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How to Cite in APA 7

In-Text Citation Tips

Sources with the same author and year

  • When you are citing two different sources that share the same author and year of publication, assign lowercase letters after the year of publication (a, b, c, etc.). Assign these letters according to which title comes first alphabetically. Use these letters in both in-text citations and the Reference list.
Example In-Text:

Paraphrasing content from first source by this author (Daristotle, 2015a). "Now I am quoting from the second source by the same author" (Daristotle, 2015b, p. 50).

Example Reference List entries:

Daristotle, J. (2015a). Title of book used as first source. Toronto, ON: Fancy Publisher.

Daristotle, J. (2015b). Title of book used as second source. Toronto, ON: Very Fancy Publisher.

Citing more than one source in-text

  • If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon. List the sources alphabetically by author's last name or first word used from the title if no author is given, in the same order they would appear on the References List.

(Bennett, 2015; Smith, 2014). 

(Brock, 2016; "It Takes Two,"  2015).

Quoting vs. Paraphrasing

Quoting vs Paraphrasing: What's the Difference?

  • There are two ways to integrate sources into your assignment: quoting directly or paraphrasing.
  • Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation. 
  • Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words. Make sure to also include an in-text citation. 

Quoting - Example

  • Parenthetical Style: Long-term unhoused people often experienced abuse and neglect in childhood since they "commonly come from families who are riddled with problems and marital disharmony" (Rokach, 2005, p. 477).
  • Narrative Style: As Rokach (2005) notes, long-term unhoused people "often have no one to care for them and no one knows them intimately" (p. 477).

Paraphrasing - Example

  • When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows: Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt, 1993).
  • If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the year of publication following their name: Hunt (1993) noted that mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research after the publication of John Bowlby's studies.

When is quoting or paraphrasing plagiarism?

  • It's plagiarism to directly copy someone else's words without a citation.
  • It's plagiarism to use someone else's ideas without a citation. 
    • This one's a little trickier! Sometimes there's a fine line between having your own ideas and having ideas that are heavily inspired by the work of others, especially since we don't always consciously remember which works influenced us. If you do have a source that states the ideas you're putting in your paper, it's always safer to cite that source than to assume it's a wholly original idea you came up with.
    • When writing a literature review, an introduction section, or anything else that relies heavily on the works of others, it's very common to include a citation for every (or just about every) sentence. Although this might look a little weird at first, it's the best way to make sure you're properly attributing ideas to the people who came up with them and people who read academic writing are very used to seeing many, many citations.
  • "Common knowledge," or ideas that you could reasonably expect your audience to know, do not need to be cited. Everyone knows green means go, you don't need to cite the Department of Transportation on that one. But when in doubt, always cite! It's better to have extraneous citations you didn't really need than to accidentally plagiarize.