There are two ways to integrate sources into your assignment: quoting directly or paraphrasing.
Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation.
Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation.
There are two basic formats that can be used when quoting a source:
A quotation of more than 40 words. Long quotations are formatted as blocks of texts called block quotations.
Rules for Block Quotations
There are 4 rules that apply to block quotations that are different from regular quotations:
Example of a Block Quotation
At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:
The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding, 1960, p.186)
Sometimes you may want to make some modifications to the quote to fit your writing. Here are some APA rules when changing quotes. To view an example, see FAQ: How do I make changes to direct quotes in APA?
Incorrect spelling, grammar, and punctuation
Omitting parts of a quotation
Adding words to a quote
When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows:
If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the year of publication following their name:
Note: Although not required, APA encourages including the page number(s) when paraphrasing long or complex sources, such as books, so that the reader can easily refer to the paraphrased information in your source. Always clarify with your instructor about their preference regarding page numbers in paraphrase in-text citations.
Homeless individuals commonly come from families who are riddled with problems and marital disharmony, and are alienated from their parents. They have often been physically and even sexually abused, have relocated frequently, and many of them may be asked to leave home or are actually thrown out, or alternatively are placed in group homes or in foster care. They often have no one to care for them and no one knows them intimately.
Rokach, A. (2005). The causes of loneliness in homeless youth. The Journal of Psychology, 139, 469-480.
Example of Incorrect Paraphrasing:
Example of Correct Paraphrasing:
If your paraphrase is longer than one sentence, provide an in-text citation for the source at the beginning of the paraphrase. As long as it's clear that the paraphrase continues to the following sentences, you don't have to include in-text citations for the following sentences.
If your paraphrase continues to another paragraph and/or you include paraphrases from other sources within the paragraph, repeat the in-text citations for each.
Citing only once at the end of the paragraph isn't enough, as it doesn't clearly show where you started using information from another person's work or ideas. When you use a source more than once in a paragraph, you need to cite the source the first time it is mentioned, and then continue to make it clear that the same work is being paraphrased in subsequent sentences.
This can be tricky though - you want your paper or assignment to flow nicely while properly citing your sources. There is a way you can avoid having to write full in-text citations each and every time by adding a lead-in sentence to your paragraph, "narrative" style. Note that if you are quoting directly, you need to include the author, year, and page number in your parenthetical and narrative in-text citations.
Bad (Do not do this). In this paragraph, the citation occurs only at the end and reader does not know exactly when/where information comes from the source:
Correct but clunky. This paragraph is technically correct for APA, but it is difficult to read in large part because the in-text citations are intrusive and awkward:
Good. These paragraphs are "APA correct" and easy to read. Note the reader knows exactly when/where information from the source is used:
Note: The above examples are adapted from Rasmussen College.
When you are citing two different sources that share the same author and year of publication, assign lowercase letters after the year of publication (a, b, c, etc.). Assign these letters according to which title comes first alphabetically. Use these letters in both in-text citations and the Reference list.
Example Reference List entries:
If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon. List the sources alphabetically by author's last name or first word used from the title if no author is given, in the same order they would appear on the References List.
AI-generated content may not be considered as an acceptable source for your course work. Be sure to evaluate the content carefully and check with your instructor if you are permitted to use it as a source. See Citation Examples: Artificial Intelligence for more information.
Remember to include the prompt you used whenever you quote or paraphrase text generated by an AI tool. Since your reader can't access the exact AI-generated text, you may also consider including a copy of the text as an appendix or as part of supplemental materials. If you are including a copy of the generated text, you may refer to it in the body of your text, or as part of the in-text citation such as in the example below.