96 Citing Another Person’s Ideas

You will cite another person’s ideas to give credit to their work and to clarify what is their work and what is yours. Every sentence that refers to another person’s ideas needs to be cited. See Film Clip 9.3 about citing another person’s ideas.

Here’s a correctly cited excerpt using APA:

Hart and Lu-Ann (2019) argued that many students do not cite appropriately. They further stated that students often fail to indicate where a reference begins and ends. Many students lose grades because of poor citations, and this is often because they do not understand the nuances of APA citation (Hart & Lu-Ann, 2019).

Film Clip 9.3: Citing another person’s ideas [2:01]

In-text citations

An in-text citation is a citation placed in parentheses within the text of your paper. You can do this by including a short quotation from the original text within your work, or a paraphrase of the ideas, followed by the author and year of publication. For example:

Despite the media’s insistence that it is colour-blind, Serena is most often portrayed as a symbol of Black pride and heritage (Schultz, 2005).

Another option is to begin the sentence with a signal phrase that includes the author’s last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses. When doing it this way, make sure that you place the year in parentheses right after the author’s name:

According to Schultz (2005), despite the media’s insistence that it is colour-blind, Serena is most often portrayed as a symbol of Black pride and heritage.

When including direct quotations, you must add page numbers. For example:

According to Schultz (2005), “In the overwhelmingly White world of professional tennis, Serena Williams and her older sister Venus are frequently represented in the tradition of Black pride and heritage” (p. 339).

You should carefully consider how to integrate and introduce quotations. See Table 9.2 on points to consider when using direct quotations.

Table 9.2: Points to consider when using direct quotations

Suggestion Nursing examples

Never use a stand-alone quotation: always integrate the quoted material into your own sentence.

Abbasi and Umrani (2018) advocated for gender inclusive language. They argued, for instance, that “typical plural pronouns such as ‘they’ can be used as singular and plural pronouns” (p. 7).

Use ellipses […] if you need to omit a word or phrase. This shows your reader that you have critically and thoroughly evaluated the quotation and have chosen to include only the most important and relevant information. Use [. …] when you are removing a section that would end in a period.

“Nurses who practice self-care … have reduced absenteeism” (Abraham & Mark, 2019, p. 24).

Liu, Spenelli, and Reyes (2018) conducted a “narrative study about the effects of meditation on clients with post-traumatic stress. … meditation decreases feelings of emotional distress and flashbacks” (p. 22).

Use brackets [ ] if you need to replace a word or phrase or if you need to change the verb tense.

As noted by Madulla (2020), “training in ergonomics decrease[s] musculoskeletal injuries” (p. 46).

Use [sic] after something in the quotation that is grammatically incorrect or spelled incorrectly. This shows your reader that the mistake is in the original, not your writing.

The authors found that “prolonged grief can led [sic] to increased feelings of anxiety” (Pathack, 2020, p. 98).

Use double quotation marks [“ ”] when quoting and use single quotation marks [‘ ’] when you include a quotation within a quotation.

One participant remarked “nurses often told me to ‘breathe slowly and deeply’ when my fear became too much” (Rodriguez & Balakrishnan, 2019, p. 2).

When citing an author in parentheses, you always need to include the authors’ last names and year. However, if you are citing the authors as part of your text (i.e., not in parentheses) and within the same paragraph, then you generally only need to note the publication year the first time – unless it could be confused with another citation with similar names. If you note this author in a separate paragraph, you should indicate the year again.

Nurse educators consistently encourage students to complete readings ahead of time so that they can focus on skill acquisition in lab. It has been found that students who completed readings prior to laboratory practice were better prepared to practice nursing skills (Cranley, 2019). Specifically, Cranley found that students were able to focus on skill application in lab as opposed to reading the content. It was also noted that these students did better in the course overall (Cranley, 2019).

Activities: Check Your Understanding



Attribution statement

The section on in-text citations was adapted, with editorial changes, from:

Write Here, Right Now by Dr. Paul Chafe, Aaron Tucker with chapters from Dr. Kari Maaren, Dr. Martha Adante, Val Lem, Trina Grover and Kelly Dermody, under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Download this book for free at: https://pressbooks.library.ryerson.ca/writehere/

The content in the first column of Table 9.2 was adapted and reformulated into a table, with editorial changes, from:

Writing for Success 1st Canadian Edition by Tara Horkoff, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. Download for free at: https://opentextbc.ca/writingforsuccess/


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The Scholarship of Writing in Nursing Education: 1st Canadian Edition Copyright © 2019 by Jennifer Lapum; Oona St-Amant; Michelle Hughes; Andy Tan; Arina Bogdan; Frances Dimaranan; Rachel Frantzke; and Nada Savicevic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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