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Grad. Studies Home

Citing Your Sources Within Your Document

Academic writing is built on the research of others.  One of the most common things you will do in academic writing is mention someone else's ideas, so that you can ...

APA uses the author/year style of in-text citation.  All you have to do is provide (in parentheses so that the reader can easily find them) the author's last name, the year the work was published, and, for direct quotations, the page number.  The rest of the information will be found in the REFERENCE LIST at the end of your paper.

Paraphrasing

A typical in-text citation that is paraphrased (= presented in your own words) would look like this:

As Smith (2005) concluded, there is little to justify the use long-term "talk" therapy any longer.

Readers seeing such a sentence would then know to turn to the reference list at the end of the paper and find the entry beginning with Smith (2005) to find the rest of the information: title, journal, etc.

Quoting Directly

A typical in-text citation that is quoted directly (= using the author's exact words inside quotation marks) would look almost the same; the only additional piece of information needed is the page number where the quote can be found:

As Smith (2005) concluded, "Researchers over the past five years have come to the conclusion that there is little justification for the use of  long-term 'talk' therapy" (p. 35).

The required pieces of the citation (name, year, and--sometimes--page number) can come at any point in the sentence:

"Researchers over the past five years have come to the conclusion that there is little justification for the use of  long-term 'talk' therapy" (Smith, 2005, p. 35).

According to Smith (2005), there is little to justify the use of long-term "talk" therapy any longer.

The principal investigator concluded, "Researchers over the past five years have come to the conclusion that there is little justification for the use of  long-term 'talk' therapy" (Smith, 2005, p. 35).

In a recent study ( Smith, 2005), the conclusion reached was that there is little to justify the use long-term "talk" therapy any longer.

See VARYING CITATION STYLE for additional suggestions on how to vary your sentence style when citing sources.

Answers to Two Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Do I need to put the author and year every time I mention information from a source, even if I use the same source a number of times?

If you are making more than one reference to an article or book, you must use the name/date format the first time, but you do not have to continue including the year in parentheses within that paragraph, as long as it's clear that you are still talking about the same source:

"Researchers over the past five years have come to the conclusion that there is little justification for the use of  long-term 'talk' therapy" (Smith, 2005, p. 35).  This comes as welcome news to practitioners and third-party payers.  According to Smith, short-tem behavioral  therapy has been shown....

2. When a source has more than one author, do I use and or &?

When referring in the text of your document to a work by more than one author, use the word and to link the authors:

Smith and Jones (2008) found in a recent study that there is little to justify the use long-term "talk" therapy any longer.

When citing that work in parentheses in the document or in the reference list at the end, use the symbol &:

In one recent study (Smith & Jones, 2008), the researchers found that....

Smith, V., & Jones, W. (2008). ....