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PSC 207: In-Text


Looking for information about citation format for your References List (aka Works Cited)? 

American Political Science Association (APSA) - Citation Formatting for In-Text Citations

General Format: In-text Citations

  • A parenthetical citation is an in-text citation set off at the end of a sentence by parentheses.
    • The usual format, which refers to the work and the overall ideas of the work as a whole, requires only the last name of the author(s), editor(s), or translator(s) and the year of publication (n.d. if there is not date, forthcoming if it is forthcoming).
    • The terms ed. or eds. and trans., which are abbreviated in the reference list, are omitted from parenthetical citations.
    • No comma should be placed between the last name and the year of publication.


(Arena 2014)

(Durant n.d.)

  • Page or chapter numbers must be included for quotes, and should be included to point to specific data sets, ideas, or to avoid ambiguity.
    • The numbers should point to a specifically contextual page or range of pages.
    • The page numbers can be cited as either inclusive or nonconsecutive page numbers.
    • No comma should be placed between the last name and the year of publication, but a comma should be placed after the year before page or chapter numbers.


(Jentleson 2015, 12–14)

(Fraser 1989, 304, 308)

  • With two or three authors, cite all names each time (15.27).
    • Use and, not an ampersand (&).


(Dodd and Oppenheimer 1977)

(Roberts, Smith, and Haptonstahl 2016)

  • When four or more authors are cited, et al. (in roman type) should follow the first author’s name, even in the first reference, unless the author is in multiple references where the et al. would not be the same, in which case use the first and second author’s last names before et al. (and so on) or a shortened title in quotes preceded by a comma (15.29).


(Angel et al. 1986)

  • When multiple sources are cited together, they are included in the same parentheses, but separated by semicolons.
    • They should be alphabetized.


(Hochschild 2015; Jentleson 2015)

(Hauck 2000; Hauck and Vogelsong 2005; Hauck, Smith, and Vogelsong 2010; Jordan et al. 1999, 56–58; Walthall 2012)

  • Citations of multiple sources by the same author, but published in different years, can omit the name with the second source and beyond.


(Barbarosa 1973; 1978)

(Barbarosa 1973, 18; 1978, 32)

  • If two or more sources are published by the same author in the same year, add lowercase letters to the publication year.
    • To determine how to label the 39 Style Manual for Political Science sources with the letters, alphabetize them by title (15.20).


(Frankly 1957a, 1957b)

  • No comma separates a parenthetical citation from the sentence.
    • The citation usually resides at the end of a sentence before the punctuation. (With quotes, the citation follows the end quotation mark and before the punctuation.)
    • The main exceptions to this rule are with block quotes (15.26), where the citation appears after end punctuation, and when the author is mentioned in the text in any form (15.25). 
    • If the author is mentioned in the text, even if used in a possessive form, the year must follow in parenthesis (15.25).


For a lucid assessment, see Ripley (2008).

Trish (1988) sharply disagrees.

  • Parenthetical citations in the notes of a manuscript follow the same guidelines as in-text citations (15.31).

Special Cases

  • Include a first initial (and so on) if a source’s author shares a last name, but not a first, with another source.


(B. Ripley 1988; R. Ripley 1964)

  • The terms vol., para., chap., and sec., in roman, can also be used to further clarify location. These can be used on a case-by-case basis and are not always necessary (15.23).


(Rex et al. 1985, chaps. 6, 7) 

  • Comments that clarify a parenthetical citation can be included at the end of it, preceded by a semicolon (15.24).
  • If the same source is used in one paragraph multiple times (e.g., a quote), on second reference only page numbers are needed (15.27).
  • Use brackets if all or part of the text citation is already in parentheses (15.28).
  • Use embedded citations rather than endnotes for cases of see, see also, compare, or similar brief phrases.


(Confucius 1951; see also Gurdjieff 1950 and Wanisaburo)

  • When an organization is the author, include a short form or acronym in parentheses (or in brackets in parentheses) immediately after the first reference and use the acronym thereafter.


US International Trade Commission (1978, 12; hereafter USITC) then (USITC 1978, 16).

  • For reprints, both original and reprint dates should be given.


(Marx and Engels [1933] 1964, 25)

  • A parenthetical citation to a statute or court case should include the name of the case (in italics except for v.) or statute and the year.


(Baker v. Carr 1962)


Source: APSA Style Manual, Accessed 9 September 2021