Citation Guides: In-Text Citations

Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing

In-Text Citations

There are two ways that in-text citations can fit within your sentence: narrative and parenthetical.


The names of the authors are included in the sentence. The date appears in parentheses immediate after the author names.

Example: Paraphrased
Ratcliffe (2019) asserts the superiority of Messi as a professional athlete.

Example: Quotation
Ratcliffe (2019) argues that "Messi is the best pro soccer player currently active" (p. 5).


The names of the authors are not included in the sentence, but their findings are. Both the author names and the date appear in the parenthesis, separated by a comma.

Example: Paraphrased
Messi is a superior professional athlete (Ratcliffe, 2019).

Example: Quotation
Messi was found to be "the best pro soccer player currently active" (Ratcliffe, 2019, p. 5).

A parenthetical citation can appear within or at the end of a sentence. When a parenthetical citation is at the end of a sentence, put a period after the closing parentheses.

Basic Citation Styles

Basic In-Text Citation Styles

Author Type Parenthetical Citation Narrative Citation
One author (Luna, 2020) Luna (2020)
Two authors (Salas & D'Agostino, 2020) Salas and D'agostino (2020)
Three or more authors (Martin et al., 2020) Martin et al. (2020)

Group author with abbreviation

First citation

Subsequent citations


(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2020)

(NIMH, 2020)


National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2020)

NIMH (2020)

Group author without abbreviation (Stanford University, 2020) Stanford University (2020)

For more examples and guidance with in-text citations, go to the APA Style Website at