APA: In-text citations

The American Psychological Association has published rules on the correct way to refer to sources. These APA guidelines are used in many universities, universities of applied sciences and other organisations, including several courses at the Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen.

In the overview below the most important guidelines are explained.

General

When a text is literally quoted in a thesis, or when the text is described (a paraphrase), you can refer to its source within the text. The source is described in much detail in the reference list, so a short reference between brackets directly following the quote or paraphrase will suffice.

There are two types of in-text citations:
- to quote: copying a piece of text literally
- to paraphrase: describing a piece of text in your own words

Quote

A quote is always placed between quotation marks. The quote is followed by a reference between brackets (last name author(s), year, page number(s)) or by referring to the author(s) within the text. Internet sources do not need a page number, with the exception of documents with page numbers, such as an article from a journal which has been uploaded as a pdf-document.


Quote with reference between brackets

  • "Many people would suggest that attitudes and values are closely related, yet it may be strongly argued that values are deeper than attitudes and more embedded in our character” (Brooks, 2003, p. 31).
  • “Each research project aims to provide knowledge, insight and information that can contribute towards solving a problem” (Verschuren & Doorewaard, 2010, p. 33), as does our research project.

 
Quote with author(s) in text

  • Brooks (2003) says “many people would suggest that attitudes and values are closely related, yet it may be strongly argued that values are deeper than attitudes and more embedded in our character” (p. 31).
  • Verschuren and Doorewaard (2010) claim that “Each research project aims to provide knowledge, insight and information that can contribute towards solving a problem” (p. 33).

 
Quote of over forty words

A long quote is put in a separate indented paragraph without quotation marks.

  • Brooks (2003, p. 177) gives a definition of organization structure:

                Thus, a traditional view of organization structure is that it
                  describes the way an organization is configured into work
                  groups and the reporting and authority relationships that
                  connect individuals and groups together. Structure acts to
                  create separate identities for different work groups and has
                  a major bearing on the effectiveness with which individuals
                  and groups are able to communicate with each other.

  • This definition is used in the following chapter… [etc.]

 
Quote of an internet source

  • “Earth’s warming climate is forecasted to make global precipitation patterns more extreme: Wet areas will become wetter, and dry areas will become drier” (Merzdorf, 2019).
     

Reference list

Brooks, I. (2003). Organisational behaviour: Individuals, groups and organisation (2nd edition). Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Merzdorf, J. (2019, July 9). A drier future sets the stage for more wildfires. Retrieved on July 12, 2019, from https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2891/a-drier-future-sets-the-stage-for-more-wildfires/

Verschuren, P., & Doorewaard, H. (2010). Designing a research project (2nd edition; R. Poper, Transl.). The Hague: Eleven International.

  
   

Paraphrase

When paraphrasing, you describe someone’s work in your own words. A paraphrase is followed by a reference between brackets which comprises of the last name of the author(s), year, page number. Mentioning the page number is not obligatory but is encouraged. You can name up to five authors maximum. When a text is written by six or more people, only the first author is mentioned with the addition of “et al”.
The reference list contains full references. Internet sources do not need a page number, with the ex-ception of documents with page numbers, such as an article from a journal which has been uploaded as a pdf-document.

 
Paraphrasing a book, article, chapter, etc. with just the one author

  • A flexible organization structure design consists of three groups of people; professional core, contractual fringe, and flexible labour force (Brooks, 2003, p. 109). 

 
Paraphrasing a book, article, chapter, etc. with two to five authors

  • There are five methods for accessing sources: questioning, observation, measurement instruments, content analysis, and search methods (Verschuren & Doorewaard, 2010, p. 220).

Please note: If this same source with more authors is paraphrased or quoted again, only the first author is mentioned with the addition of “et al.”.

  • The five methods for accessing sources, e.g. questioning (Verschuren et al., 2010, p. 220), have their advantages and their disadvantages.

 
Paraphrasing a book, article, chapter, etc. with six or more authors

  • Occupational therapy increases the quality of life of elderly people with dementia and their caregivers (Voigt et al., 2009, p. 1).

 
Paraphrasing an internet source

  • Due to the warming climate, wet areas will become wetter and dry areas will become drier (Merzdorf, 2019).


Please note
: As it is not always clear where a paraphrase starts, it is recommended to start the text with the author or title.

  • Verschuren and Doorewaard describe five methods for accessing sources: questioning, observation, measurement instruments, content analysis, and search methods (Verschuren & Doorewaard, 2010, p. 220)
  • In Designing a research project five methods for accessing sources are mentioned: questioning, observation, measurement instruments, content analysis, and search methods (Verschuren & Doorewaard, 2010, p. 220).


Reference list

Brooks, I. (2003). Organisational behaviour: Individuals, groups and organisation (2nd edition). Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Merzdorf, J. (2019, July 9). A drier future sets the stage for more wildfires. Retrieved on July 12, 2019, from https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2891/a-drier-future-sets-the-stage-for-more-wildfires/

Verschuren, P., & Doorewaard, H. (2010). Designing a research project (2nd edition; R. Poper, Transl.). The Hague: Eleven International.
   
   

Last update: September 20, 2019