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APA Citation

A guide to APA citation for the Science, Technology and Society Guide

Basic Format

Every source you use in a research project should be properly documented. This includes adding a full citation to your bibliography but also noting the source within the body of the project with a in-text (or parenthetical) citation. This short citation denotes where you pulled any piece of information whether it's a direct quote or an idea.

There are a few ways to do this based on how you incorporate the information into your project.

Paraphrasing or summarizing, where you state someone else's knowledge or idea in your own words, you'll add this version at the end of the sentence:

      (Author, Year).

Direct quotes of the author, word by word, requires that you add the page numbers that the quote appears on. Quotes are tricky because there are a variety of ways of doing them but the focus is to include the author's name, the year, and the page numbers

Oftentimes, it's easy to introduce the quote by referring to the author, those citations look like:

      According to Smith (2014), "Wha whawha whawhawha wha wha" (p. 100).

There may also be cases where you cite and then continue in your own words. The point is to note the page numbers right after the quote:

      Smith (2014) points out that "wha whawha what" (p. 101) but that conclusion doesn't reflect the findings of other research studies.

If you spend a lot of time talking about the same piece, it can become unnecessary to mention the authors name each time. So if you don't want, or need, to introduce the author's name with the quote, you'll use the following version:

      But as this article states in the conclusion, "whawha wha whawhawha wha" (Smith, 2014, p. 105-106).

There also a rule that if a quote is 40 words or longer then it must appear in a block of text that is 0.5" from the left margin and is single spaced. There are no quotation marks in this case. You start the notation of the quote with a colon(:), end with a period* and then add the page numbers still in parenthesis but no period in this case. Which looks like this (and looks a bit odd in the page):

      Smith (2014) offers the interesting observations that:

Wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha wha whawha whawhawha wha whawhawha whawhawha wha wha whawha. (p. 98) 

      And then you continue on with your next sentence....

APA Blog: How to cite more than one author in an in-text citation

*For anyone that learned British English, a period is a fullstop.