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11th Grade Research: In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations

In-text citations are also called parenthetical citations. 

When you use information from a source, you must say where you found the information by ending the sentence with the author's last name in parentheses.  If the author isn't provided, include the title of the article instead.

  • Citations refer to the source where you found the information. Everything that comes before the in-text citation is assumed to have come from that source.
  • The in-text citation must match the first word or words of the citation in your Bibliography.
  • Citations go after direct quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. If the information came from anyone other than you, you must cite it.
  • The citation always goes at the end of the sentence before the period.
  • With a direct quotation, the in-text citation goes after the end quote and before the period.

If you need more examples beyond what is provided here, the University of Maryland has an extensive list.

A Works Cited for every example is provided below so that you can see how the in-text matches the full citation.

Placement and Punctuation

Place in-text citation at the end of the sentence you are paraphrasing, summarizing, or quoting.

  • Summarizing example:

Matt Nelson's We Rate Dogs business brings in six figures a year (Bloom).

  • Quote example:

Matt Nelson, "refers to himself as the Dogfather" (Glum).

  • Book example:

The height of a dog's tail when it wags can provide information about the dog's emotions (Gerry 61).

  • Citing more than one source in the same sentence:

If you are citing more than one source in a sentence, list all the sources in the citation at the end of the sentence, separated by a semicolon.

Matt Nelson first shared his Twitter idea at an Applebee's (Bloom; Glum).

  • Paragraph example: 
         One of my favorite Twitter accounts is We Rate Dogs, run by Matt Nelson. What started out as a funny college past time changed his life. 
    Matt rates dog pictures on a scale of one to ten, but dogs always have a rating of twelve or more. Matt Nelson's We Rate Dogs business brings in six figures a year. The income is based on ad revenue, online store sales, and a game app (Bloom). Matt Nelson first shared his Twitter idea at an Applebee's (Bloom; Glum). Matt Nelson, "refers to himself as the Dogfather" (Glum).

More than One Work With the Same Author

If you cite more than one work by an author, include the author's last name and a shortened title for the work from which you are quoting.

Examples:

One writer shared that she dreamed of playing her violin at the Kennedy Center (Kelly, "A Supreme D.C.").

The author explained his frustration at being ignored (Kelly, "Waiters Ignore Me").

 

Mutiple Authors

  • Two Authors - include both:

The characters, Arthur and Ben, are introduced to each other in a unique way (Albertalli and Silvera).

  • Three or More Authors - If a work has more than 2 authors, MLA prefers you list only the first author followed by "et al." (Latin for "and others"):

Since 2000, Asians have been the fastest growing racial group in the US (Backman et al.).

Using Article Titles

  • When the author is unknown, use the article title.
  • If the article has a long title (more than four words) shorten the title in the citation. (Your Works Cited/Bibliography should still use the full title.)

Example:

It is unknown why the girl baked her grandmother's ashes into the cookies ("California Student").

Citation:

"California Student 'Baked Grandma's Ashes Into Cookies.'" BBC, 17 Oct.

2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45888446. Accessed on 17 Oct. 2018.

Works Cited

Works Cited

Albertalli, Becky, and Adam Silvera. What If It's Us. Harper Teen, 2018.

Backman, Antonio, et al. "Asian American Teen Fiction: An Urban Public Library Analysis." The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, vol. 9, no. 1,

YALSA, July 2018, http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Asian-American-Teen-Fiction_Backman_.pdf. Accessed on 17 Oct. 2018.

Bloom, Ester. "How Matt Nelson of We Rate Dogs Turned a College Side-Hustle Into a Six-Figure Business."

CNBC, NBC Universal, 19 July 2017, https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/19/we-rate-dogs-matt-nelson-turned-a-college-side-hustle-into-a-business.html. Accessed on 17 Oct. 2018.

"California Student 'Baked Grandma's Ashes Into Cookies.'" BBC, 17 Oct.2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45888446. Accessed on 17 Oct.

2018.

Gerry, Lisa M. Puppy Love: True Stories of Doggie Devotion. Washington, D.C., National Geographic, 2014.

Glum, Julie. "This 21-Year-Old Quit College to Rate Dogs on the Internet. He's Now Making Six Figures."

Time, 3 Apr. 2018, http://time.com/money/5225272/weratedogs-matt-nelson-interview/. Accessed on 17 Oct. 2018.

Kelly, John. "A Supreme D.C. Bucket List: Readers Share Their Only-in-Washington Experiences." The Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2018,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-supreme-dc-bucket-list-readers-share-their-only-in-washington-experiences/2018/10/16/18bf139a-d155-11e8-b2d2-f397227b43f0_story.html?utm_term=.bc883dbcf9a4. Accessed on 17 Oct. 2018.

---. "Waiters Ignore Me. People Cut In Front of Me. Why Can't They See Me?" The Washington Post, 16 Sept. 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local

/waiters-ignore-me-people-cut-in-front-of-me-why-cant-they-see-me/2018/09/16/706f1748-b954-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html?utm_term=.e4ce1ca5deb7. Accessed on 17 Oct. 2018.