Mastering APA Format: A Comprehensive Guide To In-Text Citation Examples

APA Format In-Text Citation Examples

When it comes to academic writing, proper citation is essential to acknowledge the sources of information and ideas used in your work. One popular citation style is the American Psychological Association (APA) format, widely used in social and behavioral sciences. In this article, we will explore what APA format in-text citations are, how they are used, and provide examples to help you understand and implement them effectively in your own writing.

What do you mean by APA format in-text citations?

APA format in-text citations are brief references within the body of your academic paper that direct readers to the full citation in the reference list at the end. These citations help you give credit to the original authors and avoid plagiarism, while also allowing readers to locate the original sources for further reading and verification.

How to use APA format in-text citations?

What Are In-Text Citations APA? Top  Tips And Tricks
What Are In-Text Citations APA? Top Tips And Tricks

Using APA format in-text citations involves identifying the author(s) and the year of publication of the source you are citing. It is important to include this information within parentheses immediately after the information or quote you have taken from the original source. The format of the in-text citation may vary depending on the number of authors, whether it is a direct quote or paraphrase, and if there are page numbers available.

Let’s explore some examples to illustrate the different scenarios:

Example 1: One Author

In-Text Citations: The Basics - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University
In-Text Citations: The Basics – Purdue OWL® – Purdue University

When citing a source with one author, include the author’s last name and the year of publication. For example:

According to Johnson (2019), the findings suggest that…


The findings suggest that there is a need for further research (Johnson, 2019).

Example 2: Two Authors

When citing a source with two authors, include both authors’ last names and the year of publication. For example:

Smith and Doe (2020) argue that…


According to Smith and Doe (2020), the study found…

Example 3: Three or More Authors

When citing a source with three or more authors, include only the first author’s last name followed by et al. and the year of publication. For example:

Johnson et al. (2018) conducted a comprehensive study…


A comprehensive study was conducted (Johnson et al., 2018).

Example 4: Direct Quotes

When directly quoting a source, include the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page number. For example:

The results indicate that ‘the sky is blue’ (Smith, 2021, p. 15).


As Smith (2021) stated, the sky is blue (p. 15).


In order to ensure accurate and proper use of APA format in-text citations, it is crucial to consult the official APA Publication Manual or reliable online resources that provide detailed guidelines and examples. These resources offer comprehensive information regarding different types of sources, formatting rules, and exceptions to help you navigate the complexities of APA citation.


APA format in-text citations play a significant role in academic writing by providing brief references to help readers locate the original sources. By following the guidelines and examples provided in this article, you will be able to effectively incorporate APA format in-text citations into your own writing, ensuring proper attribution and avoiding plagiarism.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Do I always need to include page numbers in APA in-text citations?

No, page numbers are only required for direct quotes or specific references to a particular section of a source.

2. Can I use et al. in in-text citations for sources with only two authors?

No, when there are only two authors, you should include both authors’ last names in the in-text citation.

3. How do I cite sources with no author in APA format?

If a source has no author, use the title of the source in the in-text citation. If the title is too long, use a shortened version of the title.

4. Are there any exceptions to the APA in-text citation format?

APA format allows for variations in in-text citation format, depending on factors such as the number of authors, the type of source, and whether it is a direct quote or paraphrase. It is important to consult the APA guidelines for specific cases.

5. Can I use APA format in-text citations in other citation styles?

No, APA format in-text citations are specific to the APA citation style and should not be used in conjunction with other citation styles such as MLA or Chicago.