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How to Cite Journals in Text Using APA Style


To cite a journal article according to the American Psychological Association style guide, you need three pieces of information: the name of the author, the year the article was published and the journal page number(s) where the information can be accessed. The APA style guide requires you to cite the article author, rather than the journal that published the article. Rarely would you cite an entire journal, as journals consist of many articles written by different authors.

In-Text Citation of an Idea, Concept or Paraphrased Section

Write the idea, concept or information in your own words. Compose your in-text citation in parentheses, which includes the author's last name and the date of the article's publication as follows: (Haley, 2008). Always put a comma in between the last name and the date. Place the period outside of the parentheses.

Utilize the following format to introduce a section with the name of the author: "According to Haley (2008), children in bilingual families performed better on aptitude tests than children in monolingual families."

Do not include the page number for paraphrased citations unless directed by your instructor.

In-Text Citation of a Direct Quote or Statistic

Place the citation after the quote and cite the author's last name, publication year and the page number where the quote can be found in the journal as follows: (Haley, 2008, p. 232). Do not write out "page" for the page number; use "p." instead. Always put a comma in between the year and the page number.

Cite the author's last name, publication year and the page number when you use the author's name in a sentence to quote statistics as follows: "Haley (2008) found that 77% of children in bilingual homes had better language acquisition skills (p. 232)."

Cite the section heading and paragraph number when the article to which you are referring does not have page numbers. Use the following format: (Smith, 1998, Bilingual Education section, para. 4) or "According to Smith (1998), integrating bilingual students into mainstream classrooms is 'an essential component of cultural adaptation' (Bilingual Education section, para. 4).

Separate long quotes, quotes of 40 words or more, by indenting them from the main article. Maintain double spacing as required by APA format.

About the Author

Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.

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