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Social Work: In-Text Citations

Social Work is work in any of the services provided by local government for the care of underprivileged people, eg the poor, the aged, people with disabilities, etc. The Chambers 21st Century Encyclopedia

Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing

In-Text Citations

APA Style uses parenthetical author-date citations. After summarizing or quoting a source, add parentheses containing the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number of the work.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, pp. 7-8).

If you use more than one work by the same author, use the letters a, b, etc., after the year.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007a, pp. 7-8).

If more than one author has the same last name, add their first initial.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss, 2007, pp. 7-8).

If two or more authors wrote the work, see the chart below.

If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.

Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (2007, pp. 7-8).
Example: In 2007, Dr. Seuss suggested that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (pp. 708).

If no author name is available, use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title). Use quotation marks around titles of articles or web pages and italicize titles of books, periodicals, etc.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Fox in Socks, 2007).

If no pagination information is available, use paragraph numbers instead.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, 2007, para. 5).

Note: When paraphrasing or mentioning another work, it is helpful to still provide pagination information if the source text is long or difficult, or if it would help the reader find the text being paraphrased.

Basic Citation Styles

Type of Citation Mentioned in Text Subsequent Citations in Text Parenthetical Format, First Citation in Text Parenthetical Format, Subsequent Citations in Text
One work by one author Walker (2007) says... Walker (2007) (Walker, 2007) (Walker, 2007)
One work by two authors Walker and Allen (2004) believe that... Walker and Allen (2004) (Walker & Allen, 2004) (Walker & Allen, 2004)
One work by three to five authors Bradley, Ramirez, and Soo (1999) disagree... Bradley et al. (1999) (Bradley, Ramirez, & Soo, 1999) (Bradley et al., 1999)
One work by six or more authors Wasserstein et al. (2005) feel that... Wasserstein et al. (2005) (Wasserstein et al., 2005) (Wasserstein et al., 2005)
Groups as authors (readily identified through abbreviation) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003) report... NIMH (2003) (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2003) (NIMH, 2003)
Groups as authors (no abbreviation) University of Pittsburgh (2005) professors see... University of Pittsburgh (2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) (University of Pittsburgh, 2005)

Source: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C. (adapted)

Performances & Personal Communications

Personal communications may be private letters, memos, non-archived electronic communications, personal interviews, etc. Because they do not provide recoverable data, they are not included in the reference list. The same is true of live performances.

Instead, you should cite these sources in your text with initial and last name of the communicator and as exact a date as possible.


M. E. Daniels, Jr. (personal communication, July 4, 2009), explained in an email that . . .

(Butler Ballet, performance, December 13, 2008)

If you are citing a recording or archived copy of the performance or personal communication, these forms are recoverable and should be referenced in your Works Cited list as a video, online forum post, tape recording, etc.