APA Style, 6th Edition

Tips for In-Text Citations: How Often to Cite?

In the text of your assignments, it should be very clear when you are using information from a source through quoting (copying word-for-word) or re-wording (paraphrasing/summarizing). Keep these tips in mind:

  • Use your judgment when determining how frequently to cite a source in-text. Ask yourself: will it be obvious to my reader/instructor where this information is coming from?
  • Use both brackets (parentheses) and signal phrases (such as According to Bautista et al (2019)... or Bautista et al. argued...)  that introduce the author(s) with the page/paragraph number or heading at the end of the sentence, e.g. ("Conclusion")
  • Follow the directions given by your instructor and ask them to explain with examples if you're not sure

Below are examples of how to cite in-text:

1) When using different sources inside a paragraph, include in-text citations for each source:

The Government of Canada has listed 12 determinants of health that includes "healthy child development" (2018, "Social and economic"). Poverty is a significant factor in child health that disproportionately affects indigenous populations, with indigenous children holding a poverty rate of 40% in contrast to 15% of all other children in Canada (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2013, p. 12). This has an impact on the health of indigenous families because "Canadians with higher incomes are often healthier than those with lower incomes" (Government of Canada, 2018, "Health inequalities"). 

2) Use the "sandwich" approach when using the same source over several sentences. Do not just put an in-text citation at the end of a paragraph; instead, begin with the author and end with the page/paragraph number(s) or heading(s):

Tallon, Kendall, Priddis, Newall, and Young (2017) conducted a review of the research on the topic of the social determinants of health in pediatric nursing. They discovered that multiple studies have found an overemphasis on the "physical, rather than psychological and social, health outcomes and physical causal pathways to disease" (p. 54). 

3) Integrate and connect sources using signal phrases and transitional devices:

Poverty is a significant factor in child health that disproportionately affects indigenous populations. As of 2013, indigenous children holding a poverty rate of 40% in contrast to 15% of all other children in Canada (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2013, p. 12). According to Barker, Alfred and Kerr (2014), indigenous youth in Canada are also more likely to be exposed to the child welfare system where they are at risk of maltreatment (p. 533). Similarly, the Child Welfare Information Gateway (2017) has reported that indigenous children in the U.S. are placed in foster care "at a rate of 3.3 times that of white children (as cited in Haight, Waubanascum, Glesener, & Marsalis, 2018, p. 397). In a review of 37 studies, Haight et al. (2018) found multiple reasons for this disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous children and families. These included "social challenges" such as poverty, substance abuse, and domestic violence (p. 402). 

For more information about the frequency of citing in-text and how to effectively integrate sources into your writing, read these posts and comments from the official American Psychological Association (APA) blog: