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How to Cite a Theory in APA Format


American Psychological Association citation style requires concise in-text citations accompanied by full citations on a references page. Understanding APA style can help ensure that you use consistent references throughout your writing.

In-Text Citations

Follow direct quotes with the author’s name, publication date and page number enclosed in parentheses, as follows: author, date: page number. In-text citations for paraphrases are identical except that they omit the page number and can be bypassed completely if you include the author’s name and publication date when paraphrasing, for example: “Smith stated in a 2011 study. . . ”

References Page Citations

Include all sources that you cite in text on your references page. Reference list citations begin with the authors' last names followed by their first names, the publication date in parentheses, the work’s title, the page numbers if applicable and the publication location and source. For example:

Rancic, B. and Paisner, D. (2004). You’re hired: how to succeed in business and life. New York: HarperBusiness.

About the Author

Teresa J. Siskin has been a researcher, writer and editor since 2009. She holds a doctorate in art history.

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