Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda

Understanding APSA In-Text Citation

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Published on: Jun 1, 2024

Last updated on: Jun 1, 2024

APSA In-Text Citation

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The APSA citation format is widely used in political science and similar areas. The APSA style is primarily based on the Chicago format, but there is one major difference. The APSA format uses the author date system only, but in the Chicago format, you can use the notes-bibliography system as well.

If you want to know what APSA citation style is for in-text citations, this guide is for you. We'll explore the formatting guidelines of APSA in-text citation and provide practical tips for its implementation. 

Continue reading.

The Basics of APSA In-Text Citation

In APSA style, in-text citation follows a straightforward format. You include the last name of the author and the publication year of the source within parentheses after the information you've borrowed from that source. 

Every APSA style citation in-text will correspond to a reference list entry at the end of the manuscript. This method helps to distinguish between your ideas and those of other authors, while giving credit where it's due.

APSA In-Text Citation Format

To understand how to cite APSA style sources in-text, look at the general formatting guidelines below: 

  • Author-Date Style: APSA uses an author-date system. That means when you mention an idea from a source in your writing, you put the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses. For example: (MIchael 2010).
  • Page Numbers: If you're quoting or summarizing a specific part of a source, add the page number after the year. For example: (Peter 2010, 45).

APSA In-Text Citation Examples

Here are examples illustrating various scenarios and guidelines for APSA in-text citation:

APSA In-Text Citation: Multiple Authors

When citing a source with two authors, list both authors' last names. Here is an APSA in-text citation example for such an instance: 

(Dodd and Oppenheimer 1977)

Similarly, include the last names of all three authors when citing a source with three authors.

(Roberts, Smith, and Haptonstahl 2016)

Using “et al.”

When a source has four or more authors, use “et al.” after the first author's last name.

(Angel et al. 1986)

Citing Multiple Sources

If you’re citing multiple sources in the same parentheses, separate them with semicolons.

(Hochschild 2015; Jentleson 2015)

Arrange multiple sources alphabetically and separate them with semicolons.

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

Citing Multiple Sources by the Same Author

If you’re citing multiple works by the same author in different years, list each year separately.

(Barbarosa 1973; 1978)

If citing different works by the same author in the same year, add an alphabet to differentiate them:

(Frankly 1957a).......(Frankly 1957b)

Differentiating Authors with the Same Last Name

Include the authors' initials to differentiate between authors with the same last name.

(B. Ripley 1988; R. Ripley 1964)

No Author

Use the name of the organization responsible for the content or the title of the work in place of the author's name. For instance, if the National Institutes of Health published an article in 2021, the citation would be:

(National Institutes of Health 2021).

Location Clarification

If page numbers are not available for direct quotations, use additional clarifiers like “chaps.” for chapters to specify the location of the cited information.

(Rex et al. 1985, chap. 7)

Comments and Clarifications

Comments can be added after the citation to provide additional context or references.

(Confucius 1951; see also Gurdjieff 1950, Wanisaburo 1926, and Zeller 1914)

Organizations as Authors

Use abbreviations for organizations as authors to streamline citations.

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

Websites

When citing a website using APSA in-text citation, include the last name of the author (if available) and the publication year within parentheses. If the website doesn't list an author, use the name of the organization responsible for the website or the title of the webpage.

For instance, if Henry authored a webpage published in 2020, the citation would be:

(Henry 2020)

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best citation style for political science?

The APSA (American Political Science Association) citation style is widely considered the best citation style for political science due to its tailored guidelines and emphasis on political science research and scholarship.

Is Chicago style the same as APSA?

Chicago style and APSA (American Political Science Association) style are similar but differ in their emphasis and application. While both use the author-date system, APSA style is adapted specifically for political science research and scholarship.

How do you cite APSA legislation?

To cite APSA legislation, include the name of the statute or court case (in italics), followed by the year of enactment or decision. For example: (Baker v. Carr 1962).

Cathy Aranda

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Cathy Aranda (Mass communication)

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

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