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Citations for Quotes in APA Style


Student researching quotes in APA for bibliography

You think adding quote citations is going to be simple. But suddenly you have one book with multiple authors and another book with no date. You’re trying to add a citation for a website quote with no author or date. Plus, you have an interview. Simple citations have become a mess. Break down citations for books, websites and even interviews in even the most difficult of situations.

Book Quote Citations

Books come in all shapes and sizes. Citing them can be just as varied. But once you know the rules, it’s a piece of cake.

Basic Citation

Most of the time, you’ll be able to follow the basic format for a book with one author. You’ll need three basic pieces of information: author, publication year and page number (p.). These can take different formats depending on long or short quotes, or if you are just paraphrasing.

Short Quotes

First, look at an example of a short quote.

  • With a signal phrase: Betts (2018) stated “students have difficulty with formatting.” (p. 200)
  • Without a signal phrase: She said, “students have difficulty with formatting,” (Betts, 2018, p. 200) but doesn’t know why.

Long Quotes

Long quotes (which are more than 40 words quoted) take on the same format. However, you will indent all the quoted information a half inch. The citation at the end of the quote will come after the period. Here is a basic example:

  • “The statistics showed (imagine forty words) … Nutrition is important. (Betts, 2018, p. 77)


When you paraphrase text from the source, you simply need to include the last name of the author and publication date. For example,

  • This can be seen through the ways that nutrition… (Betts, 2018).

Two Authors

Sometimes, you’ll come across books with two authors. If you don’t know who specifically said the quote, then you will include both authors.

  • Example: (Betts & Garrett, 2018, p. 65)

Three to Five Authors

Citations for your quote will take on two different formats depending on whether it is the initial reference.

  • Initial reference: (Betts, Garrett & Cote, 2018, p. 55)
  • Additional citations: (Betts et al., 2018, p. 67)

Six or More Authors

Scholarly books might have six or more authors. Citing all the different names might take up multiple lines. APA has made an easy fix for this. Instead of listing all the names, just list the first author’s last name followed by et al. 

  • Example: (Betts et al., 2018, p. 77)

Website Citations for Quotes

Websites don’t have page numbers. When citing a quote from a website, you’ll want to include the author(s), year and paragraph number. Example of a citation with an author.

  • With signal text: Betts (2018) stated, “APA style was fun.” (para. 3)
  • Without signal text:  She stated, “APA style was fun” (Betts, 2018, para. 3).

No Author

You could come across a website you want to quote that doesn’t list the author. It isn’t the end of the world. APA just calls for you to list the name of the website.

  • With signal text: APA Formatting (2018) stated, “APA is amazing” (para. 17)
  • Without signal Text: “APA is amazing” (APA Formatting, 2018, para. 17)

No Date

The information that website offered is amazing, but they don’t have a date. Don’t look past them. Instead, add your quote with (n.d.) instead of a date (e.g. Betts, n.d., para. 2).


Personal interviews are not published works that can be looked up in your works cited. Since these works are unique, the citation is too. For a personal interview citation include the author’s name(s), personal communication and date. They are only found in-text.

Quoting a Quote Citation

Authors quote other authors and famous works to prove their points within published books, magazines, etc. Now, you are quoting that author. How confusing, right? It doesn’t have to be. Citing a quote within a quote is as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

  1. List the original author’s last name
  2. Include the date of publish of the original
  3. Add ‘as cited in’ then the name of the work
  4. Follow with the date of publish of the cited work
  5. List the page the information can be found on

If it seems like a lot, check out an example.

  • With signal text: Betts (2016) argues, “Quote” (as cited in Garrett, 2018, p. 22)
  • Without signal text: (Betts, 2016, as cited in Garrett, 2018, p. 22)

Quotes, Quotes and More Quotes

A sound paper is based on fact. Facts need resources. Quotes supply great resources to back up your facts. Now, have fun giving it a try.

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About the author

Jennifer Betts

Jennifer Betts is a diverse educational writer who has been published in multiple online forums. She also works part time as a substitute teacher with seven different school districts. Building on skills gained from a brother and son with learning disabilities, she has been a tutor and mentor for disadvantaged children for more than 20 years. Interested in learning more about Jennifer Betts, just ask.

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