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APA 6th Edition - Copenhagen Business School: In-text citations

How to reference with APA

Page numbers

Page numbers

Page numbers are only required for direct quotations in the in-text citation. They follow the author and date in bracketed format separated by commas – e.g. (Cottrell, 2013, p. 15). Use the abbreviations p. for a single page and pp. for pages with a space before the number. List the page numbers completely, for example pp. 176-179 instead of pp. 176-9.

Do not include page numbers in the in-text citation when summarising or paraphrasing – only the author and the date are required.

How to cite when you are altering a direct quote

When you need to leave out part of a quotation to make it fit grammatically or because it contains irrelevant/unnecessary information, insert ellipses (three full-stops):

“the overall level of performance of both these clinical groups of children was unexpectedly poor…the expected advantages of the ostensive condition were also not found despite the reduced reliance on joint attention and intention reading within this condition” (Franken, Lewis & Malone, 2010, p.258).

If you need to add or slightly change words within a quotation for reasons of grammar or clarity, indicate the change with square brackets.

Original direct quotation:

“Since they carry the continents with them as they move, we refer to this motion as continental drift” (Kutner, 2003, p. 451).

Quoted sentence with added words:

“Since they [tectonic plates] carry the continents with them as they move, we refer to this motion as continental drift” (Kutner, 2003, p. 451).

How to cite two or more references within the same brackets

Order the citations of two or more works by different authors within the same brackets alphabetically in the same order in which they appear in the reference list (including citations that would otherwise shorten to et al.). Separate the citations with semicolons.


Several studies (Miller, 1999; Shafranske & Mahoney, 1998) show that...

In-text citations

All sources of information and data, whether quoted directly or paraphrased, are cited within brackets in the text of your paper.  These are called in-text citations and provide brief information about the source, sufficient to enable readers to find complete information about the source in the alphabetical list of references that appears at the end of the document.


Researchers need to skilfully disseminate their findings to enable continued progress for the replacement of questionable therapies (MacKillop, Lisman, Weinstein & Rosenbaum, 2003)

The APA style uses the author-date style in the text. Put the surname of the author followed by the year of publication at the appropriate point in the text, including page numbers for direct quotations.

If the name of the author appears as part of the narrative, then you need only cite the year of publication in brackets.


Kessler (2003) found that among epidemiological samples, early onset results in a more persistent and severe course (Kessler, 2003).



Mendeley is referencing software which allows you to:

  • store references
  • organise references
  • generate citations
  • generate reference lists
  • share references

To get a Mendeley account via the CBS Library Institutional Licence, please visit CBS Mendeley Guide

Need help?

Please direct all queries and comments to

Basic citation format

Basic citation format


Type of citation

First citation in text

Subsequent citations in text

Bracketed format, first citation in text

Bracketed format, subsequent citations in text

One work by one author

Fry (2009)

Fry (2009)

(Fry, 2009)

(Fry, 2009)

One work by two authors

Fry and Jacklin (2009)

Fry and Jacklin (2009)

(Fry & Jacklin, 2009)

(Fry & Jacklin, 2009)

One work by three authors

Fry, Jacklin and Jones (2009)

Fry et al. (2009)

(Fry, Jacklin, & Jones, 2009)

(Fry et al., 2009)

One work by four authors

Fry, Jacklin, Pratt and Jones (2009)

Fry et al. (2009)

(Fry, Jacklin, Pratt & Jones, 2009)

(Fry et al., 2009)

One work by five authors

Fry, Jacklin, Pratt, Jones and Peters (2009)

Fry et al. (2009)

(Fry, Jacklin, Pratt, Jones & Peters, 2009)

(Fry et al., 2009)

One work by six or more authors

Jacklin et al. (2013)

Jacklin et al. (2013)

(Jacklin et al., 2013)

(Jacklin et al., 2013)

Groups (readily identified through abbreviation) as authors

Academy of Management (AOM, 2013)

AOM (2013)

(Academy of Management [AOM], 2013)

(AOM, 2013)

Groups (no abbreviation)

Harvard University (2012)

Harvard University (2012)

(Harvard University, 2012)

(Harvard University, 2012)


Common citation queries

How to cite sources with no author

When a work has no author, cite in the text the first few words of the Reference List entry, usually the title and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter, and italicise the title of a journal, book, brochure, webpage or report.

For example:

Vaccine has revolutionised healthcare ("New Child Vaccine," 2001).

How to cite multiple authors

When a work has two authors, cite both names every time the reference occurs. When a work has three to five authors, cite all the names the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, use the surname of the first author followed by et al. When a work has six plus authors, use the surname of the first author followed by et al. every time the reference occurs in the text. The above table illustrates the citation styles.

Note: Use last names only unless there are different authors with the same last name; in this case, use the initials of the different authors in addition to the last name.

Text example

The following is an example to highlight the ways in which in-text citations can be used within both paraphrased and citations in a text.

Sensemaking is not just a retrospective process. While this is how it was originally conceived (Weick, 1995, pp. 24-30), Alex Wright (2005) has proposed that sensemaking can also take prospective forms. Building on earlier work by Michel Godet and Fabrice Roubelat (1996), Wright suggested that sensemaking during scenario planning “calls for an outlook that synthesizes a long‐term preoccupation with a sensitivity for interrelationships and phenomena that are really important, and a willingness to take risks while maintaining an interest in human consequences” (p. 91)*. Continuing this line of thought, and drawing on Boland (1984), Monica Ericson (2010) has argued that sensemaking can “extend beyond the past and be made meaningful in a larger future‐oriented context” (p. 134). Most recently, Calvard (2016) has pointed out that prospective sensemaking plays a major role in encouraging the “simplexity” that is needed when big data is used to support organizational learning. As Wright put it in his orginal challenge to Weick, “if sensemaking is exclusively retrospective, what advantage could there be to developing the capacities that comprise it?”** These scholars agree that the true value of sensemaking lies in orienting it towards the future, not just the past.

Notes on referencing

*Notice that Wright (2005) has already been established as a reference at this point in the paragraph (see the second sentence). It’s therefore okay to leave out the full author-date citation, i.e., (Wright, 2005, p. 91). The important thing is that there is no ambiguity about what text and page is being cited.

**Here, too, you might expect to find at least a page reference. Some would even provide the full citation (Wright, 2005, p. 91), and some would do this even if that is what they had done above at *. But since the same page in the same text is being quoted on the same page and the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence, there is, again, no real ambiguity about where to look for the quote. It is okay to use some common sense in making these decisions, but it is also a very good idea to ask a peer reader to tell you whether they understand what you’re referring to.

If you want more information please have a look at the APA blog post on Does APA Style Use Ibid.?

Presenting research by other authors

There are three ways to refer to the works of other authors:

  • Paraphrasing
  • Quotations
  • Summarising

These three ways of incorporating other writers' work into your own writing differ according to the closeness of your writing to the source writing.


Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words. A paraphrase must also be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a broader segment of the source and condensing it. You will be able to demonstrate your understanding of what you have read.

When paraphrasing or referring to an idea from another piece of work, you should provide an in-text citation to acknowledge the source. 


The research showed that security of attachment in offending populations decreases according to the severity and degree of psychopathology (Ogilvie, Newman, Todd & Peck, 2014, p.14).


During their research, Ogilvie, Newman, Todd and Peck (2014), found that security of attachment in offending populations decreases according to the severity and degree of psychopathology.


Direct quotations

Direct quotations should be used sparingly in academic writing. Often, it is better to paraphrase or summarise what you have read.

If you do use a direct quotation it must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source.  It must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.  You must indicate a quotation by using double quotation marks at the beginning and end of the text.

Always give the page number(s) (or paragraph number for non-paginated material) and place double quotation marks around the quotation.  The in-text citation comes immediately after the quotation, even when it is not at the end of the sentence.

For page numbers, use the abbreviations p. for page and pp. for pages. List page numbers completely, for example pp. 176-179 instead of pp. 176-9.


“Piaget proposed that infants are born in a state of solipsism, meaning that they fail to distinguish between self and surroundings” (Mitchell & Ziegler, 2013, p. 52).

This quotation is followed immediately with the in-text citation.

If a quotation is 40 words or more, omit quotation marks and use a block format in which the quotation is indented about ½ inch (or 5 spaces) from the left margin and double-space the entire paragraph.

Example of a quote longer than 40 words:

The chief factors associated with these relationships are parental style and the quality of attachment.  The pattern set by early attachment influences the character of subsequent relationships and the concept of the internal working models illuminating in this respect.  It is especially useful in understanding the cycle of abuse (Mitchell & Ziegler, 2013, p. 247).


Summarising involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarised ideas to the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material.