format

Some people refer to parenthetical citations as “internal” citations. However, it’s best to use the term “in-text” when writing APA format papers. Follow this easy format example to create your internal citations.

  1. Place direct quotes within quotation marks.
  2. Then, place the author’s name, date and page number after it.


Repair and attachment therapy reduce or eliminate “negative beliefs, images, feelings of guilt” (Holland, 2018, p. 78).

If you’re paraphrasing or summarizing a point, simply include the author’s last name and year of publication.


Using repair and attachment therapy helps the grieving process (Holland, 2018).

According to Holland (2018), using methods such as repair and attachment therapy helps people through difficult times.

Matching In-Text Citations to Your Reference List

As you finalize your APA paper, check that every in-text citation has a matching source entry in your APA reference list. The reference list provides full source information to point your reader to the exact source you used in your paper.

Creating accurate citations in your APA paper is critical. By citing your sources, you avoid plagiarizing other people’s work. What’s more, it demonstrates that you understand the research process. Always follow your teacher’s instructions for formatting your school paper.

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