Answered By: Jonathan Faerber
Last Updated: Jun 09, 2020     Views: 9

A narrative citation in APA Style presents citations as a part of a sentence. In a narrative citation, the year typically follows the author name in parentheses, while the page number follows quoted or paraphrased text, as in the following example: 

  • Lencioni (2007) established a correlation between happiness and productivity (p. 63).

This approach can focus readers' attention on the person responsible for the ideas in the sentence, and can also help characterize the tone or approach of the original text (e.g., "Lee (2019) conceded that", "Lee (2019) protested that"). Narrative citations typically use past tense verbs ("concluded", "explained", "has argued") since the published ideas referred to in a narrative citation describe an event in the past (APA, 2020, p. 118). For more information, please visit Basic Principles of Citation, Paraphrasing, and Quotations, Writing In-text Citations in APA Style, and Should I Use Present or Past Tense When Introducing Quotations or Paraphrases in My Text?.


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).