Citing Sources in the Text
When you use the ideas or words of another person in
your paper, you must document the source within the text of the paper as well
as on the Works Cited page. Whether you quote or paraphrase a source, you
must include a citation that 1) clearly points to the source on the Works Cited
page and 2) identifies the location of the borrowed information. Because
the citation must point clearly to an entry on the Works Cited, it can be
helpful to create the Works Cited page first.
An in-text citation most commonly includes the
author’s last name and the page number from the passage you cite, such as
(Clark 146). Some exceptions exist. A citation is usually placed at the
end of a sentence or after the quotation where there is a pause in the sentence
(such as before a comma or semicolon). When citing at the end of the
sentence, the end period comes after the parentheses.
Keep in mind the function of in-text citations: they
direct the reader to the full source information at the end of the paper. Thus,
there should be clear correspondence between the parenthetical citation and the
entry on the Works Cited page. In other words, as readers move through the
essay, they come across a citation, stop, and flip to the Works Cited page.
They should be able to run their fingers down the left-hand side of the page
and immediately find the Works Cited entry in alphabetical order. If the
in-text citation is (Clark 146), the reader can turn to the Works Cited page
and find Clark as the first element of an entry in alphabetical order.
1. Author not named in sentence: Include the
author’s last name and page number in parentheses after the quotation or
argues, “The Awakening should be read in the broader context of the
contemporaneous New Woman fiction movement in England” (Rich 72).
2. Author named in sentence: If you mention
the author’s name in the sentence, do not mention it again in the citation.
Charlotte Rich argues, “The Awakening should be read in the broader
context of the contemporaneous New Woman fiction movement in England” (72).
3. For two authors, name both
It has been noted
that Chopin’s novella is rich with imagery (Smith and Hughes 89).
Smith and Hughes
note that Chopin’s novella is rich with imagery (89).
4. For three more authors, include only the first
author’s name followed by "et al." “Et al.” is Latin for “and
It has been noted
that Chopin’s novella is rich with imagery (Sanders et al. 89).
5. If you cite two different works by the same
name the title or a shortened version of the title in the parenthetical
Rich suggests that
Chopin would have read English magazines for women (“Reconsidering” 74).
In a later article, Rich revises her statement by arguing that Chopin had
actually submitted her stories to English magazines (“Publishing” 75).
6. A source without page numbers: If a
source does not have page numbers, do not include a page number in the
parenthetical citation. If .pdf files have page numbers in the text of the
document, use them; however, do not use the page numbers that your printer or
browser places on the page when printing.
Rich argues that “The
Awakening should be read in the broader context of the contemporaneous New
Woman fiction movement in England.”
7. A corporate author: A work may be cited in text by
a corporate author such as an institution, association, or government agency.
When a corporate author is named in a parenthetical citation, abbreviate terms
that are commonly abbreviated, such as Department
(Dept). Omit The before corporate
names. When an entry starts with a government agency as the author, begin the
entry with the name of the government, followed by a comma and the name of the
The current minimum wage is set at just over seven
dollars per hour (United States, Dept. of Labor).
8. A source without an author or
the title of the work and abbreviate it if longer than a noun phrase. Properly
format the title. If possible, give the first noun and any preceding
adjectives. Exclude a, an, and the.
People in this era
shared a great sense of social responsibility (“Victorian England”).
9. A quote in the source from a
person other than the author: This is called an indirect quotation. To
cite an indirect quotation, give the name of the original source in the
sentence, abbreviate "quoted in" as "qtd. in," and then
include the name and page number of the source where you found the quotation.
a Victorian advice manual, Marion Harland stated that by the age of
twenty-five, a woman's "bloom has gone and her buoyant spirits are
depressed by the dread of permanent invalidism" (qtd. in Stacy 161).
10. If the quotation is more than
four typed lines of text, include it as a block quotation by
setting the quotation off from the text. First, introduce the quotation as you
normally would. Begin the quotation on a new line and indent the whole
quotation one half-inch from the left margin. Double-space the quotation. A
block quotation does not have quotation marks around it. Also, the
punctuation is placed at the end of the quotation, not outside the
parenthetical citation. The next line of
the paragraph should begin back at the left margin. See a sample block quote here.
11. Citing literary works: See the page on citing literary works for special rules governing citing prose, plays, and poetry.
Simplifying citations: For readability,
you should keep citations as short as possible. For example, if you name the
author in the sentence, do not repeat the name in the citation. Likewise, if
you are citing from just one source throughout a paragraph, you may give a
single parenthetical reference after the last borrowing. The page numbers given
in the citation should match the order the borrowings are presented in the
paragraph. Separate the page numbers with a comma. If it may be ambiguous how
the page numbers match the borrowings, citations should be separated. The
author or title should always be made clear, either when introducing the first
borrowing or in a single parenthetical reference at the end of the paragraph.
Examples of simplified citations
The authors expose
the dangers in making assumptions about children. First, they claim that “these
ideas about children say less about them than they do about what adults imagine
children are like” (Nodelman and Reimer 86). While uncovering these
uncomfortable truths about adults, these assumptions also “define childhood
almost exclusively by its limitations” (88).
critical theory underwent many changes during this era: “Firstly, feminism
became more eclectic.” Changes such as this “seem characteristic of feminist
criticism” (Barry 122, 123).
Frost, philosophy moved from conceiving of the “universe as a home of many
spirits” to a more scientific study of nature (27). In time, philosophers began
to observe the universe “as a result of moving bodies,” leading to “the
statement of certain laws of the universe” (28).