EasyBib’s APA Parenthetical and Narrative Citations Guide
Why we include parenthetical / in-text citations
Researchers include brief in-text citations, both of which are called narrative and APA style parenthetical citations, in their writing to acknowledge references to other people’s work. Generally, narrative and APA parenthetical citations include the last name of the author and the year of publication. Page numbers are also included when citing a direct quote. Even though it isn’t necessary to include page numbers for paraphrases, it’s recommended to include them.
If some of this information is included in the body of the sentence, exclude it from the APA format parenthetical citation. Parenthetical in-text citations typically appear at the end of the sentence, between the last word and the period. Narrative ones show the author’s name in the sentence itself.
If you’re looking for another parenthetical citation APA website to learn about the origins, here’s an informative site. If you want a deeper dive into this topic, we have a full APA parenthetical citation website page, called APA in-text citation. If you’d like an overview on how to go about starting a research paper from scratch, our research page is a great place to start.
How do they relate to reference pages?
These brief narrative and APA parenthetical citations are only half of what’s needed. The full references, which include more information about the source, are found on the final page of the project.
Only a snippet is included in the body of the paper to provide the reader with a quick reference, easy enough to read and breeze over, without having to stop the flow of reading through the paper. Readers use the information in the narrative and APA format parenthetical citation to then flip to the reference page, to find the rest of the information about the source.
Full references include not only the author, date, and page numbers, but also the title of the source, the publisher, and other key pieces of information.
To allow readers to easily locate the full reference on the final page, make sure the information in the narrative and APA format parenthetical citation matches the beginning of the information in the full reference.
Here’s a parenthetical citation APA reference:
Here’s how it looks on the reference page:
Hunter, R. (1972). Sugaree [Recorded by J. Garcia]. On Garcia [Mp3]. Retrieved from //open.spotify.com/track/4XoYeolVYTiddO9wZLXLgl
If you’re searching for a narrative or APA parenthetical citation generator, look no further! EasyBib.com has an automatic generator. Head to our homepage, make your full reference for the APA works cited page or APA bibliography, and there’s an option to create your narrative or parenthetical citation. If you want to go the old-fashioned route, and learn how to create narrative references and how to use parenthetical citations APA, continue reading. If you’d like to learn how to style your final paper, check out our APA format page.
Parenthetical citation APA without author’s name in the text
Harlem had many artists and musicians in the late 1920s (Belafonte, 2008, p.15).
Narrative citation when author is mentioned in the text
According to Belafonte (2008), Harlem was full of artists and musicians in the late 1920s (p. 15).
Narrative and parenthetical citations with multiple authors
Works with two authors
APA Style Parenthetical Citation Structure:
Include both names, separated by an ampersand (&).
APA Parenthetical Citation:
Rallying to restore sanity was a revolutionary undertaking (Stewart & Colbert, 2010).
Include both names, separated by the word ‘and’
Stewart and Colbert (2010) stated that rallying to restore sanity was a revolutionary undertaking.
Works with three to five authors
- Include all names in the first APA style parenthetical citation, separated by commas and then an ampersand (&).
- Include all names in the first narrative reference, separated by commas and the word ‘and.’
- For all subsequent in-text narrative and APA style parenthetical citations, include only the first author, followed by “et al.” and publication year if it is the first citation in a paragraph.
First in-text parenthetical citation:
APA citation Parenthetical Example:
Rallying to restore sanity was a revolutionary undertaking (Stewart, Colbert, & Oliver, 2010).
All subsequent in-text parenthetical citations APA:
Parenthetical Format APA Citation:
The event resulted in thousands of participants flocking to the National Mall in support of the cause (Stewart et al., 2010).
First narrative reference:
Stewart, Colbert, and Oliver (2010) stated that rallying to restore sanity was a revolutionary undertaking.
All subsequent narrative references:
Stewart et al. (2010) stated the event resulted in thousands of participants flocking to the National Mall in support of the cause.
Works with six or more authors
Include only the last name of the first author, followed by “et al.” and publication year in all narrative and parenthetical citations APA.
Parenthetical Citation APA Format Example:
The study did not come to any definitive conclusions (Rothschild et al., 2013).
Rothschild et al. (2013) shared that the study did not come to any definitive conclusions.
Citing sources without an author
If a work has no author, include the first few words of the bibliography entry (in many cases, the title) and the year.
Use double quotations around the titles of articles, chapters and/or websites.
Statistics confirm that the trend is rising (“New Data,” 2013).
In the “New Data” study (2013), statistics confirm the trend is rising.
*Note: Unlike in your reference list, parenthetical citations APA of articles, chapters and/or websites should have all major words capitalized. If you’re using an APA parenthetical citation website to create your references, make sure capital letters are where they’re supposed to be.
Italicize the titles of periodicals, books, brochures or reports.
The report includes some bleak results (Information Illiteracy in Academia, 2009).
Information Illiteracy in Academia (2009) shares some bleak results.
Even though it may seem like you don’t need to create a narrative or parenthetical citation APA format reference for works without an author, it’s still necessary! You may want to run your paper through our plagiarism checker, which scans for any instances of accidental plagiarism and also does a check for grammar. If you have an adjective, preposition, or noun that needs to be touched up, we’ve got you covered!
Citing part of a work
When citing a specific part of a work, provide the relevant page number or section identifier, such as chapters, tables or equations. Direct quotes should always have page numbers.
APA Citation Parenthetical Example:
One of the most memorable quotes is when he says, “You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!” to Augustus (Green, 2012, p. 272).
If the source does not include page numbers (such as online sources), you can reference specific parts of the work by referencing the paragraph number (if given) with the abbreviation “para. xx” in your narrative or APA parenthetical citation.
Parenthetical Citation APA Example:
He quickly learned that pandas were not considered good pets (Chan, 2011, para. 3).
Display the section or heading and the number of the paragraph in which the information is found. For lengthy headings, use the first few words of the title in the APA style parenthetical citation.
Parenthetical Citation APA Example:
The sample population included both red and giant pandas (Chan, 2011, Methodology section, para. 1).
In need of a narrative or APA parenthetical citation website? Check out the tools and resources on EasyBib.com! We make the narrative and parenthetical APA citation process easy for you!
Citing groups or corporate authors
Corporations, government agencies and associations can be considered the author of a source in a narrative or a parenthetical citation APA when no specific author is given.
Write out the full name of the group AND the abbreviation in all first mentions in any APA parenthetical citations.
Example of a Parenthetical Citation APA:
The May 2011 study focused on percentages of tax money that goes to imprisonment over education funding (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP], 2011).
However, you may abbreviate the group name if the group’s name is lengthy and it is a commonly recognized abbreviation in all subsequent parenthetical citations APA.
The report found that over a half billion of taxpayer dollars went to imprison residents “from 24 of New York City’s approximately 200 neighborhoods” (NAACP, 2011, p. 2).
If the group or corporate entity is rarely abbreviated, use the full name of the group in all narrative and parenthetical citations. MLA in-text & parenthetical citations are very different, so don’t assume all styles are the same! Other resources you might like to read up on are MLA works cited pages and how to cite websites in MLA.
Quick reminder: If you’re looking for a parenthetical citation APA website, check out the homepage of EasyBib.com. Our automatic generator makes full references and narrative /APA parenthetical citations for you!
Citing classical works
For classical sources, such as ancient Greek works, cite the year of the translation or version used. Precede this information with “trans.” or “version,” respectively.
Parenthetical Citation in APA Example:
(Homer, trans. 1998).
In Homer’s work (trans. 1998),…
When citing specific content from these sources, include the paragraph/line numbers that are used in classical works in the narrative or APA parenthetical citation. This information is consistent across versions/editions, and is the easiest way to locate direct quotes from classical works.
APA Parenthetical Citation Example:
The Bible extols the virtues of love; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Cor. 13:4 New International Version).
In 1 Cor. 13:4 (New International Version), the Bible extols the virtues of love; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Note: Remember, you do not need to create formal citations in your reference list for classical works. If you’d prefer to include a formal reference, have a narrative or APA parenthetical citation website do the work for you. Check out the tools on EasyBib.com.
As you can see, it doesn’t matter if you’re creating a reference in the text for a book, website, journal article, or another source type in this format. All of your references in the text of your paper are formatted the same. If you’d like to learn how to create full APA citations for an APA book citation, APA journal, or APA citation website, we have the resources you need!
Citing and formatting block quotes
When directly quoting information from sources in your writing, you may need to format it differently depending on how many words are used.
If a quote runs on for more than 40 words:
- Start the direct quotation on a new line
- Indent the text roughly half an inch from the left margin
- If there are multiple paragraphs in the quotation, indent them an extra half inch
- Remove any quotation marks
- Double-space the text
- Add the in-text parenthetical citation APA after the final sentence
Parenthetical Citation APA Example:
Here is some text from the book that clearly defines early on in the novel:
He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor (Jackson, 2019, pp. 12-13).
Notice in the above APA parenthetical citation, a page range is included, marked by ‘pp.’ prior to the page numbers. If your quote is found on a single page, use ‘p.’ before the page number in the parenthetical citation APA reference.
Jackson (2019) clearly defines early on in the novel:
He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor (pp. 12-13).
If you’re still confused on how to do parenthetical citations APA, learn more here. If you’re looking for a parenthetical citation APA website, check out the resources and tools on EasyBib.com!
Need another set of eyes to edit your paper? Run your paper through the EasyBib Plus proofreader, which checks each and every determiner, verb, pronoun, to make sure they’re where they’re supposed to be.
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Published January 31, 2012. Updated: December 18, 2019.
Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a dedicated school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.
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