Skip to Main Content

APA 7th Edition Referencing: In-text Referencing

In-text Referencing

In-text Referencing

  • In an author-date style, in-text citations usually require the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication.
  • Do not include month or day for an in-text reference, even if this information is included in the reference list.
  • In-text references can be part of a sentence (narrative) eg. Rimmington has argued that "....." (2018) or included within parentheses or brackets (parenthetical) eg. (Starr, 2019)
  • They can appear within a sentence or at the end of a sentence. Place the reference before the full stop if it is going at the end eg. ...results indicated that students did not understand how to correctly in-text reference (Galindo, 2017).
  • page number is included when using a direct quote. Place a comma after the year. Use p. for single page, pp. for multiple pages eg. (Kalaf, 2018, p. 164) or (Pearce, 2020, pp. 56-58).
  • When you paraphrase a passage, or refer to an idea contained in another work, a page number is not required. However, it can be useful to include to assist readers to locate your reference. Please check with your lecturer if you are unsure if you should include page numbers.
  • If there is no date, the abbreviation n.d. may be used eg. (Cox, n.d.).
  • if work is not yet published, use in press eg. (Taylor, in press).

Formation of a Direct Quotation in Text

  • Include the author, year, and specific page number for that quotation.
  • For material without page numbers, give the paragraph number or a time stamp.
  • Include a complete reference in the reference list.


(Hancock, 2016, p. 10)

(Boot, 2011, pp. 49-50)

Ryan (2013) has argued that "......" (p. 15)

As Cowled (2018) found "......" (pp. 11-12) 

(Davis, 2017, para. 8)

(Melville, 2019, 2:17)

McGrath et al. (2019) noted that "...." (2:07)

Word Limit, In-Text Citations and References

Direct quotes should only make up 10% of your essay. Make sure you meet the assessment's word limit but do not exceed it. Usually, a latitude of 10% on either side is allowed. The total number of words comprises the actual assessment itself (including quotes) and does not include the cover page, abstract, in-text references, reference list or appendix.

What is a Direct Quotation?

All quoted material must be identified as being quoted. Direct quotation occurs when you use “word for word material directly quoted from another author’s work” (APA, 2010, p. 173). There are two methods of doing this depending on the length of the quote. Where a quote is shorter than 40 words in length it is to be included in the text of the essay and identified by double quotation marks at the beginning and end of the actual quoted material. The source of the quote must also be given within the sentence or at its conclusion. Place the in-text reference before the full stop.

For example: Researchers have observed that “falls are frequently reported adverse events in the adult inpatient setting” (Perry et al., 2012, p. 37).


Indent and double space quotes which are 40 words or longer in length. Quotation marks are not used. At the end of a block quotation, cite the quoted source and the page number in parentheses, after the final punctuation mark. Note the location of the full stop.

For example:

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. (Dickens, 1896, p. 1)

Placement of a Direct Quotation

  • If the direct quote is part of a sentence, place the in-text reference directly after the quote and continue with the sentence. For example:-

Mindfulness has a range of meanings as it "has become a trend word conveying a diversity of understandings dependent on context" (Davis, 2017, p. 86) and can encompass....

As Davis (2017) said, "Mindfulness has become a trend word conveying a diversity of understandings dependent on context" (p. 86) and can encompass....

  • If the direct quote is at the end of a sentence, include the in-text reference directly after the quote and end with a full stop.

"Mindfulness has become a trend word conveying a diversity of understandings dependent on context" (Davis, 2017, p. 86).

Direct Quote Examples


From Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition