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Citations: APA Citation

A guide to citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago Style.

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Looking for APA 7th edition help? You can access our quick reference guide below.

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APA in-text citations

For a primer on APA in-text citations (the citations within your paper), check out OWL Purdue's page on Citation Basics and then explore their page on Author/Authors.

One of the main quirks of APA style concerns how you format in-text citations based on the number of authors for that resource (journal, book, website, etc.). The table below provides a quick summary of the main formatting variations.

In-text citations:

# of authors First citation in paper Subsequent citations in paper
1-2 authors: Smith (2016) Smith (2016)
3-5 authors: Smith, Marr, and Yorke (2016) Smith et al. (2016)
6 or more authors: Jones et al. (2016) Jones et al. (2016)



APA papers can be tricky to format.

Are you new to APA paper formatting and love videos? Check out Owl Purdue's video on formatting papers here.
*Note: not all college papers require an abstract page. Consult with your professor regarding their preference. 

The core authority on APA paper formatting is the APA Style Manual. You can find a sample paper on page 41 of the Manual. 

If you don't have immediate access to the Manual, check out the sample paper online here via APA Style.

OWL Purdue, also has a great sample paper with clear explanations. It can be found here


Within the body of the paper, it is also important to pay attention to heading levels. Owl Purdue has a great page that talks about headings within your paper. You can check it out here

Based on APA library guide by:

USC Aiken Gregg-Graniteville Library


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