Two Types of Citation

Learning Outcome

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Create and format reference list citations in APA style.

In APA Style, there are two parts to every citation: an in-text citation and a reference list citation.

Reference list citations are longer citations that provide enough information needed to describe and find your source again, physically or online. Example of a reference list page for a paper showing four reference examples from the previous source type section in alphabetical order.
In-text citations are the shortened form of a reference list citation where a source is credited in your paper. It has enough information to locate its matching reference citation. Image of two in-text citation examples for narrative and parenthetical in-text citations. The narrative example reads "Smith and Gould (2009) recognized that eating cake is fun. The parenthetical example reads "Eating cake is fun (Smith & Gould, 2009).

We will discuss both of these separately first and then together later. First, we will discuss reference list citations.

Media attribution:

[Smith and Gould In-text Citation Example]” from NorQuest College Library’s Intro to APA tutorials is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International / Border added and refocused.


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APA Style Citation Tutorial Copyright © 2020 by University of Alberta Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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