In-text Referencing

Washington crossing the Delaware.
Washington crossing the Delaware. Source: http://www.college.columbia.edu

Whenever you use a direct or indirect quote in a sentence, you need to indicate what source the information came from. You do this with in-text referencing.

 

The APA System’s in-text referencing requires three elements, each separated by a comma:

  • the creator's surname

  • the year of publication/creation

  • the page number in the source (if there is one)

For example:

(Stanner, 1977, 24)


Rules About In-text Referencing

  • Appears at the end of the sentence where a direct or an indirect quote has been used, just before the full-stop
  • Must be placed in circular brackets “( )”If you state the creator’s surname in the sentence, it can be left out of the in-text reference.

For example:

The Cathars were a heretical religious sect that was ultimately misunderstood and persecuted by the political establishment of the day (Stanner, 1977, 24).

  • The three elements (surname, year, page) must match the bibliographical reference for the source as it appears in your bibliography.
  • If there is not a page number in your source (like on many webpages), simply place "n.p." instead of the number (which is an abbreviation for "no page").
  • If you use multiple quotes from the same source in the same sentence, the in-text only needs to appear once.

  • If you use multiple direct quotes from different sources in the same sentence, the in-text references for each source need to appear after each direct quote.

For example:

The Cathars were a "seditious political entity" (Stanner, 1977, 24) that caused continual "rebellious uprisings in southern France" (Lombard, 1997, 45).

  • If you use multiple indirect quotes from different sources in the same sentence, the in-text references for each source need to appear together in the in-text reference at the end of the sentence, with each source being separated by a semi-colon.

For example:

The Cathars were a heretical religious sect that was ultimately misunderstood and persecuted by the political establishment of the day (Stanner, 1977, 24; Lombard, 1997, 45).


Referencing Ancient Sources

When studying Ancient History, in-text referencing ancient authors is slightly different.

 
Rather than the rules set out above, all you need to provide in the brackets are:

  • the author's name
  • the name of their work
  • the book number in Roman numerals
  • the paragraph number in normal numerals.

For example:

Herodotus reports that the Persians were ill prepared for the battle ahead (Herodotus, Histories, VII.24).


Referencing Appendices

If you are providing evidence from a source that is not written, you need to provide an image of the source for the reader to see. The easiest way to do this is to use appendices. In the text of your essay, simply state the appendix number that the image can be found in.

 For example:

The tomb itself was decorated in an opulent fashion in order to display his political influence, even after Akhenaten's death  (Appendix 2).