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BMGT 205 - Professional Communication Fundamentals

In-text Citation Tips

When using a parenthetical citation, (Author, Year), place the period after the parenthesis. 

Example: The dog was part Karelian Bear Dog and part Springer Spaniel (Smith, 2012).

APA Intext Citations

In-text Citations Using APA

In-text Citations Using APA 6th Edition

There are two styles of in-text citations that are used in APA format. Both use an author-date system. Both are correct and are mainly stylistic choices.

One is called a parenthetical citation in which you cite the author(s) and year at the end of a sentence to inform the reader of the source that you used.

Example:  One study shows that more students use Facebook than email to communicate (Smith, 2008).

 The other style, called an in-text citation, places the author’s name within the text of the sentence followed by the year. Example: Smith (2008) found that more college students use Facebook rather than email as a way to communicate.

 The table below outlines that appropriate way to list authors when citing sources in the text of your paper.


Parenthetical Citations


In Text Citation

Type of citation

First citation

Subsequent citation


First Citation

Subsequent citations

A work by 1 author

(White, 2012)

(White, 2012)


White (2012)

White (2012)

A work by 2 authors

(White & Gray, 2012)

(White & Gray, 2012)


White and Gray (2012)

White and Gray (2012)

A work by 3 authors

(White, Black, & Blue, 2012)

(White et al., 2012)


White, Black, and Blue (2012)

White et al. (2012)

A work by 4authors

(White, Black, Brown, & Blue, 2012)

(White et al., 2012)


White, Black, Brown, and Blue (2012)

White et al.(2012)

A work by 5 authors

(White, Gray, Black, Brown & Blue, 2012)

(White et al., 2012)


White, Gray, Black, Brown and Blue (2012)

White et al. (2012)

A work by 6+  authors

(White et al., 2012)

(White et al., 2012)


White et al. (2012)

White et al. (2012)

Groups (identified through abbrev.)

(Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 2008)

(EPA, 2008)


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, 2012)

EPA (2012)

Groups (no abbrev.)

(Harvard University, 2012)

(Harvard University, 2012)


Harvard University (2012)

Harvard University (2012)

Adapted from APA Publication Manual 6th Ed.  2010


APA In-text citation Nuances

Multiple Sources in a Parenthetical Citation

 Citing more than one work by the same author

When listing two or more works by the same author in a parenthetical citation, list the author’s works by year of publication.

                Example:  (Brown et al., 2001, 2006)

 Citing works by different authors

When listing two or more works by different authors in a parenthetical citation, list the authors alphabetically as they would appear in the reference list and separate by a semi-colon.

                Example: (Brown et al., 2006; White, 2009).

Different authors with same surname:

When listing works by two authors with the same last name, list the author’s initials each time you provide an in-text citation, even if the publication dates are different.

                Example:  (I. Brown, 2009; S. Brown, 2008)  


In-text Citations when there is no author

No author

If there is no author, list the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) followed by the publication year. Place “quotation marks” around book chapters, articles, or a web page and italicize periodicals, books, brochures or reports.

                Example: (“Study Finds,” 2007)


If a work is designated as Anonymous, the citation should contain the word Anonymous followed by a comma and date.

                Example: (Anonymous, 2009)


Citing a specific part of a source

If citing a specific part of a document, indicate the appropriate page, figure, table or chapter.  If using a direct quote, you must include the page number. Note that page is abbreviated to p., but chapter is spelled out and the first letter is capitalized, Chapter.

                Example: (Brown et al., 2001, p. 293)


Personal communications

Personal communications are private letters, memos, non-archived electronic communications, personal interviews, telephone conversations etc.  In essence, they are materials that cannot be easily recovered by the reader.  To cite a personal communication, list the initial and last name of the communicator, and provide an exact date. NOTE: Because this information is not easily recoverable, do not include it in the reference list.

                Example: (R. Tanner, personal communication, October 31, 2011)


 Citing a source referenced in another source (secondary source)

If you want to refer to a work that you read in another work, cite the secondary source.  For example, if an article by Black cites material from Canterbury Tales (which you have not read), then you would cite the article rather than Canterbury Tales.

                Example:  Canterbury Tales (as cited in Black, 2001).