The American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing System

1. In-text citations

Three important pieces of information about the source are included in the body of your text.

  •  The surname of the author or authors
  • The year of publication of the information
  • The page number (if the information can be located on a particular page).

Citations may be placed at the end of a sentence (before the concluding punctuation) in brackets:

Paraphrase or summary of the source (in your own words)

Encouraging students to memorise facts and rules and then testing their memory has been a consistent criterion of pedagogy (Broudy, 1998, p. 8).

Broudy (1998) explains that memorisation does not result in an ability to solve problems (p.8). 

Quotation (exact words from the source)

Broudy (1998) believes that “on the common criteria for schooling, our sample citizen has failed because he cannot replicate the necessary skill or apply the relevant principles” (p. 9).

Example 1

An example of a paragraph using the APA Style is given in Figure 1 below. Note the conventions for acknowledging that the information within the figure (or table or image) is from another source.

However, as Aronowitz and Giroux (1986) point out - and it is an important area of criticism of the notion of resistance - there is the possibility of confusing resistance with all forms of oppositional behaviour, and it is not always a response to domination. As an example of this latter point they refer to the much quoted article by McRobbie (1978) on “Working Class Girls and the Culture of Femininity”. Although McRobbie refers to the girls’ activities which include combing their hair under the desk lids, or carving their boyfriends’ names under their desks as oppositional, Aronowitz and Giroux see it in terms of conformation to sexual conventions which require “developing a sexual, and ultimately successful marriage” (p. 100). Contrary then to such behaviour constituting oppositional tactics, they see it as a form of “sexism that characterised working class life and mass culture in general” (p.105).
Figure 1. Example paragraph showing in-text citations
From Within school walls. (p. 60), by Wolpe, A. (1988), London: Routledge. Copyright 1988 by A. Wolpe.

Example 2 

An example of how to incorporate a long quotation (40 words or more) is given in Figure 2. Note that the long quotation is indented at the left margin.

The feminist perspective offers exciting possibilities for us to re-see and reinterpret works of art, as Huffington (1988) demonstrates in her biography of Picasso:

What seemed a life guided by burning passions – for painting, for women, for ideas – seemed a moment later the story of a man unable to love, intent on seduction not in the search for love, not even in the desire to possess, but in a compulsion to destroy. (p.10)

Figure 2. Example paragraph showing long in-text citations
From Writing About Art (p. 10), by H. M. Sayre. (1999). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Copyright 1999 by H. M. Sayre.

See next: Different In-text citations

Related tags: Academic skills