Citation Guide

Parenthetical Citations in the Body of the Paper

APA When you quote or paraphrase from a source (book, article, or webpage) in your paper, you need to insert a parenthetical citation. 

This citation typically consists of the author’s name, year of publication, and page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Another option is to use the author’s name in the sentence, followed directly by the year in parentheses, with the page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Basic Format: Author's last name, year of publication, and page numbers*.


“This is a citation” (Chapman, 2016, p. 126).

According to Chapman (2016), "This is a citation" (p. 216).

This is a paraphrase (Jackson, 1999).

According to Jackson (1999), This is a paraphrase.

What if there's more than one author, or no author?

What if a government agency is the author?

What if there are no page numbers and my instructor wants me to include paragraph numbers?

*If you are quoting directly, include the page number, if there is one: (Harvey, 2016, p. 4).
If you are paraphrasing, you only are required to have the author and year. APA “encourages” page numbers for paraphrasing, but does not require them.

Page numbers vs paragraph numbers: what if there are no page numbers?

Direct Quoting - When you are using someone else's exact words.

  1. If you are using a quote that is less than 40 words, enclose the quote in quotation marks and add the author’s name** (unless it is already in the sentence), year of publication and page numbers (if there are any) in parentheses.  Place this reference where a pause would occur or at the end of the sentence.  Punctuation marks should be placed after the parenthetical citation. You also will need to add each work from which you cite to your Works Cited page. Here are two examples:
    • The article goes on to say that “People don't do derby just for exercise but usually because it becomes a part of who they are” (Fagundes,  2012, p.1098).

    • Fagundes (2012) believes that roller derby gives participants "a chance to feel like a superstar" (p. 1098).

  2. If you are using a quote that is more than 40 words, do not use quotation marks. Instead, put the quote on a new line and indent the whole block approximately 1/2 inch from the left margin. Keep the quote double-spaced. Remember to add a parenthetical citation and put the work on your Works Cited page.  The parenthetical citation comes after the final punctuation mark. For example:

He asserts the following:

More importantly, though, the notion of competing under derby names was a perfect fit with the recent reimagination of the sport as a punk-rock spectacle that allowed, and encouraged, participants to develop outrageous public personas. The story of derby-name emergence probably has more to do with coincidence and path dependence than with conscious design. Derby pioneer Ivanna S. Pankin’s classic derby name pre-dated her founding of Arizona Roller Derby in 2003. Rather, it was a handle and email address she used as a musician in Phoenix’s punk rock scene. When she publicized her nascent league using the alias Ivanna S. Pankin, and the entire Austin scene was already using skate names, the leagues that popped up in their wake followed suit,33 and the practice of using colorful nicknames has been used by virtually all derby leagues and skaters since. (Fagundes, 2012, pp.1093-1094)

Paraphrasing or Referring to WorksAcknowledging the sources you used in your research.

  • If you mention the author’s name in the paragraph, then just put the date in parentheses.

    Fagundes believes it is hard to pin down when the practice of skating under a pseudonym began (2012).

  • If you do not mention the author’s name, then include the author’s name in parentheses before the date.

    It is hard to pin down when the practice of skating under a pseudonym began (Fagundes, 2012).