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When you refer to the words and ideas of others within your own research MLA style requires you to give credit by using an in-text citation (also known as “imbedded” or “parenthetical” citation) within the text of your paper.
- MLA requires the use of an in-text citation whether you put the words of others in your own words ( paraphrase ) or state them exactly as found in the original source ( direct quote ).
- Signal phrase reference (author's name) appears within the sentence with page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence
- Full parenthetical reference (author last name and page number) appears at the end of the sentence
Remember that all sources mentioned within in-text citations in your paper must have a corresponding full bibliographic citation in your Works Cited list.
In-text citations generally contain the author’s last name (surname) and page location of cited material placed within parentheses at the end of a sentence.
Full In-text citation
Start with the surname of the author (or editor, translator, compiler, etc.). When referring to a particular part of a work, follow the surname by a space and a page number or numbers.
Example: This psychological phenomenon has been previously demonstrated (Smith 178-85).
Using a signal phrase
If you introduce the cited material with a signal phrase (including the author’s last name within the sentence), omit the surname from the parentheses.
Example: Smith demonstrates this psychological phenomenon (22-24).
Standard sentence punctuation should be placed after the parenthetical citation.
Can we allow ourselves to trust Frank’s Dramatic Theory of Cause and Effect (73-74)?
There are ways to document this “overwhelming need for self-study” (Jones 18).
Direct quotes with special punctuation
For a direct quote with specific punctuation associated with it, include that punctuation mark within the quotation marks followed by the parenthetical citation and end the sentence with proper punctuation.
Example: In response, Mary replies, “what, no more fighting?” (Blackwell 43).
When citing more than four lines of quoted material, position the quoted section as a separate or "block" set of lines.
Indent the entire quoted section one half inch from the left margin: do not further intent the first line of the section.
Punctuate the sentence introducing the quote with a colon and do not use quotation marks.
At the end of the last sentence of the block quote, use parentheses to identify page number(s) of the quoted material. If the author's name is not included as a signal phrase in the introductory sentence, include it in the parentheses, as well.
Example: In Song of the Lark, Willa Cather demonstrates her ability to create detailed interior spaces in the first page of the novel with the description of the physician's office:
The waiting-room was carpeted and stiffly furnished, something like a country parlor. The study had worn, unpainted floors, but there was a look of winter comfort about it. The doctor’s flat-top desk was large and well made; the papers were in orderly piles, under glass weights. Behind the stove a wide bookcase, with double glass doors, reached from the floor to the ceiling.It was filled with medical books of every thickness and color. On the top shelf stood a long row of thirty or forty volumes, bound all alike in dark mottled board covers, with imitation leather backs. (3)
Citing Works by Two Authors
List all surnames, separating two authors with “and.”
Examples: Griff and Blum offer a fresh reading of this novel (242).
This novel recently drew critical attention (Talbot and Smith 22).
Citing Works by Three or More Authors
List the first author's last name followed by et al. (with a period).
Examples: Some critics consider this work to be Hawthorne's most gothic tale (Blaine et al. 75).
It has been said by Fredensen et al. that global warning is the biggest threat to our planet (45).
List the first initial of each author as well as the surname. If this does not differentiate them, include the whole first name.
Examples: (F. James 43) or (Frank James 43)
After the surname, include the title or an abbreviated version of the title. Separate the surname and title with a comma.
Example: (Smith, Cartoon Heroines 80)
Separate the references by semicolons.
Example: (Brown 40; Smith 50; Green 22-23)
Cite a corporation or organization in parentheses just as you would an individual author’s surname. If the organization's name is long, include it as a signal phrase rather than in parentheses. When possible, shorten terms commonly abbreviated, for example: “National” = “Natl.” or “Association” = “Assn.”
When a source does not have a stated author, the Works Cited entry will begin with the title of the source. For the in text citation, either state the entire name of the source as a signal phrase, or use a part of the phrase in parentheses.
Example: There is evidence that as many as 40% of all elementary students experience some type of bullying ("Saving our Schools").
List the name of the author of the selection (not the editor of the anthology) in the signal phrase or the parentheses.
If a document does not include page numbers (as is the case with many electronic or web documents), do not list any.
- Page numbers in a printout from a web site should not be used unless the printout is a PDF.
- If there are no page numbers, paragraph numbers, or obvious subdivisions, cite the author’s name in a signal phrase in the text rather than in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
If paragraph numbers are used in the document instead of page numbers, use “par.” or “pars.” followed by the relevant number(s). If the author's surname is included in the parentheses, put a comma after it. Only use paragraph numbers if the source includes them - do not create your own paragraph count.
Example: (Smith, par.16)
If the work has any type of subdivision other than paragraph, use the name of that subdivision.
Example: ...the image of Cinderella (Brown, screens 2-3).
If you are citing a specific page within a multi-volume work, list the volume number, then separate it from the page number with a colon.
Example: (Wright 5; 33)
Cite the name of the primary source (the text you are actually citing) as a signal phrase and within the parentheses, include the words “qtd. in” before the secondary source (source which included the text you have cited) information: The Works Cited entry will refer to the bibliographic information for the secondary source.
Example: Alex Green imagines a “new type of oligarchy” (qtd. in Smith 232).
In the above example, the Works Cited entry will provide bibliographic details for the work by Smith.
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Can I use one citation at the end of a multiple sentence paragraph, or do I have to cite for every sentence?
When you summarize or paraphrase someone else's information in several sentences or more, it feels awkward to put in a citation at the end of each sentence you write. It is also awkward to read! However, technically, APA demands that your reader knows exactly what information you got from someone else and when you start using it. Thus, an end-of-paragraph citation does not meet that requirement.
Solution: Use a lead-in at the beginning of your paragraph . Basically, introduce the source you are summarizing or paraphrasing at the beginning of the paragraph. Then, refer back to the source when needed to ensure your reader understands you are still using the same source.
For examples of the "bad," the "ugly," and the "good," please see below:
Bad. In this paragraph, the citation occurs only at the end, and the reader does not know exactly when/where information comes from the source. Do not do this :
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. They are very sensitive to changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of pollution. When frog populations in a wetland plummet, one can be sure that something is going wrong in the wetland. When oddities in frog morphology appear, like frogs with five legs or two heads, one can assume something is going wrong in the wetland environment (Willemssen, 2010).
Correct, but Ugly. This paragraph is technically correct for APA, but it is difficult to read in large part because the in-text citations are intrusive and awkward :
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. They are very sensitive to changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of pollution (Willemssen, 2010). When frog populations in a wetland plummet, one can be sure that something is going wrong in the wetland (Willemssen, 2010). When oddities in frog morphology appear, like frogs with five legs or two heads, one can also assume something is going wrong in the wetland environment (Willemssen, 2010).
Good. These paragraphs are "APA correct" and easy to read. Note the reader knows exactly when/where information from the source is used:
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. According to a recent study by Willemssen (2010), frogs are very sensitive to changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of pollution. The study notes that when frog populations in a wetland plummet, one can be sure that something is going wrong in the wetland. When oddities in frog morphology appear, like frogs with five legs or two heads, one can assume something is going wrong in the wetland environment (Willemssen, 2010).
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. Willemssen (2010) relates to research conducted recently in Wisconsin that shows that frogs are very sensitive to changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of pollution. Her research indicates that when frog populations in a wetland plummet, one can be sure that something is going wrong in the wetland. Also, she finishes by noting that when oddities in frog morphology appear, like frogs with five legs or two heads, one can also assume something is going wrong in the wetland environment.
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. Willemssen (2010) recently conducted research in Wisconsin that shows that frogs are very sensitive to changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of pollution. Willemssen's research indicates that when frog populations in a wetland plummet, one can be sure that something is going wrong in the wetland. One very telling quote from Willemssen's research is that "87% of wetlands where two-headed frogs are found have high levels of environmental contamination" (p. 341).
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- Last Updated Jun 08, 2021
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- Answered By Kerry Louvier
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- Bravo. Its people like yourself that make the internet useful! by Ryan on Aug 25, 2015
- I found this extremely helpful when writing my first APA style paper, however I do have one more question about citations that was not answered above. I'm currently assigned an APA paper in which I had to read a book and answer questions. After talking with my professor, I learned that using other sources was allowed but discouraged for this specific assignment. My question is, how can I properly cite the information in my paper when I only used the one source? As your example above, that would work very well for one paragraph. Should I use that format throughout the entirety of the paper? (Even though it looks terrible?) Sara, Librarian: Sam, Yes, we suggest that you use the same format throughout your paper - even if it looks terrible. Usually papers will have more than one source and thus not look quite so awkward. But for one source, we suggest the same format and style. by Sam on Nov 07, 2015
- Is it okay to start out with the author's last names with the date and at the end of the paragraph an intext citation? For example, Smith (2015) .... (paraphrased statements)....and at the end of the last sentence (Smith, 2015). Sara, Librarian: Your example is providing two citations for one sentence. You could do that, but it's not technically APA correct, nor is it necessary. by Hussein on Nov 13, 2015
- THANK YOU! The Purdue site that always comes up as the top result when searching for this was no help at all, but this was exactly what I needed. Having done mostly history in undergrad, I'm having a rough time transitioning to APA for grad school. by Portia on Nov 13, 2015
- What if I have to cite about 21-35 sources throughout my APA paper and I am only allowed to cite the source twice, differently and not consecutively? Sara, Librarian: Hi Kathy, APA has no minimum or maximum requirements for the citing of any one source, nor are there any reasons why you can't cite consecutively. So I'm going to assume that these are additional parameters set up by your instructor. 21-35 sources is a lot, but not uncommon in longer papers. If you have multiple sources that state similar facts, you should be able to ensure that you're not citing the same source consecutively. And varying between an in-text citation such as: "Smith (2010) said that chickens lay eggs...." and an end-of-sentence citation like: "Chickens tend to flock together (Smith, 2010, p. 2)" will count as a different type of citation for the same source. Use your best judgment, and when in doubt, ask your instructor for help or clarification. by Kathy on Apr 13, 2016
- This is so helpful. What about when reading material for your paper? There are so many research papers written in such a manner that one can't tell what part is the author's words/ideas and what part is paraphrased. How can one tell from the other. If am reading material and i find an idea/sentence in between two citations that i may want to paraphrase for in my work for example; According to Linda (2015) blah blah.......blah blah. Groups blah blah blah........blah blah. Peters (2009) noted that blah blah blah....blah. If i want to use the middle sentence "Groups blah blah blah.....blah blah" how can i know that's the authors words and not part of paraphrased work from the two cited sources? Sara, Librarian: Hi Nancy, this is a great example of a time when critical thinking skills come into play. It's not always easy to tell when an author is paraphrasing another author's work or if they are stating something in their own words. Use your best judgment in these cases. The whole idea of citing a source is to be able to point your readers to the work you used when you did your research. by Nancy on Jun 05, 2016
- When paraphrasing information from a textbook, are you required to include the textbook name as well as the author in the paragraph or just the author? Kate, Librarian: When paraphrasing and creating an in-text citation, you will use the author's name(s) and the date only. For example, (Smith, 2016). The textbook or book's title will be included in the reference page, and not in the in-text citation. by Brittany Keen on Aug 07, 2016
- That is really helpful. Thank you for taking the time to articulate this. :) by Kevin on Aug 16, 2016
- Thank you. This is the first site I have seen anywhere that outlines this clearly with the bad, correct but ugly, good examples. May I ask, is this the same for MLA? Obviously you don't need to put in the year for MLA--but I mean as far as how you handle successive citations for the same source in a paragraph of paraphrase? Sara, Librarian Reply: For MLA style, Seneca Libraries actually has a great example of what the repeated use of one source in a paragraph could look like See the Seneca Libraries guide - box in the lower right corner of the page. by George--English Teacher on Dec 19, 2016
- So another question--I read on your cite as I have on the OWL that successive parenthetical citations from a print source should initially be listed as (Lastname 323). And for each parenthetical citation thereafter without changing to a new source, you can leave out the author's last name and simply put in the page number (323). Well for sources where you have no page number, can you simply leave out a citation entirely because it's understood, use a signal phrase, or just include the citation again? So...(Lastname)...(Lastname)? I'm assuming signal phrase or repeatedly citing it unlike a print source is the answer. Thank you! Sara, Librarian Reply Hi George, since Rasmussen College uses only APA for references and citations, we are not the best people to ask about MLA citations. We recommend you check out the MLA Style Center for help with citations - they have an FAQ center that may have the answers you're looking for. by George on Dec 20, 2016
- YES! This was incredibly helpful. As I was writing a focused summary for sociology, I was becoming incredibly bogged down with all the in text citations, trying to figure out if there was anyway to make it less unwieldy and awkward. This is perfect! Thanks s'much! by Weston on Jan 30, 2017
- Can I make my in-text citation possessive? Can I write, "Willemssen's (2010) study suggests ..."? Sara, Librarian Reply : Hi Kevin, yes, you can make your in-text citation possessive. Your example is spot on! by Kevin Wallace on Feb 12, 2017
- This is an excellent explanation with examples, but is specific for APA. Could it also be used for Harvard style? Sara, Librarian Reply: Yes, this could also be used for Harvard Style. Check out the University of Western Australia's example here. by Val on Mar 15, 2017
- If I am paraphrasing different aspects of one article in a single paragraph, can I introduce the introduce the author/date initially, then write the different page numbers throughout? Ex: According to Source (2017), blah blah blah............... (p. 1268). Personal commentary. Paraphrasing again, blah, blah........... (p. 1272). Sara, Librarian Reply: The short answer is no. First, paraphrased citations in APA do not require page numbers, only quotations do. Second, if you include a page number at the end of a sentence (per your example) you also need to have the Author and Date in that same citation - either at the beginning of your sentence or in the parenthesis with your page number. by Jessica on Apr 19, 2017
- I understand how to use a lead-in for a more "neat" appearance when writing a paragraph in APA style with the same source. However, must I always refer to "the study," or "the author" in each sentence? Would the following example be correct according to APA? [Name of book] is a critical review of the fashion industry (Author, 2013). The book reflects the experiences of those working in fashion design. The industry is described in a negative light throughout the text. Pay cuts and layoffs were a common occurrence in many of the companies mentioned (Author, 2013). I hope this example illustrates my question... I would like to know if I must start every sentence in the paragraph with "The author" or "She" or "The study/book/article," etc. Sara, Librarian Reply: Hi Kat, You don't need to start every sentence in the paragraph with "The author" or "She," your example (as long as it is formatted correctly in APA) would be just fine. by Kat on Sep 05, 2017
- Thank you. This site is very helpful as a faculty to help answer some of my questions and to refer students for individual and group help. by Dianne Johnson on Mar 12, 2018
- Thank you for this excellent explanation. I regularly send my students here whenever they ask about this topic. I couldn't say it any better myself. Thanks! by Emily Thornton on Oct 14, 2019
- Thank you clarifying this topic for me. This is, by far, the most informative site on APA in-text citations. by Smith, V on Dec 05, 2019
- This is the most valuable info on this issue that's I've found. Muchas Gracias! by CH on Sep 26, 2020
- This is an excellent resource, providing clear guidance to a specific but common problem for students. Thank you for your contribution to the field. by James Lamont on Jan 11, 2022
- This is extremely helpful! Thank you for being so detailed in the explanation. I think every student will benefit from this F&Q. by Brandi Dearing on Mar 06, 2022
- This is an excellent resource that I share with students I tutor all the time. Thank you for so clearly explaining this! by Quintina on May 01, 2022
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- How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago
How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago
Published on April 15, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on May 31, 2023.
Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:
- The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks or formatted as a block quote
- The original author is correctly cited
- The text is identical to the original
The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .
Table of contents
How to cite a quote in apa, mla and chicago, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.
Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using. Three of the most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
Citing a quote in APA Style
To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas . If the quote appears on a single page, use “p.”; if it spans a page range, use “pp.”
An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.
Punctuation marks such as periods and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks .
- Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
- Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510) .
Complete guide to APA
Citing a quote in mla style.
An MLA in-text citation includes only the author’s last name and a page number. As in APA, it can be parenthetical or narrative, and a period (or other punctuation mark) appears after the citation.
- Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 510) .
- Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510) .
Complete guide to MLA
Citing a quote in chicago style.
Chicago style uses Chicago footnotes to cite sources. A note, indicated by a superscript number placed directly after the quote, specifies the author, title, and page number—or sometimes fuller information .
Unlike with parenthetical citations, in this style, the period or other punctuation mark should appear within the quotation marks, followed by the footnote number.
Complete guide to Chicago style
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The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:
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Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it. Don’t present quotations as stand-alone sentences.
There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:
- Add an introductory sentence
- Use an introductory signal phrase
- Integrate the quote into your own sentence
The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.
Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.
If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs , such as “states,” “argues,” “explains,” “writes,” or “reports,” to describe the content of the quote.
- In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).
Introductory signal phrase
You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source, but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.
- According to a recent poll, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- As Levring (2018) explains, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).
Integrated into your own sentence
To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation .
- A recent poll suggests that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- Levring (2018) reports that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (p. 3).
When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.
To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in single (instead of double) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.
Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use double quotation marks.
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “ “ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ” he told me, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” ” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to “remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 1).
Note: When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .
Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.
Shortening a quote
If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.
Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.
Altering a quote
You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different verb tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.
Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.
The Latin term “ sic ” is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.
In some cases, it can be useful to italicize part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase “emphasis added” to show that the italics were not part of the original text.
You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalization made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.
If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.
Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a period, the citation appears after the period.
To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)
Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage in your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.
However, there are some situations in which quoting is more appropriate.
When focusing on language
If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.
When giving evidence
To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.
When presenting an author’s position or definition
When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.
But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.
If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- ChatGPT vs human editor
- ChatGPT citations
- Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
- Using ChatGPT for your studies
- What is ChatGPT?
- Chicago style
- Critical thinking
- Types of plagiarism
- Avoiding plagiarism
- Academic integrity
- Consequences of plagiarism
- Common knowledge
A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.
In academic writing , there are three main situations where quoting is the best choice:
- To analyze the author’s language (e.g., in a literary analysis essay )
- To give evidence from primary sources
- To accurately present a precise definition or argument
Don’t overuse quotes; your own voice should be dominant. If you just want to provide information from a source, it’s usually better to paraphrase or summarize .
Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .
For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: “This is a quote” (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).
Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.
A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate “block” of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.
The rules for when to apply block quote formatting depend on the citation style:
- APA block quotes are 40 words or longer.
- MLA block quotes are more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of poetry.
- Chicago block quotes are longer than 100 words.
If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:
- APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
- MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.
If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.
In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.
In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .
As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.
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McCombes, S. & Caulfield, J. (2023, May 31). How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago. Scribbr. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-quote/
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- Harvard In-Text Citation | A Complete Guide & Examples
Harvard In-Text Citation | A Complete Guide & Examples
Published on 30 April 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 5 May 2022.
An in-text citation should appear wherever you quote or paraphrase a source in your writing, pointing your reader to the full reference .
In Harvard style , citations appear in brackets in the text. An in-text citation consists of the last name of the author, the year of publication, and a page number if relevant.
Up to three authors are included in Harvard in-text citations. If there are four or more authors, the citation is shortened with et al .
Table of contents
Including page numbers in citations, where to place harvard in-text citations, citing sources with missing information, frequently asked questions about harvard in-text citations.
When you quote directly from a source or paraphrase a specific passage, your in-text citation must include a page number to specify where the relevant passage is located.
Use ‘p.’ for a single page and ‘pp.’ for a page range:
- Meanwhile, another commentator asserts that the economy is ‘on the downturn’ (Singh, 2015, p. 13 ).
- Wilson (2015, pp. 12–14 ) makes an argument for the efficacy of the technique.
If you are summarising the general argument of a source or paraphrasing ideas that recur throughout the text, no page number is needed.
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When incorporating citations into your text, you can either name the author directly in the text or only include the author’s name in brackets.
Naming the author in the text
When you name the author in the sentence itself, the year and (if relevant) page number are typically given in brackets straight after the name:
Naming the author directly in your sentence is the best approach when you want to critique or comment on the source.
Naming the author in brackets
When you you haven’t mentioned the author’s name in your sentence, include it inside the brackets. The citation is generally placed after the relevant quote or paraphrase, or at the end of the sentence, before the full stop:
Multiple citations can be included in one place, listed in order of publication year and separated by semicolons:
This type of citation is useful when you want to support a claim or summarise the overall findings of sources.
Common mistakes with in-text citations
In-text citations in brackets should not appear as the subject of your sentences. Anything that’s essential to the meaning of a sentence should be written outside the brackets:
- (Smith, 2019) argues that…
- Smith (2019) argues that…
Similarly, don’t repeat the author’s name in the bracketed citation and in the sentence itself:
- As Caulfield (Caulfield, 2020) writes…
- As Caulfield (2020) writes…
Sometimes you won’t have access to all the source information you need for an in-text citation. Here’s what to do if you’re missing the publication date, author’s name, or page numbers for a source.
If a source doesn’t list a clear publication date, as is sometimes the case with online sources or historical documents, replace the date with the words ‘no date’:
When it’s not clear who the author of a source is, you’ll sometimes be able to substitute a corporate author – the group or organisation responsible for the publication:
When there’s no corporate author to cite, you can use the title of the source in place of the author’s name:
No page numbers
If you quote from a source without page numbers, such as a website, you can just omit this information if it’s a short text – it should be easy enough to find the quote without it.
If you quote from a longer source without page numbers, it’s best to find an alternate location marker, such as a paragraph number or subheading, and include that:
A Harvard in-text citation should appear in brackets every time you quote, paraphrase, or refer to information from a source.
The citation can appear immediately after the quotation or paraphrase, or at the end of the sentence. If you’re quoting, place the citation outside of the quotation marks but before any other punctuation like a comma or full stop.
In Harvard referencing, up to three author names are included in an in-text citation or reference list entry. When there are four or more authors, include only the first, followed by ‘ et al. ’
In Harvard style , when you quote directly from a source that includes page numbers, your in-text citation must include a page number. For example: (Smith, 2014, p. 33).
You can also include page numbers to point the reader towards a passage that you paraphrased . If you refer to the general ideas or findings of the source as a whole, you don’t need to include a page number.
When you want to use a quote but can’t access the original source, you can cite it indirectly. In the in-text citation , first mention the source you want to refer to, and then the source in which you found it. For example:
It’s advisable to avoid indirect citations wherever possible, because they suggest you don’t have full knowledge of the sources you’re citing. Only use an indirect citation if you can’t reasonably gain access to the original source.
In Harvard style referencing , to distinguish between two sources by the same author that were published in the same year, you add a different letter after the year for each source:
- (Smith, 2019a)
- (Smith, 2019b)
Add ‘a’ to the first one you cite, ‘b’ to the second, and so on. Do the same in your bibliography or reference list .
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Caulfield, J. (2022, May 05). Harvard In-Text Citation | A Complete Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 29 November 2023, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/referencing/harvard-in-text-citation/
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Q. If I'm citing the same work for several sentences in a row, do I need to put the in-text citation after every sentence?
I'm writing a paragraph and I'm using the same information for several sentences in a row. Do I need to put the citation after each sentence when it's the exact same reference?
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Last Updated: 08 May, 2020 Views: 154794
Multiple in-text citations to the same work over a large section of text can be visually jarring and is not entirely necessary.
The rule of thumb is to cite the very first sentence, make it clear you are still talking about the same work in your subsequent sentences (for example, "The study noted that..."), and then confirm you are still talking about the work by including another citation at the end (if this has continued for several sentences).
If you have a simple follow-on sentence in which it is still clear that you are talking about the same work, you do not need the reference in the second sentence.
If at any point you think it might not be clear in the sentence that you are still referring to the same work, include another in-text citation.
For author-date styles like APA, if you have repeated the author's name from one sentence to another, you do not need to include the year after the author's name in the second instance if it is clear you are still talking about the same work (see page 265 of the APA Publication Manual).
Auvinan et al. (2015) provided students with a visual representation of their behaviour in online environments and found that some learners started changing their behaviour as a result. It was also noted by Auvinan et al. that badges were more motivating for students that were already high achievers than for those who were struggling.
This only applies when all of the information for that series of sentences comes from the same, single source. If you are pulling from multiple sources, you'll have to cite everything each time.
Please note: this is a stylistic choice. Your lecturer may tell you they want citations for each sentence, and that's something you'll have to do. You should always check with your lecturer when you are using a "rule of thumb" rather than a convention that is written in a guide.
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- RRU Writing Centre
Q. How do I cite a series of quotations or paraphrased sentences from a single source in a paragraph in APA Style?
Is it acceptable to put one citation at the end of several paraphrased sentences or quotations from a single source?
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Answered By: Jonathan Faerber (he/him/his) Last Updated: Feb 01, 2023 Views: 333322
APA Style (7th ed.)
Each instance of quoted or paraphrased information within a paragraph needs a citation. Since one citation at the end of a paragraph only notes that the last sentence of the paragraph came from the cited source, earlier sentences in the paragraph should also introduce the citation instead or in addition to other citations in paraphrased sentences from the same source. A single citation in a paragraph with more than one instance of quoted or paraphrased information may also incorrectly appear to be your own work instead of the author you are quoting or paraphrasing. If it is not clear that an instance of quoted or paraphrased information came from another source, the quoted or paraphrased text may be considered plagiarism.
In order to make it clear that quoted or paraphrased information is not your own work, cite every quotation and every new instance of paraphrased information in your paragraphs. Each citation to a quotation should include a parenthetical page number, as well as the author of the quoted text and year of publication. In paragraphs that contain one overall instance of paraphrased information, “cite the source in the first sentence in which it is relevant and do not repeat the citation in subsequent sentences as long as the source remains clear and unchanged” (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 254). If the paragraph subsequently paraphrases new information from a different location in the source, or from another source, additional citation in the paragraph is appropriate.
Occasionally, a long paraphrase may continue over several paragraphs. Although it may not be necessary to repeat the full in-text citation for the paraphrase in each sentence, it is still necessary to begin subsequent paragraphs with a full in-text citation (APA, 2020, p. 270). If you are citing the same information repeatedly within one or more paragraphs, please see Long Paraphrases from the APA Style website and our Visual Guide to Citing Paraphrases for information on how to format those citations. For detailed information on how to format citations to quoted or paraphrased information in APA Style, please see What is an In-text Citation in APA Style? , What is a Quotation and How Should it be Formatted in APA Style? , and What is Paraphrasing in APA Style? as well as the RRU guide called Quoting, Summarizing, and Paraphrasing .
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000 0
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Do i need to repeat an in-text citation for every sentence when i am using apa7 search advanced search opens new dialog search tips search terms screen reader users press enter to select a filter by product. filter by product select a product screen reader users press enter to select a filter by category. filter by category select a category sort by default summary new or updated description date updated direction ascending descending.
If you have several sentences together in a paragraph, paraphrasing a key point from the same source, you should only cite the source in the first sentence provided it is clear that all the information is drawn from that same source.
For more information on repeated in-text citations within a paragraph refer to Cite|Write
Additional information on the appropriate amount of citation can be found on the APA Style Blog .
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