Whether you have important class work to deliver or are about to publish a study, it is important to make sure you quote a verbatim quote correctly. The APA style is the standard citation format for most work in the social, medical, and public health sciences. A verbatim quote in APA style includes a leading phrase before it and a parenthetical quote after it. It is easy to master a basic appointment, but there are some small variations of use in special circumstances. Just remember that if the quote contains more than 40 words, a special format is required.
Part 1 of 4: Compose an indicative phrase
Step 1. Place the leading phrase before the quote
The leading phrase is the part of the sentence that introduces the verbatim quote and helps the reader understand that you are going to explain something with a verbatim quote. There are three common ways to enter verbatim citations in text. You can do the following:
- Include both the author and the date in the text. The page number will be enclosed in parentheses.
- Include only the author's name in the text. The year and page number will be enclosed in parentheses.
- Do not write the name of the author or the year of publication in the text. The name, year, and page number will be enclosed in parentheses at the end.
Step 2. Write the author and year in the leading phrase if you put the page number in parentheses
In this case, do not include the year in parentheses but rather somewhere in the sentence. Put the page number in parentheses at the end. For instance:
Smith's 2002 study concluded that "owning a pet completely reduced stress" (p. 48)
Step 3. Indicate only the author in the indicative phrase if you put the year and the text in parentheses
This is one of the most common ways to write an indicative phrase and, in this case, you must put the year in parentheses next to the author's name and the page number also in parentheses, but at the end of the sentence. For instance:
Smith (2002) concluded that "owning a pet completely reduced stress" (p. 48)
Step 4. Do not include citation information in the call phrase if you put the author, year, and page number in parentheses
Instead, you should cite the author's last name, year of publication, and page number at the end in parentheses. You could start the sentence with "Research indicates that …" or "A study concluded that …". For instance:
One study concluded that "owning a pet completely reduced stress" (Smith, 2002, p. 48)
Part 2 of 4: Form a Parenthetical Quote
Step 1. Place the parentheses after the quotation marks, but before the period
Use parentheses () and not square brackets . The citation information will appear between these parentheses.
This is correct because the period is placed after the parentheses:
Smith (2008) concluded that "having a pet completely reduced stress" (p. 48)
Instead, this is incorrect because the period is placed before the quote:
Smith (2008) concluded that "having a pet completely reduced stress." (p. 48)
Step 2. Indicate the author's last name in parentheses if it does not appear in the call phrase
This always goes first in parentheses. If you start the sentence or the leading phrase with the author's name, do not enclose it in parentheses.
- If there is only one author, write their last name followed by a comma. For example: (Smith, 2008, p. 101).
- If there are two authors, write the two last names separated by a "y", and follow the second with a comma. For example: (Smith and Jones, 2008, p. 101).
- If there are between three and five authors, cite all the names the first time you use them in the citation. Then use the first author's last name and "et. Al" in subsequent citations. The first quote could look like this: (Smith, Jones, & Wu, 2008, p. 101). Instead, the following citations could be as follows: (Smith et. Al 2008, p. 103).
- If there are more than six authors, use the last name of the first author and continue with "et. Al". For example: (Smith et. Al 2008, p. 101).
Step 3. Write the year of publication after the author's name
The year of publication can appear in publisher information at the beginning of a book or on the cover of a magazine. If you can't find it, write "n.d." instead, it means "undated".
- If you have mentioned the author's name in a leading phrase, place the year in parentheses right after it. Thus, you could write: "Jenkins (1990) established that …".
- If you have not mentioned the author's name in a leading phrase, include the year after the author's name in parentheses followed by a comma, so that it looks like this: (Jenkins, 1990, p. 1).
Step 4. Include the page or paragraph number at the end of each verbatim quote
The page number always goes at the end in parentheses. If you're citing a web page or you don't have the page numbers, count how many paragraphs the article contains.
- You should always include the page or paragraph number in parentheses at the end; that is, you cannot point to them in the leading phrase at the beginning.
- The page number always appears last. Write "p." before the page number. If there is more than one page, use "pp." For example: (Wu, 2002, pp. 101-110).
- If you are going to use the paragraph number, write "para." before the number. For example: (Wu, 2010, para. 3).
Step 5. Include all references last in the bibliography
Any verbatim quotation that you cite in the development of the paragraph requires a complete reference to the original source at the end of the work. Although the format for citing them depends on the type of source in question (book, article, website, etc.), you will need the following information:
- author's last name and first initials
- article title
- magazine or book title
- year of publication
- page range of the cited article or chapter
- URL (if it is a web page) or DOI number (if it is a peer-reviewed journal article)
Part 3 of 4: Format a Long Quote
Step 1. Place the quote on a new line if it has more than 40 words
Insert the verbatim quote, usually in the paragraph with a leading phrase. End the sentence with a colon and start the block quote on a new line. The indicative phrase could look like this:
- In discussing the effect of pet ownership on humans, Smith states:
- The American Red Cross uses its annual report to solicit more donations. In 2016, they said:
Step 2. Indent the quote by ½ inch to the right instead of using quotation marks
The entire quotation should be indented and appear to be a block of text within the paragraph. The indentation will indicate that it is a long verbatim quote. Now, don't use quotation marks in a block quote.
- Keep the same spacing as the rest of the essay. If the rest of it is double spaced, the citation should be the same.
- Jobs in APA typically have margins of 2.5 cm (1 inch). Therefore, the bulk quote will have a total indent of 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) from the edge of the page.
Step 3. Insert the quote at the end after the last punctuation mark
If there is more than one sentence in the block quote, place it after the last one. Include the author's last name, year of publication, and page or paragraph number.
- If the leading phrase includes the author's name and the year of publication, you only need to cite the page number at the end of the quote.
- If the leading phrase does not include this information, you have to cite it in the parenthetical citation.
Step 4. Return to normal format after quoting
If you are continuing with the same paragraph before the verbatim quote, go back to the normal 2.5 cm (1 inch) margins. On the contrary, if you are going to start a new paragraph after the block quote, indent the first line.
Part 4 of 4: Learn Special Rules
Step 1. Write the name of the organization if there is no author
Sometimes large institutions, charities, advisory committees, or governments produce studies or articles. In this case, there may not be an author and you should cite the name of the organization where you would cite the author. You could write:
- The American Red Cross (2016) estimates that it responds to 66,000 disasters per year, "including fires in single-family homes or apartments, adverse weather conditions, floods, and wildfires" (p. 2).
- In 2016, the American Red Cross estimated that it responds to 66,000 disasters a year, "including fires in single-family homes or apartments, adverse weather conditions, floods, and wildfires" (p. 2).
- One organization estimated that it responds to 66,000 disasters a year, "including fires in single-family homes or apartments, adverse weather conditions, floods, and wildfires" (American Red Cross, 2016, p. 2).
Step 2. Include the title of the text if there is no author or organization
This can be the common case when citing web pages. Instead, enclose a shortened version of the title in quotation marks and put the name of the work where you would write the author in parentheses. For instance:
Huntington's disease is a "neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable or jerky movements, difficulties in cognition and emotional problems" ("Huntington's disease", 2011, para. 1)
Step 3. Add a letter per year if the author published more than once at that time
The first article you cite would be article "a" and the second article would be article "b". For example: if Smith published two articles in 2002, the citations could look like this: (Smith, 2002a, p. 27) and (Smith, 2002b, p. 4).
Step 4. Include the author's first initials if two authors share the same last name
If they also share the first initial, include the middle initial if they have one. The initial will come before the last name. This will help readers distinguish between the two authors.
If you are quoting both John Smith and Kim Smith, the quotes could read as follows:
- (J. Smith, 2002, p. 27)
- (K. Smith, 1995, p. 205)
In the indicative phrase, you would write:
K. Smith (1995) points out that "the global economy will only continue to grow" (p. 205)
Step 5. Cite the source you used, even if it is not the original source of the quote
Indicate the original author in the indicative phrase and cite the source where you found it in parentheses. You should use the phrase "as cited in" before the author's name in parentheses. You could write: