How to Cite a Journal Article – Useful Guide

how to cite journal article

Having masterly on how to cite and reference a journal article is a significant part of your research writing. There are distinctive reference rules for citing articles that show up in scholastic journals and different periodicals. While numerous articles you will use in your references appear in research journals, you may likewise discover articles in magazines, papers, and online distributions.

This article will give in-depth data on the most proficient method to refer to journal articles in APA and MLA designs. Let’s have a look at them!

Citing a Journal Article in APA Format

In APA, in-text references of articles allude to the citing of papers inside the working body independently from the list of sources or works referred to a page toward a report’s end. The reference follows a reword of a section or idea.

Paraphrasing in APA

Paraphrasing refers to using your own words to convey the information contained in a research paper. When rewording, you have to give the author and the year of publication at the end of your rewording.


As per Ronald (2019), a lot of evidence indicates that early intercession projects can be successful.

A study proposes that the shortfall of conduct issues is similarly as imperative to future accomplishment as psychological abilities improvement (Ronald, 2010, p. 116).

Short Quotes in APA

The length of the short quote should not exceed 40 words. When referencing journal articles with an immediate short statement, you should indicate the writer, the time and date of publication, the page numbers, and use quotes. As long as each segment is used in your APA journal reference, you can incorporate this information inside the sentence or at the end of the sentence.


Ronald (2010) points out that “the difficulties of overcoming helpless enrichments a year or so later — through jobs for secondary school dropouts, for example — make early intervention appealing as well” (p. 115).

Long Quotes in APA

Long statements in the APA reference style have 40 words or more. You also have to reference the author, publication date, and page number for long statements and these data may be in parentheses.

In contrast to short statements, long statements in an APA citation journal article expect you to begin the statement on another line with a ½ inch indent from the left edge. Keep up twofold separating all through the statement. In case you have never implanted all the reference data in the sentence going before the statement, remember it toward the finish of the statement for enclosures after the punctuation mark. Try not to utilize any quotes around a long statement for journal APA reference.


Ronald’s (2010) study tracked down the accompanying:

Levelling early gifts through youth mediation projects might be a better methodology than the issue of inconsistent assignments, both because it evades a considerable lot of the ethical peril issues that emerge society attempts to recompense the unlucky for poor results, and a clear allocation towards equities might be the best affluent method of advancing value than making up for inconsistent results. (pp. 215-216)

Citing Multiple Authors in APA

2 authors: the primary author’s information must be listed first, followed by a comma, then an ampersand (and), followed by the data from the subsequent author’s information.

If three to twenty authors are listed in the citation, also separate them with commas and again include an, after the last name of the last author. In APA, don’t record more than twenty authors.

21+ authors: List the first 19 authors separated by commas. After the nineteenth author, add a comma, followed by an ellipsis (… ) followed by the final author’s name.

Citing Group/Corporate Authors in APA

When referencing a corporate author in an APA journal, the publishing house should be utilized instead of the author’s name. Put the company name towards the start of the reference, just as you would the author’s name.

Citing a Source with No Authors in APA

If no writer is provided, the article title should be used instead of the author’s data, so the date of publication and distribution can be included as well.

How to Cite a Journal Article on a Database in APA

To cite a journal paper from a data set, it is advisable to exclude the data set data since the APA design incorporates a connection to the site or the DOI rather than since data set data can alter after some time. Follow the organization for an APA reference diary online as depicted previously.

How to Cite Journal Unpublished Journal Articles

While referring to the unpublished journal article, the format differs depending on its submission to a journal.

For the reference list, provide the last name, followed by initials, year, article title (unpublished manuscript), dept name, name of the university.

Reference list: Smith, J. M., and Davis, H. (2019). Language procurement among medically introverted youngsters [Unpublished manuscript]. Division of Psychology, University of Notre Dame.

In-text reference: (Smith and Davis, 2019)

Article submitted for publication:

When submitted to a journal but not acknowledged, the manuscript is called a “Manuscript submitted for publication.” The title is in italics, and the name of the journal can’t appear in the title:

Format: Last name, Initials. (Year). Article title [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Division Name, University Name.

Reference entry: Ronald, J. M., and Mary, H. (2010). Language procurement among medically introverted youngsters [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Branch of Psychology, University of Notre Dame.

In-text citation (Ronald and Mary, 2010)

Citing a Journal Article in MLA

Throughout the text of your paper, in-text citations refer the reader to the reference list at the end, which contains all of the sources of information.

In-text citations include only the last name of the writer, followed by the page number. “Here’s an immediate statement” (Smith 8).

You should use the title’s first word or words if the creator’s name is not given. Utilize the exact formatting used in the works cited list, such as quotes. This is an interpretation. (“Trouble” 22).

Quoting Directly

If you want to cite straightforwardly from a source, encase the cited segment in quotes. Include an in-text reference toward the finish of the statement plus the writer’s name and page number

The connection between the mother and baby has been the main subject of formative exploration since it was found that “kids brought up in organizations were insufficient in passionate and character advancement” (Hunt 358).

Long Quotations

When your citation exceeds four lines as you’re crafting a paper, it is a long citation.

Here are the four guidelines that apply to long citations.

  • Before your long citation, the line before you’re presenting the statement, as a rule, closes with a colon.
  • The long citation is indented a large portion of an inch from the remainder of the content, so it would look like a text block.
  • There are no quotes around the citation.
  • Toward the citation’s finish, the period precedes your in-text reference instead of after, as it does with ordinary citations.


Toward the finish of Lord of the Flies, the young men are hit with the acknowledgement of their conduct:

The tears started to stream, and cries frightened him. He surrendered himself to them now interestingly on the island; extraordinary, shivering fits of melancholy that appeared to torque his entire body. He raised his voice under the dark smoke before the consuming destruction of the island and tainted by that feeling; the other young men started to shake and wail as well. (Golding 186)


When you craft a document through rewording, cite the source and incorporate it in the reference list.

Citing two or More Authors/Editors:

Format: (Last Names and Page Number)

Model: (James and Susan 57)

At least three authors

(Last Name et al. Page Number)

Model: (Dennis et al. 57)

Unknown Author:

Try not to tally introductory articles like “A,” “An,” or “The.” You ought to give sufficient words to clarify which word you’re alluding to from your reference list.

Best Practices for Managing Online Sources

Since online data can change or vanish, it is in every case great to keep individual duplicates of significant electronic data at whatever point conceivable. Downloading or, in any event, printing key documents ensures you have a steady reinforcement. Likewise, you can utilize the Bookmark work in your internet browser to fabricate a simple to-get to reference for the entirety of your venture’s sources.

It is additionally astute to track when you initially talk with each online source. MLA utilizes the expression “Got to” to mean which date you got to the website page when accessible or vital. It isn’t needed to do as such, yet it is recommended.

Narrative and Parenthetical Citations

Authors add statements or data documents, sites, diaries, and numerous other sources to provide extra proof to safeguard or go against a contention or guarantee.

What are narrative and parenthetical citations?

Narrative citation

In MLA, reference the author’s name in the sentence whenever the author’s name is used in the sentence’s content. After the sentence, in enclosures, it indicates the page number.

Here is a model:

With regards to innovation, Ronald noted that we “should be agreeable enough with innovation apparatuses and administrations so that we identify our benefactors the correct way, regardless of whether we are not personally acquainted with how the gadget functions” (11).

Parenthetical citation

Parenthetical citation occurs when the author’s name is excluded from the sentence, but enclosed in brackets at the end of the sentence.


With regards to innovation, we “should be agreeable enough with innovation devices and administrations that we can help point our benefactors the correct way, regardless of whether we don’t know how the gadget functions” (Ronald 11).

Sources with Two Authors:

For narrative citations in MLA format, separate the two authors’ last names with “and.” After the two authors’ names, write the page number where the first sentence or fact can be found.

Example of narrative citation:

James and Mary expand by sharing their unpleasant update that “since it’s a gentle night doesn’t imply that dim powers aren’t abroad. They’re abroad constantly. They’re all over” (15).

Example of parenthetical citation:

Remember that “since it’s a gentle night doesn’t imply that dim powers aren’t abroad. They’re abroad constantly. They’re all over the place” (James and Mary 15).

Sources with Three or More Authors:

While referring to, incorporate the surname of the primary author appeared on the source. After the primary author’s last name, add “et al,” which means “and others.”


“Croatia’s and Hong Kong’s school library services are essentially cantered around two significant instructive errands. One assignment is improving understudies’ overall proficiency and creating understanding propensities, though the other undertaking is building up understudies’ data education and examination capacities” (Tam et al. 299).

Example of in-text citation with multiple creators:

Cap, Choi, Tkalcevic, Dukic, and Zheng share that “Croatia’s and Hong Kong’s library services are principally cantered around two significant instructive undertakings. One undertaking is improving understudies’ overall education and creating understanding propensities, while the other assignment is building up understudies’ data proficiency and examination capacities” (299).

Sources without an Author:

If the source you’re endeavouring to refer to doesn’t have an author’s name recorded, use the title instead of the author’s name. Utilize abbreviation if the title is too long.

Parenthetical citations MLA examples:

The model beneath is from a sonnet discovered on the web, named “The Last Time.” The sonnet’s creator is obscure.

“From the second you hold your child in your arms, you won’t ever go back. You may yearn for the individual you were before when you had opportunity and time and nothing, specifically, to stress over” (“The Last Time”).

Main elements of journal article citation

The components of a journal article citation include the writer, date, title, and source.

elements of journal article citation

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