OC logo
Libraries Home Start Researching Subject Guides Services About Us
Skip to Main Content

APA (7th Edition) Documentation Style

General Guidelines

The following guidelines and examples are taken from Chapter 8 of the APA Publication Manual 7th edition.

  • The in-text citation appears in the body of the paper (including a table, figure, footnote, or appendix) and identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication. This allows the reader to locate the corresponding entry in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the paper.
  • The reference list entry provides the author, date, title, and source of the work cited in the paper and enables the reader to both identify and retrieve the work.
  • Cite both paraphrases and direct quotations. Include the author, year, and page number for direct quotations, and the author and year for paraphrasing.
  • Incorporate a short quotation (fewer than 40 words) into the text and enclose it within double quotation marks. For block quotations (40 words or more), start the quotation on a new line and indent the whole block 0.5 in. from the left margin. Please see section 8.26-8.27 for examples on how to cite short and block quotations respectively.
  • Cite primary sources when possible and secondary sources sparingly. 

In-text Citation Examples

The following examples are adapted from Guide to APA 7th Edition References. Teaching and Learning Center, University of Washington Tacoma. 


Citing examples by author type for narrative and parenthetical

Author type

Parenthetical citation

Narrative citation

One author

(Luna, 2020)

Luna (2020) concluded…

Two authors

(Salas & D’Agostino, 2020)

Salas and D’Agostino (2020) concluded…

Three or more authors

(Martin et al., 2020)

Martin et al. (2020) concluded…

Group author with abbreviation

First citation:

(National Institute of Mental Health

[NIMH], 2020)

Subsequent citations: (NIMH, 2020)

First citation:

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2020) concluded… Subsequent citations:

NIMH (2020) concluded…

Group author without abbreviation

(University of Washington, 2020)

University of Washington (2020) concluded…


Citing Multiple Works Parenthetically

Arrange multiple works alphabetically within parentheses (see Section 8.12). This organization reflects the citation order in your references list.

(Adams et al., 2019; Shumway & Shulman, 2015; Westinghouse, 2017)


Citing Secondary Sources

A secondary source refers to content first reported elsewhere, often in a primary source. When citing a secondary source, provide the primary source and its year (if known), then write “as cited in,” followed by the secondary source. In the references list, provide an entry for the secondary source (see Section 8.6).

(Rabbitt, 1982, as cited in Lyon et al., 2014)


Works with the Same Author and Same Date

If you are citing multiple works by the same authors published in the same year, include a lowercase letter (e.g., a) after the year (see Sections 8.19 and 9.47). Reference list citations must also include the letters after the year.

(Judge & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2012a; Judge & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2012b)