In-Text Citations

When you present someone else's ideas in your research papers, you should insert citations within your text so that others will be able to understand how you reached your conclusions.

Your citation will be inserted before the period at the end of a sentence in which you have presented information you gathered from one of your reference sources. For example, if you were using the APA style a citation may look like this: Sam was unable to convince his companion to eat green eggs and ham (Seuss, 1988).

The following table outlines some of the more common variations of in-text citation, but it does not list every possible variation. If you have any questions about a particular citation please see the appropriate style manual. These manuals are kept at the reference desk in the Cornette Library.

Resource type APA Style MLA Style Turabian Style (Reference List)
A work written by one author

In parentheses give the author's last name, a comma and the year of publication.

Example: (Nguyen, 2001)

See Rule 6.11 on page 174.

Include page numbers in citations for direct quotations. See Rule 6.03 on page 170.

For multiple sources with authors sharing the same last name see Rule 6.14 on page 176.

In parentheses give the author's last name and the relevant page number or numbers.

Example: (Smith 9-12)

If more than one author on your reference list shares the same last name see the MLA Handbook for more instructions.

See Rule 6.2 on page 214-215.

In parentheses give the author's last name, the year of publication, a comma, and the page number or numbers.

Example: (Loh 2005, 43)

If more than one author on your reference list shares the same last name see Rule 18.3.2, p. 225 of A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations for more instructions.

See Figure 18.1 on page 218-219.

A work written by multiple authors

For works by two authors list each one's last name, separated by an "&" symbol, then a comma and the year of publication.

Example: (Marx & Lennon, 1966)

For works by 3-5 authors list all authors the first time you cite the source. Subsequently list only the last name of the first author followed by "et al.," a comma, and the year of publication for first citations within a paragraph.

Examples: (Bradley, Ramirez, & Soo, 1994) for the first citation, followed by (Bradley et al., 1994) for later citations.

For works with six or more authors list only the first author's last name, followed by "et al.," a comma, and the year of publication.

Example: (Littletree et al., 2002)

See Rule 6.12 on page 175-177

Include page numbers in citations for direct quotations. See Rule 6.03 on page 170

For works by 2-3 authors list each one's last name.

Example: (Smith, Patel, Jones 23)

For works by more than three authors list the first author's last name followed by "et al."

Example: (Lopez et al. 236-8)

See Rule 6.2 on page 214-215

For works by 2-3 authors list last names with an "and" between the second and third names.

Example: (Leopold, Price and Rolle 1998, 77-93)

For works by more than three authors list the last name of the first author followed by "et al."

Example: (Jenkins et al. 1995, 68)

See Figure 18.1 on page 218-219

A work with no author listed

If no author is given, use the title in your citation instead. Use quotation marks around the title of an article and italicize the title of a book.

Example: (Manual on the Use of Thermocouples in Temperature Measurement, 1974.)

See Rule 6.15 on page 176

Include page numbers in citations for direct quotations. See Rule 6.03 on page 170.

If no author is given use the title in your citation instead.

Example: (The Sky is Blue 48)

See Rule 6.4.4 on page 223.

If no author is given list, use the title in your citation instead.

Example: (Great Trigonometrical Survey 1863, 26)

See Rule 18.3.2 on page 225.

When citing electronic sources that do not have page numbers, APA requires the paragraph number, preceded by the ¶ symbol. MLA uses the abbreviation par. As always, check with your instructor if you have questions.

The Citation Basics page shows examples of sources formatted for listing in the reference list/bibliography/works cited.