In Text Citation for College/University Students

01.06.21 Citing sources overview Time to read: 6min

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No matter what your teacher advises you to do, it’s always ideal to cite your sources. A source is where you find your research information. It can be a simple website or a book page. From here, you can learn about your assignment and pick the right content for your research.

In Text Citation - FAQ

The two types of in text citations are numerical citations and parenthetical citations. In a numerical citation, you get to report or cite any experimental lab or fieldwork. On the other hand, a parenthetical citation indicates when you place the author and the date at the end of the sentence.

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When using APA style, you should always use parenthetical citations. That is, place your parentheses at the end of the sentence. Creating an in-text citation will require you to indicate the author’s name, publication year, and page or paragraph numbers.

In text citations are important because they help explain where you got your information from. Furthermore, they help add credibility to your paper and ensure that you haven’t plagiarized your work. Having in text citations provides you with credible proof in your paper.

When researching for your paper, you need to site a variety of things. The first being statistics and percentages. Secondly, you must cite another person’s ideas or direct quotes from another person. Lastly, you should cite facts that aren’t common knowledge.

In Text Citation: Definition

An in text citation is a reference that you place within the body of your research. The citation provides enough information to help identify the source of your research. A brief in text citation should entail the author’s name and year of publication. When using in text citations, they can look the same no matter the source of your content.

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Types of In Text Citation

There are two main types of in text citations, parenthetical and numerical citations. A parenthetical citation is ideal when you want to summarize, quote or paraphrase another source. You can cite using parenthesis depending on the writing format. For example, MLA requires you to only indicate the author’s last name and a page number. A good example being (Samuel 123). However, when using APA citation, you ought to indicate the author and the date. For example (Koehler, 2016).

You only get to use numerical citations when reporting any experimental lab or fieldwork. These fields normally include materials science, chemistry, and aerospace engineering. That’s because most of these fields tend to favour the numerical system. Using numerical citations always necessitates for you to cite exactly as per the source you indicate on your reference page.

Here, citing is simpler because you number all your citations. That is, the first source gets number 1 and the next gets number 2 and the trend continues. These citations can either be at the end of the sentence or the beginning of a reference. You should use numerical citations when dealing with equations because it’s easy to insert the calculation into the research. For example, “The line’s slope used in this equation (7) to calculate…”

Parenthetical Citation

• Includes the author name and publication date
• Ideal for use in APA, Chicago, Harvard, AAA, APSA, and MLA formats
• Used in text

Numerical citation

• You only get to number all your citations
• Ideal for use in Chicago, Vancouver, AMA, ACS, IEEE, and OSCOLA
• Uses a number that corresponds to an endnote or footnote

Using parenthetical citations is the best way of ensuring that you eliminate any plagiarism. Besides, it enables you to show your tutor that you have thoroughly researched your assignment. In this case, parenthetical citing is the most advisable option because you get to place the in text citation close to the crucial information.

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How to Use In Text Citations

It’s advisable to use an in text citation every time you use someone else’s information or ideas. For parenthetical citations, you need to indicate the author’s name, publication date, and page number depending on the citation style. You get to indicate the page number when directly paraphrasing or quoting a specific passage.

Furthermore, you should remember to place all your in-text citations as close to the relevant information. You should also remember to place the citation before any punctuation mark, except for when you are citing a block quote. Likewise, if you’ve mentioned the author’s name already in a sentence, you can leave it out in the citation.

One good example of an in-text citation is (Bryson, 2003, p. 2). if you had already mentioned Bryson in the sentence, your citation should be (2003, p. 2). When placing these citations, you should remember to correspond them to your reference list. It provides the reader or tutor with full publication details of all your sources.

How to Cite a Book or Journal Article

APA Citation

  • Author surname and publication year. For example (Lawrence & Dodds, 2003)
  • Author surname, publication year, and the page number. For example (Lawrence & Dodds, 2003, p. 522)
  • For the references, you indicate the author’s surname, first and second initials, publication year, and chapter or article title. For example, “Dodds, A. E. (2003) Goal-directed and life span development.”

MLA Citation

  • Author’s last name and page number for in text citations. For example, Henry (33) or (Henry 33).
  • In text citation for works cited, include author’s last name, first name, book title, book publisher, and year published. For example, “James, Henry. The Ambassadors. Serenity 2009.”
  • The basic citation should include the author’s name, book title, book publisher, and year published.

Chicago Style Citation

  • In text citation should include the author’s last name, year of publication, and page numbers. For example, (Rhys 1997, 32)
  • Full note format should include the author’s names, book title, place of publication, publisher, year, and the page number.
  • The bibliography format must include the author’s last name, first name, title, place of publication, book publisher, and year.

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How to Cite a Website

APA Citation

  • Author, publication date, page title, website name, and URL.
  • The parenthetical format only requires the author’s name and publication date. For example (Slat, 2019).

MLA Citation

  • Author’s name, page title, website name, publication date, and URL. In text parenthetical citation only requires the author’s name. For example, (Slat).

Chicago Style Citation

  • Author’s names, page title, website name, publication day and year, and URL. The parenthetical format requires only the author’s last name and a shortened page title. For example, ‘Bryson, “World Order Rules.”’

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How to Cite Sources with Multiple Authors

APA Citation

  • For in text citation, you only include the authors’ last names and year of publication. For two authors, you write their last names like (Harris & Cook, 2020). For three or more authors, you write (Harris et al., 2020).

MLA Citation

  • For in text citation, you indicate the authors’ names and the page number. For example, (Moore and Patel 36) for two authors and (Moore et al. 37) for three or more authors.

Chicago Style Citation

  • For in text citation, you list the names of authors as they appear in the source. That is, (grazer and Fishman 2015) or (Grazer, Fishman, and Bauer 2015) for three authors or (Grazer et al. 2015) for more than four authors.
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In a Nutshell

In text citation plays a crucial role in ensuring that you showcase the source of your research. Take your time to know the different referencing & citation styles and how to use them in different formats. It enables you to showcase your prowess and stand a better chance of scoring a good result.