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APA Style Guide 7th Edition

General Guidelines for Paraphrasing and Summarizing

  • Paraphrasing is when you put a passage or idea from another work into your own words.
  • A paraphrased passage is generally shorter and more condensed than the original.
  • You can cite your information as part of the sentence (called a narrative citation) or at the end in parentheses (known as a parenthetical citation).
  • Summarizing is very similar to paraphrasing in that it also involves putting someone else’s ideas into your own words in order to condense the material.
  • A summary includes only the main points and/or ideas in a longer passage or entire work.    
  • If you have two or more authors, use the word 'and' for narrative citations and the ampersand '&' for parenthetical citations. 
  • If you have three or more authors, use 'et al.' after the first authors last name to indicated there are additional authors. 
  • You only include the author/year from the article your are summarizing. You do not need to include page numbers or section identification. 
  • If you are citing multiple works parenthetically, place the citations in alphabetical order separated by semicolons. 

Narrative Paraphrasing/Summarizing    

Single Author: Simmons (2019) notes that teachers need to use clear body language including using good posture and eye contact when giving directions. 

Two Authors: Orben and Przybylski (2019) determined that half of the participants in recent studies overestimated how much time they spend on the internet and a quarter of the participants underestimate it. 

Three or More Authors: Larson et al. (2019) pointed out middle school students reported significant less time spent outdoors in nature and more time on screens than their parents reported they did.   

Parenthetical Paraphrasing/Summarizing  

Single Author: Teachers need to use clear body language including using good posture and eye contact when giving directions (Simmons, 2019). 

Two Authors:  Half of the participants in recent studies overestimated how much time they spend on the internet and a quarter of the participants underestimate it (Orben & Przybylski, 2019).

Three or More Authors:  Middle school students reported significant less time spent outdoors in nature and more time on screens than their parents reported they did (Larson et al., 2019).  

Parenthetical Summary With Multiple Sources 

Behavior-specific praise and adherence to schedule and routines are two classroom management practices that can increase academic engagement and improve classroom management (Collier-Meek et al., 2019; O’Hanley & Jones, 2020; Simmons, 2019).