Q. What is citation?


A citation is a note that tells your reader you used a source to write your sentence. There are three things you should know about citations in APA style:

1) A citation has 2-3 pieces of information: Author, Date, Location.

2) If you are paraphrasing, a citation has two parts: (Author, Date). If you are quoting, a citation has three parts: (Author, Date, Location).

3) Citations can be parenthetical (all parts in brackets at the end of the sentence) or narrative (author name(s) as part of the sentence and year/location in parenthesis).

More examples:

Narrative, Paraphrase:

Wang (2018) illustrated the effective use of narrative citations.

Parenthetical, Paraphrase:

The use of citations and paraphrasing are discussed (Wang, 2018).

Narrative, Quote:

As described by Gray et al. (2018), citations “may include direct quotes” ("How to cite").

Parenthetical, Quote:

Moreover, citations “may include direct quotes” (Gray et al., 2018, para. 3).


This page in our APA guide has further information with examples of how to cite quotes and paraphrases.

  • Last Updated Apr 15, 2021
  • Views 28
  • Answered By Kelley Wadson

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