A Beginner’s Guide to In Text Citations in APA Style

As a beginner in the world of academic writing, learning the proper way to cite your sources is essential. In-text citations in APA style are a common requirement in many academic papers, so understanding how to correctly use them is crucial. This guide will walk you through the basics of in-text citations in APA style, so you can confidently incorporate them into your writing.

What are In-Text Citations?

In-text citations are used to acknowledge the sources of information you have used in your paper. They are brief references that point readers to the full citation in your reference list. In APA style, in-text citations typically include the author’s last name and the publication year of the source.

When to Use In-Text Citations

You should include an in-text citation whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from a source in your paper. This helps to give credit to the original author and allows readers to locate the original source if they wish to read more about the topic.

How to Format In-Text Citations

When formatting in-text citations in APA style, the basic format is (Author, Year). If you are citing a direct quote, make sure to include the page number as well, like this: (Author, Year, p. X). If there are multiple authors, list all of their last names separated by commas, like this: (Author1, Author2, & Author3, Year).

Examples of In-Text Citations

Here are a few examples of how in-text citations should look in APA style:

  • (Smith, 2019)
  • (Johnson & Lee, 2018)
  • (Brown, 2017, p. 26)

Remember to include these citations whenever you use information from a source in your paper to avoid plagiarism and uphold academic integrity.


Now that you have a basic understanding of in-text citations in APA style, you can confidently incorporate them into your academic writing. Remember to always cite your sources accurately and consistently throughout your paper to give credit where it is due. If you have any questions or need further clarification on in-text citations, feel free to leave a comment below.

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