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APA Citation Basics

Types of In-Text Citations

Parenthetical and Narrative Citations

In-text citations have two formats: parenthetical and narrative.

In parenthetical citations, the author name and publication date (or equivalent information) appear in the parentheses. Parenthetical citations may appear within or at the end of a sentence.

In narrative citations, this information is incorporated into the text as part of the sentence.


Parenthetical Citation Examples

When a parenthetical citation is at the end of a sentence, put the period or other end punctuation after the closing parenthesis.

     Media bias is a systemic disease that slants the public view on a multitude of topics, including politics, and furthers social media bullying, threats, and shaming (Chou & Wetzel, 2018).

If other text appears with the parenthetical citation, use commas around the year.

     (see Chou & Wetzel, 2018)

When text and a citation appear together in parenthesis, use a semicolon to separate the citation from the text; do not use parentheses within parentheses.

     (e.g., social media threats; Chou & Wetzel, 2018)


Narrative Citation Examples


The author appears in running text and the date appears in parentheses immediately after the author name for a narrative citation.

     Chou and Wetzel (2018) noted the dangers of media bias.

In rare cases, the author and date might both appear in the narrative. In this case, do not use parentheses.

     In 2018, Chou and Wetzel noted the dangers of media bias.

Note: The year can be omitted from a repeated narrative citation, but only when multiple narrative citations to a work appear within a single paragraph (see p. 265 in the manual for an example).


In-text citation examples

Type of source Parenthetical citation with single author/editor/organization
Website with an author (Author, 2018)
Website with no author (Title of the web page, 2018)
Website with no date (Author, n.d.)
Website with group or organization as author (Name of organization, 2018)
YouTube video (or other streaming video) (VideoCreator, 2018)
Article (journal, magazine, newspaper) (Author, 2018)
Authored book (Author, 2018)
Edited book (Editor, 2018)
Report (Agency/Organization Name, 2018)