In-Text Citations
This is the "In-Text Citations" page of the "UWP 1 Expository Writing " guide.
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UWP 1 Expository Writing  

Last Updated: Jul 6, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

In-Text Citations Print Page

MLA Style

Guidelines for In-Text (Parenthetical) Citations:

1. Follow an Author-Page format if you quote, paraphrase or summarize

  • Contrary to popular assumptions, "Science is uncertain because scientists really can't prove anything, irrefutably and beyond a neutrino of a doubt, and they don't even try" (Angier 37).
  • Hyland defines interpersonality as "the ways that writers use language to negotiate social relationships" (116).
  • Articles in popular science magazines are written for an audience of non-experts (Hyland 118).

2. Common Variations

  • If you cite a part of online source with no pagination include a paragraph number if possible: Robbins argues science journalism has become too formulaic (par. 2).
  • If you cite a source with no author include the ("Title of the Work in Quotation Marks" page/paragraph number if available). If you abbreviate a long title, (Italicize) it instead, and include a page/paragraph number if available.
  • If you refer to more than one source in an in-text citation, use a semicolon: (Hyland 117; Angier 35).

3. Make sure each in-text citation points to a source in your Works Cited list

Angier, Natalie. "Thinking Scientifically: An Out-of-Body Experience." The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science. Boston:Houghton-Mifflin, 2007. 18-46. Print.

Hyland, Ken. "Constructing Proximity: Relating to Readers in Popular and Professional Science." Journal of English for Academic Purposes 9 (2010): 116-127. Web. 14 Sept. 2012.

Robbins, Martin. "Why I Spoofed Science Journalism, and How to Fix It." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. 5 Oct. 2010. Web. 17 Sept. 2012.

Additional Resources:


    APA Style

    Guidelines for In-Text Citations:

    1. Follow an Author-Date format if you are summarizing an entire source

    • Robbins (2010) takes a critical view of science journalism.
    • Too often, coverage of science topics in the popular press lacks insight and fails to stimulate reader interest (Robbins, 2010)
    • In 2010, Robbins published an influential piece in The Guardian highlighting shortcomings in scientific reporting.

    2. Include an Author-Date-Page if you quote or paraphrase part of a source

    •  Angier (2007) notes that "Scientists demand evidence, and they are merciless toward a researcher who gives a PowerPoint presentation with feeble data" (p. 34).
    • Within the scientific community, rapid and wide acceptance of new theories is highly unusual (Angier, 2007, p.36).

    3. Common Variations

    • If you cite a source with multiple authors:
      • 2 Authors

    The results of a recent study suggest... (Author Last Name & Author Last Name, Year).

    Author Last Name and Author Last Name (Year) found significant increases...

      • 3-5 Authors

    List all the authors in your first in-text citation. If you cite the source again, use the format (Author Last Name et al., Year) or Author Last Name et al. (Year)...        

      • 6+ Authors

                         Use the format (Author Last Name et al., Year) or Author Last Name et al. (Year)...      

    • If you quote a source without pagination, include the paragraph number if available: Robbins spoofs "In this paragraph I will state the main claim that the research makes, making appropriate use of "scare quotes" to ensure that it's clear that I have no opinion about this research whatsoever" (2010, para. 1).
    • If you cite a quotation longer than 40 words, include it as an indented block without quotation marks:

    Why should we believe anything scientists say? For that matter, why should we do anything that scientists suggest, like thinking about global climate change and the inevitable depletion of Earth's fossil fuels and adjusting our enery policies accordingly? That's what scientists say today. But if I hang on to my Hummer long enough, hey, maybe they'll decide that extravagant plumes of exhaust fumes are good for the environment after all! (Angier, 2007, p.39)

    4. Make sure each in-text citation points to a source in your References list

    Angier, N. (2007). Thinking scientifically: An out-of-body experience. In The canon: A whirligig tour of the beautiful basics of science (pp. 18-46). Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

    Robbins, M. (2010, September 27). This is a news website article about a scientific paper. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

    Additional Resources:


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