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Understanding Citations: How to cite: In-text Citations

This guide was designed to help you read citations and understand different formats as well as create citations for your own research.

What are in-text citations?

You can consider in-text citations as pointers to the full citation in your bibliography. They let readers know what specific source your writing is based on.

For example (click to enlarge):

For more detailed information:

MLA vs. APA - The Logic

In MLA style the in-text citation includes the author and PAGE NUMBER--because in the Humanities the text is usually the primary subject of investigation.

In APA style the in-text citation includes the author and the YEAR OF PUBLICATION--because in STEM and Social Sciences, the date the work was done is more important.

 

When should you use in-text citations?

If you incorporate another's intellectual property (ideas, facts, graphs, etc.) into your own writing, regardless of whether it's a direct quote or paraphrased in your own words, you must provide an in-text citation!  Avoid patchwriting.

EXAMPLES

When using APA style, you need to provide the author's last name (or organization name if no author is listed) and publication year in your in-text citation.

Basic formatting examples:

  1. Eating a hamburger for lunch increases work productivity by 40% (Smith, 2007).
  2. In a study by Smith (2007), it was shown that eating a hamburger during lunch increases work productivity by 40%.

Multiple in-text citations in a single sentence:

  1. Eating a hamburger for lunch has been shown to increase work productivity by 40% (Smith, 2007), but eating multiple hamburgers during that period will eventually lead to a gradual decrease (Johnson & Jones, 2010).

More than 3 authors for a single work:

  1. Eating a hamburger for lunch increases work productivity by 40% (Smith et al., 2007).

Multiple in-text citations to support a single statement:

  1. Eating a hamburger for lunch increases work productivity by 40% (Smith et al., 2007; Jackson, 2010; Phillips & Anderson, 2003).

Organization as author:

  1. Eating a hamburger for lunch increases work productivity by 40% (National Institute of Health, 2008).

Have a scenario not covered in these examples? Refer to the Purdue OWL guide for more details or contact us at the NJIT Library!

(NOTE: In-text citations were bolded in the examples for emphasis. They should not be bolded in your actual writing.)

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