Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Nov 09, 2015     Views: 1387

When you quote from another source, you must ensure that your writing reads fluently and that the quotation fits in the new context. When you use a direct quote,  (a) the quote must be relevant to your argument, (b) it needs to smoothly transition between what comes first and move to what comes later, (c), it must fit logically and make grammatical sense, and (d) it should be no longer than absolutely necessary.

See APA manual (6th ed.), pp. 170-173 and the APA Style Blog for more information.

A short direct quotation (less than 40 words) is inserted directly into the text without separating it from the rest of the paragraph. The exact words of the author needs opening and closing quotation marks without separating the quote from the rest of the paragraph as is done with longer block quotes. Last but not least, you must include the page number or other information with the section and paragraph numbers for electronic sources that is not paginated. Be sure to include the exact spelling and interior punctuation of the borrowed words.  The author, year of publication, and page number(s) or paragraph number for non-paginated materials are always included in the text and a reference citation is included in the reference list.

See APA manual (6th ed.),  pp. 170-172 for more information.

For Example: McPherson (2007) coined the phrase “goblet of motivation” (p. 71).

General Rules:

  • Keep the author and year of publication together
  • Use quotation marks to identify the exact words of the author
  • Include the page number in parentheses immediately after the direct quote
  • Place the period after the parentheses

Example of Author and Quote Together:

Students needed "parental permission” (Abbott, 2005, p. 25).

The research found that the training built "sequentially and developmentally" (Jones & Ifill, 2010, Conclusions section, para. 6).

Example of Author and Quote Separated:

Yi (2004) stated that the “IL Model needed to be implemented” (p. 34).

 Lee (2007) stated, “The data is unreliable” (Methods section, para. 4). 

Jonasen (2010) coined the term "frankenreference" (p. 22) to refer to scary reference citations.

Bischoff (2009) used the concept of "fair use" (Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 3250) in the context of the new geopolitical order. 

Example of an E-book Reader (See APA Style Blog for more information)

According to Freud (1900/2004), "Dreams can be interpreted" (Chapter 2, Section 6, para. 7).

Example of an Article Retrieved Online (See APA (6th ed.), p. 173, section 6.05 for more information)

The author coined the phrase "goblet of motivation" (Macias, 2008, para. 22).

Example of an Article that has Section Headings Retrieved Online

The research concluded that "the charges were unfounded" (McKay, 2009, Conclusion, para. 3).

For Citations Embedded in Quotes: Do not deleted citations embedded in cited materials. See APA (6th ed.), p. 173, section 6.09 for more information.

This information is intended to be a guideline, not expert advice. Please be sure to speak to your professor about the appropriate way to cite in-text a short quotation in your class assignments and projects.

You may also want to consider:

For more information about citing a quote in-text in APA Style, please visit our APA guide or contact the Learning Center (UC Students) or Online Writing Center (COCE Students).

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

About FAQs

About FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are a self-serve option for users to search and find answers to their questions. 

Use the search box above to type your question to search for an answer or browse existing FAQs by group, topic, etc.

Tell Me More

Link to Question Form