How To Write A Citation In An Essay

An in-line citation—also called the in-text citation—is placed within a line of text.

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There are actually many variations for references citations depending, for example, on whether you are citing a book, journal article, or newspaper story, or the many different kinds of media, including audio recordings and film. For such a citation, list the last name of the author, followed by a comma, followed by the first initial(s) of the author(s), followed by a period.

You would put the year the book was published in parentheses followed by a period, then the title of the book in italics using sentence case, followed by a comma, the place of publication, followed by a colon, and then the publisher, followed by a period.

The following guidelines and examples are taken from the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition, 2nd printing, which details rules and application of APA style in research papers, including in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and references.

For more information, consult the APA Style Manual website.

Purdue gives this example of an in-text citation, which is also called parenthetical citation in MLA style.

Note that in MLA style, page numbers don’t typically appear unless the sentence or passage is a direct quote from the original, as is the case here: At the end of the paper, attach a "Works Cited" page or pages, which is equivalent to the "References" section in APA style.

"Works Cited" section citations are very similar in MLA and APA style, as in this example of a work with multiple authors from Purdue OWL: Note that you would also use a hanging indent in MLA, but it tends to be a bit shorter; move the second and subsequent lines in by three spaces.

Spell out the first name of the author(s) in MLA style; add a comma before "et al."; use title case for the book, journal, or article title; omit the place of publication information; follow the name of the publisher with a comma; and list the date of publication at the end.

American Psychological Association (APA) style is often used in social sciences and other disciplines.

With APA or any of the styles listed in this paper, you need to use a citation if you quote text from another source, paraphrase an author or authors' ideas, or refer to her work, such as a study, original thinking, or even an elegant turn of phrase.

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