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Citing Sources: In-text and parenthetical citations

A guide to citing sources in MLA, APA, and Chicago format.


In-text citations (or parenthetical citations) point your reader to specific entries on the Works Cited page. These are located throughout the body of your paper, and are used whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from a source listed on your Works Cited page.


One, or two authors:

e.g. (Jones 7), (Dunn and Diaz 44), (Lott, Bok, and Till 9)

Three or more authors:

e.g. (Phipps et al. 45)

Government agency as author:

        e.g. (United States, Centers for Disease Control

                and Prevention)

Government agency website where the agency is used as the website publisher - use title of article

         e.g. ("Salmonella")

No author (for an article):

e.g. (“Economy Perks Up” 11)     

**use first word or words of the citation from the Works Cited page.

No page number:

e.g. (Jones) OR “Jones states that…”


The in-text citation is generally located at the end of the sentence, or as close as possible to the text in which you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from a source.

In-text citations include:

  • Last name(s) of the author(s) – see the examples on the right for how to handle citations for different situations, such as different numbers of authors.
  • Page number of the article or book you are citing – always in parentheses.
    • Web sites do not need a page number

There are two ways to cite references:

(1) Within the text, with author name as part of a narrative

e.g. Smith and Jones disputed the Committee’s conclusion (10).

(2) At the end of a sentence using author name and page number in parentheses

e.g. Some researchers strongly dispute the Committee’s conclusion (Smith and Jones 10).

On occasion, you may wish to cite a source within another source:

e.g. Clark’s study (qtd. in Smith and Jones: 10), indicates that…

In this situation, do not cite both articles.  Instead, your Works Cited page will contain the article by Smith & Jones only. Clark is merely credited in the text of your paper.

Minute Sheet: In-text (Parenthetical) Citations MLA 8 Style