In-text Citation

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Dear readers,

What comes below is a guide to citations in the text. I hope you'll find it useful. If there's any comment, you can contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note: Pay attention to the colorful parts.

In-text Citation (APA 6th edition)

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One work by one author:

In one developmental study (Smith, 1990), children learned...

In the study by Smith (1990), primary school children...

In 1990, Smith’s study of primary school children…

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Mentioning the reference at the beginning of the sentence.

According to Richards and Schmidt (1985), needs assessment makes use of both objective and subjective information.

Needs assessment, based on Richards and Schmidt (1985), makes use of both objective and subjective information.

Mentioning the reference at the end of the sentence.

Needs assessment makes use of both objective and subjective information (Richards & Schmidt, 1985).

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Using a secondary source: here you are talking about what Long (1985) has said, but you do not have access to Long. In fact, you have access to Maftoon’s (2001) paper. Maftoon (2001) has cited Long.

Regarding language needs identification, Long (as cited in Maftoon, 2001) proposes a very simple, cost-effective procedure made by specialists in their respected fields.

Job descriptions which are lists of activities people are to perform in real-life situation provide syllabus designers with abundant prepared objective needs people are normally expected to perform in authentic situations (Long, as cited in Maftoon, 2001).

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First citation of more than two authors: mention all the authors.

According to Fahim, Hamidi, and Sarem (2013), self-monitoring as a means of observation gives teachers proper respect and appropriate understanding of what they do when teaching.

Self-monitoring as a means of observation gives teachers proper respect and appropriate understanding of what they do when teaching (Fahim, Hamidi, & Sarem, 2013).

Subsequent citation of more than two authors: only mention the first author and write et al.

Many people are interested in knowing whether teaching has been fruitful or not. According to Fahim et al. (2013), self-monitoring definitely gives teachers a great insight into their teaching and at the same time proves effective in improving their teaching.

Many people are interested in knowing whether teaching has been fruitful or not. Self-monitoring definitely gives teachers a great insight into their teaching and at the same time proves effective in improving their teaching (Fahim et al., 2013).

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Two or more works in the same parenthetical citation.

Citations of two or more works in the same parentheses should be listed in the order they appear in the reference list (i.e., alphabetically, and then chronologically. Next, they should be separated by a semicolon).

Several studies (Jones & Powell, 1993;Peterson, 1995, 1998;Smith, 1990) suggest that...

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Concerning quotations of 40 or more words, you should double-space it in block form with each line indented ½ from the left margin. Do not include any additional lines or spaces before or after the block quotations! No quotation mark is needed. Notice that in block quotations, the period goes before the parentheses, not after that!

See example below (notice that the symbol . before Assess should be removed).

The students' levels of autonomy in learning English were determined by using the questionnaire formulated by Spratt, Humphreys, and Chan (2002) (see Appendix E). This questionnaire was strongly influenced by Holec's (1981) definition of autonomy, and the researchers attempted to incorporate the notions of "ability" and "responsibility" in the five areas of their questionnaire, which aims to:

  • Assess students' readiness for learner autonomy in language learning by examining their views of their responsibilities and those of their teachers, their confidence in their ability to operate autonomously. It also investigated their actual practice of autonomous learning in the form of both outside and inside class activities. (p. 245)

Some of the questions required the students to flat two answers: to what extent they thought it was the teacher's responsibility or their own responsibility…..

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Levels of heading in paper or thesis.

The style of heading recommended by APA consists of five possible formatting arrangements, according to the number of levels of subordination. Each heading level is numbered in parenthesis on the right. Regardless of the number of levels of sub-heading within a section, the heading structure for all sections follows the same top-down progression. Each section starts with the highest level of heading, even if one section may have fewer levels of sub-heading than another section. See the examples below for more clarification.

3. Method (level 1, title case, capitalized word)

3.1 Participants (level 2)

3.2 Instruments and Materials (level 2 again)

            3.2.1 Willingness to communicate.(level 3, bold, lower case)

            3.2.1.1 Willingness to communicate inside class. (level 4, bold, lower case, italic)

            3.2.1.2 Willingness to communicate outside class. (level 4 again, bold,lower case, italic)

2. Review of the Related Literature (level 1, title case)

2.1 Theoretical Background (level 2)

            2.1.1 Four language skills. (level 3)

            2.1.1.1 Reading.(level 4)

            2.2.1.1.1 Intensive reading. (level 5)

            2.1.1.1.2 Extensive reading. (level 5 again)

            2.1.1.1.3 Reading aloud. (level 5 again)

            2.1.1.2 Writing.(level 4)

            2.1.1.3 Listening.(level 4)

            2.1.1.4 Speaking.(level 4)

            2.1.2 Psychological aspects.(level 3)

2.2 Empirical Studies (level 2)

Last updated: 28/8/2016

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Written and modified by Hadi Hamidi

Ph.D. in TEFL, USR, Tehran, Iran

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