Section 3. Citing Sources in APA Style


Punctuation Tips for Parenthetical References

Periods & Commas
Periods or commas usually go inside the quotation marks. (This is true even if the original quoted material did not end with a period or a comma).

Thompson (1998, p. 32) describes Esme as "a real charmer."

Exception: If there is a parenthetical citation immediately after the quote, the period or comma goes after the parenthetical citation.

Thompson (1998) describes Esme as "a real charmer" (p. 32).


Question Marks, Exclamation Points
If the quote itself ends with an exclamation mark or a question mark, include it inside the quotation marks.

Here's a passage from a book: Will not a righteous God visit for these things?

Here's the passage quoted in a sentence: When Douglass (1845) asks, "Will not a righteous God visit for these things?" he raises the question of doubt about the future salvation of the "Christian" slaveholders (p. 55).

If you want to use a quoted statement in a question or exclamation of your own, then the question mark or the exclamation mark goes outside the quotation marks.

Here'a a passage from a book: The grave is at the door.

Here's the passage quoted in a sentence: How can we take Douglass seriously when he indulges in excessively romanticized language such as "The grave is at the door" (Douglass, 1845, p. 55)?



Quotes within Quotes
One of the messiest types of quotes to punctuate is a quote within a quote. Sometimes you may want to use quoted dialogue or a quote that includes a word set off by quotation marks. To mark a quotation within the text, enclose it in single quotation marks: ' . '


Here's a passage from a book: I got hold of a book entitled "The Columbian Orator."

Here's the passage quoted in a sentence: Because Douglass "got hold of a book entitled 'The Columbian Orator,'" he was able to learn how to read and broaden his mind.

Notice that the comma at the end of the quote goes inside the single and double quotes.




Block quotes
APA prefers that you set off long quotes (40 or more words) in what is called a "block quote," which physically separates the quote from the rest of the paragraph.

To create a block quote:

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