Skip to Main Content

Citing Sources: Sellersburg: In-Text Citations

Parenthetical Documentation

General Rules

  • Use in-text parenthetical notes for direct quotations; for paraphrases or summaries of someone else's words; and for facts, figures, or ideas that are the result of someone else's effort.
  • You do not need to identify a source of information that is common knowledge or belief. For example: The American Civil War lasted from 1861-1865 during which time hundreds of thousands of men lost their lives.  
  • The author may be omitted if mentioned in the same sentence or if referenced previously within the same paragraph. 


Basic Format for a Quotation:

Critser (2003) noted that despite growing numbers of overweight Americans, many health care providers still “remain either in ignorance or outright denial about the health danger to the poor and the young” (p. 5).

One Work by More Than Three Authors:

Yanovski and Yanovski (2002) explained that sibutramine suppresses appetite by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain (p. 594).

Sibutramine suppresses appetite by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain (Yanovski & Yanovski, 2002, p. 594).

Work with Two Authors:

According to Sothern and Gordon (2003), “Environmental factors may contribute as much as 80% to the causes of childhood obesity” (p. 104).

Obese children often engage in limited physical activity (Sothern & Gordon, 2003, p. 104).

Work with Three or Five Authors:

In 2003, Berkowitz, Wadden, Tershakovec, and Cronquist concluded, “Sibutramine . . . must be carefully monitored in adolescents, as in adults, to control increases in [blood pressure] and pulse rate” (p. 1811).

As Berkowitz et al. (2003) advised, “Until more extensive safety and efficacy data are available, . . . weight-loss medications should be used only on an experimental basis for adolescents” (p. 1811).

Work with Six of More Authors:

McDuffie et al. (2002) tested 20 adolescents, aged 12-16, over a three-month period and found that orlistat, combined with behavioral therapy, produced an average weight loss of 4.4 kg, or 9.7 pounds (p. 646).

Work with Unknown Author:

* Websites generally do not have page numbers; therefore, no pagination is given.

Throughout his career, Elvis had 114 songs on the Billboard Top 40 and 18 number one pop hits (Scrivani-Tidd).

Work with no Author:

Children struggling to control their weight must also struggle with the pressures of television advertising that, on the one hand, encourages the consumption of junk food and, on the other, celebrates thin celebrities (“Television,” 2002).

Organization as Author:

Obesity puts children at risk for a number of medical complications, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and orthopedic problems (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004, p. 1).

Authors with the Same Last Name:

Research by E. Smith (1989) revealed that . . .

Two or More Works by the Same Author in the Same Year:                                                         

Research by Durgin (2003b) has yielded new findings about the role of counseling in treating childhood obesity.

Two or More Works in the Same Parentheses

Researchers have indicated that studies of pharmacological treatments for childhood obesity are inconclusive (Berkowitz et al., 2003; McDuffie et al., 2002).

Personal Communication:

One of Atkinson’s colleagues, who has studied the effect of the media on children’s eating habits, has contended that advertisers for snack foods will need to design ads responsibly for their younger viewers (F. Johnson, personal communication, October 20, 2009).

Electronic Source:

Atkinson (2001) found that children who spent at least four hours a day watching TV were less likely to engage in adequate physical activity during the week.

Unknown Author:

The body’s basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is a measure of its at-rest energy requirement (“Exercise,” 2003).

Unknown Date:

Attempts to establish a definitive link between television programming and children’s eating habits have been problematic (Magnus, n.d.).

No Page Numbers:

Hoppin and Taveras (2004) pointed out that several other medications were classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as having the “potential for abuse” (Weight-Loss Drugs section, para. 6).

Indirect Source:

Former surgeon general Dr. David Satcher described “a nation of young people seriously at risk of starting out obese and dooming themselves to the difficult task of overcoming a tough illness” (as cited in Critser, 2003, p. 4).

Sacred or Classical Text:

Peace activists have long cited the biblical prophet’s vision of a world without war: “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4, Revised Standard Version).