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Referencing style

In-text citations

30 September 2023

In APA Style you can use in-text citations, format author variations, and properly include quotations in your research. Learn how.


Summarised or paraphrased material

Research on authoritative child-rearing practices indicates ... (Cole & Cole, 2001).
According to Cole and Cole (2001), authoritarian parents ...

  • Use an in-text citation whenever you summarise, paraphrase or quote from another source.
  • Use the author last name and the year of publication either inside parentheses or with the author name in the narrative of your essay and the year in parentheses
    (Taylor, 2019) OR Taylor (2019) ...
  • For two authors, the “and” is written as an ampersand (&) inside parentheses
    (Cole & Cole, 2001) OR Cole and Cole (2001) ...
  • For three or more authors, use the first author last name followed by “et al.”
    (Simpson et al., 2020) OR Simpson et al. (2020) ...
  • See also:


Citing a part of a source

Teenagers greatly influenced musical tastes in 1950s’ New Zealand (Bourke, 2010, Chapter 6).
Bourke (2010, pp. 3–4) highlights the importance of patriotism ...


More than one source in text

Many studies suggest ... (Davies, 1990; Humphries & Peters, 2005; Johnson, n.d., 2000, 2005, in press; Robertson, 2000a, 2000b; Weber, 2004).

  • List your citations alphabetically, separated by a semicolon.
  • List works by the same author in order of date of publication, for example (Johnson, n.d., 2000, 2005, in press).
  • For works by the same author published in the same year, the references are identified by the use of a, b, etc. Give a to the reference whose title comes first alphabetically, b to the one whose title comes next and so on, for example (Robertson, 2002a, 2002b).
  • See Author Variations for more information and examples.



Bell et al. (2001) define environmental psychology as “the study of the molar relationships between behaviour and experience and the built and natural environment” (p. 6).

Environmental psychology is “the study of the molar relationships between behaviour and experience and the built and natural environment” (Bell et al., 2001, p. 6).

If you quote the exact words of authors:

  • Enclose the quotation in quotation marks if there are 39 words or fewer.
  • Include the author, year of publication and page numbers in text.
    • If page numbers are not available in the source, identify the location of the quotation using any available identifiers. Section names, headings and paragraph numbers are often good choices. For example:
      para. 16
      Enterprise Attributes section, paras. 14–15
      “Positive Ageing” section, para. 5
      • The last example has ” ” to indicate that the heading or section name is shortened, as it is too long or unwieldy to cite in full.
  • Omit ellipses (...) from the beginning and end of a quotation unless the original source includes an ellipsis.
  • Use a block quotation if there are 40 or more words – instructions and examples are towards the bottom of Quotations (APA Style website).
  • Further explanation and examples are at Quotations (APA Style website).
  • See also:
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