5.2 Citing Sources in the Text of Your Paper

In accordance with the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020), whenever you refer to information or data produced by someone else in a paper, you need to cite the original source in the text of your paper and in a reference list at the end so that the reader can follow up and learn more, while also giving credit to the author and avoiding accusations of plagiarism.

Paraphrasing

When you write information from someone else’s work out in your own words, also known as paraphrasing, the APA style requires that you cite the last name of the author followed by the year of publication within parentheses:

Dhungel (2017) found that day-to-day oppressions, or microaggressions, towards survivors of sex trafficking in Nepal are pervasive and make it difficult for these women to integrate back into their communities and family life.

Or at the end of the information you have paraphrased within parentheses:

Evidence suggests that day-to-day oppressions, or microaggressions, towards survivors of trafficking victims in Nepal are pervasive and make it difficult for these women to integrate back into their communities and family life (Dhungel, 2017).

Direct Quotes

If you quote information exactly as it appears in a source that you are using, make sure to also include quotation marks and a page number:

Dhengal (2017) categorizes microassaults into four themes: “use of derogatory language; denial of citizenship and treated as other; invisible demonstrations of rejection; and exoticization and sexual objectification” (p. 129).

Or…

A recent study categorized microassaults into four themes: “use of derogatory language; denial of citizenship and treated as other; invisible demonstrations of rejection; and exoticization and sexual objectification” (Dhengal, 2017, p. 129).

Works With No Page Numbers

For works without page numbers, such as websites, provide the reader with some other way to locate the information you are quoting. This is commonly done by including a paragraph number:

“…” (Blackmore, 2018, para. 6).

Another option is to include a section heading:

“…” (Hope Mission, 2019, Vision Statement).
If citing audio-visual materials like a YouTube video, TV show or podcast, include a timestamp where the quote begins:
“…” (McGregor, 2019, 4:15).

Multiple Authors

In the case of works by two authors, type “and” between their last names if referred to within the text, or use the “&” symbol if the citation is within parentheses at the end of a sentence in your paper:

Bowen and Murshid (2016) define intersectionality as an “awareness of identity characteristics, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation, and the privileges or oppression these characteristics can incur” (p. 224).

Or…

Intersectionality can be understood as an “awareness of identity characteristics, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation, and the privileges or oppression these characteristics can incur” (Bowen & Murshid, 2016, p. 224).

If a work has 3 or more authors, only cite the first author followed by “et al.” throughout the text of your paper:

“…” (Frenzel et al., 2014, p. 5).

Crediting Multiple Works

If you are citing two or more works by different authors that discuss the same topic or idea, list them in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author appearing on each work, and separate each one with a semicolon:

Recently, researchers have applied concepts of formal and informal social control when examining sex offender registries and the experiences of sex offenders (Cooley et. al., 2017; Frenzel et. al., 2014; Winters et. al., 2017).

Personal Communications

To cite information obtained through a personal communication, such as in a lecture or over email, list the author’s initials and last name followed by reference to a personal communication and the date on which the communication took place:

An anthropology instructor explained that “symbolic communication is not limited to humans, as evident in various alarm calls depicting different predators made by African monkeys” (L. Mutch, personal communication, March 21, 2017).

Or…

L. Mutch, an anthropology instructor, explained that “symbolic communication is not limited to humans, as evident in various alarm calls depicting different predators made by African monkeys” (personal communication, March 21, 2017).

This type of citation occurs within the text of your paper, but is not included in your reference list at the end of the paper since this is not published information that a reader of your work could retrieve and explore further.

Quoting Research Participants

Note that you do not need to include an in-text citation or a reference entry when quoting information you have obtained from interviews with research participants. Do, however, be sure to protect anonymity and confidentiality by giving them a pseudonym, for instance, as typically required by research ethics protocols involving human subjects.

License

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Navigating an Undergraduate Degree in the Social Sciences by Diane Symbaluk, Robyn Hall, and Geneve Champoux is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.