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Citation Styles

Using In-Text Citations


You may summarize or paraphrase the original words, thought or idea but credit must be given to the source. You may cite an entire work or part of a passage.

In-text citations using either signal phrases or parenthetical references document material from other sources. Signal phrases introduce the material, often including the author's name. This allows the reader to look at the list of works cited to see the complete publication information.

General guidelines for both types of in-text citations include the following. The word page or pages or the abbreviation p. or pp. are not used. If the source uses paragraph numbers instead of page numbers (e.g. web pages etc.) provide the number preceded by the abbreviation par or pars.

A signal phrase within the narrative alerts the reader that something taken from another source (quotation, summary, paraphrase or fact) is about to be used. Generally the signal phrase includes the author's name in the statement followed by a page number in parentheses at the end.  The period follows the parenthetical citation.   

One Author:

·         Example: Ratcliff testified that he was on vacation when his neighbor's tree fell in his yard (13).

The parenthetical reference, which comes after the cited material, normally includes at least a page number.  When the author is not used in the signal phrase include the author's last name and the page number(s) in parentheses. No punctuation is used between the author's name and the page number(s).

·         Example: The auditor's report identified a number of issues such as the number of accidents, time of day, road conditions and age of driver. (Smith 29).

No Author: When no author is found you can use the complete title in a signal phrase in the narrative or you can use a short form of the title in parentheses. Remember to italicize the title of the book or put titles of articles in quotation marks.

·         Example: The 2009 report indicates a decrease in the number of books published each year for the past five years (67).

Corporate Author: When the author is a corporation, government entity or organization use its name either in the signal phrase or parenthetical reference.  If it is short use the entire name or a shortened name if it is longer. If an agency or department of the United States or a specific state is the author include either the name of the state or United States in the citation since it will be listed under that name in the Works Cited. 

·         Example: The Arizona Department of Transportation reports the number of accidents due to drunk driving decreased after the passage of the new law in 2009 (17).

·         Example: The number of accidents due to drunk driving across the fifty states has decreased since 2006 (United States Department of Transportation 49).

Two Authors: In citing information from a work by two authors include both last names in either the signal phrase or parenthetical reference.

·         Example: Smith and Jones discussed the use of poetry in teaching OR

·          the use poetry as a tool for exciting young children was found to be successful (Smith and Jones 43).

Four or More Authors: You have the option to use all the author's last names in the signal phrase or parenthetical reference or to use the first author's last name followed by et al.

·         Example: Researchers at Arizona State University found significant differences in the cancer rates of people who used sunscreen when compared to those who did not (Roberts, Greene, Lombardi, and Winters 73).

·         Example: Roberts et al. found significant differences in the cancer rates of people who used sunscreen when compared to those who did not (73).

Indirect Sources: When you use a source cited in another source begin the parenthetical citation with the abbreviation "qtd. in." This indicates to the reader that the information was originally “quoted in” another source. Examples of this are when you quote from someone else's report of a conversation, an interview, a letter, etc.

·         Example: According to President Truman "the buck stops here" (qtd. in Reese and Martin 239).



When using quotations in your paper you must use the exact words, capitalization, interior punctuation and spelling of the original source. Any changes to the original must be indicated in brackets or parentheses. This is acceptable when the original is unclear or confusing due to misspelled or missing words or information.

Quotations may be incorporated at the beginning middle or end of a sentence or can be divided by your words as long as quotation marks are used.

·         Example: Dickens wrote that the eighteenth century was both "the best of times" and "the worst of times" (53).

  If you decide to italicize words for emphasis that were not italicized in the original this must also be indicated.

·         Example: Richardson admitted "My admiration is boundless for the leadership qualities demonstrated by Eisenhower" (sic).

·         Example: In arguing before the judge Masterson indicated he could provide the court with "hundreds of examples [of court decisions] regarding the separation of powers."

If you omit a word, phrase, sentence or more from the original source do not present the information in a manner that causes the author's words to be misunderstood. When omitting words or information from the original you must use ellipsis points or three spaced periods to indicate the quotation does not exactly reflect the original.

·         Example: Lincoln's second inaugural address closed with these words:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in ... to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. (2)

Short Quotations: Prose quotations running no more than four lines can be incorporated in the paper's narrative off set by quotation marks. Complete sentences are not always required.

·         Example: In describing the eighteenth century Charles Dickens wrote "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" (53).

Long Quotations: When the information you quote is longer than four lines set it off from your text with a free standing block.  When quoting one paragraph do not indent the first line of this block. Begin a new line, next indent one half an inch from the left margin and type it double spaced with no quotation marks. Use a colon to introduce the quotation.  If you are quoting more than one paragraph you should use a free standing block except that you now indent the first line of each paragraph an additional quarter of an inch.