Last time, we discussed how to do a Works Cited page for the end of your paper. This time we will discuss how to do parenthetical in-text citations. The main point in writing an in-text citation is for the reader to have enough information to look up the full reference to the cited work if they desire. This always consists of two parts:
- The source of the work cited.
- The place in the source where the quote or allusion appears.
For most works, this will mean citing the author or authors and the page number.
Ex: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (Austin 1).
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin begins, ““It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (1).
Note: Use the same convention for authors in in-text citations as for the works cited page: list up to three authors, if there are more list only the first and et al. Only use the last name for the in-text citations.
Occasionally, there are books with no authors listed or you are using several works by the same author. In this case, use the title as another point of reference.
Ex: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (Austin, Pride and Prejudice, 1).
Note: If the title is in the text, use the full title. If not, if the title is short (three words or so) keep it as it is. Otherwise shorten it to three words or less, not including A, An or The.
If a source has no page numbers, use only the author and/or title as demonstrated above.
If a source uses paragraph numbers or sections instead of page numbers, put those instead and include what they are.
If the source is a multivolume work and you used several of the volumes, include the volume number in the in-text citation.
Note: If you used only one volume in a multivolume work, only that one volume will be listed in the works cited page.
If you are using an item that is a quote in the work you are citing, try to quote the original source. If you cannot, indicate that it is a quotation.
If a corporation is the author and the title of the corporation is long, try to incorporate the author name into the text.
Cite non-print works such as a web source as shown above as far as possible.
Usually cite items such as movies or songs by titles.
Two rules for where to put in-text citations:
- Make it clear where your borrowing begins and ends. Yes, this includes indirect quotes and facts.
- Keep the citation as unobtrusive as possible.
Make sure if a paragraph has two or more sources that it is clear which in-text citation goes with what source.
Ordinarily, the citation comes before any punctuation needed by the sentence. Hence, why comas, periods, etc. come after the citation. The exception is if it is a direct quote that uses a question or exclamation mark. In that case, use what the quote requires then put a period after the citation. If the quote is indented from the main text and therefore it does not need quotation marks, use the punctuation of the quote, even a period, and there is no punctuation needed after the citation.
When to use footnotes or endnotes.
Sometimes you may want to refer to several sources at once. Using a footnote or endnote in this case would make the citation less obtrusive. Also, if you want to make comments about the source or include information that is not easily included in the text, footnotes or endnotes may be the ideal way to go.
To do a footnote or endnote indent half an inch (basically tab), do the note number with a period, a space, then the note itself. If doing a foot note, place it on the page on which the citation appears and have four spaces between the text and the footnote. Single-space the note.
If doing an end note, have it on an Endnote page titled as such in numerical order. The endnote page should be between the text and the Works Cited page. Double space the notes.