Using In-text or Parenthetical Citations
When writing a paper, it is sometimes necessary to quote (use the exact words) of an
author. Sometimes it is necessary to use statistics which come from a research source (other
than your own brain), or it is necessary to use an idea found in a resource book. A direct
quotation, an idea, or statistics which come from a source other than your own brain
require a parenthetical citation. Sometimes this is also called an in-text citation.
The parenthetical citation is always placed at the end of the sentence, enclosed in
parentheses, and followed by the punctuation that would go at the end of the sentence.
Inside of the parentheses, the author's last name is listed, followed by a space and the
page number(s) where the information can be found. If there is no author, the first words of
the title are used, followed by the page number(s).
The following examples show how the parenthetical citation is used. The notes that
follow each example point out the characteristics of that example.
NOTICE THAT EACH IN-TEXT CITATION MATCHES WITH THE FIRST
WORD OF THE ALPHABETICAL WORKS CITED LIST ON THE BACK OF THIS
SHEET. YOU MUST ALWAYS MATCH THE WORKS CITED LIST WITH THE
Example 1: Emily Dickinson only had eleven of her poems published during her lifetime,
in spite of the fact that she had contact with many of the writers and publishers of her day
Note: Adams wrote a book that provided this idea which is found on page 195.
Example 2: According to Adams, Emily Dickinson had only eleven of her poems published
during her lifetime, in spite of the fact that she had contact with many of the writers and
publishers of the day (195).
Note: Since Adams, who is the author, is mentioned in the sentence, the citation only needs to include the page
Example 3: “Why were only eleven of Emily Dickinson’s poems published while she was
still alive” (Adams 195)?
Note: The exact words of the author are quoted and placed in quotation marks and the parenthetical citation is
followed by a question mark, since that is the punctuation which goes with the sentence.
Example 4: Within ten years of the 1963 Equal Pay Act, the law led to 171,000 people
receiving $84 million in back pay (Kundera).
Note: An exact statistic is used, so the source must be cited.
Example 5: By the 1990 census, the urban population in the United States was 187,053,
while the rural population was only 61,656 (Looking).
Note: Since there is no author for this source, the citation is given by the first words of the title in the works
cited list. In addition, since this was an electronic source, no page number is given.
Example 6: Emily Dickinson wrote 1,775 poems in her lifetime (Adams 538-39).
Note: This information was found on two consecutive pages.
Example 7: Emily Dickinson could have tried harder to have her poems published:
“She could have easily had her poems privately published, and
she had contact with other poets and newspaper editors who could have
helped. Indeed, six of those poems that did appear while she was alive
were published by her friend Samuel Bowles. Dickinson may have
realized that her poetry spoke in a different voice than readers were
willing to hear from a woman” (Adams 198).
Note: A long quotation is indented an additional ½ inch on both sides and is single spaced.
All papers should be double-spaced!
The Works Cited page is a separate piece of paper, and goes at the end of the report.
(See example on reverse side of this sheet).
A one-inch margin all the way around the paper is standard.
All papers should be written in a size 12 font in standard (not bold or italic) style.
Geneva, Helvetica, Arial and Times are considered standard fonts.
Your name, class, and the date should be in the upper right hand corner of the first
page and all of the rest of the pages should have page numbers.