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In-text citations

In-text citations

Author: Kathryn Reilly

    Introduce in-text citations, when they should be used, and general formatting guidelines.


    Explain how to format in-text citations in MLA style for a variety of sources.


    Explain how to format in-text citations in APA style for a variety of sources. 


This packet should help a learner seeking to understand how to document sources and who is confused about how to format in-text citations. It will explain how to format in-text citations in MLA and APA styles. 

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In-text Citations Background

 In-text Citations

What are in-text citations?

When you include sources in your writing, you need to cite (or give credit to) the original author.  In-text citations allow authors to credit their sources immediately after they quote them in the text.  This method allows the reader to immediately see the author’s source. In-text citations may also be called parenthetical citations.

When should in-text citations be used?

An author should include in-text citations whenever he or she directly quotes, paraphrases or summarizes a source. 

How are in-text citations generally formatted?

In-text citations appear directly after the quoted, paraphrased or summarized material in parenthesis.  The information within the parenthesis will vary depending upon whether the writer is citing according to MLA or APA guidelines.  Generally, in-text citations usually include the author’s name and page number of the source material for MLA citations:  In the paper, "This sentence would be directly quoted from a source."  (Reilly 101).  APA formatting is slightly different; generally, in-text citations will include the author's last name and the publication year.  For example, "This sentence would be directly quoted from a source." (Reilly, 2011)  The information in the parenthesis lets the reader know where he or she needs to look on the Works Cited page for more information regarding a particular source.

What else should I know about in-text citations?

When citing research sources in the text, you will need to include a works cited page which will list all of your sources ALPHABETICALLY.  The purpose of a Works Cited page is so the reader can look up your sources for further information.

Source: Kathryn Reilly

MLA (Modern Language Association) In-text Citations

This PowerPoint describes several MLA in-text citation formats, as well as provides website resources for additional information.

Source: Kathryn Reilly

MLA Citations

This YouTube video covers the basics for MLA in-text citations.

Source: YouTube

APA (American Psychological Association) In-text Citation Guidelines

This PowerPoint reviews common guidelines established by the APA for in-text citations. It also provides good website resources

Source: Kathryn Reilly

APA Citations Video

This YouTube video provides background and examples of creating in-text citations in APA format.

Source: Youtube