I am mentioning briefly research topic that has reached a general consensus and cite a literature review paper. I wonder which of the two ways below provides in terms of the best readability. I dislike both options and suspect I am missing the optimal option.

blabla.... a group of study has found strong association....

  1. See Smith and Pitt (1999) for overview.
  2. See (Smith and Pitt, 1999) for overview.
  3. See ???? for overview

I am following APA standard but not literary so style improvements are more important.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it deals with the APA style guide and not within academics as defined by this site.
    – RoboKaren
    Sep 14, 2016 at 2:22
  • Thanks for feedback. My main concern is not with the standard but rather readability and have tried to update the questions accordingly.
    – snoram
    Sep 14, 2016 at 2:46
  • @RoboKaren: I don't think there is a need to close this question. This very well fits in the guidelines (refer citation-style). Many questions under a similar context have been asked before.
    – Ébe Isaac
    Sep 14, 2016 at 5:22
  • In my opinion, "see [citation] for overview" or similar represents a poor writing style. It is OK for informal writing, however, in a formal write-up (using APA or any other style, for that matter), using the following style is much more preferred: "... [topic/subject] is extensively covered in research literature, including several comprehensive reviews (Smith & Pitt, 1999; ...) ...". Sep 14, 2016 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


The first form is more common in APA style format.

See Smith and Pitt (1999) for overview.

Although I would be more picky in the use of 'see'. The word 'refer' would be used to point to a reference where a point is taken from or pointing to further readings. While 'see' is used to point to a reference that supports your claim (kindly refer this post).

Having said the above, both see and refer are used interchangeably in practice with the nuances not kept in mind.

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