How to Cite Page Numbers in APA Format When No Page Numbers Are Given

You know APA (American Psychological Association) format requires that all direct quotes in a paper or article must have a page number in parenthesis after the quote. For example, (p. 23). But if a source source doesn't have page numbers, the APA Publication Manual provides guidance on using the paragraph number.

If the online you are quoting from has paragraph headings numbered, cite the paragraph number using "para." For example, Smith and Volf (2009) argue for "a realistic ethics of the heart" (para. 7). Or Some argue for "a realistic ethics of the heart" (Smith and Volf, 2009, para. 7).

If the source you are quoting has neither page numbers nor paragraph numbers, count the number of the paragraphs down from the top of the article or page and format the citation the same way as step 1.

If the blog or article has section headings, guide the reader by stating the first couple words of the section in quote marks, then give the paragraph number. For example, Miller (2008) sees "gold where others see only a silver lining" (The Benefits of Optimism section, para. 5).

  • The period for the sentence is placed after the parenthesis, not before it.
About the Author

This article was written by the Pen & the Pad team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about Pen & the Pad, contact us