APA style for in-text, parenthetical Citation Methods

APA style for in-text, parenthetical Citation

APA style uses two methods for citing borrowed material within the text:

  • Author and date are identified immediately following the borrowed material. (2) The author is identified in the text of the paper, the date is given immediately following the borrowed material. In-text, parenthetical citations provide readers with the information needed to locate the source of borrowed information in the list of reference at the end of the paper. In APA style, parenthetical citations identify what was borrowed from a source and when that source was published. Use the following guidelines when preparing parenthetical citations.
  • Keep the citations concise, but provide all necessary information.
  • Use an author’s last name either in the text of the paper or in parentheses immediately after the borrowed material. Use an author’s first initial and last name if two authors in the Reference share the same last name.
  • Punctuate and format the parenthetical citations in the following manner.
  1. Place the parenthetical citation either at the end of the sentence or at a natural pause within the sentence. In either case, the citation should follow, as closely as possible, the material it refers to.
  2. If the citation is placed immediately following a quotation, place the citation after the closing quotation marks.
  3. Place any punctuation marks in the text immediately following the closing parenthesis of the citation.
  4. In block quotations, place the parenthetical citation two spaces following the final punctuation mark of the quotation.
  • Include a page reference for the borrowed material.
  1. Author not named in the text

When an author is not identified in the text, place the author’s last name and the year of publication in parentheses at a point where the citation does not interrupt the flow of your writing. Separate the author and date with a comma. Be sure that there is no confusion between what you are documenting and your own text.

During the Civil War, Thomas Carlyle supported the South, but after the war, he admitted that he might have been wrong (Kaplan, 1983).

  1. The author named in the text

When an author is identified in the text, only the date within parentheses. If the same source is cited more than once in the same paragraph, you need not repeat the year the in that and subsequent citation.

In citing a direct quotation, include a parenthetical reference to the page number(s). The abbreviation p.or pp. is included.

We are never innocent travelers; we arrive with ideas about the place in our minds. These ideas may be more vivid than the place can sustain when we see it; they may be more resistant to change than the place itself” (Howe, 1993, p. 62).

  1. Work with two author

Always cite the surnames of both authors in all text citation. Use an ampersand (&) to separate the authors’ names in a parenthetical citation, but use the word and to separate their names in the text of the paper.

The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts has produced successful performers such as Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. (Lichtenstein & Danker, 1993)

  1. Work with three to five authors

If a work has more than two but fewer than six authors, cite them all in the first reference.

In subsequent references, however, cite only the author followed by et al. (meaning “and other”) neither italicized nor underlined.

  1. Work with six or more authors

When a work has six or more authors, cite the surname of the first author followed by et al. in all in-text citation. Include the names of all the authors in the end-of-paper list of reference. The following example shows a sample citation for a work by Rorschach, Aker, Zorn, Flugel, Erskine, and Zieffer.

  1. Anonymous work

Cite an anonymous work by using the first two or three words of the title in the in-text citation or parenthetically in place of the author’s name. (see 39a on punctuating titles.)

While many questions about the Iran-Contra affair persist, it seems unlikely any answers will be found (“Democracy,” 1993).

  1. Corporate author

Usually cite the full name of the corporate author in each in-text reference if, however, the corporation’s name is long or if an abbreviation for the company is easily recognized, abbreviate the corporate name in second and subsequent entries. Recently published statistics show a decline in the incidence of cerebral palsy (United Cerebral Palsy Association [UCPA], 1994).

  1. Author of two or more cited works

In referring to two or more of the same author’s works published in the same year, distinguish between them in the parenthetical citations by alphabetizing the works in the reference list and providing each work with a lowercase letter. Thus, Annette Kolodny’s “Dancing through the Minefield” would be labeled Kolodny, 1981a, while her “A Map for Rereading” would be designated Kolodny,1981b.

  1. Authors with the same last name

To distinguish works by authors with the same last name, use each author’s first initial(s) in each citation.

  1. Jones (1930) wrote a pioneering study of psychology and literature.
  2. Two or more sources in a single citation

Cite two or more different authors in a single citation in alphabetical order and separated by a semicolon (Fetterley, 1978; Kolodny, 1975). Cite two or more works by the same author in a single citation in chronological order and separated by a comma (Flynn 1980, 1983).

  1. Portions of source

If you refer to a large portion of a source, identify it in the parenthetical citation by an abbreviation: chap. (chapter), Vol. (Volume), Pt. (Part).

A recent writer argues that religions are a politically intermediate institution, which should influence the government and affect the political process but which should be little influenced by the government (Carter, 1993, chap. 2).

  1. Personal communication

Material such as letters, telephone conversations, messages from electronic bulletin boards, and personal interviews should be acknowledged in the text with the person’s name, the identification of personal communication, and the date. These sources are not included in the list of references because readers cannot retrieve them.

  1. Holmes, president of Mayfair Fashions, predicts that formal evening gowns will become more popular next year (personal communication, December 29, 1993)

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