What are in-text citations?
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2023 Views: 260

Every single use of someone else’s work in your paper must be acknowledged. You do this by adding an in-text citation, sometimes called a parenthetical reference (which means in parenthesis), right before or after the use of someone else’s idea.

An in-text citation is a short indication of someone else’s work, embedded right in the body of your paper. Information typically included in an in-text citation is (author year page number), but this is style dependent.

Here are two examples of in-text citations:

  • APA: (Jones, 2016) for paraphrases, or (Jones, 2016, p.139) for direct quotes
  • MLA: (Jones 139) for paraphrases and direct quotes

Every single in-text citation must have a corresponding full reference/works cited entry at the end of the paper. You have to have both an in-text citation and a detailed reference in order for the citation to be complete.

For more instructions and examples for in-text citations, please see your college citation guide or explore the Build Citations page.

Related FAQs