In the world of scholarly writing and publishing, and in the several social science professions and other health-related fields, citations are brief notes that acknowledge and point to the original sources of ideas, information, summaries, paraphrases, and all the quoted passages that you have used in writing your essay or research paper. A complete APA citation format usually includes the author’s last name and his initials, the title of the work being cited, the name of the publisher, the year of publication, and other relevant information to help readers locate the original source.
APA in-text citations, on the other hand, pertain to the references that appear within the body of your paper. As a general rule, when you first mention a source, usually after a direct quote or in the form of a paraphrase, you are required to cite it as part of the text. The citation, including the year of publication, is enclosed in parentheses. For example:
… “All art appeals primarily to the senses, to the plasticity of sculpture, to the color of painting, and to the magic suggestiveness of music. My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel – it is, above all, to make you see.” (Conrad, 1921). …
The APA in-text citation can also be written as a paraphrase and thus included in a sentence, with the year of publication enclosed in parentheses, as in the following example:
… According to Joseph Conrad (1921), all art appeals to the senses, primarily to the plasticity of sculpture, to the color of painting, and to the magic suggestiveness of music. He believes that his task as an artist is, by the power of the written word, to make his readers hear, to make them feel, and, above all, to make them see. …
Accordingly, for every in-text citation that appears in the main body of your text, there should be a corresponding citation entry in your list of references. The general APA citation format for a source with multiple authors is as follows:
First Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial., Second Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial., & Third Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year of Publication). Title of Specific Work. City: Publisher.
Below are some examples of APA in-text citation multiples authors that demonstrate the APA citation format and their corresponding APA in-text citation:
Sebranek, P., Meyer, V., & Kemper, D. (2004). Write for College. Wilmington, MA: Great Source Education Group.
In text: (Sebranek, Meyer, & Kemper, 2004).
Bain, C. E., Beatty, J., & Hunter, P. J. (1986). The Norton Introduction to Literature (4th ed.). New York: Norton.
In-text: (Bain, Beatty, & Hunter, 1986).