Skip to Main Content
site header image

APA Referencing (APA 7th edition)

This guide shows students and staff how to reference using the APA Referencing style.

In-text citations: General rules

In-text citations appear in the body of your work to show where you have referred to someone else’s work. 

An in-text citation is required for direct quotes, and also when you have put the information into your own words.

The same rules for in-text citations apply for any format of resource, except for personal communications. Refer to the Personal communications page of this guide for specific information in that area.

  • Work the name of the author, and the year the resource was published e.g. (Attenborough, 2018) into your work, at the place the material was reused. 
  • Include page numbers for direct quotes. If the work does not include page numbers, include some other type of information to guide readers to the quoted material e.g. paragraph number; section name and/or number; the time of a video that the quoted material begins.
  • Page numbers can also be included for material that you have put into your own words,
  • Do not include the author's initials in the in-text citation, just their surname.
  • Authors may also be organisations e.g. Box Hill Institute.
    • Organisation names should be written in full the first time they are used in your work. If you want to abbreviate the name later in your work, put the abbreviation after the full name, the first time you use it e.g. World Health Organisation (WHO). The abbreviated version can then be used in both your narrative, and your in-text citations. Organisation names must be written in full in the reference list.
  • If there are one or two authors, include all author names in the in-text citation.
  • For works by two authors
    • If you refer to the authors in your narrative, their names should be separated with an 'and' e.g. Biggins and Koepki (2018) state that...
    • If their names are not used in your narrative, separate their names with an '&' e.g (Biggins & Koepki, 2018)
  • If there three or more authors, your in-text citation should only include the first author's name followed by 'et al.' e.g. (Smith et al., 2020)
  • If you can't find a date of publication, use n.d. instead e.g. (Liu, n.d.)
  • If the author or editor of a resource is unknown, use the title of the item in place of the author e.g. (10 years of Dolce & Gabbanna, 1996, p. 136)

Each in-text citation should have an accompanying reference list entry, that gives full details of the resource.

In-text citations for direct quotes: Examples

1. "The main subgroups of Flowering Plants are further divided into orders, families, genera (singular - genus) and species" (Clarke & Lee, 2019, p. 3)

2. Clarke and Lee (2019, p. 3) state that "the main subgroups of Flowering Plants are further divided into orders, families, genera (singular - genus) and species".

3. In their 2019 text, Clarke and Lee explain that "the main subgroups of Flowering Plants are further divided into orders, families, genera (singular - genus) and species" (p. 3). 

4. "White PVA gives about an hour of working time" (Classroom Video, 2006, 17.18)
This example is for a direct quote from a video

5. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (2021, para. 1) states that "public access in libraries can be a powerful tool to bring more people online"
This is example is for a quote from a website with no page numbers

6. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna has the wonderful ability to "dress a woman like a woman...even if she wants to dress like a man"(10 years of Dolce & Gabanna, 1996, p. 136)
This is for a work where the author is not known.


In-text citations for paraphrases: Examples

1. The work of Goulding (2020) indicates a strong correlation ….

2. Short sentences are easier for readers to understand than long ones (American Psychological Association, 2019, p. 113).

3. The chain of survival depends on whether the patient is in or out of hospital (Sorrentino & Remmert, 2017, p. 831).

4. The National Library of Australia is focused on providing access to online resources whilst their physical space is closed due to the Corona virus pandemic (National Library of Australia, 2020).

5. Perry, Potter and Ostendorf (2017, p. 271) argue that ….

5. Smith et al. (n.d.) state that….
This final example is for a resource with three or more authors.