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Wellehan Library APA Guide: In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations

Rules for in-text citation format vary based on number of authors, and type of borrowed information being used, directly quoted or paraphrased information.

In-Text Citation Examples


According to Smith and Jones (2015), “obese children engage in less physical activity” than their fit counterparts (p. 103).

While “obese children engage in less physical activity,” fitter children are exercising more (Smith & Jones, 2015, p. 103).

Page numbers with in-text citations:

“When quoting, always provide the author, year, and specific page citation or paragraph number for non-paginated material…” (APA, 2010, p. 170).

Paraphrase or Summary

Note: APA doesn’t require a page number for a paraphrase, but it is often helpful to include one. Consult with your professor for her/his expectations regarding page numbers for paraphrases.

Multiple authors

2 authors: Cite both names each time. 

3 to 5 authors: Cite all names in the first citation; in subsequent citations, cite only the first author followed by “et al.”

6 or more authors: Cite only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.” for all entries.


For organizations with long names and familiar abbreviations, you may abbreviate the organization-as-author name or use an acronym in the second and subsequent citations.  

First in-text citation: More than 200 million pieces of first class mail are delivered by the United Stated Postal Service on an average business day (United States Postal Service [USPS], 2014).

Subsequent citations: (USPS, 2014).

Contact Us

Contact us with questions regarding APA style.

Lynn Bivens, Head of Reference and Information Literacy     207-893-7724

Ben Coakley, Reference and Information Literacy Librarian     207-893-7728