It sounds painful, but it doesn’t have to be! Basically parenthetical documentation, or in-text citations, means that you are telling the reader where you got any and all information that did not come from inside your own head. This is more obvious when you are directly quoting from a source, but it is also needed when you have summarized or paraphrased from a source and even if you got an idea from somewhere else.
So how do you do it? As the names imply, you are going to put the information about the source in parentheses in the text of your paper, as opposed to a footnote where the source information is at the bottom of the page or an endnote where it goes at the end of your paper. There are slight differences depending on which style you are using – APA or MLA.
In most cases, you only need to list the author’s last name and the page number(s) where you got your information. In order to avoid plagiarism, it is extremely important that you cite all words and ideas that you got from somewhere else.
If your quote is longer than forty words, set it off in a block text by beginning a new line, indenting one inch, and do not add quotation marks. At the end of the quote put the period after the last word of the sentence followed by the parentheses.
**Note that the punctuation for the sentence goes AFTER the parenthesis.
Please see the following handbook on reserve in the Library for more information:
MLA Handbook. 8th ed.
If you are citing a single fact or paraphrased idea that is attributable to more than one source, list all sources in the in-text citation. Separate multiple sources with semicolons.
While reading may be the core of literacy, literacy can be complete only when reading is accompanied by writing (Baron 194; Jacobs 55).
If you have more than one author with the same last name (e.g., Naomi Baron and Sabrina Alcorn Baron), you must eliminate any ambiguity. Do so by adding the author's first initial. If the initial is also shared, add the first full name.
Reading is "just half of literacy. The other half is writing" (N. Baron 194). One might event suggest that reading is never complete without writing.
Some sources uses paragraphs rather than page numbers. In these cases, give the relevant number or numbers, preceded by the label par. or pars. You could also use sections (sec., secs.) or chapters (ch., chs.). In these cases, if the author's name begins the citation, place a comma after the name.
There is little evidence here for the claim that "Eagleton has belittled the gains of postmodernism" (Chan, par. 41).
If a source does not have page numbers of any other kind of number, no number should be given in the in-text citation. Do not count unnumbered paragraphs or other parts.
"As we read we...construct the terrain of the book" (Hollmichel), something that is more difficult when the text reflows on a screen.
Some literary works, such as commonly studied novels, plays, or poems, are available in multiple editions. In these cases, it is helpful to provide division numbers in addition to, or instead of, page numbers. This assists the reader in finding your references in any edition of the work.
Austen begins the final chapter of Mansfield Park with a dismissive "Let other pens dwell," thereby announcing her decision to avoid dwelling on the professions of love made by Fanny and Edmund (533; vol.3, ch. 17).
Time-based media includes audio and video recordings, such as CDs and DVDs or even YouTube videos. For these sources, cite the relevant time or range of times. Give the numbers of the hours, minutes, and seconds as displayed in your media player, separating the numbers with colons.
Buffy's promise that "there's not going to be any incidents like at my old school" is obviously not one on which she can follow through ("Buffy" 00:03:16-17).
Whenever you can, take material from the original source. Sometimes, however, only an indirect source is available.
If what you quote or paraphrase is itself a quotation, put the abbreviation qtd. in ("quoted in") before the indirect source you cite in your parenthetical reference.
Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 2: 450).