Telling the Reader Where to Find the Information
When you use someone else's thoughts, words, or information, you need to alert the reader. Not only does this give credit to the source, but it also gives the reader a way to find the original. In-text citation points the reader to the appropriate source in your list of works cited.
How to Format it
There are numerous variations of in-text citation that are acceptable. They all boil down to giving the information needed to locate the reference in the least obtrusive manner.
- All information in parenthetical notation: (Name, year, #)
- the author's last name, or names if there is more than one author, or the brief title or shortened title if there is no author
- Year of publication
- page number or number range; include p.
- You can also place the author's name(s) and/or name of the work within the text of the sentence/paragraph. In this case, you would place the remaining information in parentheses, excluding the information that was included in the text. Examples:
- Amy Lippo told us in "Citing Sources in Your Paper" that you can include in-text citation within the text of the writing (2015).
- According to Smith, learning to write well is a "skill that will be useful for a lifetime" (2013, p. 15).
Further Resources for Help
The following resources can be used to see more examples of in-text citation. They also provide more detailed instruction for a variety of different circumstances when additional information is needed to indicate the source.