How Do You Do Parenthetical Citations?


Quick Answer

To create parenthetical citations, add the necessary information to the sentence or passage in which you incorporate a quotation or paragraph from a research source. This gives the original author of the source credit for the information.

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Full Answer

  1. Find the information needed for the citation

    Find the name of the author and the page number where the information appears in that source. Find the paragraph number if the source lacks pagination, as is the case with websites. Use the title of the article if no author's name appears in the source. Locate the year of publication if you are writing a paper in APA or Harvard format.

  2. Set up your sentence to include the citation

    Determine whether you need to put quotation marks around the information or simply put a citation at the end; if you have used more than two consecutive words from the source, put that part in quotation marks. Place a "(" after the last word in that sentence, and insert the author's last name, followed by a comma, and then the page or paragraph number, followed by a ")". Add a period to finish that sentence correctly. Insert the year of publication between the author's last name and the comma when writing a paper in APA or Harvard format.

  3. Alter the format if the author's name already appears in the sentence

    Consider a sentence like this: "Mark Twain once wrote, 'The secret of getting ahead is getting started.'" Add parentheses after the final quote, but only insert the paragraph number from the source, as the author's name is already present. Include the year as well if using APA or Harvard format, writing it this way: "Mark Twain once wrote, 'The secret of getting ahead is getting started' (1878, para. 2)." Incorporate the date right after the author's name if paraphrasing: "Twain (1878) wrote about how important it is to start accomplishing one's goals."

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