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AMA Style: The Basics for Pharmacy Writing: Step 1: Citing Items In-Text

Citing In-Text

The AMA Manual of Style requires that you cite each reference in your writing in numerical order as they appear by using superscript numbers.

  • This means that your in-text citations appear in numerical order throughout your work
  • Your reference list will then have the same numbers for the same references, which means your reference list will be ordered by number (and not alphabetically!)


Questions about the AMA Manual of Style? 

Contact your pharmacy liaison librarian, Caitlin Carter, x21313, PHR 4009.

Example of In-Text Citations

Each reference should be cited in the text, tables, or figures in consecutive numerical order through the use of superscript numbers.

  • The superscript numbers in the below example refer to that item in your reference list
  • Direct quotes: anytime you quote something directly, quotation marks are required
  • Here is what properly formatted in-text citations would look like in your paper:


This sentence refers to content taken from the first item in your reference list, that is why the number ‘one’ appears at the end of this sentence.1 Keep in mind that if you are quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing information in your work, you need to indicate the original source of information.2 The ‘three’ at the end of this sentence refers to the third item listed in your reference list.3 Notice that the superscript numbers appear immediately after the period.1,3

Do I Need to Include Page Numbers?

  • When citing AMA style, inclusion of page numbers in an in-text citation is not required, rather IT IS OPTIONAL!
  • However, did you know that some instructors will request that your in-text citations include page numbers? Always talk to your instructor to clarify expectations
  • If you need to include page number(s) in your in-text citation, here’s how: 


The next few sentences show you how you could incorporate the page numbers of a direct quotation into your writing. The Kirk Report states that “85% of surveyed Ontarians indicated that they have called Telehealth Ontario at least once in the last year.”6(p19) The next example shows how you would cite a direct quotation that is from multiple pages of a work. “This study provided insight into incoming pharmacy students’ Facebook activity, as well as their attitudes toward online personas and accountability for information displayed on online social networking sites.”7(pp5-6) The last example shows how to cite multiple page numbers and references. Addison8(pp3,6),9 reported 7 cases in which an allergic reaction was observed.