In-Text Citations

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or borrow information from another text, you must include the proper in-text citation information. Below are explanations and examples for how to cite source material in your document.


Paraphrasing is rewording or summarizing source material. When you paraphrase, you must include the author’s last name or organization responsible as well as the publication year or “n.d.” if there is no date of publication. Below are different ways to format and cite a paraphrase:

  • 34% of the adults who were dosed showed a marked improvement (Smith & Garcia, 2017).
  • Smith and Garcia (2017) found that 34% of the adults who were dosed showed a marked improvement.
  • In 2017Smith and Garcia found that 34% of the adults who were dosed showed a marked improvement.
  • Smith and Garcia’s (2017) study found that 34% of the adults who were dosed showed a marked improvement.
  • Lowering the cost of supplies would cut most clinical budgets by 10% (American Radiological Society, n.d.).
  • The American Radiological Society (n.d.) states that lowering the cost of supplies would cut most clinical budgets by 10%.


Any time you borrow the exact language of a source, you need to put it in quotation marks and include the author’s last name, the year published, and the page number. You also want to introduce or contextualize quoted material. Below are different ways to cite and present quotes:

  • In fact, “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (Smith & Garcia, 2017, p. 174).
  • According to Smith and Garcia (2017), “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (p. 174).
  • In 2017, Smith and Garcia noted that “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (p. 174).
  • “A flexible mind is a healthy mind,” according to Smith and Garcia’s (2017, p. 174) longitudinal study.
  • Smith and Garcia’s (2017) results indicate that “a flexible mind is a healthy mind” (p. 174).

More On In-Text Citations

From the Bellevue College Library: In-text Citations

Citing the Same Source Multiple Times in a Paragraph

When using the same source throughout a paragraph, you need to make it clear to the reader what came from the source and what did not, but you don’t have to put a parenthetical citation after every sentence. There are many ways to attribute a source without the redundancy of parenthetical citations. Here are some general rules and an example paragraph:

  • You only have to list the year of publication the first time that text is introduced in the paragraph AND in every parenthetical citation
  • Use the author’s last name as a way to cite/talk about a source, e.g., Smith showed that…
  • “He/she/they” can replace the author’s last name if it is very clear which author(s) you are referring to
  • The paragraph below shows you what this might look like (from the APA Blog):


Morin (1988) described two separate but linked epidemics. Morin distinguished the HIV (viral) epidemic from the subsequent AIDS (disease) epidemic, foreseeing the ultimate convergence of preventing the spread of the virus and managing the disease it causes. She also discussed a third epidemic. This third epidemic is as much a part of the pathology of AIDS as the virus itself (Morin, 1988).

Citing Sources with Multiple Authors (Using “et al.”)

The abbreviation “et al.” is Latin for “and others.” It is used in different contexts in which there are 3 or more authors to a text. Below shows how and when to use this when citing:

2 Authors: Always cite both authors’ names in-text every time you reference them.

3-5 Authors: Provide all the authors’ last names when you first refer to a document with 3-5 authors. Only list the first author with the Latin abbreviation “et al.” for any subsequent references.


Jones, Chavez, Jackson, and Chen (2010) duplicated the previous methods to…

Jones et al. (2010) further described…

6 or More Authors: If a document has six or more authors, simply provide the last name of the first author with “et al.” from the first citation to the last.


Thomas et al. (2007) likened abnormal psychology to…

The new treatment caused distress in 23% of patients (Thomas et al., 2007).

Interviews/Personal Communications

Interviews that you conduct yourself (also called personal communications) should not be listed in your reference section. Instead, you should just include an in-text parenthetical citation using the following format:

Interview Material (A. Author, personal communication, date of communication).


Most nurses get stressed out during overnight shifts and need a way to relax (J. Smith, personal communication, October 12, 2017).

How to Cite Sources in Your PowerPoint Presentations

The following link is a slideshow explaining how to properly cite sources within a PowerPoint or slide presentation:

Last Updated September 19, 2018