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Wellness Education: In-text and parenthetical citations

Research guide for wellness, complementary & alternative medicine


In-text citations (or parenthetical citations) point your reader to specific entries on the References page. These are located throughout the body of your paper, and are used whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from a source listed on your References page.


One or two authors:

e.g. (Jones, 1997), (Dunn & Diaz, 2008), (Lott, Bok, & Till, 2011 )

Three, four, or five authors - list all authors in first instance then use et al. in subsequent citations:

e.g.  (Phipps, Jones, Soto, & Blake 2008) then (Phipps et al., 2008)

Six or more authors - use et al.

e.g. (Wasserstein, et al., 2005)

Organization as author

e.g. (University of Arizona, 2011)

No author (for an article):

e.g. (“Economy Perks Up,” 2011)     
**use first few words of the Title (in quotes)

Anonymous works:

e.g. (Anonymous, 1998)

The in-text citation is generally located at the end of the sentence, or as close as possible to the text in which you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from a source.

In-text citations include:

  • Last name(s) of the author(s) – see the examples onthe right for how to handle citations for different situations, such as different numbers of authors.
  • Year of publication

There are two ways to cite references:

(1) Within the text, with author name as part of a narrative

e.g. Smith and Jones disputed the Committee’s conclusion (1997).

(2) At the end of a sentence using author name and page number in parentheses

e.g. Some researchers strongly dispute the Committee’s conclusion (Smith & Jones, 1997).

On occasion, you may wish to cite a source within another source you are using. In this case, use the as cited in before the indirect source, and mention the source in the text. 

e.g. Clark’s study (as cited in Smith & Jones, 1997), indicates that…

In this situation, do not cite both articles.  Instead, your References page will contain the article by Smith & Jones only. Clark is merely credited in the text of your paper.