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Prof. Cianci - PSYCH 116 Lifespan SPRING 2021 - Rebecca Steere: APA Citation Example for a Journal Article

Summarizing, Paraphrasing and Quoting

There are three main techniques of integrating someone else’s words and/or ideas into your paper, and all require parenthetical (in-text) citations.

1.) Summarizing: When you summarize, you write in your own words the most outstanding point(s) another writer makes. Your summary is usually much shorter than the original, because it only highlights the most important information/ ideas. So you could summarize an entire book or article in a single paragraph (Ex. for an annotated bibliography).

2.) Paraphrasing: Paraphrasing is another way of conveying the original author's ideas in your own words. A paraphrase is usually different from a summary in that it simply rephrases a specific line or short passage, rather than condensing a longer passage. A paraphrase of one sentence probably conveys about the same amount of information found in the original-- but again, in your own words (You must CITE the source).

3.) Quoting: When you quote a writer directly, you record his or her exact words, exactly as they appear in the original document. You MUST put quotation marks around the material you use from the original. Quotations from a text give you specific information or “evidence” to support your points (You must CITE the source).

Examples of In-Text Citations and References

In-text citations and references work together. 

  • In-text citations are brief and appear in the sentences you write in your paper.
  • References are longer and appear as a list in the back of your paper.

Any in-text citation in your paper will have a corresponding reference citation in your References list beginning with the author's last name and the year the article was published.

Example of an in-text citation when you have paraphrased the author:

Consistently leaving out critical variables from the nature vs. nurture debate makes it difficult to discuss it in a logical manner (Rabinowitz, 1987).

When you are quoting from an article that has page numbers, include the page number(s) in the in-text citation.


“It is difficult to address any aspect of the nature/nurture question in a logically consistent manner without omitting potentially important variables from the discussion” (Rabinowitz, 1987, p. 323).


This is how this source would appear on your References list.


Rabinowitz, F. Michael. (1987). An analysis of the maturation learning controversy. Canadian Psychology = Psychologie Canadienne, (28)4, 322-337. doi:10.1037/h0079901.


NOTE: Citations generated by the databases are often incorrect, so you will need to edit them so that they are formatted correctly. (Refer to the WCC Quick Guide style sheet).


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