APA Referencing: Parenthetical vs. Narrative Citations
  • 3-minute read
  • 3rd January 2023

APA Referencing: Parenthetical vs. Narrative Citations

In this article, you’ll learn how to make parenthetical citations, narrative citations, and references for different types of sources in APA 7th.

APA (American Psychological Association) is a documentation style mostly used by social sciences. Always check which version of APA (6th vs. 7th) you need before creating your reference list or citations.

How to Format Parenthetical Citations

Source TypeFormatExample
Source with one author(Last Name, Year)(Smith, 2022)
Source with two authors(Last Name & Last Name, Year)(Smith & Jones, 2022)
Source with three or more authors(Last Name of first author et al., Year)(Smith et al., 2022)
When two or more sources have the same author last name and year, use a, b, c, etc.(Last Name, Year a)(Last Name, Year b)(Smith, 2022a)(Smith, 2022b)

How to Cite a Book


Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of book in italics: Subtitle in italics (ed.) Publisher. DOI if online


Jackson, L. M. (2019). The psychology of prejudice: From attitudes to social action (2nd ed.) American Psychological Association

Svendsen, S., & Lober L. (2020). The big picture/Academic writing: The one-hour guide (3rd digital ed.) Hans Reitzel Forlag.

Parenthetical Citations: (Jackson 2019; Svendsen & Lober, 2020)

Narrative Citations: Jackson (2019) and Svendesen and Lober (2020)

How to Cite a Book Chapter in an Edited Book


Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of book chapter. In Initials Last Name (Ed.), Title of book in italics (page numbers of book chapter). Publisher. DOI if online


Aron, L., Botella, M., & Lubart, T. (2019). Culinary arts: Talent and their development. In R. F. Subotnik, P. Olszewski-Kubilius, & F. C. Worrell (Eds.), The psychology of high performance: Developing human potentials into domain-specific talent (pp. 345–359). American Psychological Association.

Dillard, J. P. (2020). Currents in the study of persuasion. In M. B. Oliver, A. A. Raney, & J. Bryant (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (4th ed., pp. 115–129). Routledge.

Parenthetical Citations: (Aron et al., 2019; Dillard, 2020)

Narrative Citations: Aron et al. (2019) and Dillard (2020)

How to Cite a Journal Article


Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of journal article. Journal Title in Italics, volume(issue), page range. DOI if online


Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8(3), 207–217. American Psychological Association.

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Parenthetical Citation: (Grady et al., 2019)

Narrative Citation: Grady et al. (2019)

How to Cite a Blog Post


Last Name, Initial. (Year, Month Day). Title of blog post. Title of Blog in Italics. URL


Ouellette, J. (2019, November 15). Physicists capture first footage of quantum knots unraveling in superfluid. Ars Technica.

Parenthetical Citation: (Ouellette, 2019)

Narrative Citation: Ouellette (2019)

How to Make Parenthetical and Narrative Citations for Direct Quotes

●  Always use p. before your page number.

●  If using a page range, use pp. before the range and an en dash between the page numbers.

●  Page numbers should immediately follow the direct quote.

●  Use a comma to separate the year and page number(s).

Narrative Citations:

Jackson (2019) stated that “…” (p. 20).

As Svendesen and Lober (2020) suggest, “…” (pp. 30–31).

Parenthetical Citation:

Some authors believe that “…” (Svendesen & Lober, 2020, pp. 30–31).


If you did not see the source type you are looking for in this article, please look at the APA Style blog for more information and examples. And if you need additional help with using the APA style in your journal article or research paper, we can ensure that your writing and citing are error-free. Try it out for free!

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