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 6 are sometimes called “parenthetical” citations because they are placed inside parentheses within a sentence. You may also place them within a sentence directly.
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 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
Some people refer to in-text citations as “internal” citations. However, it’s best use use the term “in-text” when writing APA papers. Follow this easy format example to create your internal citations.
- Place direct quotes within quotation marks.
- Then, place the author’s name, date and page number after it.
If you’re paraphrasing or summarizing a point, simply include the author’s last name and year of publication.
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.