Fundamental Tips On How To Cite A Quote In An APA Research Paper


For those who are not familiar with APA style, it is a format for academic writing, such as books and journal articles. It is abbreviation of the American Psychological Association (APA). Just like any other writing format, there are certain rules that have to be followed, in order to have clear communication between authors and readers. Everyone has some ambiguities when it comes to in-text citations. Read this article and find out some tips about citations of quotations in an APA term paper.

The Publication Manual, that says everything about APA style of writing, has the sixth edition. It includes examples of the basic format of APA research paper, citations in the text, footnotes/endnotes, and the page for references.

General information about APA style citation

According to the general guidelines, every research paper in APA style should the method author-date with in-text citations. In other words, the first and the last name of the author will appear within the text, as well as the year of publication of the source. Not only there, but author’s name should be included in the reference list at the end of the paper.

Citing short quotations

Sometimes you need to directly quote particular work, but only a short sentence or a phrase from it. What to include in an APA paper? Read the following:

  • Last name of the author
  • Year of publication of the work
  • The page where you saw the cited phrase or sentence

To make it sound more natural:

  • Use signal phrase where you mention the last name of the author, or
  • Avoid citing a quote, instead, paraphrase it and make reference to the author and the year of publication, as well as the page.

However, if you decide not to include author’s last name in a signal phrase, then you have to write the last name, the year of publication and the page in brackets after the quote.

Citing long quotations

Quotations that are 40 words long or longer are considered long. Lon quotations are cited in a separate line, with ½ inch indention from the left margin and double spacing between the lines. If you mention the last name of the author in a signal phrase, then write the year of publication next to the name, colon and quote the text without quotation marks and the page at the end of the quotation.

No matter how you decide to cite a quote, you have to include the title of the work, the author and the year of publication in the reference list at the end of the paper.