In order to avoid plagiarism, all information which you gather from someone else’s research or knowledge needs to be both cited in a Works Cited page as well as through in-text citations. Parenthetical or in-text citations are inserted directly into an essay using parentheses. In-text citations must be used to give credit to the original author for paraphrases, summaries, as well as direct quotes. Generally, they are placed at the end of a sentence.
Parenthetical or “in-text” citations:
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends" (Rowling 306).
Need help in how to use parenthetical or in-text citations? Remind yourself by looking through this PowerPoint presentation.
When to Cite:
There is no need to cite when:
When should I use a parenthetical reference?
Easy Bib has an excellent publication that describes how to cite in-text. NoodleTools will create your in-text citations for you, and the OWL at Purdue website has a good guide: MLA In-Text Citations. See the box at the right for an example of what a parenthetical reference looks like.
In-text citations or parenthetical references must match the entry on your Works Cited page. Whatever word or phrase you provide in your Works Cited entry must also be the first word or phrase in your parenthetical reference. Remember to include a page number if you are using a print source.
You have two choices as to how you credit an author in the body of your essay.
1. The author's name may be introduced in the beginning of the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in parentheses at the end of the sentence, not within the text of your sentence. Notice that the period follows the parenthesis because the in-text citation is considered part of the sentence.
EXAMPLE: As McDonald-Gibson, journalist and author, noted, “It was only when there was nothing else left—when there was no income, education, shelter, food, or safety—that people put themselves and their families in a boat and took that last gamble" (3).
The author's name and page number may be included in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase.
EXAMPLE: Those who can no longer earn a living and cannot provide food, shelter, safety, or education for their children, find themselves having to make the difficult choice to leave the familiar and set out in a boat to travel to a new country where they hope they will have better opportunities (McDonald-Gibson 3).
If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page and under the name McDonald-Gibson, your reader would find the following information:
McDonald-Gibson, Charlotte. Cast Away: True Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis. New Press, 2016..
If a quotation ends with a question mark or exclamation point, leave the original punctuation inside the quotation mark but put a period at the end of the parenthetical reference.
EXAMPLE: “Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?” (Whitman 26).
When there is no author, use a shortened title instead of the author’s name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number if available.
EXAMPLE: Why should people consider becoming vegetarians? Perhaps they want to do what they can to help the environment and save valuable resources, like water. “It takes 25 gallons of water to grow one serving of rice, 63 gallons of water to produce one egg, and 625 gallons of water to make one quarter-pound hamburger. It takes up to 100 times more water to produce one pound of beef than one pound of wheat” (“Wet”).
"Wet” Your Appetite!" SF Environment, http://sfenvironmentkids.org/teacher/lesson_plans/wet_appetite6-12.pdf
For sources with two authors, list the last names of both authors in the parenthetical citation.
For sources with more than two authors, only list the first author’s last name followed by et. al., just as you would in the Works Cited entry.
EXAMPLE of a paraphrase:
Nickerson et. al. explain that the influence of peer dynamics may be one reason why bystanders rarely choose to step up and stop bullying (372).
EXAMPLE of a direct quotation:
In bullying situations, “peers play a potential role in exacerbating or abating the bullying. Bystanders witness more than 80% of bullying episodes but intervene less than 20% of the time” (Nickerson et. al. 372).