Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APA 7th Referencing UniSkills: In-text citations explained

APA 7th referencing

In-text citations


In-text citations are included throughout the course of your writing, to acknowledge the sources of information you have used to build and support your ideas. An in-text citation provides information about the author, the year the information was published, and sometimes location information such as a page number.


An in-text citation can be presented in different ways:


Stark and Lannister (2019) – the author(s) names are part of the sentence, appearing outside the brackets

(Stark & Lannister, 2019) – all the referencing information appears within the brackets      



Tip! As shown above:

  • use and when your authors' names form part of the sentence
  • use & when the authors' names appear in brackets


Additional information and examples of how to reference in-text when quoting and paraphrasing in the APA 7th style are presented below.




Paraphrasing is when you present the ideas of others in your own words.


  • In-text citation includes author and year of publication
  • Check with your lecturer to see whether you should also include a page number (page numbers are not required in the APA manual)


Paraphrasing example


Palladino and Wade (2010) argue that mental well-being is linked with flexible thinking.




It could be argued that mental flexibility is a key factor in well-being (Palladino & Wade, 2010).


More information


Want to explore paraphrasing in more depth? Check out our Citing in your Writing: Paraphrasing module for information, examples and a quiz. 


Quoting (40 words or less)


Quoting is when you copy the exact words from another source into your work.


  • Place quotation marks around the quote
  • In-text citation includes authoryear of publication and page number
  • Use paragraph number for sources where the page number is not available


Quoting example


According to Palladino and Wade (2010), “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (p. 147).




In fact, “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (Palladino & Wade, 2010, p. 147).



Lee (2015) states that, “in APA style, double quotation marks are used to enclose quoted material” (para. 1).




“In APA style, double quotation marks are used to enclose quoted material” (Lee, 2015, para. 1).


More information


Want to explore quoting in more depth? Check out our Citing in your Writing: Quoting module for information and examples. 


Quoting (more than 40 words)


When the text you are quoting is more than 40 words long, use a freestanding block of text which:


  • Starts on a new line
  • Is indented from the left margin
  • Does not include quotation marks


Your in-text citation will appear in brackets after the final punctuation mark and will include the authoryear of publication, and page/paragraph number.


Block quotation example


In-text citations are important in academic writing, drawing the parallel between the author’s work and the sources which support it:


The function of any citation-signaller is to alert the reader to some kind of association between the citing text and the cited text. Citation-signallers may additionally, by using page references or chapter numbers, single out a particular part of the text as especially relevant. (Langham, 2005, p. 361)

Multiple sources for the same information


When including multiple sources to support a particular point in your writing or demonstrate a consensus:


  • The in-text citation includes all sources in the same set of brackets, ordered alphabetically. Separate the citations with semi colons
  • Include a reference list entry for each source


Multiple sources example


There is an established consensus that the current trend towards a warming climate is directly linked to human activity (Hegerl, 1996; Levitus et al., 2017; NASA, n.d.; Robinson et al., 2014; Santer et al., 2003).


Multiple works by the same author(s)


When referencing multiple works by the same author, order chronologically in the reference list. References with no date (n.d.) precede references with dates


In-text citations


(Bull, 2008).         


Bull (2010) states...


Reference list


Bull, M. (2008). Governing the heroin trade: From treaties to treatment. Ashgate Publishing.


Bull, M. (2015). Punishment and sentencing: Risk rehabilitation and restitution. Oxford University Press.


Multiple works by the same author(s) - published in the same year


  • Add a, b, c after the year to differentiate works by the same author(s) published in the same year
  • Order alphabetically by the title of the work in the reference list
  • For references that have no date (shown by n.d.), use the following forms for the date in the in-text citation and reference list: (n.d.-a), (n.d.-b) etc.


In-text citation


(Clarke & Fawcett, 2014b).


Clarke and Fawcett (2014a) suggest that…

Reference List


Clarke, P. N., & Fawcett, J. (2014a). Life as a mentor. Nursing Science Quarterly27(3), 213-215.


Clarke, P. N., & Fawcett, J. (2014b). Life as a nurse researcher. Nursing Science Quarterly, 27(1), 37-41.


Different authors with the same surname


If referring to two or more publications where the primary (first) authors have the same surname, include the first author’s initials in all in-text citations, even if the year of publication differs. Initials help avoid confusion within the text and help readers locate the correct reference list entry. 


In-text citations will include author initials


(B. Johnson, 2017).      OR        According to B. Johnson (2017)…


(M. Johnson et al., 2016).    OR     M. Johnson et al. (2016) state…

Authors citing other authors


Academic content such as books and journal articles will often contain a lot of citations. When do you need to credit the original author (primary source)? Cite the original author when:


  • They are quoted by your source (the secondary source)
  • When a specific study is discussed in the secondary source, and you reproduce findings or arguments from that study without accessing the primary source
  • Indigenous knowledges are cited by a non-Indigenous author, or knowledges cited are connected to a particular community or language group to which the Indigenous author does not belong (find out more about referencing Indigenous knowledges).


When citing a secondary source:


  • The in-text citation should include author details from the primary source, as well as the author, year of publication and page/paragraph number from the secondary source
  • If you are citing Indigenous knowledges, you should also include the community or language group the knowledge originates from if this information is known
  • Only the secondary source is included in the reference list.


In-text citation


"We are part of the land, it is part of us" (Philippe, 2008, as cited in Maldonado et al., 2013, p. 610).




Philippe (2008, as cited in Maldonado et al., 2013) states "we are part of the land, it is part of us" (p. 610).


In-text citation - Indigenous knowledges


Sixteen plant parts, collected from eight separate species were assessed by the University of Western Sydney's Health Research Institute for their antioxidant and antimicrobial potential, their effectiveness long established within the Aboriginal community (Mbabaram knowledge, as cited in Packer et al., 2019, p. 5).  


Reference List


Maldonado, J. K., Shearer, C., Bronen, R., Peterson, K., & Lazrus, H. (2013). The impact of climate change on tribal communities in the US: Displacement, relocation, and human rights. Climatic Change, 120(3), 601-614.


Packer, J., Turpin, G., Ens, E., Venkataya, B., Mbabaram Community, Yirralka Rangers, & Hunter, J. (2019). Building partnerships for linking biomedical science with traditional knowledge of customary medicine: A case study with two Australian Indigenous communities. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 15, 69-81.



Still confused about who to reference when the information you are looking at contains another reference? Watch this short, three minute video for further explanation, as well as examples: