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The American Psychological Association (APA) style is extensively used for academic writing in social sciences and other related disciplines. Basically, the style has very detailed guidelines to assist researchers in documenting consulted sources. In this case, the APA style citation comprises of two vital features: author-date parenthetical in-text citation and “References.”

Author-Date Parenthetical In-Text APA Style Citation

People use parenthetical citations in the APA style citation. Basically, in-text citations employ the author-date format. In this case, parenthetical citations require the author to provide the last name of the source’s author and the publication year, which are separated by a comma. Also, direct quotations have a more detailed in-text citation where a page number is included. In turn, authors proceed the page number by using the abbreviation “p.”

APA style citation

Other Features

Paraphrases and summaries may have page numbers in the in-text citations, although it is not mandatory. The APA style citation suggests that the incorporation of page numbers in parenthetical citations is a good practice because it eases the process of locating cited information in a source. Hence, the content for citing in APA format allows the audience to follow up on sources used in a given text.

Additional Guidelines

Additional guidelines for the APA style citation are provided for instances where there are deficits in the necessary information for a standard author-date citation. Basically, the “author” segment in the in-text citation may be occupied by a corporate author, editor, translator, or shortened title. Also, there are rules for the presentation of more than one author. In cases where the year of publication cannot be determined, the author must indicate that the publication year is unknown using the abbreviation “n.d.” Hence, the publication date is a crucial aspect of an in-text citation.

Alternative Locators

The APA style citation helps the audience to judge whether the extracted evidence is recent, which affects its significance. Page numbers may be absent. In this case, the author uses paragraph numbers and section headings to point out the exact location of the cited information. Alternative locators are used when consistent page numbers are not available. The APA 6th edition format attempt to maintain a uniform in-text citation format despite cases where some bibliographic information is missing.

References in the APA Style Citation

Full documentation of sources in the APA style citation is presented at the end of an essay and is titled “References.” In particular, all in-text citations must have a reference list entry that provides a complete record of the source’s bibliographical information. Hence, readers rely on the reference list for locating and retrieving sources. Moreover, people have to organize the APA reference page in alphabetical order to depict hanging indentation. These formatting rules distinguish this section from the actual essay text. In turn, authors write the titles of sources in sentence case except for the first word that follows a hyphen or colon and proper nouns. Therefore, the APA style citation discusses the reference entry styling for different types of sources. The APA format reference page for popular sources are:


Author. (Publication date). Title of the book. Location: Publisher.


Author. (Publication date). Article’s title. Title of the Journal, volume(issue), pages. Digital object identifier (doi) for the APA style citation.


Author. (Publication date). Webpage’s title. Universal resource locator.

Conclusion on the APA Style Citation

The APA formatting provides the reader with the surname, year, and page number for each piece of source material used. Also, people develop a separate reference list at the end of the essay, which complements the parenthetical citations. Thus, the APA style citation has established regularity in scientific writing. In turn, people must know how to cite APA style.

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