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APA In-Text Citations

If you work on the essay, you must write your citations according to certain standards. In this article, we will consider APA format for in-text citations. For more information, check pages 169-179 of the manual.

First of all, note that this style requires your citations to be written either in the past, or present perfect tenses. For example, you must write “Addams (2003) stated”, or “Addams (2003) has found”.


APA format implies author-date citation method. In other words, you don’t have to write the whole reference in the text. All you need is to indicate the author’s name, and the year (Addams, 2003). This format also implies a separate page for complete references.

Don’t make reference to a particular page, in case you write about a certain idea from a book, without direct quotes.

Capitalization, Italics, and Quotes

  • You must capitalize names of authors and their initials: M. Addams
  • If you write a title, capitalize only words that are at least four letters long. Don’t capitalize short words, unless they are nouns, adverbs, verbs, adjectives, or pronouns. This is a difference between in-text citations and your Reference list, since there you have to capitalize only the first word of the title.
  • If you see a hyphenated construction, capitalize both words: In-Text Citations.
  • Always capitalize words after a colon or dash.
  • Titles of long works, such as books, movies, or TV-series must be written in italics, or underlined.
  • Titles of short works, such as articles, or episodes of TV-programs, must be written within quotation marks.

Short Quotes

If you use direct citations from a source, you have to indicate the author’s last name, year of publication, and the page number (“p.”). Start your quotation with a signal phrase, so it would look like the following example:

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According to Addams (2003), “Most students face difficulties writing citations for the first time” (p. 203)

If you don’t mention the author’s last name within your signal phrase, you have to place it before the year of publication, and page number:

Author stated that “most students face difficulties writing citations for the first time” (Addams, 2003, p. 203)

Long Quotes

If your quotation is more than 40 words long, make a separate section of the text, without quotation marks. You have to add 0.5 inch to the left margin. It is the same place that is used for new paragraphs. This whole text must be written with such a margin, and don’t forget about double-spacing – you have to use it throughout the text of a citation. Here is an example:

Addams (2003) stated:

Morbi consectetur maximus dictum. Suspendisse volutpat ligula vitae ultricies efficitur. Fusce venenatis tempor leo, at gravida felis pharetra eu. Phasellus efficitur magna sit amet diam maximus, id tristique leo varius. Curabitur sagittis lectus nec massa eleifend varius. Etiam eget ante ac sapien suscipit rhoncus eget eget lacus. Mauris ligula sem, consectetur et velit ac, ultricies aliquam diam. (p. 203)

Paraphrases and Summaries

According to APA standards, if you paraphrase a certain idea from a source, your reference must include only the author’s name and year. You can also include the page number, if necessary:

According to Addams (2003), APA is the one of the most difficult styles for beginners.

APA is the one of the most difficult styles for beginners (Addams, 2003, p. 203)

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