Skip to Main Content
Library Logo WOU Home Library Home
Search the library catalog (Primo)
Search WOU Digital Collections

APA Style Guide 7th Edition

What's in This Section 

This section covers the most common ways to incorporate in-text citations.

Each example will include: 

  • One author, two authors, and three or more author citations showing both a narrative and parenthetical example.
  • Examples that include page numbers and examples without page numbers. 

General Guidelines for In-text Citations 

  • In-text citations are brief references to your sources and indicate where the information came from and when it was published. They appear in the body of your work.
  • The APA uses a brief Author-Date format for in-text citations. For example: Garcia (2020). This allows readers to look up the full citation listed in the reference page.
  • All in-text citations will have a complete citation listed alphabetically in the reference page except: Personal communications; General mention of whole websites, software, or apps;  Research participants quotations from studies you designed.
  • You can cite classroom lectures, notes, and slides as personal communication.
  • When you are citing a source within a source, it is called an indirect quote.
  • Information can be cited as part of the sentence (called a narrative citation) or at the end in parentheses (known as a parenthetical citation).
  • The citation is part of the sentence and the period should appear at the end (unless it is a block quote).
  • If you have two or more authors, use the word 'and' for narrative citations and the ampersand '&' for parenthetical citations. 
  • If you have three or more authors, use 'et al.' after the first authors last name to indicated there are additional authors. 
  • If you are citing multiple works parenthetically, place the citations in alphabetical order separated by semicolons. 
  • If you have citations with the same author and year, use lower case letters to distinguish between the two. For example: Gutierrez (2020a) / Gutierrez (2020b). 
  • If you are quoting sources with embedded citations, include them in the quote but you do not need to cite the embedded citations in your reference page (only the source your are quoting).  
  • If you are quoting material with quotations marks, use double quotation marks to indicate the quote and change the quotations marks in the quote to a single quotation mark.  

Basic In-Text Citation Styles 

Author Type 

Narrative Citation 

Parenthetical Citation 

One Author  Leckie (2020)  (Leckie, 2020) 
Two Author  McMaster and Hopkinson (2020)  (McMaster & Hopkinson, 2020) 
Three or More Authors

Castillo et al. (2020)

(Castillo et al., 2020)

Group Author with Abbreviation 

First Citation 


Subsequent Citations 

National Institute of Mental Health


National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2020)


NIMH (2020)

National Institute of Mental Health


(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2020)


(NIMH, 2020)

Group Author without Abbreviation 

Harvard University (2020)

(Harvard University, 2020)