Skip to Main Content
The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. More

How to cite using AMA in the health sciences

This guide covers the basics of the American Medical Association's (AMA) citation style.

When to cite

Avoid Plagiarism

All information or data included in academic assignments should be cited. Not citing could result in a charge of plagiarism (see UM Academic Integrity website). The only time you are not expected to provide a source is when the information you write is your original analysis of the information/data you are presenting (i.e. no other researcher has reached similar conclusions), the results of an experiment you conducted, and in some cases “common knowledge,” and personal or lived experience.1

For definitions of what is considered “common knowledge” or “lived experience” refer to the original document. 

From the AMA Manual of Style (section 3.0 References): 

References serve 3 primary purposes—documentation, acknowledgment, and directing or linking the reader to additional resources. Authors may cite a reference to support their own arguments or lay the foundation for their theses (documentation), to credit the work of other authors (acknowledgment), or to direct the reader to more detail or additional resources (directing or linking).2

In-Text citations 

In-text citations are indicated with a number, with the first reference used being 1, second reference used 2, and so on. Once a reference has been assigned a number for the document, it can be re-used later in the text. In-text numbering should be formatted as superscript1; use one method consistently throughout the document. Citation numbers should be located outside periods and commas, and inside colons and semicolons (see section 3.6). To include author names in-text as part of a sentence, see section 3.7 in the Manual for direction; these citations will still require an in-text number. 

see more information in Step 2: Citing Items In-Text


Type 1 Diabetes is a known risk for cardiovascular disease.1

Several longitudinal studies have evaluated the effects of Type 1 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.2,3

Research shows decreased mortality due to renal failure in the last 10 years.1-7

With Type 1 diabetes, hypertension starts in childhood.2,14-15


Paraphrasing is when you, as the researcher, put a passage or idea from another work and into your own words. A paraphrased passage is generally shorter and more condensed than the original. Summarizing is very similar to paraphrasing; in that it also involves putting someone else’s ideas into your own words to condense the material (and to show that you understand the source material). A summary includes only the main points and/or ideas in a longer passage or entire work. 

Paraphrasing in the preferred method when writing in the AMA style. 


Raw food diets are a subset of vegan diets consisting of fruit, berries, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, legumes, and cereals.2,4,7 Many variants of the raw food diet exist and there is no one definition.5 Some articles required that 40%-85% of an individual’s total dietary intake contain uncooked foods in order to be considered raw. High plant protein diets did include a small intake of meat products.2,3,8

Additional examples of paraphrasing, including “poor”, “better” and “best”, are available from the University of Manitoba Academic Learning Center’s document on “Paraphrasing”.3

Direct Quote 

A direct quote is taken word-for-word from the original text. Indicate it is a quote by using double quotation marks around the original phrase. The superscript appears after the quotation mark. If a quote is over four lines, use a block quote instead. 


"The basic ideas of a 'living-food' or 'raw food' diets are consuming all or primarily uncooked foods."4

Block Quote 

If a quote is longer than four lines, it should be off set off in a block indented 1/2 inch from the left margin (5-7 spaces). Do not use quotation marks with block quotes. Include the superscript for the source at the end of the block quote. Typically, a single phrase with a colon introduces the block quote. 


It is important to keep in mind: 

Raw food diets are extreme dietary regiments that have not been investigated extensively. For those that have been investigated the benefits are still considered controversial. There is also little information about the effect of consuming a raw vegan diet on the immune system. Extra caution is suggested when studying vulnerable populations and assessment of the nutritional adequacy of the diet is most reliably made on a case-by-case basis.6

Reference List 

Reference lists are organized numerically and provide citation details for each reference used in-text. See below for formatting and details required for various common references. Lists should have the heading; and be placed on their own page at the end of your document. 

see more in Step 3: Creating Your Reference List


Content regarding “paraphrasing”, “direct quotes” and “block quotes used with permission from Hamersley Library, Western Oregon University.4  


  1. Academic Learning Center. Citing Common Knowledge & Lived Experience. Academic Learning Center, University of Manitoba. Published 2022. Accessed May 16, 2022. 
  2. Fischer L, Frank P. 3.0 References. In: AMA Manual of Style Committee, ed. AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. 11th ed. Oxford University Press; 2020. Accessed December 10, 2021. 
  3. Academic Learning Center. Paraphrasing. Academic Learning Center, University of Manitoba. Published 2022. Accessed May 16, 2022. 
  4. Hamersly Library. In-Text Citations. Western Oregon University, Hamersly Library. Published 2013. Accessed May 16, 2022.