The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Writer's Handbook
APA Documentation Guide

Where to place parenthetical citations

You have three options for placing citations in relation to your text:


Idea-focused

Place the author(s) and date(s) in parentheses at an appropriate place in or at the end of a sentence

Example:

Researchers have studied how children represent mathematical problems (Alibali, Phillips, & Fischer, 2009; Siegler, 1976).


Researcher-focused

Place only the date in parentheses

Example:

Alibali, Phillips, and Fischer (2009) asked, “Did the participants adopt the taught strategies?” (p. 96).

Note:

You need to provide (a) page number(s) in parentheses for direct quotations. You do not need to provide a page number if you are summarizing or paraphrasing a source, rather than quoting.


Chronology-focused

Integrate both the author and date into your sentence

Example:

In 2009 Alibali, Phillips, and Fischer reported that third- and fourth-grade students improved their problem representation when they were taught the equalize strategy but did not improve their problem representation when they were taught the add-subtract strategy.


Additional Guidelines

Place citations in sentences and paragraphs so that it is clear which material has come from which sources.

Use pronouns and transitions to help you indicate whether several sentences contain material from the same source or from different sources.

Symthe (1990) found that positioning influences ventilation. In his study of 20 ICU patients, he used two methods to. . . . However, his findings did not support the work of Karcher (1987) and Atley (1989) who used much larger samples to demonstrate that . . .