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Thomas Rogers
Thomas Rogers

How Do You Cite Sources In An Essay



Direct quotations from sources that do not contain pages should not reference a page number. Instead, you may reference another logical identifying element: a paragraph, a chapter number, a section number, a table number, or something else. Older works (like religious texts) can also incorporate special location identifiers like verse numbers. In short: pick a substitute for page numbers that makes sense for your source.




how do you cite sources in an essay



APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).


If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference. All sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.


First, you have to think about how you want to identify your sources. If your sources are very important to your ideas, you should mention the author and work in a sentence that introduces your citation. If, however, you are only citing the source to make a minor point, you may consider using parenthetical references, footnotes, or endnotes.


There are also different forms of citation for different disciplines. For example, when you cite sources in a psychology paper you would probably use a different form of citation than you might in a paper for an English class.


Finally, you should always consult your instructor to determine the form of citation appropriate for your paper. You can save a lot of time and energy simply by asking "How should I cite my sources," or "What style of citation should I use?" before you begin writing.


The first time you cite a source, it is almost always a good idea to mention its author(s), title, and genre (book, article, or web page, etc.). If the source is central to your work, you may want to introduce it in a separate sentence or two, summarizing its importance and main ideas. But often you can just tag this information onto the beginning or end of a sentence. For example, the following sentence puts information about the author and work before the quotation:


If you have already introduced the author and work from which you are citing, and you are obviously referring to the same work, you probably don't need to mention them again. However, if you have cited other sources and then go back to one you had cited earlier, it is a good idea to mention at least the author's name again (and the work if you have referred to more than one by this author) to avoid confusion.


Footnotes are notes placed at the bottom of a page. They cite references or comment on a designated part of the text above it. For example, say you want to add an interesting comment to a sentence you have written, but the comment is not directly related to the argument of your paragraph. In this case, you could add the symbol for a footnote. Then, at the bottom of the page you could reprint the symbol and insert your comment. Here is an example:


Footnotes are not just for interesting comments, however. Sometimes they simply refer to relevant sources -- they let your reader know where certain material came from or where they can look for other sources on the subject. To decide whether you should cite your sources in footnotes or in the body of your paper, you should ask your instructor or see our section on citation styles.


Sometimes you may be asked to include these -- especially if you have used a parenthetical style of citation. A "works cited" page is a list of all the works from which you have borrowed material. Your reader may find this more convenient than footnotes or endnotes because he or she will not have to wade through all of the comments and other information in order to see the sources from which you drew your material. A "works consulted" page is a complement to a "works cited" page, listing all of the works you used, whether they were useful or not.


Well, yes. The title is different because "works consulted" pages are meant to complement "works cited" pages, and bibliographies may list other relevant sources in addition to those mentioned in footnotes or endnotes. Choosing to title your bibliography "Works Consulted" or "Selected Bibliography" may help specify the relevance of the sources listed.


Citing your sources is essential in academic writing. Whenever you quote or paraphrase a source (such as a book, article, or webpage), you have to include a citation crediting the original author.


  • Table of contentsWhen do you need to cite sources?

  • Which citation style should you use?

  • In-text citations

  • Reference lists and bibliographies

  • Scribbr Citation Generator

  • Other useful citation tools

  • Citation examples and full guides

  • Frequently asked questions about citing sources



In numerical citation styles, the entries in your reference list are numbered, usually based on the order in which you cite them. The reader finds the right entry based on the number that appears in the text.


The following are basic guidelines for citing sources in the text of your paper when using the MLA, APA, Chicago, ASA, or Turabian style guides. These guidelines may not account for every citation situation. Since citing sources is not a creative enterprise, you should consult the appropriate print version of the style guide when you have questions about citation.


If two quotations from different sources are used in the same sentenceThe in-text citation associated with a particular quote should be placed as close to the quotation as possible without interrupting the flow of the sentence.


When a work has two authorsBoth names should be cited every time the reference is required. Use an ampersand (&) to separate the names of authors. If a text has been authored by more than five individuals, the full listing of authors is not required in the first reference or any subsequent in-text references.


When using endnotes to indicate the use of research sources, writers must also include a bibliography at the end of the essay. The note and the bibliographic entry include almost identical information but in a different format.


Parenthetical references should be placed at the end of the sentence, before the period, when a resource has been used. If the sentence is either long enough or complex enough so that the cited portion of the sentence is not obvious, the parenthetical reference may instead be inserted immediately after the use of information from the source. Page numbers should be included whenever possible.


If multiple sources are cited for the same statement, the author and publication year should be distinguished from other texts with a colon. Cited texts should be arranged by author name or by date; arrangement should be consistent throughout the paper.


APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005). For direct quotations, include the page number as well, for example: (Field, 2005, p. 14). For sources such as websites and e-books that have no page numbers, use a paragraph number, for example: (Field, 2005, para. 1). More information on direct quotation of sources without pagination is given on the APA Style and Grammar Guidelines web page.


Cite web pages in text as you would any other source, using the author and date if known. Keep in mind that the author may be an organization rather than a person. For sources with no author, use the title in place of an author.


For sources with no date use n.d. (for no date) in place of the year: (Smith, n.d.). For more information on citations for sources with no date or other missing information see the page on missing reference information on the APA Style and Grammar Guidelines web page.


APA style has specific rules for citing works by multiple authors. Use the following guidelines to determine how to correctly cite works by multiple authors in text. For more information on citing works by multiple authors see the APA Style and Grammar Guidelines page on in-text citation.


The guidelines for citing an essay in MLA format are similar to those for citing a chapter in a book. Include the author of the essay, the title of the essay, the name of the collection if the essay belongs to one, the editor of the collection or other contributors, the publication information, and the page number(s).


To cite an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author(s), the essay title, the book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for citations in prose, parenthetical citations, and works-cited-list entries for an essay by multiple authors, and some examples, are given below:


Many students struggle with how to properly cite a source in their essays. According to recent studies, teaching students how to perfect this craft can lead to less plagiarism in their academic writing.


A citation in an essay is a reference to the source of information you've used in your essay research. You can write citations either as in-text citations or reference list citations, otherwise known as end-of-paper citations. In-text citations are written within the text of your academic presentation or paper, referring the reader to a fuller notation. On the other hand, reference list citations are provided at the end of the presentation or paper and give all the necessary details about the source of information.


What are citations in an essay, and how should they be used? Citations are primarily used to avoid plagiarism by correctly acknowledging external sources and authors of information you've used in your work. However, there are other reasons citations are necessary for academic writing, such as:


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