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CDU APA Referencing: In-text Citation Checklist

A guide to help you better understand CDU APA 7th Referencing

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# Checklist item Further information
1 Has your lecturer asked you to include page numbers in all in-text citations where you paraphrased information from a resource?

When paraphrasing only include author and year in your citation – eg. (Jones, 2015).

However, your lecturer may request that you include a page number in your citation, even if you have paraphrased – eg. (Jones, 2015, p. 3).


Are your quotes in double quotation marks and have you included the page or paragraph number in the in-text citation?

(Quotes of fewer than 40 words)


Parenthetical Citation: Social workers are practice providers and “are frequently leaders in providing crisis intervention services to individuals, families, and groups" (Mirabito, 2017, p. 118).

Narrative Citation: Mirabito (2017) stated that social workers are practice providers and "are frequently leaders in providing crisis intervention services to individuals, families, and groups" (p. 118).


Have you used a quote of 40 words or more? Is this quote necessary or could you summarize or paraphrase the text?

Have you followed the rules on formatting a quote of 40 words or more?

Treat a quote of 40 words or more as a block quote.

Omit quotation marks and start the quote on a new line. Indent the whole block by about 1cm (or 5 spaces) from the left margin and double-space the entire paragraph. Add the citation after the quote’s final punctuation. Add a colon at the end of the line before the block quote.


They had a less good walk back, simply because

they hit the upper waters of the north west river at the

wrong place and had to walk two miles upstream to

cross it. In the middle of the crossing Thelma found

a thalloid liverwort and to Hugh’s astonishment stopped

to collect it. (Davies, 2010, p. 62)

4 Have you changed a quote to make it fit grammatically or because it contains irrelevant/unnecessary information? Have you followed the APA guidelines for changing a quote?

When leaving out information in a quote insert an ellipsis (three dots).

When adding or slightly changing words within a quote for reasons of grammar or clarity, indicate the change with square brackets.


“Drug prevention … [efforts] backed this up” (Gardner, 2007, p. 49).

5 Have you followed the ‘et al.’ rule when citing 3 or more authors?

When citing a resource with three or more authors, only show the first named author, followed by et al.


(Smith et al., 2019) / According to Smith et al. (2019) families are …

6 If you have two in-text citations in one parenthesis, are they in alphabetical order and separated by a semi colon?


(Miller, 2018; Smith, 2015)

7 Do you need to use a specific part of a resource with no page number or a specific section of a document?

Often electronic sources don’t include page numbers, or you want to use a specific section of a document.

It may be useful to include a paragraph number, section number or use the words the source uses instead, if the source is lengthy.


(ACARA, n.d., ACELA1443)

(Beutler, 2000, para. 5)

(NMBA, 2016, Standard 3.1, p. 4)

8 Have you used information that was already cited from another resource (secondary citation)? Have you checked if you could access the original resource?

If you can’t access the original resource, cite as a secondary citation.


You read Lister’s article. In that article Lister refers to Miller’s ideas. If you can’t find Miller’s work, cite Miller’s ideas like this:

… of social justice (Miller, 1984, as cited in Lister, 2007).


Miller’s (1984) simple definition of social justice (as cited in Lister, 2007) ...

You include the Lister article in your reference list:

Lister, R. (2007). Social justice. Benefits, 15(2), 113–125.

9 Do you have multiple resources with 3+ authors where the first named author is the same, and the resources have the same date?


Smith, A., Butler, J., Jones, T., & Walker, T. (2017).

Smith, A., Butler, J., Miller, S., Lowe, K., & Turner, J. (2017)

Both these citations shorten to (Smith et al., 2017)

To avoid confusion when citing them both, cite them as follows:

(Smith, Butler, Jones, et al., 2017)

(Smith, Butler, Miller, et al., 2017)


Have you used personal communications like conversations, personal interviews, phone conversations, emails, documents from an intranet (eg. hospital policy) etc. as resources for your assignment?

See: Personal Communication

‘Personal communications’ are resources that are accessible to you, but not your reader.

For this reason, you only cite them in-text, without including a reference.

Format: (Author, personal communication, Month date, year).

Example: …

as stated in the Infection control guideline (Royal Darwin Hospital, personal communication, September 4, 2019).

… guidelines were provided in a conversation with Director of Nursing (R. Smith, personal communication, October 18, 2019).

Any resource that your reader can access, will require an in-text citation and reference.

11 Have you used Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions that are not accessible by your reader, as a resource in your assignment?

If you speak with an Indigenous person directly, follow the ‘personal communication’ in-text citation example.

Format for in-text citation:

The person's full name, the nation or specific Indigenous group to which they belong, as well as their location and other relevant information, followed by "personal communication" and the date.

No reference entry is included.


We spoke with Tracy Woodroffe (Warumungu Luritja, lives in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, personal communication, April 4, 2019) about …

If Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions of Indigenous Peoples can be recovered by the reader (e.g. video, audio, interview transcript, book, article), cite it in-text and include a reference list entry in the correct format for the type of source.

12 Have you used an appropriate level of citation?

Consider the number of resources you have used for the assignment (always follow your lecturer’s guidelines).

When using information from a resource in your text, provide an appropriate credit to the source – an in-text citation.

Avoid undercitation and overcitation. Undercitation can lead to plagiarism, while overcitation is distracting and unnecessary.

For example, it is considered overcitation to repeat the same citation in every sentence when the source and topic have not changed.

Instead, when paraphrasing a key point in more than one sentence within a paragraph, cite the source in the first sentence in which it is relevant and do not repeat the citation in subsequent sentences as long as the source remains clear and unchanged.

Add a citation after a few sentences and again at the end.

See Appropriate Levels of Citations for more information.

13 Have you correctly used parenthetical and narrative citations?

In-text citations have two formats: parenthetical and narrative.

Parenthetical citation: Both the author and the date, separated by a comma, appear in parentheses (brackets). A parenthetical citation can appear within or at the end of a sentence.


Research indicates that workplace health is a significant social problem (Schofield & Germov, 2017).

Narrative citation: The author is incorporated into the text as part of the sentence and the date appears in brackets immediately after the author’s name. If you have multiple narrative citations to one resource within a single paragraph, the year can be omitted after the first complete narrative citation showing author and year.

Example: Schofield and Germov (2019) state that workplace health is a significant social problem. Schofield and Germov provide many examples and statistics indicating that workplace injuries, illnesses and death occur extensively. They found that workplace deaths are not randomly distributed but are more pronounced in certain industries and professions. Most severe workplace accidents occur in workplaces that involve a high degree of manual labour and in hazardous conditions (Schofield & Germov, 2019).

Always include the year in parenthetical citations.

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