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Essay Writing: In-Text Citations

The Monroe College Guide to Essay Writing presents the information necessary to write effective essays.

In-text Citations

What are In-Text Citations?

You must cite (give credit) all information sources used in your essay or research paper whenever and wherever you use them.

When citing sources in the text of your paper, you must list:

● The author’s last name

● The year the information was published.

Types of In-Text Citations: Narrative vs Parenthetical

narrative citation gives the author's name as part of the sentence.

  • Example of a Narrative Citation: According to Edwards (2017), although Smith and Carlos's protest at the 1968 Olympics initially drew widespread criticism, it also led to fundamental reforms in the organizational structure of American amateur athletics.

parenthetical citation puts the source information in parentheses—first or last—but does not include it in the narrative flow.

  • Example of a Parenthetical Citation: Although Tommie Smith and John Carlos paid a heavy price in the immediate aftermath of the protests, they were later vindicated by society at large (Edwards, 2017).

Full citation for this source (this belongs on the Reference Page of your research paper or essay):

Edwards, H. (2017). The Revolt of the Black Athlete: 50th Anniversary Edition. University of Illinois Press.

Sample Slide Showing Variations on the Standard In-text Citations Format In-text Citations for Sources with Multiple Authors

Sample In-text Citations

Parenthetical In-text Citation: 

Studies have shown music and art therapies to be effective in aiding those dealing with mental disorders as well as managing, exploring, and gaining insight into traumatic experiences their patients may have faced. (Stuckey & Nobel, 2010)
-- The source is cited at the beginning or end of the paraphrased/summarized material. ---
Hint: (Use an ampersand (&) between author names when they appear in parenthetical citations.) e.g.: (Jones & Smith, 2022)

Narrative In-text Citation: 

Stuckey and Nobel (2010) noted, "it has been shown that music can calm neural activity in the brain, which may lead to reductions in anxiety, and that it may help to restore effective functioning in the immune system." 

-- Information is directly quoted, using quotation marks "..." around the cited material.

The source authors are part of the sentence, and the year of publication appears in parentheses next to the author name(s). ---

Note: This example is a direct quote. It is an exact quotation directly from the text of the article. All direct quotes should appear in quotation marks: "...."

Try keeping direct quotes to a minimum in your writing. You need to show your understanding of the source material by being able to paraphrase or summarize it. 

List the author’s last name only (no initials) and the year the information was published, like this:

(Dodge, 2008).
(Author, Date).

IF you use a direct quote, add the page number to your citation, like this: 

(Dodge, 2008, p. 125).

(Author, Date, page number)

What information should I cite in my paper/essay?

Credit these sources when you mention their information in any way: direct quotation, paraphrase, or summarize.

What should you credit?

Any information that you learned from another source, including:

● facts

● statistics

● opinions

● theories

● charts

EXCEPTION: Information that is common knowledge: e.g., The Bronx is a borough of New York City.

Quick Sheet: APA 7 Citations


In-text Citation Tutorial

Download the In-text Citations presentation  (above) for an in-depth look at how to correctly cite your sources in the text of your paper.

SIgnal Phrase Activity

Paraphrasing Activity from the Excelsior OWL

In-Text Citation Quiz