An in-text citation is a reference made within the body of text that alerts the reader to a source that has informed your own writing. These are also called parenthetical citations.
In-text citations provide breadcrumbs to your readers, allowing them to trace the origins and path of your arguments through the sources and authors you read and built upon.
This is a question that you may have asked yourself while writing a paper. Should you quote this source (in a direct quote) or should you add in this information into your paper in a different way? To answer that, we must look at the different ways to add information from sources into your paper.
Quoted material should be reproduced word-for-word from the source text. This quote should be housed within quotation marks, and the author's last name, year of publication, and page number should be included to direct the reader to the original source. Direct quotes should be used only when you cannot express the thought or ideas presented in a better way or when a direct passage of the original source is needed to make your argument.
Paraphrases and Summaries
Paraphrasing is when you, as the researcher and author, put a passage or idea from another's work into your own words. A paraphrased passage is usually shorted and more condensed than the original source. Summarizing is very similar to paraphrasing, but instead of using only a passage or idea, a summary condenses an entire source, or source section, highlighting the main points and/or ideas. Paraphrases and summaries should be the most common type of citations used within the text of your paper.
Whenever you use an outside source to build your argument, you need to add in the creator's information to give credit to the original source. Whether you use a direct quote or a paraphrase, you should keep the following tips in mind.
Below are some general rules to keep in mind when writing a paper. If you have questions about a specific assignment and its requirements, contact your professor.
When you do not mention the author's name in your sentence, the author's name, date, and page number are placed in parentheses at the end of your sentence.
When you mention the author's name in your sentence, the date and page number is placed in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
When you cite more than one work by the same author, ensure that you add in the titles of the work to differentiate between the works.
When the work has no author, in lieu of an author's name, begin with the first few words of the citation as it will appear alphabetized in your Work Cited or Reference page at the end of the paper.
When you quote or paraphrase a quotation from a book or article that appeared somewhere else, make note of the secondhand quotation, or find the original source and cite that.
When you are citing several sources for a single passage, include all citations with a semi-colon (;) between each source.
When you paraphrase a whole passage or several passages, begin your citation with the author's or article's name and end it with the publication date and page number.
Below are some common signal phrases to introduce a quote, paraphrase, or summary as an in-text citation.
Says: the verb introduces the quotation as information
Argues in favor: the verb indicates that the source is providing evidence or reasons for a position
States erroneously: the source makes a statement that you are skeptical about (be careful of your tone if you use these)
Continues: you continue to refer to or quote the source
Agrees: the verb indicates that the source agrees with another source or with the position you are advancing
Yields: the source agrees that a conflicting point is valid
Argues against: the verb indicates that the sources is responding critically to another source or with the position you are advancing
Implies: the source presents information either tentatively or indirectly
Concludes: the source draws a conclusion from previous discussion
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