Citation is important to conserve the originality of research, especially for PhD dissertations. Both narrative and parenthetical citations can be used in a literary work. Still, this article will describe the five most important things to remember for PhD writers while writing narrative citations.
What is meant by narrative citation?
Narrative citation is the type of citation where you can use the author’s name within the text or sentences. This type of citation is helpful if you want to introduce a piece of information directly by the name of the author to avoid confusion.
For example: If in a dissertation you want to say that Yong et al. introduced a surgical treatment of peripheral nerve injuries, then you can create a narrative citation from the original reference of the article from which you are trying to collect data. If the complete reference of an article is ‘Chin Yong. J and Smith John A, 1998. Surgical Solution for Peripheral Nerve Injury. Journal of therapeutical treatments and medicines. Vol.255; p-89-100.
Then, to create a narrative in-text citation, the second name of the author will be directly followed by the year of publication enclosed in round brackets, i.e. Yong and John (1998) first introduced a surgical treatment of peripheral nerve injuries. This type of citation is useful if an author is interested in starting a paragraph directly by the name of the original author of a piece of information. Likewise, you can also write a narrative citation as,
‘In 1998, Yong and John reported the surgical solution of peripheral Nerve injuries for the first time.’
In short, narrative citation contains little or no information about the original source of information within brackets.
However, the other method of writing citation is called Parenthetical citation. It is placed right after the completion of a fact or figures (if collected from any external source).
It includes a complete set of information necessary to locate the full reference of a source included in the bibliography. In this type, round brackets also include the name of the author along with the year of publication, separated by a comma. It can be placed within the sentence as well as at the end of the sentence. However, you cannot start a sentence with parenthetical citations.
To develop a better understanding, we will use the same above-mentioned example for creating parenthetical citations as well.
One way to give a parenthetical citation is ‘So far, the surgical treatment of Peripheral Nerve Injuries has been discovered (Yong and John, 1998)’. In some cases, you also need to add page numbers within brackets. In some Journals, a few different types of citations are used that appear somewhat like this (see Yong and John, 1998 for more details). It is also a type of parenthetical citation. Additionally, another way in which you can write parenthetical citations includes (Surgical solutions to Peripheral Nerve Injuries; Yong and John, 1998).
You can also get PhD dissertation help if you are still facing any issues in developing narrative citations.
Differences between Parenthetical and Narrative citations:
After reviewing narrative and parenthetical citations with examples, we are now in a position to find distinguishing points between the two.
- The narrative citations aim to give a story-type style even to your scientific information.
- Narrative style helps to bring continuity to your context and is often used in the literature review section of a dissertation.
- Parenthetical style provides all necessary information enclosed within brackets so a reader can quickly understand which piece of information is imported from other sources.
Five important points that every PhD scholar must keep in mind while writing a dissertation:
The following are some important points that PhD scholars must keep in mind while choosing a narrative citation style for their dissertation, even though many of you may already know them:
1. How to cite if only one author completed a work?
In case a scholarly article is published under the name of only one author, it is very simple to cite it. In almost all types of citation styles, there is a common style of creating a narrative citation for studies originally belonging to only one author. Suppose, in the above example, only one author contributed to the surgical treatment of Peripheral Nerve Injuries. The citation will be like Yong (1998), or in 1998, Yong first proposed the surgical solution for peripheral nerve injuries.
2. How to write a citation if two authors completed one work?
If one work is supported by two authors, the rule of creating a citation will remain more and less the same. Simply, it includes the second name of both first as well as a second author separated by the conjunction ‘and’. To put it another way, you can write Yong and John (1998) or in 1998, Yong and John first proposed the surgical solution for peripheral nerve injuries.
3. How to cite if three or more authors completed one work?
The third most important point that seems problematic to some students is what to do when you have to cite a source published on the name of three or more authors. In different citation styles, you must follow a few different rules (consult a style guide if you get confused). Generally, in APA style, the second name of all three authors is used, while in Harvard style, the second name of the first author, along with ‘et al.’, is more than enough.
You can write according to this in the following ways:
Yong, John, & Albert (1998) (APA), Yong et al. (1996) (Harvard) or in 1998, Yong, John, & Albert/ in 1998, Yong et al. first proposed the surgical solution for peripheral nerve injuries.
4. What to do if a source of information belongs to the work of groups of authors having well-known abbreviations?
If you have to create a narrative citation for reporting the work of a group of authors or groups having well-known abbreviations like WHO, the citation can be created as follows:
The World Health Organisation (WHO, 1998) proposed a surgical solution for peripheral nerve injuries.
5. What to do if a source of information belongs to the work of groups of authors without having well-known abbreviations?
In case when there is no well-known abbreviation for a group, the narrative citation can be created as follows:
The Oxford University, London (1998) reported the surgical solution for peripheral nerve injuries.
In a nutshell, there are various styles to create a citation for a literary work. It’s the author’s preferences, purpose, and need of the hour that decide which style would best fit in the context. To get a deeper understanding, you must search for detailed guides on keywords like ‘citation creation tips in different reference style’ and many more.
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