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APA 7: Quote & Paraphrase

Paraphrase or Summarize

When you paraphrase, you restate the ideas of another writer in your own words. A summary shortens information into a more general statement. For the in-text citation, APA requires the name of the author (or the work's title if the author is unknown) and the year of publication. 

Examples:

  • Vonnegut (1982) explains that when writers do not structure and organize their information in meaningful ways, the reader will feel neglected. 
  • When writers do not structure and organize their information in meaningful ways, the reader will feel neglected (Vonnegut, 1982). 

APA encourages including a page range for a summary or paraphrase if it will help the reader find the information in a longer work.

Quotations

Use quotations when you directly quote a source word-for-word in your paper. Use direct quotations when you need an exact definition or when an author has said something memorable or succinctly.

Short Quotations

Short quotations have fewer than 40 words. They require the author, year of publication, and page number (preceded by p.). Place quotation marks around the quote.

Example

  • "If you scribble your thoughts any which way, your readers will surely feel that you care nothing about them" (Vonnegut, 1982, p. 150). 

Or, with the signal phrase:

  • According to Vonnegut (1982), "If you scribble your thoughts any which way, your readers will surely feel that you care nothing about them" (p. 150). 

 

Partial Quotes

If you decide to leave out part of a quotation within your paper, you must still let your reader know that you have left out part of the quote. This is where an ellipsis (...) is needed.

Example

  • In "How to Write with Style," famed sci-fi writer Kurt Vonnegut (1982) notes that "I myself find that I trust my writing...when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis" (p. 152). 

 

Long Quotations (Block Quotations)

Quotes longer than 40 words need to be block quotations:

  • Do not use quotation marks around the quote.
  • Start a block quote on a new line and indent the whole block 0.5 inches from the left margin.
  • Double-space the quotation and do not add an extra line before or after it.
  • Either cite the source in parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation or cite the author and year in your paper before the quotation and place only the page number in parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation.
  • Do not add a period after the closing parenthesis.

Example

Researchers have studied how people talk to themselves:

Inner speech is a paradoxical phenomenon. It is an experience that is central to many people’s everyday lives, and yet it presents considerable challenges to any effort to study it scientifically. Nevertheless, a wide range of methodologies and approaches have combined to shed light on the subjective experience of inner speech and its cognitive and neural underpinnings. (Alderson-Day & Fernyhough, 2015, p. 957)