In-text citations are for any information you got from another source. if you directly quote it, you need an in-text citation; if you summarize it, you need one; if you paraphrase it, you need one.

APA format in-text citations require three things if available: the author’s name, the year, and the page number. for parenthetical citations, it’s formatted like so: (Smith, 2002, pp. 91)

however, signal phrases change things. signal phrases are your lead-ins to quotes, like, “According to John Smith” or “An article by Jane Doe” — HOWEVER, in APA format, you’re required to put the year in the signal phrase if you mention the author. “According to John Smith” becomes “According to John Smith (2002),” and you continue your sentence like normal.

if no author is available, cite it by the title of the web article. for example: (“Camping,” 2001). if no page number is available, as is usually the case with web sources, leave it out.

remember that if you say the article/page number/author’s name IN your signal phrase, the same information doesn’t need to be repeated in your in-text citation. you only need to give the information once, because they’ll be able to find it on your reference page:

According to John Smith (2002), mosquitoes prefer humid weather (pp. 9).
Mosquitoes prefer humid weather (Smith, 2002, pp.9).
According to page 9 of “The Great Outdoors” by John Smith (2002), mosquitoes prefer humid weather.

note that for the last one, no “end of the sentence” in-text citation is needed, because you gave all three pieces of info within the sentence.

an easy way to remember the difference between MLA and APA is that APA emphasizes the date of your source more. it wants the year as soon as you reference your author. this is because in science fields, discoveries are often made then later revised, so they want to know what year you got your information from. outdated information could be considered like invalid or whatever so dates matter A Lot for science!!

MLA format is actually easier. all you have to do for the in-text citations is the author’s last name and page number, or the article title. no dates are needed in-text.

as an example: (Smith 9)

no “pp.” is needed as they require in APA format. just the name, then a number for the page. that’s it. if you say the author’s name in your signal phrase, you only need to give the page number:

According to John Smith in his book “The Great Outdoors,” mosquitoes prefer humid weather (9).
According to “The Great Outdoors,” mosquitoes prefer humid weather (Smith 9).
According to page 9 of “The Great Outdoors,” mosquitoes prefer humid weather (Smith).

this…is long. but i hope it helps! feel free to message me if you run across any special cases that give you trouble.