Cite Your Sources with
PlagX in APA Style Format

The citation APA format generator from PlagX makes citing your sources easier through an easy-to-use user interface in a citation generator for citation APA style in text and full citations.

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Citation for APA Format

The APA style is most often used by researchers, professionals or students that are part of the social sciences programs in universities, colleges or institutions. Use this citation guide to help your writing process as well as our citation APA format generator to make citing sources easier.

The latest version of the APA format is its 7th edition which is used in PlagX’s APA citation maker. You’ll find that this citation guide highlights all the most important and commonly used aspects . Let’s dive in.

Citation APA In Text Explained

They go in the main content of a paper, essay or any other text. They act as brief references for your reader so that they can chase it up later. Think of it as a trailer to the full citation entry.

What information should be included?

You must use a citation APA style in text every time you use a direct quote, indirect quote, or paraphrase another writer’s work in your own writing. The citation APA style works on an author-date system which means the writer must include the author's last name and the year of publication of the work you are referencing. Sometimes, especially with quotes, you should include a more specific locator like the page number.

APA in text citation example

There are variations with different source types and how much information is available. However, a standard APA in text example sets up a good base to start with. It will look like this: (Jane, 2021, p. 89).

Citation for APA format with paraphrasing or quotes

The in-text citation format will change a little based on whether it's a direct quote, indirect quote, paraphrased text, and on how you meant to incorporate the citation in the flow of your text. They will either be parenthetical (fully in brackets) or narrative (partially in brackets).

Parenthetical vs Narrative: Citation APA Style In Text

A parenthetical citation goes at the end of your quote or paraphrased text. For example:
  • Current data shows that in the course of 26 years…(Campbell, 2019)
A narrative citation, on the author hand, includes the author’s details mixed into the text itself. For example:
  • Matthews (2020, p. 45) highlights in a comparative study that...

Citation APA multiple authors or for a corporate author

Many publications will have more than one author or even a corporate author. For instance, a report could be published by an organisation instead of a single author. It’s a strong possibility that you will have to cite these sources in your research and writing process. With multiple or corporate authors, you’ll have to change the citation APA style in text slightly with a simple addition. Consider these examples:

Add an ampersand or ‘and’ with two authors
In a parenthetical citation you will use the ampersand (&) symbol
  • (Cambell & Matthews, 2021)
With narrative citations a simple ‘and’ does the trick
  • Cambell and Matthews (2021) express in current research that...

Use ‘et al.’ with three or more authors
The term ‘et al’ has latin roots and means ‘and others’.
  • (Patel et al., 2019) for parenthetical citations and ‘Patel et al. (2019) notes the importance of...’ when using narrative citations.

For corporate authors
With corporate authors in citation APA style, all that is needed is to switch the authors last name with the name of the corporation or organisation itself. For example:

  • (Plagiarism Checker X, 2021)
  • Plagiarism Checker X (2021) released a new edition with...

Information can not be found?

There are alternatives for every tricky situation;

Missing author
Go for the source title instead:

  • (Evolution of Auto Engines, 2019)

Missing date
Use an abbreviation to tell the reader that there was no date provided in the source. Add ‘n.d.’ in place of the year of publication:

  • (Jackson, n.d.)

Missing page number
You have two options if there is no page number. You can either simply leave it or use another locator:

  • (Peterson, 2019)

Reference List Citation for APA Format

The reference list has full length citations for sources used as in-text citations.

Citation APA Reference list explained

Citations here work differently to the brief in-text citations because they include all the necessary information needed for the reader to find the source that was used and referenced. Reference list citations include information fields such as the author’s last name and initials, publication date, source title. For example, in a citation for APA website, students also have to include the URL and other information so the reader can locate the source. For clarification, let’s jump into some examples of most commonly used source types that go into the citation APA style format for a reference list.

Reference list APA citation example

Essays, research papers, and reports most often include, books, journal articles, online newspaper articles and web pages as sources for research and evidence.

Full-length citation APA book

Dickens, C. (1921). A Tale of Two Cities. Cosmopolitan Book Corporation.

Full-length citation APA journal article

Tabios, H. (2020). A Roadway for Further Engagement. Journal of Peace, 201(1), 3–9. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022057420903266

REMEMBER: you can use the URL if there is no specific DOI provided.

Full-length citation APA website

Adams, F. (2021). Plagiarism Checkers in The Writing Process. Plagiarism Checker X. https://plagiarismcheckerx.com/blog/plagiarism-checkers-in-the-writing-process

Full-length citation APA article in newspapers

Popper, N. (2021). Elon Musk and Snoop Dogg Push Cryptocurrencies to Record Highs. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/08/technology/dogecoin-bitcoin-elon-musk-snoop-dogg.html

What if there is missing citation information?

If there is missing information for a citation APA reference in your source then it is important to adjust the entry. You can encounter missing dates, authors and titles.

Follow these steps for correct citations when there is missing information

Missing author
Start with the title instead. For example, in the case of a web page:


Missing date
The rules for a missing date are the same as the citation APA in text. Replace the date with ‘n.d.’ and continue with the rest of the citation as normal. For example:


Missing title
If you encounter a missing title, which may be unlikely, it is best to provide a description of it within square brackets ‘[ ]’. For example:


Formatting a citation APA reference list

Minor details and imperfections in formatting papers can be the difference between a good or bad grade. Once you are done creating accurate text citations and full reference list entries with our APA citation maker, create a well formatted paper as well as an accurately structured APA style reference list.

Specifics of APA Style formatting

It’s exact format starts with a page or section heading. Write ‘References’ right at the top and make sure that it is in bold font in addition to being centre aligned. From the second line you start writing your full-length reference list citation entries.

Starting from there, follow these formatting guidelines and APA style specifics to finish your references page:

  • References need to be in alphabetical order.
  • Use double spaces throughout the references.
  • Use a hanging indent of half an inch (0.5 or 1/2 in).
  • Always use legible fonts like Arial and Times New Roman unless an instructor or supervisor has given different directions.
  • Make sure that your page number count is on the top-right corner of the document header.


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