What Are In-Text Citations APA? Top 3 Tips and Tricks

Figuring out how to cite in-text APA style can be difficult. Here, we’re digging into everything you need to know about what are in-text citations APA. 

APA-style in-text citations are pretty simple: you follow the author-date method (Berkey, 2002). While this method of citing sources is straightforward, some areas can get tricky, such as using direct quotes, paraphrasing, and more. Using Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (commonly known as the Purdue OWL) can be a simple way to answer your APA-style questions quickly. Be sure to take your time when citing work in your research papers.

Many professors pay close attention to whether you follow citing rules. When you correctly attribute work to an author, you’re avoiding accusations of plagiarism and giving credit where it’s due. While your professors will appreciate your effort, this also sets you up to properly take cite work in future academic endeavors. Here, we’ll look at precisely what you need to know to complete in-text citations in your APA-style research paper correctly. 

In-Text Citations: The Basics

What are APA In-text citations?
If you’re directly quoting a work, you’ll also want to include the page number from which you retrieved the quote, for example

When formatting a paper with APA in-text citations, the format is simple. If you’re talking about an idea from a resource, you’ll write the author’s name, and the year the work was published in parentheses. For example, (Berkey, 2002). If you’re directly quoting a work, you’ll also want to include the page number from which you retrieved the quote, for example (Berkey, 2002, p.102). 

In-Text Citations: The Details

When you’re first referencing a source, it may help the flow of your paper to include the source title. You’ll want to capitalize the first letter of each word in the title that includes more than four letters. You’ll also italicize the entire title. For example, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s important to note that on your works cited page; you’ll only capitalize the first letter of the title unless the title includes a proper noun—for example, Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone. When quoting directly from a source, you have a few options for in-text citations while sticking to the APA format. 

Good examples for direct quotes include: 

  1. According to Berkey (2002), “students often struggled to stay on task when an administrative observer entered the classroom” (p.110). 
  2. Berkey (2002) found that “students often struggled to stay on task when an administrative observer entered the classroom” (p.110) and found that most students were able to get quickly back on task post-observation. 
  3. The author stated, “students often struggled to stay on task when an administrative observer entered the classroom” (Berkey, 2002, p.110) and mentioned that students quickly got back on task after the observation ended. 
  4. In Berkey’s (2002) study, she found: Students often struggled to stay on task when an administrative observer entered the classroom but could quickly get back to work as soon as the observation was finished. Upon asking students why they struggled to stay on task, many said they felt they were being assessed and worried more about what the observer would think of them than how to participate in the assignment (p.110) correctly.

APA In-Text Citations: Tips and Tricks

  1. Don’t wait until the end of your paper to go back and add in-text citations. Doing so can be tempting when you’re working through writing your paper, but it’s tough to find exact quotes and page numbers after you’re done using a resource. Instead, save time and complete your in-text citations as soon as you use a new source. 
  2. Once you complete an in-text citation, add the resource to your works cited page. Just like completing in-text citations immediately, this will save you time down the road, making it easier for you to complete your work. 
  3. Double-check the spelling in your citations before you submit your paper. Doing so can save you from easy-to-avoid errors that can cause you to lose points on your paper. 

Interested in learning more? Check out our Grammarly guide on APA citations!

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