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Citing Sources: Sellersburg: In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations

Parenthetical Documentation

An in-text or parenthetical citation, is a brief reference within the body of your paper that refers to where you obtained the materials that you are using.  A parenthetical citation must be used for any information that you have obtained from another sources including quoting, paraphrasing, statistics, ideas, etc. and must correspond to a full citation in your Works Cited page.  Most often a parenthetical citation includes the author's last name and the page number where the information can be found in the original source.  If you use the author's name in your sentence, then you do not have to repeat that author's name again in the parenthetical citation.



In 1956, Elvis’s self-titled debut album was released; the cover would both define the accepted rock and roll persona and determine the important positioning of the genre’s lead instrument, the guitar (Rodman 28). 

Refers to…


Rodman, Gilbert. Elvis After Elvis: The Posthumous Career of a Living Legend. London: Routledge, 1996. Print.

General Rules

  • Use in-text parenthetical notes for direct quotations; for paraphrases or summaries of someone else's words; and for facts, figures, or ideas that are the result of someone else's effort.
  • You do not need to identify a source of information that is common knowledge or belief. For example: The American Civil War lasted from 1861-1865 during which time hundreds of thousands of men lost their lives.  
  • If there is no author, include the first word or words in the title in quotation marks.
  • The author may be omitted if mentioned in the same sentence or if referenced previously within the same paragraph. 
  • Following the author, include the page number from which the quoted information was taken. Page numbers may be omitted when referencing an entire work or a website. 


One Work by Two or Three Authors:

Vegetarianism means the custom of eating foods exclusively from plants and abstaining from all meat and, for some, dairy products (Dupler and Frey).

One Work by More Than Three Authors:

Active markets existed in Medieval Europe (Lassiter et al. 67). 

Organization or Institution as Author:

*Corporate authors or organizations may be abbreviated. Common abbreviations are Amer. (America, American), Assn. (association), Dept. (department), Natl. (national), Org. (organization) and Univ. (university).

New diseases are a constant threat and “research needs to have more funding in order to keep up” (Natl. Research Council on Health and Medicine 2-4, 6-9).

Author Named in Text (Author Tag):

English professor and Elvis essayist Linda Ray Pratt claims that Elvis and his music played an important role in exposing those definitions as inaccurate by crossing such cultural boundaries (98).

Citation Found in Narrative:

Equally, in 2006, The Atlantic dubbed Elvis one of the most influential figures in American history and secured his spot among presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and inventors such as Thomas Edison.

Website or Database Article without Page Numbers:

* Websites generally do not have page numbers; therefore, no pagination is given.

Throughout his career, Elvis had 114 songs on the Billboard Top 40 and 18 number one pop hits (Scrivani-Tidd).

Work with no Author:

* When a work does not have an author, cite only the title and page number. A shortened version of the title may be used but always begin with the word by which it is alphabetized and used in the Works Cited.

Likewise, in 2002, one fan paid $115,000 for a jar of Elvis’s hair (“What They Got it For”).

Block Quotation

* If a quotation has more than four typed lines, set it off from the text. Begin a block quotation on a new line and indent each line one inch (in MS Word this equals two “tab” clicks) from the left margin. Be sure to double-space the entire quotation. Do not add quotation marks. A colon usually introduces the quotation. Unlike normal quotations, the parenthetical citation is given after the end punctuation of the quotation.

Journalist and film historian, Douglas Brode suggests:

If you wanted to see Elvis, you had to pay-which meant attending live concerts for those few able to do so. For the millions of other fans, this meant buying a ticket to the movies. An impressive number of people were willing to do just that (the quality, or lack thereof, of any one film temporarily set aside) owning to their implicit understanding that a full appreciation of Elvis demanded he be viewed as well as heard. (5)

Indirect Sources

* When you paraphrase or quote information that has been quoted from another source, you must put “qtd. in” before the indirect source.

John Lennon once said, Before thre was Elvis, there was nothing (qtd. in "Quotes About Elvis").

Poetry or Song Lyrics                                                         

* You may quote up to three lines of poetry by incorporating the quotation within the text. Use a slash with a space on each side ( / ) to show line breaks. If the poet’s name and title of the poem are in the sentence, add only the line numbers (instead of page numbers). More than three lines will need to be indented.

Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” is best known for the line: “Here once the embattled farmers stood / And fired the shot heard round the world” (3-4).

Common Literature

* In citing a play, omit page numbers. Instead, cite by title of play or book followed by the act number, scene number, stanza number and/or line number or book. Abbreviate titles.

Antony rises to deliver his famous funeral oration: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; / I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” (Juli. Caes. 3.2.73-74).

* Include the title of the work, title of the book and chapter or section number as appropriate.

The biblical speech found in many wedding ceremonies was originally given by Ruth to her mother-in-law (Everyday Bible, Ruth 1:16).