How to Cite in a Sentence in APA Format

By Joshua Laud

When you are completing a piece of academic, technical or scholarly work, you may be requested to cite in a particular style. The APA style is one of the most common citation styles, along with the Harvard style. As well as compiling a bibliography, you also need to cite an article in a sentence. This is known as the in-text citation and is less cluttered than its bibliographic counterpart. Once you have learned the basic APA format you can apply it to all similar citations.

Works with One Author

Step 1

Open the document on a computer and find the sentence within that needs citation.

Step 2

Place your cursor at the end of the quote that needs citation and press the space bar. Type the citation after the quotation marks but before the sentence's end punctuation and include parentheses around it. Include the author's surname, or last name, the year of publication and "p." and the page number all separated by commas. An example looks like this:(Author's Surname, year of publication, p. 00)

Step 3

Include the year only in parentheses for sentences where the author's name is already included within the sentence. Place the year in parentheses after the author's name, and after a quotation, include "p." and the page number from the referenced material within parentheses. An example looks like this:Surname (year) claims the results to be "full of misleading interpretations" (p. 10).

Works with Multiple Authors

Step 1

Open the document on a computer and find the sentence within that needs citation.

Step 2

For the first reference with multiple authors of one work, include all their last names as part of the sentence with the cited material's publication date in parentheses after the last name. Include "p." and the page number from the referenced material within parentheses after a quote. An example looks like this:According to Surname, Surname and Surname (year), "these facts hold true today" (p. 37).

Step 3

Include only the author's first name and "et al." after it within a sentence for any subsequent citations of the same reference. Include "p." and the page number from the referenced material within parentheses after a quote. An example looks like this:As Surname et al. (year) explain later on, "we should not expect results too quickly" (p. 101).

Step 4

Include the first author's last name only followed by et al. within the sentence, followed by the referenced work's publication year in parentheses, for the first and every other citation of works with six or more authors.

Tips & Warnings

  • If a list of references includes two or more works where the first or primary author has the same last name, include that author's initials for all in-text citations, even if the works' publication dates are different.
  • APA has different rules for citation of works with no author, a group or organization as author, emails and websites.