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APA Citation

In-text (parenthetical) citations

In-text (or parenthetical) citations are there to give credit to your source, and also to point your reader to the complete reference at the end of your paper. Some key things to remember about in-text citations:

APA uses the author-date system; in-text citations should include the author's last name, and the date of the publication

Paraphrase: (Willson, 2013) or According to Willson (2013)

Direct quote: (Willson, 2013, p. 2) or (Willson, 2013, para. 1) 

If there is no author, use the first word or few words of the title in quotation marks for an article or the title italicized for a book

("Citing for business," 2013) or (Citing for business, 2013)

If there is no date, use n.d. instead

(Willson, n.d.) or As explained by Willson (n.d.)...

Citations appearing multiple times within a paragraph

Wondering how to format multiple citations from the same source within a paragraph?

  • All parenthetical citations need the date, no matter how many times they appear.
  • If the author's name is in the sentence, outside of parentheses, you don't need the date after the first citation (unless it could be confused with other citations).

To see an example, go to the APA Style Blog: When to Include the Year in Citations Appearing More Than Once in a Paragraph 

Citing a secondary source (also known as an indirect source)

Whenever possible, try to find the original source rather than using a secondary source. In text, a secondary source citation looks like this:

  • In Smith’s 1998 study (as cited in Rasmusson & Friedman, 2002)…
  • Experimental research (Smith, 1998, as cited in Rasmusson & Friedman, 2002) has shown…
  • Do not include Smith (1998) in the reference list. Do include Rasmusson & Friedman (2002). 

For more information see the APA Style Blog: Secondary Sources (aka How to Cite a Source You Found in Another Source)

In-text citation examples

Direct Quotes

Single page: (Manouselis, 2008, p. 44).

Multiple pages: (Manouselis, 2008, p. 44-45).

No page numbers: (Willson, 2013, para. 1).


(Crystal & Foote, 2009).

Multiple Authors: 3-5

First citation: (Pearce, Wassenaar, & Manz, 2014).

Subsequent citations: (Pearce et al., 2014).

Multiple Authors: 6 or more

(Cummings et al., 2000).

Company or Group Author, long name

First citation: (American Psychological Association [APA], 2009). 

Subsequent citations: (APA, 2009).

Using more than one source in the citation? Arrange them alphabetically

(Crystal & Foote, 2009; Cummings et al., 2000; Manouselis, 2008).

No author

Use the title, that can be shortened, in place of the author in an in-text citation. 

If the article was "Scientists say music manipulates shoppers," you can use (“Scientists say,” 2000).

Personal communications

Citing personal communications (letters, phone calls, interviews, e-mail messages, etc.) in text:

  • L. Coates (personal communication, December 16, 2008) stated that...
  • According to the department chair (L. Coates, personal communication, December 16, 2008)...

Do not include personal communications in the reference list. Cite them in text only. 

Two or more works with same author, same year

Identify each source by adding a,b,c etc. after the publication date: (Smith & Smith, 2007a, 2007b, James & Ivy, 2004a, 2004b)

If there is no date: (Willson, n.d.-a, Willson, n.d.-b)

For more information see the APA Style Blog: Reference Twins: Or, How to Cite Articles With the Same Authors and Same Year

Legislation & Case Law

Revised Statutes of Canada:

(Criminal Code, 1985, s 318(1)(a))

Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

(Canadian Charter, 1982, s 6 (2)(b))

Revised Statutes of British Columbia:

(Treaty Commission Act, 1996, s 5(1))

Statutes of British Columbia:

(Parental Liability Act, 2001, s 7(3)(b))

Case Law:

(R. v. Latimer, 2001, para. 20)


Every table must:

  1. be numbered
  2. have a title
  3. have an entry in your reference list

How to format a table in your paper:

You must number all tables in the order they appear in your paper (APA, 2010, p.127). The table number and title appear above the table, and the source of the data appears below the table in a note.

Example of a table number and title (above the table):

Table 1

Average Expenditure per Household, Canada and Selected Metropolitan Areas, Recent Years — Vancouver, British Columbia

Formatting the note (below the table):

If you have not changed the source in any way, then below the table you indicate the source after the word Note (Note is italicized) (APA, 2010, p. 173).


Note: Reprinted from "Title of Article," by A. A. Author and B. B. Author, year, Title of Journal, Volume, p. xx. Copyright [year] by Name of Copyright Holder.

If you have altered the table, use 'Adapted from' before the citation information instead of 'Reprinted from' (APA, 2010, p. 38, 156).

From Multiple Sources:

If you have used information from multiple sources to create your table, you must cite all the sources where you got the information under the table. While you do not have to give a full citation for each source you use, you will have to include a full reference in the reference list.


Note: Data for consumer brand preferences of dog food from Statistics Canada (2014), from BC Stats (2013), and from Wade (2015).

If you are using different sources to present information for various categories this will also need be identified:

Note: Data for consumer brand preferences of dog food for Canada from Statistics Canada (2014), and for British Columbia from BC Stats (2013). 

Figures: charts, maps, graphs, photographs, drawings or illustrations

Any image, chart, map, drawing, picture, etc. is referred to as a "figure" by APA.

All figures you include must have a number and a caption. The caption provides both the explanation and a title for the figure (APA, 2010, p.158).

The figure number and caption are located below the figure.

Every figure must:

  • be mentioned in the text
  • be numbered
  • have a descriptive caption 
  • have a full entry in the reference list

A general template for the caption:

Figure 1. Title of Work, by author, date, retrieved from http://... Date of Copyright by Copyright Holder

If you are using a figure that has not been changed from its original source, then place the information below the figure.


Figure 1. Graph of Sales of Apparel and Footwear. Reprinted from Canadian Retail Report 2014, by Euromonitor International, May 20 2015, retrieved from Copyright 2015 by Euromonitor International. 

From multiple sources:

As with tables you will need to cite all the sources where you got the information.


Figure 1. Graph of sales of apparel and footwear in Canada and the United States by retail value 2011-2014. Data for US from Euromonitor (2014), and for Canada from Statistics Canada (2013).


You may include appendices in your paper for tables, figures or other information that doesn't fit well within the body of your text. Examples could be questionnaires, tests or lists.

Label appendices in the order they appear in your paper. If you have only one, it will be Appendix. If there are more than one, it will be Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.

To refer to an appendix in text use the appendix label.


The data demonstrates that both countries have seen increases in trade imports (see Appendices A and B for complete data). 

More resources for in-text citations

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