Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APA Citation Guide (6th ed.): In-Text Citation

Quoting and Paraphrasing: What's the Difference?

There are two ways to integrate others' research into your assignment: you can paraphrase or you can quote.

Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation.

See our Paraphrasing page for detailed information about paraphrasing in APA

Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation.

See our Quoting page for detailed information about quoting in APA

About In-Text Citation

In APA, in-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  • In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a comma and the publication year enclosed in parentheses: (Smith, 2007).
  • If you are quoting directly the page number should be included, if given.
  • If you are paraphrasing the page number is not required.
    ( Note: Although not required, APA encourages including the page number when paraphrasing if it will help the reader locate the information in a long text. Check with your instructor to determine if page numbers are needed for your coursework.)
  • If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the title, such as italics: (Naturopathic, 2007).

Work Quoted in Another Source

Sometimes an author of a book, article or website will mention another person’s work by using a quotation or paraphrased idea from that source. (This may be called a secondary source.) For example, the Kirkey article you are reading includes a quotation by Smith that you would like to include in your essay.

The basic rule is that in both your References list and in-text citation you will still cite Kirkey. Kirkey will appear in your References list - NOT Smith.

You will add the words “as cited in” to your in-text citation.  

Examples of in-text citations:

According to a study by Smith (as cited in Kirkey, 2013) 42% of doctors would refuse to perform legal euthanasia.

Smith (as cited in Kirkey, 2013) states that “even if euthanasia was legal, 42% of doctors would be against this method of assisted dying” (p. 34).

Example of Reference list citation:

Kirkey, S. (2013, Feb 9). Euthanasia. The Montreal Gazette, p. A10. Retrieved from Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies database.

Signal Phrases

If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation.


When using a direct quote, include the date after the name and the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation. For example:


Hunt (2011) explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (p. 358).


When paraphrasing, include the date after the name. For example: 


According to Smith (2017), wearable technology will positively impact supply chains by improving worker safety and product quality.

 Note: Although not required, APA encourages including the page number when paraphrasing if it will help the reader locate the information in a long text and distinguish between the information that is coming from you and the source. Check with your instructor to determine if page numbers are needed for your coursework.

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

Number of Authors/Editors First Time Paraphrased Second and Subsequent Times Paraphrased First Time Quoting Second and Subsequent Times Quoting

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011)

(Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57) (Case & Daristotle, 2011, p. 57)
Three to Five (Case, Daristotle, Hayek, Smith, & Raash, 2011) (Case et al., 2011) (Case, Daristotle, Hayekm, Smith, & Raash, 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)
Six or More

(Case et al., 2011)

(Case et al., 2011) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57) (Case et al., 2011, p. 57)

FAQ - Can I cite in-text once at the end of a paragraph, or do I need to cite after each sentence?

If you quote or paraphrase from a source more than once in a paragraph, cite the source each time. Citing only once at the end of the paragraph isn't enough, as it doesn't clearly show where you started using information from another person's work or ideas.

Note: You can avoid having to write full in-text citations each and every time by using a lead-in to your paragraph. For a detailed example of how to use lead-in sentences, please see Rasmussen College's FAQ page


FAQ - Works by the Same Author with the Same Year

When you are citing two different sources that share the same author and year of publication, assign lowercase letters after the year of publication (a, b, c, etc.). Assign these letters according to which title comes first alphabetically. Use these letters in both in-text citations and the Reference list.

Example In-Text:

Paraphrasing content from first source by this author (Daristotle, 2015a). "Now I am quoting from the second source by the same author" (Daristotle, 2015b, p. 50).

Example Reference List entries:

Daristotle, J. (2015a). Name of book used as first source. Toronto, ON: Fancy Publisher.

Daristotle, J. (2015b). Title of book used as second source. Toronto, ON: Very Fancy Publisher.



In-Text Citation For More Than One Source

If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon. List the sources alphabetically by author's last name or first word used from the title if no author is given, in the same order they would appear on the References List, e.g.:

(Bennett, 2015; Smith, 2014). 

(Brock, 2016; "It Takes Two,"  2015).


FAQ - How do I format the titles of sources in my paper?

Consider the following APA Style guidelines if you are referring to titles of sources within the body of your paper


Titles of longer works, such as books, films, YouTube videos, reports, and periodicals
  • Italicize the title and capitalize major words
  • Examples:
    • In her book, Pride and Prejudice
    • The film The Wizard of Oz
    • Toronto Star
Titles of shorter works, such as articles, book chapter, blog post, and song titles
  • Surround the title with quotation marks and capitalize major words
  • Examples:
    • In Basil Johnston's article, "Modern Cannibals of the Wild"
    • "An Investigation of the Relationship between Resilience, Mindfulness, and Academic Self-Efficacy"


For more information, see "How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.