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TitsMcGhee's avatar

Using APA formatting, how do you structure an in-text citation that is possessive?

Asked by TitsMcGhee (8255points) May 12th, 2010

I’m wondering if anyone knows the way to format a citation, APA style, if the author’s name is being written as possessive. I’ve looked through a variety of APA formatting guides, but haven’t managed to dig anything up. Is there a proper way to go about citing a source like that, or should the sentence just be restructured as to avoid the issue all together?

For some context:

Proper citation: (Hill, 1974) or, if the name Hill is used in the sentence, it is followed with (1974).

Example sentence: “Hill’s experiment showed that…”

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14 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

You can change the wording of your sentence to something like “Hill (1974) performed an experiment that showed…”

I think if you use his name as a possessive, it is best to put a regular citation at the end of the sentence.

dpworkin's avatar

My understanding is that once you have established the citation, you may use a phrase such as “in Hill”, and elide the possessive. You may wish to say, “the experiment in Hill” or “the experiment in Hill, et al.”

Jeruba's avatar

I have edited to APA style for book publishers. If I encountered this situation in text, I would first look for a rewording that dodged the problem. I would expect to find a ready solution. For example,

In {his | her | one | a landmark | a [other adjective]} experiment, Hill (1974) showed that…

If there were simply no way around it, I would say:

Hill’s (1974) experiment showed that…

I have the APA publication manual, 6th edition, right here and am now looking for confirming information. I’ll report if I find anything.

Jeruba's avatar

Ok, section 6.11 shows this example, not to get around the possessive but just to say that if the author and date are both given in text, you don’t have to repeat the information:

In 2003, Kessler’s study of epidemiological samples showed that

This might be your best bet.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Jeruba In cases like the one you just showed, we were always taught that you still had to put a citation to the text you are getting that information from at the end of the sentence (or paragraph).

Jeruba's avatar

She is following APA, and I cited what APA’s latest manual says.

This was referred to as a “rare case,” however—one in which both author and date are given in text. Normally the date does appear in parens right after the name, or, as she says in her detail, both name and date are given in parens following the statement that requires attribution.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Jeruba Right, but that only works if the year the author did the experiment matches the year that the text was published. If it doesn’t match, you would still have to put the citation to the text.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m sorry, @Seaofclouds, but the APA style manual does not impose that logical limitation on the use of this model.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Jeruba It doesn’t have to. If your reference is from 2006 and you are quoting an experiment in that reference that was done in 2003, you would write in your paper that it was done in 2003. However, 2003 isn’t a part of what’s on the reference page so it is not part of the in text citation. The in text citations have to match the information from the reference page.

Jeruba's avatar

Of course they have to match the reference page. This is a formalistic system with its own conventions. According to the APA style manual, what I suggested was legal. I’m sure @TitsMcGhee can find alternate wording if she needs to. My point is that if she is subject to APA style rules, those are the rules and not some other rules, no matter how logical.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Jeruba I didn’t mean to offend you. I’ve been writing papers in APA format for the past 6 years now, so it’s like second nature to me.

Jeruba's avatar

No offense taken! It is legalistic and not always strictly logical, and because of that, a citation following the model offered in 6.11 probably will not be misunderstood. I’m focusing here on what @TitsMcGhee needs as the answer to her question and not on what perhaps ought to be stipulated in the pertinent section of the APA style guide, but isn’t.

anartist's avatar

You can cite parenthetically “McGillicuddy’s discovery (see McGillicuddy, 1991, for data) led to further questions.”

“Hill’s experiment (see Hill, 1974, for details) showed that…”
3.103 citation as parenthetical material

captainshiitake's avatar

I understand the recommendation for sentence restructuring. But, I really want to write “For example, in Martin et al.‘s (2006) eight-core competencies approach…”

Thoughts?

Matt

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