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APA Referencing 7th Edition


Paraphrasing, summarising, or quoting [8.1] are all ways that you can incorporate other people's ideas into your work. Whenever you write about an idea, theory or aspect of research which is not your own original work you must attribute the source you used to avoid plagiarism and to acknowledge the contribution of others to your own research. Use an in-text citation (also called an in-text reference) to indicate where those ideas have come from together with a complete list of references at the end of your work for all the materials you have cited. 
For more information on academic writing, such as using paraphrasing and quotations, refer to the the APA 7th Grammar & Style Guidelines pages, or the NDSC's Successful Academic Writing guide.


Components of in-text citations

APA7 intext

Author and Date

The two main components of an in-text citation when paraphrasing and summarising are the author name(s) and the date.

An in-text citation can take two forms: 

Narrative citations occur when the information being quoted is incorporated into the text as part of the sentence for example,

"Smith (2019) states that......"

Parenthetical citations are when the author(s) name and publication date both appear in brackets, often at the end of the sentence, for example,

(Smith, 2019).


Page or paragraph number

If you are directly quoting from the source, you must also include the page number, or if no page number is provided, give a paragraph number using the abbreviation "para." (e.g. Biddle, 2013, para. 6) and enclose the quote in double quotation marks. For long quotations use the block quotation format, and in this case quotation marks are not needed. 


Short quotations [8.26]A short quotation (up to 40 words) is incorporated into your text and is enclosed in double quotation marks (“ ”). Cite the author and year in the narrative before the quotation. Where the quotation does not form part of the narrative, put the citation immediately after the quote or at the end of the sentence enclosed in brackets. Always indicate the page number(s) (or paragraph number if there are no page numbers) after a quote.

Short Quotation

Rossiter (2019) postulates that “if there was no significant child obesity problem in the preregulation era when children were exposed to more junk food advertising than they are today, how can today's junk‐food advertising possibly be blamed for today's problem?" (pp. 280-281).


"There is a significant relationship between consumers’ culture and self-oriented (personal) values with respect to purchase of sustainable luxury fashion goods" (Jain, 2019, p.134).

Long quotations [8.27]: A long quotation is one of 40 words or more. It is presented in a block of text that is indented five to seven spaces (1.27cm) from the left margin. Present the block quotation in double line spacing but do not put extra line spaces before or after it. Cite the source in brackets after the final full-stop in the quotation, or cite the author and year in the narrative before the quotation and only put the page number in brackets at the end. No quotation marks are needed with block quotations and do not put a full-stop after the final bracket.

Block quotation

Nilsson (2019) states:

The development of urban bicycle tourism may be viewed as an innovative process based on incremental change in local and regional socio-technological mobility systems. In order to understand the role of tourism in it, such a system needs to be treated holistically. Changes in local transport systems including modal split between means of transport are influenced by a wide range of material and non-material factors. This means that to understand the role of cycling and tourist cycling in an urban context, a view involving several different perspectives needs to be applied. (p. 1652)


...of material and non-material factors. This means that to understand the role of cycling and tourist cycling in an urban context, a view involving several different perspectives needs to be applied. (Nilsson, 2019, p.1652)

Paraphrasing principles [8.23]: To paraphrase is to restate another's ideas in your own words. It is an effective writing strategy used to summarise and draw together material from one or more sources, focus on the most relevant information and compare and contrast details. In academic writing it is normal to paraphrase a work rather than to directly quote from another person's work and this allows the writer to formulate ideas and concepts in their own words.  


Cite the work you have paraphrased by either referring to it directly in your narrative or citing it in brackets after the end of your text, providing the author's name(s) and year.  Unlike direct quotations, it is not necessary to provide a page reference or paragraph number. If the paraphrase is long (consisting of several sentences) you only need to cite the work on the first mention, not after every sentence, if it is part of the same paragraph. If the paraphrase consists of several paragraphs or contains multiple sources within it, repeat the citation for each one so that the source of each idea is clear.


While many students found that grades were important, not all considered them a meaningful measure of success at university (Picton, Kahu, & Nelson, 2018).


According to Picton, Kahu and Nelson (2018) many students found that grades were important, not all considered them a meaningful measure of success at university.

Citing multiple works [8.12]: Sometimes you may need to reference more than one source in a set of parentheses, as several sources may have made the same claim or had the same idea. If this is the case, enclose all the in-text references in the same set of parentheses in alphabetical order, and separate each set with a semicolon. If multiple sources are cited in the narrative of a sentence, they can appear in any order.

Multiple works by different authors 

This theory has been disproved by others, who claim that the sky is not always blue (Barnes & Seung, 2017; Chan, 2019; Kimberley, 2010). 

Kimberley (2010), Chan (2019), and Barnes and Seung (2017) all agree that the sky is not always blue. 

Citing multiple works by same author 

Arrange citations by year of publication with no date first followed by dates in chronological order.

Pilbara Development Commission (n.d., 2000, 2016, 2019)

McGill (2017a, 2017b, 2019)

Firoz et al. (2014, 2016, 2019)

Number of authors to include in in-text citations [8.17]: The format of the author part of the in-text citation varies depending on how many authors are attributed to the work and the citation style.


Narrative: First use in text

Narrative: Subsequent uses

Parenthetical: First use in text

Parenthetical: Subsequent uses

One author

Cowie (2019)

Cowie (2019)

(Cowie, 2019)

(Cowie, 2019)

Two authors

Remley and Herlihy (2020)

Remley and Herlihy (2020)

(Remley & Herlihy, 2020)

(Remley & Herlihy, 2020)

Three or more

Motevalli et al. (2013)

Motevalli et al. (2013)

(Motevalli et al., 2013)

(Motevalli et al., 2013)


World Health Organization (WHO, 2020)

WHO (2020)

(World Health Organization [WHO], 2020)

(WHO, 2020)

For a work with one or two authors, include the author names in every citation; for a work with three or more authors, include the name of the first author plus "et al", meaning "and others" in every citation. 

Where the citation style gives the author's names in brackets (parenthetical citations), use an ampersand "&" between the names of authors. 

Where the citation is included as part of the sentence (narrative), use the word "and" between the names of authors.

Where in-text citations form part of a table or figure, always use an ampersand "&" between the names of authors.

These same rules apply also when the author is an organisation rather than an individual.

Works with the same author and same date [8.19]: When multiple references have an identical author (or authors) and publication date, include a lower case letter after the year. The year-letter combination is used in both the in-text citation and the reference list entry.


Hall (2019a) or (Hall, 2019a)

Hall (2019b) or (Hall, 2019b)

Reference list

Hall, M. C. (2019a). Constructing sustainable tourism development: The 2030 agenda and the managerial ecology of sustainable tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 27(7), 1044-1060.

Hall, M. C. (2019b). Tourism and rewilding: An introduction - definition, issues and review. Journal of Ecotourism. 18(4), 297-308.

Authors with the same surname [8.20]: If authors within a single reference share the same surname, initials are not included in the in-text citation. If the first authors of multiple references have the same surname as well as initials, cite the works in the standard author-date format. If the first authors of different works share same surname but different initials, include the initials of the first authors' in all the in-text citations, even if the year of publication is different. 


Authors with same surname - single reference 

Ryan and Ryan (2020) or (Ryan & Ryan, 2020)


First authors with same surname and initials - multiple references

Hall et al. (2018), Hall and Singh (2018) and Sharma (2019) or (Hall et al., 2019; Hall & Singh, 2018 & Sharma, 2019)

First authors with same surname, different initials - multiple references 


J. Kim and Seo, (2019) and M. Kim et al. (2020) or (J. Kim & Seo, 2019 & M. Kim et al., 2020)

Reference list

Kim, J., & Seo, Y. (2019). An evolutionary perspective on risk taking in tourism. Journal of Travel Research, 58(8), 1235-1248.

Kim, M. J., Lee, C.-K., & Jung, T. (2020). Exploring consumer behavior in virtual reality tourism using an extended stimulus-organism-response model. Journal of Travel Research, 59(1), 69-89.

Group authors [8.21]: If a reference has a group author such as an organisation's name, it can be abbreviated if the abbreviation is commonly known or it will appear more than three times in the document. 

Provide the full name of the group on the first mention in the text, followed by the abbreviation in round brackets where the citation appears in the narrative; or in square brackets where it appears in a parenthetical citation. See the APA website for more information.

In the reference list, do not use the abbreviated form of the name - spell out the full name of the organisation.

If the citation has three or more group authors, the in-text citation is shortened using "et al" after the first group author.

Narrative use

World Health Organisation (WHO, 2020), and for subsequent uses, WHO (2020)

Parenthetical use

(World Health Organisation [WHO], 2020), and for subsequent uses, (WHO, 2020)

Unknown or anonymous author [8.14]: For works without a named author, because the author is unknown or not listed, include the title and year of publication in the in-text citation as a substitute. In the corresponding reference list, the work is also listed under the title. If the title of the work is italicized in the reference, (for example, because it is a book), italicize the title in the in-text citation also. If it is not italicized, use double quotation marks "...." around the title in the in-text citation. Capitalize the title using title case (where all significant words are capitalised) in the in-text citation even though sentence case is used in the reference list. If the title is very long, it can be shortened for the in-text citation.

When the author of a work is designated as "Anonymous", use this as the author name in the in-text citation.

Anonymous works


Anonymous (2018) or (Anonymous, 2018)

Reference list

Anonymous. (2018). Iran disillusioned. Survival, 60(2), 231-236.

No author


Forensic Mental Health Evaluations in the Digital Age (2020) or (Forensic Mental Health Evaluations in the Digital Age, 2020)

Reference list

Forensic mental health evaluations in the digital age: A practitioner’s guide to using internet-based data (2020). Springer International.

Secondary references [8.6]: Secondary referencing is when you quote or paraphrase from a source which is mentioned in another text. It is not encouraged in scholarly writing - if it is absolutely necessary to use it then follow the instructions here. 
Always try to locate the original source rather than using a secondary reference. If you’re unable to trace the original, (
because it is unavailable, out of print or in a different language), make it clear that you are citing a work that has been cited by another. The reference list entry should show the source you have actually read so, like the example below, you would provide the details for Phillips et al. in the reference list, not Yengyoyan.

Source within a source

Yengyoyan's work (1987) as cited in Phillips et al (2019) regards kin classification to be the basis of social structure for Aboriginal people (p. 212). 

Reference list

Phillips, G. L, Ritchie, J., Dynevor, L., Lambert, J., & Moroney, K. (2019). Young children's community building in action: Embodied, emplaced and relational citizenship. Routledge.

Interviews [8.7, 8.9, 8.36]: An interview is a dialogue or exchange of information between people. 

Published interviews can appear in many places: magazines; newspapers; radio broadcast or podcast episode; YouTube video; TV show or transcript of a video or audio recording. To cite a published interview, refer to the format for that type of reference. The person being interviewed will not necessarily appear as the author of the reference. Where this is the case, integrate the person's name into the narrative of the sentence if needed.

Personal interviews are those conducted by yourself to obtain information and to support a key point in your paper, for example, an email requesting information. As readers cannot retrieve this type of interview, cite it as a Personal communication. Personal interviews are not included in the reference list; only cited as in-text references. Give the initial(s) and surname of the communicator and provide an exact a date as possible using the format given below. 

Research participant interviews are those conducted as part of your methodology in your own research. They do not require a citation because you do not cite your own work in the paper in which it is first being reported. However, information and quotations taken from research participant interviews can be included in your paper, following the formatting guidelines for Direct quote.

Published interviews


(Goldwater, 2020OR Goldwater (2020)

Reference list 

Goldwater, M. (2020, February 23). Dr Micah Goldwater discusses pseudoscience [Interview]. All in the mind with Sana Qadar: Suckers for pseudoscience. [Radio broadcast]. ABC Radio National.

Personal interviews

Narrative citation:  T. Nguyen (personal communication, February 24, 2020)

Parenthetical citation:  (T. Nguyen, personal communication, February 24, 2020)

Research participant interviews

"Ruohong", for instance, best exemplified how the museum restaurant could fit the context of the museum and thus create a coherent food experience in the museum restaurants.  

I suppose, to feature the same characteristics of the museum, the menu [and dishes] would be special and refer to the history of each dish presented in the museum. The decoration can also be improved. The visual elements, such as the entire design of the restaurant, the styles of the tables and chairs, and the waiters’ dresses, need to be uniquely and consistently related to the ones of the museum. Perhaps hang some introductions of the Hangzhou signature dishes on the wall in the restaurant, as if it is a small scale of museum.

Classroom or intranet resources [8.8]: This includes works which are only retrievable by certain audiences such as students (from a Blackboard site), employees (from a company intranet page) and therefore not accessible to the general public. When the audience you are writing for can retrieve the works you used, cite the works using the format given for that work for example, Powerpoints; Lecture slides. Similarly, for a report on a company's intranet page, follow the format for Reports. However, if the work is for professional publication or intended for a wider audience, use the citation rules for Personal Communications.

In-text referencing

Referencing table and figures in the text [7.5]Number all the tables and figures that are part of the main text. In the text refer to them by their number. Do not write "the table above or below" or the" the figure on page 12". 


Hubbard et al. (2018, Table 1) show the effects of varying amount of managerial power on the role of board of directors...

As shown in Table 1, zone 3 and 4 are low population density regions...

Figure 2 shows the market share of the mining industry remained stable ....

.......the results of the survey (see Table 3).

.......after market comparison (see Figures 4 and 5).

Referencing images without displaying them in the text: If you are discussing an image in your work, but not including the actual image, use the same approach as you would for any typical reference by including the author and date of publication in-text (including page numbers where possible), and a full reference list entry in the format appropriate for the source you found the image in (book, website, etc).

This romantic view of chivalry is also present in The Accolade (De La Sizeranne, 2012, p. 25), a prominent pre-Raphaelite painting.

For more information, see the section on basic components and formatting of tables and figures.

General principles for citations:

Only provide in-text citations and reference lists for items you have read and actually referred to in your own work, not for materials you have read but not used.

Cite primary sources where possible and secondary sources sparingly. See Secondary reference (source within a source) for further guidance.

Ideas that are well-known and accepted as common knowledge do not need to be cited. However, you should always cite any facts and figures you have used that are not common knowledge.

The number of citations you should include in your work depends upon the purpose of your work. For example, literature reviews will include a more exhaustive list of references as the review should aim to cover everything that has been written on the topic previously.

Even when sources cannot be retrieved, for example, because they are personal communications, they should still be credited in the text. See Personal Communications for further guidance. However, do not include online sources if they are no longer retrievable.

It is not necessary to repeat a citation if it is continuously referred to in the same paragraph under the same topic. Instead, cite the source in the first sentence in which it is relevant. 

General mention of whole websites, journal titles, apps and common software in the text do not require a citation or reference list entry, for example, Microsoft Office; Instagram; Qualtrix; SPSS; Photoshop.

Quotations from your own research participants used in your research project do not need citations or reference list entries.

Cite the version of the work you actually used, as there may be several versions online. Ideally, you should use the final, published version of the work.