Wednesday Writing Tip: In-Text Citations

Dear Master’s Programs students,
This point in the term is probably a good time to review in-text citations. (The byzantine rules for APA formatting and citations make regular reminders helpful, right?)

One quick tip for your in-text citations is that APA is often referred to as the “Author, date” system. This means that for every in-text citation, you must provide those two key pieces of information. There are at least three accepted ways to accomplish this:
1. Everything in parenthesis at the end of your sentence:
In higher education, there is a need to link the instructor evaluation process to learning objectives (Altbach, Berdahl, & Gumport, 2005).
[Note that the final period comes after, not before, the parenthetical citation.]

2. Mentioning the author’s name, with the year in parenthesis:
As Altbach, Berdahl, & Gumport (2005) reported, instructor evaluation in higher education should be linked to learning objectives.
[Note that the year comes immediately after the authors’ names.]

3. The author/authors’ names and the year written as part of your sentence:
In their 2005 report, Altbach, Berdahl, & Gumport noted that instructor evaluation in higher education should be linked to learning objectives.

In most academic writing, paraphrase–not direct quotation–should be your default option. (More on that in a future writing tip.) If, however, you do decide to use direct quotation, you must also supply a third piece of information: the page(s) on which the quote appeared.

For example: As the internet replaces these former meeting grounds, defined as “unmediated public spaces,” ESL learners and teens must navigate new identities in front of an unknown and unlimited audience (Boyd, 2007, p. 9).
Happy writing,
James

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