An in-text citation is the brief identification of the source of your information within the text of your paper. Full details of that source are then placed in your reference list at the end of your paper.
Examples and Explanations
One author: Give the author's last name followed by the year.
Example: One author
Williams (2007) OR (Williams, 2007)
Two authors: Give both names with "and" between them if you use the names in a sentence but put "&" between the names if they are enclosed in parentheses. Always use "&" in the reference list.
Example: Two authors
Remley and Helihy (2011) OR (Remley & Herlihy, 2011)
Three to five authors: Give all names in the first in-text citation but only the first name followed by "et al." for subsequent citations.
Example: Three to five authors
First in-text citation
(Campbell, Campbell, & Dickinson, 2004) OR Campbell, Campbell, and Dickinson (2004)
Subsequent in-text citations
(Campbell et al., 2004) OR Campbell et al. (2004)
Six or more authors: Give the name of the first named author only followed by "et al." for all in-text citations.
Example: Six or more authors
(Henry et al., 2010) OR Henry et al. (2010)
Organisations as authors: If a company, institution, government body, religious organisation or other type of organisation is the author, use the organisation’s name as the author. If the organisation’s name is commonly abbreviated, use the full name in the first reference together with the abbreviation. In subsequent references, only the abbreviated form should be used.
Example: Organisations as authors
First in-text citation
(United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 2012) OR United Nation Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2012) advises….
Subsequent in-text citations
(UNESCO, 2012) OR UNESCO (2012) also recommends…
No author: If an author's name is actually shown as "Anonymous", give Anonymous as the author's name. When no author is given (i.e. neither a personal nor organisation name and it is not shown as Anonymous), use the first few words of the title in italics for the in-text citation, and begin the reference in the reference list with the title.
(Animal Compendium, 2002) OR Animal Compendium (2002)
Example: Author given as "Anonymous"
Encyclopaedia or dictionary entries: For encyclopaedia or dictionary entries without an author, cite the entry term, placed in quotation marks.
Example: Encyclopaedia or dictionary entries
("Causality", 2001) OR "Causality" (2001)
Two authors with the same surname: Use their initials with the surname in all citations.
Example: Two authors with the same surname
This was confirmed by J. J. Smith (2004) who…
R. A. Smith (1999) considered…
No date: If no date is given but it is possible to estimate it, use “ca” (abbreviation of circa) followed by the year. If it is not possible to provide a reasonable estimate, use the abbreviation n.d. (no date).
Example: No date
Preston (ca 2009, p. 3) recommended...
Hammersmith (n.d., p. 103) indicated...
More than one work by the same author in the same year: Where you cite an author who has published several items in a given year, identify each source with a letter (a, b, c, etc.) after the year. The letters follow the order in which the references appear in your reference list.
Example: More than one work by the same author in the same year
Ibo (1997a) studied women in…
The role of men in this society is determined by their mothers (Ibo, 1997c).
More than one source in a reference: Place the author names in the order they appear in the reference list, and separate each reference with a semicolon.
Secondary sources: Always try to locate the original source, rather than using a secondary reference. If you’re unable to do so, make it clear that you are not citing the original source, but are instead citing a work that has been cited by another.
Example: Secondary sources
Smith (as cited in Nicholson, 2013) found that... OR
Nicholson (2013) described a study by Arnold Smith that...
Short quotations: A short quotation (up to 40 words) is incorporated into your text and is enclosed in double quotation marks (“ ”). Always indicate the page number (or paragraph number if there are no page numbers) after a quote.
Example: Short quotations
Cole (2008) states that “Brain-based research has influenced the way that curriculum and teaching is conceived” (p. 23). OR
Poverty is defined as the “sustained periods of limited access to basic resources” (Smith, 2012, p. 13).
Long quotations: A long quotation of more than 40 words is presented in a block of text that is indented five to seven spaces from the left margin.
Example: Long quotations
Gardner (1994) writes:
Different disciplines call on different analytic styles, approaches to problem solving and findings, temperaments, and intelligences. Therefore, a keen assessment must be alert for these disciplinary differences. By the same token, an effective teacher should help youngsters to appreciate that what counts as cause and effect, data and explanation, use of language and argument, varies across the disciplines. (p. 18)
If the author's name and date are not given before the quote:
...varies across the disciplines. (Gardner, 1994, p. 18)