Skip to Main Content

Citations: APA

For assistance with APA and MLA citation styles

Setting up your APA Paper

You can use the APA paper Word template to just begin typing your paper. It already has the formatting set up and all it needs is your words!

I need help!

What is a "source within a source"?

Ever want to cite something that is already a quotation in the article you are reading? That is called "a source within a source". You use this technique if you want to quote something that was already quoted in an article, but that you never read the original quote.

For example, you read an article by Noble and she is quoting someone named Smith. But you never read Smith's book, so you wouldn't put Smith on your reference page. However, you did read Noble and she will be on your reference page. So do this:

"Books are the best weapons in the world" (Smith, 2014, as cited in Noble, 2020, p. 2). ---In your paper.

Nobel, D. (2020). In the library. Dearborn, MI: Greenhaven.  ---On your Reference page.



APA In-Text Citations Include:

  • The Author (or Authors) last name
  • The year of publication
  • Page number *if* it is a quotation. Paraphrases do not require the use page numbers, though they are accepted.

Example: "A cactus doesn't live in the desert because it likes the desert; it live there because the desert hasn't killed it yet" (Jahren, 2016, p. 142). OR  As Hope Jahren (2016) once wrote, "a cactus doesn't live in the desert because it likes the desert; it live there because the desert hasn't killed it yet" (p. 142). 

And the entry on the Reference page would read:

Jahren, H. (2016). Lab Girl. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. 

See document below for additional examples and instructions on how to cite in-text for APA 7th edition.

What about a LONG quotation?

When do I use a Block Quotation?

Long quotations (40 or more words) go in a block.

Block quotations are indented, do not use quotation marks, and the end punctuation comes before the parenthetical notation.


We need knowledge, and not just information, in this world filled with unrelenting content. Knowledge is defined as:

Both the facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education, including the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject, and also the ability to use those facts, information, and skills in a useful and clever manner. (Smith, 2016, p. 45).

This description of knowledge is important to our understanding of…

Reference Page

Reference page:

  • Put your entries in alphabetical order according to the first author in each source. DO NOT rearrange authors names in a source, they are in that order for a reason. 
  • The first line of each source is flush left, each additional line per source is indented a half inch. Also called a "hanging indent". 
  • Sentence case = The first word in the title is capitalized. If there is a subtitle, the first word in the subtitle is also capitalized. If there is a proper noun or acronym, that is capitalized as well, but nothing else is capitalized in these titles.
  • The date always comes second in the works cited. If you do not have a date, list (n.d.) in your Reference page.

For extensive instructions and examples, see the document below.