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How To - Use the APA Style Guide

7th ed General Formatting Tips

In-Text Citations

General Formatting Tips

APA uses the author-date method of in-text citation. This type of citation can be formatted as either parenthetical or narrative citations This link opens in a new window:

The author's last name and publication date are included in parentheses and separated by a comma.

Parenthetical In-Text Citation Format
Format Example
(Author, Publication Date) (Smith, 2017)
(Author & Author, Publication Date) (Johnson & Granger, 2018)
(Author et al., Publication Date) (Maybell et al., 2013)
(Author, Publication Date; Author & Author, Publication Date) (Foster, 2020; Chandler & Pearce, 2012)

The author name is mentioned in the text and is immediately followed by the publication date in parentheses.

Narrative In-Text Citation Format
Format Example
Author (Publication Date) Smith (2017)
Author and Author (Publication Date) Johnson and Granger (2018)
Author et al. (Publication Date) Maybell et al. (2013)
Author (Publication Date) and Author and Author (Publication Date) Foster (2020) and Chandler and Pearce (2012)

The 7th edition specifies how many authors to include in the in-text citation:

  • For a work with one or two authors include the last names separated by an ampersand (&)
  • If the resource has three or more authors use the first author's last name followed by "et al."

For more information on how to format authors, included group authors with or without abbreviations see the table in on the Author-Date Citation System This link opens in a new window page.

APA Style does not use "ibid."

  • Parenthetical citation - include the author(s) and publication date for every citation.
  • Narrative citation - don't include the publication date for every in-text citation repeated in the same paragraph. If you use the same exact narrative citation four times in a paragraph, only include the publication date in the first of the four in-text citations.


APA Resources