Using Outside Sources
A Student’s Guide to Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Acknowledging Sources
10th Edition, Fall 2015
The Writing Center
Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003
Academic Honesty In academic research, writers find ideas and inspiration in the work of others who have previously studied and written on a subject. When a writer uses the words and ideas of others, honesty obligates the writer to acknowledge the sources of those words and ideas. This booklet is a guide for providing the appropriate acknowledgment of sources in an academic community and in a world in which written ideas are shared.
Listed below is Franklin & Marshall College’s policy on plagiarism, a form of academic dishonesty. If you ever have a question about plagiarism, you should consult your professor or advisor.
Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism If you submit any work as your own that is not your own in whole or in part, you will have committed plagiarism. Therefore, in preparing papers and other assignments, you must acknowledge any use you have made of outside sources or any help you may have received in writing.
Specifically, if you have used material (ideas and information) from an outside source, you must acknowledge that source. Such material may have contributed only to your general understanding of the subject, or it may have contributed specific facts, explanations, judgments, opinions, or hypotheses. In either case, acknowledgment is necessary. If the material has contributed only to your general understanding, a bibliographical note at the end of your paper is sufficient. If the material has given you specific information or ideas, however, you must provide the exact source in a note. Moreover, you must give such acknowledgment whether you are presenting the specific material entirely or partly in your own words (paraphrasing) or copying it in the author’s own words and placing it in quotation marks.
Furthermore, you must acknowledge not only published material but also specific material you have obtained from radio and television programs, public lectures, or unpublished papers written by students or others. Similarly, if you have received any help in composing or revising your assignment from tutors, typists, or others, you must acknowledge their assistance.
If you fail to acknowledge material from outside sources or help in writing, you will have committed plagiarism. Plagiarism is an act of dishonesty that violates the spirit and purpose of an academic community, and it is subject to disciplinary action.
Other Forms of Academic Dishonesty Other forms of academic dishonesty, such as cheating on examinations or unauthorized duplicate submission of papers and other works, are also subject to disciplinary action.
Adopted by the College Senate
May 5, 1980
You will find the college policy on academic dishonesty in the College Catalog.
The first step in successfully integrating sources into your writing is evaluating those sources. When you do research on a given topic, you should explore a variety of materials—including books, journal articles, periodicals, and web pages—and sorting through so much information can be overwhelming. You must determine whether the sources are scholarly or popular; current or classic; biased or unbiased. Doing so doesn’t mean that you can never use a source that is popular or commercial, for instance, but it does mean that you must treat it as such in your text. If you are sensitive to the distinct natures of your various of sources and also try to achieve a balance among them in the evidence you use, you will construct a much stronger argument than someone who chooses sources indiscriminately.
Evaluate each source with a critical eye by asking the following types of questions:
-Who is the author?
-Is he an expert on the subject? What is his educational background? Is he affiliated with an institution? Has he published other works? Have critics or his peers responded to his writing? Have you seen his name cited in other bibliographies?
-When was the work published?
-Is the work current? Have other works been published on the same topic more recently? If the work isn’t current, what is its historical context? What else was written on the topic at the same historical moment?
-Who is the work’s publisher?
-Is the publisher a scholarly one? Is it a successful publishing company? What genres and subjects does the publisher typically print?
Considering these issues may prevent you from reading unreliable texts. If you’ve used these criteria to evaluate a text and deem the text reliable, examine the work closely. Consider the author’s purpose, her intended audience, her organization of ideas, her research, the scope of her writing, and her treatment of the topic. Reading your sources critically will help you not only to understand each one individually but also to understand how the sources relate one another.
Evaluating Online Sources The web is the fastest growing and most easily accessible commercial medium available. The ease of access is both the best thing to happen to research and also the worst. The web does provide boundless information, literally at one’s fingertips, but it also provides the public with the power to publish, which means that the number of potentially unreliable sites increases every day. Traditional commercial mediums—books, magazines, newspapers, journals, television, and radio—require the work of a writer or researcher to be filtered through an editor, at the very least. But the advent of commercial web pages with corporate sponsors and pop-up ads makes it easy for just about anyone with Internet access to create impressive-looking web pages. For this reason, it is vitally important to monitor sources for quality and reliability when you research on the web. Here are some key signs that will help determine the reliability of a web site for research purposes.
The domain name, the “suffix” of the web address (URL), tells you the type of organization that sponsors a web site:
.com — a commercial site
.edu — a site sponsored by an educational institution
.gov — a government-monitored site
.mil — a military site
.net — a commercial, for profit, site
.org — a site sponsored by a non-profit organization
There are also domain names that correspond to the country from which the site is based. Following are some examples:
.au — Australia
.ca — Canada
.de — Germany
.fr — France
.hk — Hong Kong
.jp — Japan
.mx — Mexico
.uk — United Kingdom
The domain name will be the most telling indicator of a site’s quality. A .mil or .gov website, for example, will be heavily regulated. And besides student-created personal pages run on .edu servers, a .edu site will be monitored by an educational institution to ensure quality and accuracy.
A .org website should be more accurate than a .com or .net website, but you should always be wary of a sponsor’s motivation for creating and maintaining a site. While .org sites may be biased by the organization’s mission, however, many are considered reliable and some collect data that other organizations don’t.
A .com website should be a red flag for a researcher because these sites are often created for the sole purpose of making money. Like news shows, these .com sites can twist the facts, sensationalize, or blur the truth in order to attract web surfers and their business.
For example, www.sparknotes.com is a popular site that provides summaries of literature as well as help with academic subjects; most of the site’s content is comparable to Cliff’s Notes. Yet in reading the summaries for works of literature, you may find discrepancies in the quality and accuracy of the information presented as well as general errors in grammar and punctuation. Furthermore, the site features countless pop-up advertisements, which indicate that funding for the site comes mostly from organizations that have little or no involvement in education. While sites like sparknotes.com do monitor summaries for quality, they are not sponsored by credible institutions dedicated to furthering education and therefore will be under no obligation to provide wholly accurate information. Thus, a student should be wary when using such a site for research and should never treat its information as authoritative.
Furthermore, professors will look down on sites such as www.sparknotes.com because, again, they are not sponsored by credible institutions. For educational research, a .edu website will probably be most reliable. These are privately run sites, have no advertisements, and are normally heavily monitored for quality.
Host Name The host name, the “body” of the web address, will also help to indicate the quality of a site. A host name that contains the name of an educational or research institution will be more reliable than one that contains a commercial name.
For example, when doing research on microwave subnodes, a student may search MIT’s website to find http://web.mit.edu/research.html#m. As its URL address indicates, this page is run by MIT, a credible institution; any links displayed on the page should be acceptable for research purposes. Clicking on the link for a microwave subnode, a student would be sent to http://pds-geophys.wustl.edu/http/, and since this link contains a .edu suffix, it is most likely a credible source, as well. A .edu site run by an educational institution will usually require webmasters to have privilege-specific passwords that make it difficult for just anyone to contribute to the site without going through at least one layer of administrative quality check.
In addition, one should be wary of sites with host names of companies that sponsor free web pages for the general public. For example, www.angelfire.com, www.geocities.com, and www.freehosting.com all provide free web pages to anyone who wants one. While there is a chance that a top-notch researcher will sign up with geocities.com to create a web page displaying his award-winning research, it is highly unlikely. Usually, people with free time on their hands will sign up for a website, and, chances are, these sites are not monitored at all for quality or content. Yet the user interfaces available to create these sites allow for professional-looking quality, logos, and features. Since these sites are not monitored, the addresses often last for only a few months; once the site’s owner stops updating the site, it becomes a dead link.
Availability of Information about a Page Often, a web page will not list an author or organization in charge of maintaining the page’s quality. The lack of an identified author is a sure sign that a page’s quality may need to be reconsidered. The page should also clearly display the last time it was updated. Since the web allows instant publication, a page updated more than six months ago may not provide the best quality or most up-to-date information; an old webpage also indicates that updating the site is not the webmaster’s top priority.
Incorporating Sources into Your Work
However you use information from an outside source—whether it be through summary, paraphrase, or quotation—be sure to use that information to supportyour own argument. Generally, in each body paragraph, you should begin with your own assertion, support the assertion with evidence, and explain how the evidence supports your claim.
We suggest three guidelines for successfully incorporating evidence into your paper: introduce, integrate, and interpret. Introducing an Outside Source In order to allow outside sources to bolster rather than overwhelm your commentary, it is almost essential to introduce each quotation and especially each paraphrase you use. Doing so distinguishes your ideas from others’ ideas, and it also points to a source’s credibility. In many cases, in fact, you should identify a source not only by name but also by information indicating authority.
Signal that you are transitioning into someone else’s words by naming your source and identifying its author. You should also consider providing context for your reader and even indicating what point you’ll make with the evidence you provide.
Identifying a Source by Its Author
The attitudes that produced this ruling are well described by Archie Holmes, director of the Equal Education Opportunity Section of Minnesota’s State Department of Public Instruction: . . .
Identifying a Source with an Unknown Author
If your source does not provide an author’s name, use the name of the publication to introduce the source.
As a writer for U.S. News & World Report points out, . . .
According to the author of “Public Milked Again,” an editorial in The New York Times, . . .
Identifying a Source by Authority Alone
If you do not know the name of your immediate source or consider the name to be less important that other information that indicates the source’s authority, give as much relevant information as seems useful.
A Rockwell International representative summarizes this potential quite well: . . .
According to the prison official I interviewed, . . .
Indicating Your Purpose in Using a Source
A good writer may also introduce a paraphrase or quotation not only by identifying its source but also by indicating what he thinks is significant about the information. Notice how, below, the second writer much more effectively demonstrates the significance of the quotation.
The need for prison reform has been noticed for decades, but, so far, no effort at reform has succeeded. “Each generation discovers anew the scandals of incarceration, each sets out to correct them, and each passes on a legacy of failure” (Rothman 434).
Although, for decades, American citizens and corrections officials have pointed out the need for prison reform, no effort at reform has succeeded. Rather, as University of Columbia historian David Rothman states, “Each generation discovers anew the scandals of incarceration, each sets out to correct them, and each passes on a legacy of failure” (434).
Integrating an Outside Source into Your Prose Successfully incorporating others’ ideas into your writing entails taking special care to integrate them thoughtfully into your prose. Try to blend quotations and paraphrases into your writing, situating outside text where it fits logically into your argument.
Look at the following pairs of sentences. Notice how the “successful” writers more skillfully integrate quoted material into their own writing.
The author writes about confessions. He notes, “Relying on the confession, the jurors would have a hard time concluding that Goetz acted reasonably toward Darrell Cabey” (Fletcher 170).
Skeptical about “relying on the confession,” the author warns about the jury’s difficulty in “concluding that Goetz acted reasonably toward Darrell Cabey” (Fletcher 170).
The “defect grow[s] more and more intolerable” to Aylmer.” He says he wants to “[correct] what Nature left imperfect” (Hawthorne 1292).
As the “defect grow[s] more and more intolerable” to Aylmer and haunts him even in his sleep (Hawthorne 1292), he endeavors to fix it and thereby “[correct] what Nature left imperfect” (1292).
Huck’s primary “function [. . .] is to demonstrate the absolute incompatibility of the sort of self he is and the sort of world in which he tries so hard to live” (Emerson 152).
Unlike Tom Sawyer, who mischievously bucks society but returns to it repeatedly, even down to modeling European tradition in his boyhood games, Huck is a social outsider whose primary “function [. . .] is to demonstrate the absolute incompatibility of the sort of self he is and the sort of world in which he tries so hard to live” (Emerson 152).
Interpreting Outside Sources Finally, never overlook the importance of interpreting the evidence you provide. Though the force of a piece of evidence may seem obvious to you, you must always provide careful analysis of outside sources to in order to produce effective prose. Remember that your explanation and analysis are the most important elements of your writing.
Paraphrasing and Quoting
Paraphrasing is putting into your own words an idea from an outside source. Quoting is copying exactly something from an outside source, putting quotation marks around the copied text. Both paraphrases and quotations are useful as supporting material for assertions and explanations you make in your writing.
Paraphrasing is more demanding than quoting because, in order to paraphrase, you must understand the concept and terminology well enough to reformulate the original statement in your own language. Because paraphrasing requires you to understand material thoroughly, your professors may prefer that you paraphrase more often than you quote. Use a quotation, then, when the material is so technical or complex that a paraphrase might not do it justice. Also use a quotation when the material is worded in so particular or interesting a way that a paraphrase would alter its meaning or effect. Otherwise, paraphrase.
To paraphrase means to reword a piece of text, so, to do so successfully, you must both preserve the meaning of the original text and also recast the sentence in your own words. Remember that substituting a few synonyms is not paraphrasing; a good paraphrase significantly alters word choice and sentence structure. Think of paraphrasing as a tool for eliminating irrelevant detail and also for communicating multiple ideas in one clear writing style.
As you read a text, decide which terms are key and, of those key terms, which you should retain. Retain those that have technical meaning, that do not have exact synonyms, or that come up so often in discussion of the topic that their association with it should be preserved. Then, capture the essence of the text, using both a different word order for the sentence of phrase and also synonyms for the words you need not retain.
Consider, for example, the paraphrases of the sources below. In the first paraphrase, the writer has retained the key terms “mathematical” and “limit,” while, in the second paraphrase, the writer has retained the key terms “sentences” and “European countries.” In both examples, the writers have extracted the essential meaning of the original statement and presented that main idea in their own language.
Consider the effects of this mythology. Since only a few people are supposed to have this mathematical mind, part of what makes us so passive in the face of our difficulties in learning mathematics is that we suspect all the while we may not be one of ‘them,’ and we spend our time waiting to find out when our nonmathematical minds will be exposed. Since our limit will eventually be reached, we see no point in being methodical or in attending to detail. We are grateful when we survive fractions, word problems, or geometry. If that certain moment of failure hasn’t struck yet, it will.
Sheila Tobias, analyzing women’s fear of math, asserts that many people believe their mathematical potential is limited and that if the limit hasn’t been reached yet, it will be in the near future (99).
Where European countries mete out time in spoonfuls, we give it out in buckets. Where they sentence for one or two, we give ten; where they give five, we give twenty.
In addition, David Rothman points out that prison sentences are harsher in the U.S. than in European countries (28).
Plagiarizing: Relying Excessively on the Text of Another Writer If you retain too much of the wording from a source, your version will not qualify as a successful paraphrase but will instead be a plagiaristic copy. For example, compare the following rewrite with its original source.
The ads for Fruity Pebbles cereal feature Fred Flintstone, who, according to one study, is recognized by 90% of American three-year-olds, while only half the adults of the world can identify their national leaders.
Therefore, commercials, such as Fruity Pebbles, that feature cartoon characters like Fred Flintstone have a very negative effect on children. According to one study, 90% of American three-year-olds recognize Fred, while only half of adults worldwide can identify the leaders of their nations (88).
In the “paraphrased” version, the writer has copied most of the words from the original text directly, making only superficial changes to some phrases. Because no quotation marks enclose the directly copied portions, the writer is suggesting that these words are his/her own and—even with a citation—is plagiarizing.
Similarly, in the following example, the student’s version is missing nine words from the original but otherwise retains both the word order and the very words used in the source.
Parenthetically, nursery-school teachers who have observed the pre-TV generation contend that juvenile play is far less imaginative and spontaneous than in the past.
Nursery-school teachers have observed that juvenile play is less imaginative and spontaneous than in the past (49).
Neither of the above examples is a paraphrase, nor is either example a quotation. If you were to incorporate into your paper versions of sources so closely copied as these, you would be relying excessively on the text of another writer. Such excessive reliance, even when you name the source, is plagiarism. Plagiarism, presenting some else's work as if it were your own, is an act of academic dishonesty. To use paraphrasing for the sake of your learning and to avoid plagiarism, be sure to transform the wording of your source into your own language as well as to document the source. If you have questions about paraphrasing and plagiarism, consult your professor, your advisor, or a writing tutor.
Quoting When an author’s exact wording is important to your claims, you should quote the text directly. As quoting is a tool for closely examining a certain concept, you should thoroughly analyze everything you quote. Additionally, be sure to copy the text exactly, paying special attention to spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
Indeed, when you quote, you must present the words exactly as the source presents them, and you may not change even a one-letter word without indicating that you have done so. Even if you correct a quote for a grammatical error, you must note the change. Transcribing accurately may be harder than you think, especially if you are working from notes you have taken. When revising your working draft, place a photocopy of the original source or the original source itself next to your draft, and compare your transcription with the source word by single word. You may find that you have omitted a letter or a word, that you have added a word of your own, that you have exchanged your own word for one in the source, or even that you have misspelled a word.
Below are examples of commonly made mistakes.
The pigeon expressed words or short phrases by depressing keys embossed with English letter or letters arranged to form words.
"The pigeon expressed words or short phrases by depressing keys with English letter or letters arranged to form words" (83).
(“Embossed” was deleted.) Source
The Government Statisticians…tell us that one of two children born today will spend at least part of his life in a single-parent home.
"The Government statisticians tell us that one of two children born today will spend at least part of his life in a single-parent home."5
(Ellipsis was deleted.) Source
solar bank to provide up to 100 million in subsidized loan
"solar bank to provide 100 million in subsidized loans" (42).
(“Up to” was deleted.) Source
For one thing, it is impossible to write legibly with your arm in such an unnatural pose. Writing in this fashion looks ridiculous.
"For one thing, it is impossible to write legibly with your arm in such an unnatural pose. Writing in this fashion is ridiculous."1
(“Looks” was changed to “is.”) Source
from the imaginative pursuit of their potentials
"from the imaginative pursuit of their potential " (67).
(“Potentials” was changed to its singular form.) Sometimes these small-scale inaccuracies produce only the appearance of carelessness, but other times they change meaning. In the first example, the detail “embossed” might be crucial to a reader trying to understand what about the keys enabled the pigeons to depress them. In the second example, the omission of the ellipsis wrongly implies that the original sentence contained no more information than the one that appears here. In the third example, the qualifying phrase "up to" is quite different from the flat out "100 million." In the fourth example, "looks" refers to appearance, and suggests a concern for people's reactions to a person writing in the way mentioned, while "is" asserts that way of writing is objectionable. Even in the fifth example, the plural "potentials" suggests more than the singular "potential" does.
Indicating Changes in Quoted Material You may, for purposes of flow and readability, make changes to quoted material if you properly indicate those changes. Use ellipses to show that you’ve omitted text and brackets to signal additions or modifications.
Ellipses When you omit words from the middle of a quoted passage, indicate the omission by using a series of three spaced periods, enclosed in brackets (according to MLA style), called an ellipsis. (Not all publication styles call for ellipses to be enclosed in brackets; consult a style manual if you use a style other than MLA.)
Though the maiden is “so brilliant [. . .] that she glow[s] amid the sunlight” (Hawthorne 1319), Giovanni soon observes that she exudes a lethal poison.
Also use ellipsis points if you omit words from the end of a final quoted sentence or entire sentences between the ones you quote.
Charles Lewis, director of the Center for Public Integrity, points out that “by 1987, employers were administering nearly 2,000,000 polygraph tests a year to job applicants and employees. [. . .] Millions of workers were required to produce urine samples under observation for drug testing [. . .]” (22).
Use ellipses to indicate omitted material at the beginning of quoted text if the text does not flow with the structure of your sentence.
Herbert Scoville, Jr., president of the Arms Control Association, states, “ [. . .] spending what is now 60 billion dollars [. . .] will probably prove to be 100 billion dollars [. . .].”
Note that, in the example above, a final period follows the ellipsis that comes at the end of the sentence.
If you omit words from the beginning of a quote and the quotation fits neatly into the grammar of your sentence, however, then you do not have to use an ellipsis.
Rather than aspire to marry someone to match her high social position, Hellena longs to fall in love and “sigh, and sing, and blush, and wish, and dream and wish, and long and wish to see the man” (Behn 7).
Brackets If you must explain something within a quotation, such as a technical term or abbreviation, add the explanation in brackets after the pertinent word.
Earl T. Hayes illustrates the decreasing prospects of nuclear power by explaining, “In 1973 the Atomic Energy Commission predicted 240 GW [gigawatts] of installed electricity-generating capacity by 1985; by 1977 their forecast had dropped to 163; in 1978 the figure had dropped drastically to 110 GW” (83).
If you quote a passage that uses a pronoun whose antecedent is unclear, insert the noun in brackets after the pronoun.
Another possible interpretation of the legislative stillness suggests that, “In the minds of the legislators, it [male homosexuality] remained of such a heinous character as to merit a certain rhetorical modesty” (Gunther 75).
Similarly, you may use brackets to change verb tense.
When he realizes that Addie is dying and acknowledges his mistakes, he determines to “[beg] the forgiveness of the man whom [he] betrayed” (Faulkner qtd. in NAAL 1598).
You may also use brackets to make an upper-case letter lower-case and vice versa.
Willy’s brother, the savvy entrepreneur, understands that you can “[n]ever fight fair with a stranger, boy” because “[y]ou’ll never get out of the jungle that way” (Miller qtd. in NAAL 1939).
Finally, you can use brackets enclosing the Latin word sic to acknowledge an error in a quotation. Sic means, essentially, “so the source says,” and the brackets around it indicate that you have inserted this word. Use the word to indicate to readers that you’ve correctly copied a word or phrase that may be erroneous or in some way outrageous.
Although this situation is different from speaking with a boss or doctor, one often talks “with a minister or priest different [sic] than he talks with friends or family” (Babcock 2).
Put commas and periods inside quotation marks; put semicolons and colons outside quotation marks. Put question marks and exclamation points inside if the quotation itself is a question or exclamation; if it is your own sentence that is a question or exclamation, however, put the mark outside the end quotation marks. When using the ellipsis, omit commas and semicolons from the original, but add periods (and other end punctuation) if the ellipsis comes at the end of your own sentence. To quote something that is already quoted within your source, use single quotation marks (‘) inside double quotation marks (“).
Quoting Long Pieces of Text Though you should generally quote economically, longer papers sometimes call for longer quotations. The protocol for long quotations varies among documentation styles, but long quotations are usually defined as passages that exceed four typewritten lines. MLA style requires that long or “block” quotations begin on a new line and be indented one inch from the left margin. Block quotations are not enclosed in quotation marks, and their end punctuation precedes in-text citations.
For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year [. . .]. Suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men and drowsing asleep at dawn with the beads and chiffon of an evening dress tangled among dying orchids on the floor beside her. (Fitzgerald 158–9)
Fitzgerald finally reveals that Daisy’s world is artificial. Daisy appears unfeeling, and it is almost repulsive that she can continue with her life in this way.
Acknowledging Sources Whenever you incorporate into your paper an idea from an outside source—any idea that is not obviously common knowledge and was not originally your own—you must acknowledge the source of the idea. Acknowledge a source whether you summarize, paraphrase, or quote. Acknowledge a source whether it is an authoritative scholarly work or a peer you’ve consulted for advice. Take care never to leave unclear which words express your original thoughts and which words—no matter how significant or insignificant they seem—are derived from another source.
Consider, for example, that most writers—whether students or teachers—receive some kind of help when they compose papers. It is both courteous and honest to acknowledge such help. If someone at the Writing Center, a friend, a professor, or even a typist helps you to draft or revise your paper, acknowledge that assistance. To do so, just add a note at the end of your paper, such as these below:
I reviewed this paper with John Doe at the Writing Center.
I used the editorial advice of my sister, Sandra Smith, in revising this paper.
John Doe, a tutor at the Writing Center, gave me advice on the organization of this paper.
Usually, of course, the outside sources you cite will be more common avenues for research such as books, articles, and audiovisual materials. Acknowledging these sources requires using a consistent documentation style.
While most students entering college have only encountered one or two documentation styles, there are actually an enormous number of accepted styles. To get a sense of the various styles recommended for different academic disciplines, you may consult the list and the end of this booklet, and you should always ask your professor for his or her preference. Keep in mind that documentation styles vary in simple but subtle ways, so you should always use an authoritative handbook to ensure accurate citation.
Some professors may require discipline-specific citation styles, but most will accept one of the big three: Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago style documentation. Thus, this booklet provides information for most of your citation needs in these styles. If you use one of these citation styles and have a question that cannot be answered in the pages that follow, consult a current handbook, if you have one; find a handbook in the library or in the Writing Center, if you don’t; or ask a librarian or Writing Center tutor to help you locate the information you need.
Documenting Sources in MLA Format The Modern Language Association or MLA documentation style is one of the most common styles for citing outside sources in academic writing. It is typically used in humanities disciplines, and its minimally distracting parenthetical citation style makes it popular among instructors. With MLA documentation, a writer parenthetically inserts within the text references that are keyed to an alphabetical list of sources cited at the end of the paper.
Parenthetical In-Text Citation Parenthetical references should be brief and contain only information essential for the reader to locate a source on the accompanying list of works cited. Usually, as in the example below, the author's last name and a page reference are enough to identify the source of the borrowed idea.
Booker T. Washington's views on Negro economic reform were compatible with this conclusion and thus achieved popularity among Negroes and whites alike (Meier l66).
Avoid repeating in an in-text citation what you’ve already included in the text of your sentence. For instance, if you use the name of an author in a signal phrase, then you do not need to include the name in the parenthetical reference.
According to historian August Meier, this white hostility prompted the Negro to adopt “a defensive philosophy of self-help and racial solidarity” (166).
Punctuation in Parenthetical Documentation Punctuation within Parenthetical References
Place no punctuation between the author's name and the page number in parentheses. Place the punctuation mark that concludes the sentence following the parenthetical reference.
One of the Monitor's articles reports that Babbitt has exhibited courage in developing his platform, especially on the national debt (LaFranchi l6).
Punctuation at the End of a Sentence If a quotation comes at the end of a sentence, insert the parenthetical reference after the second quotation marks and before the concluding punctuation mark.
"A man and woman walked toward the boulevard from a little hotel in a side street" (Lessing 390).
Punctuating Parenthetical References Offset from the Text However, if a quotation is set off from the text because of its length (and therefore is not enclosed in quotation marks), skip two spaces after the concluding punctuation mark of the quotation before inserting the parenthetical reference; in this case, the end punctuation appears before the parenthetical reference.
Vladimir Nabokov instructs the reader:
In reading, one should notice and fondle details. There is nothing wrong about the moonshine of generalization when it comes after the sunny trifles of the book have been lovingly collected. If one begins with a ready-made generalization, one begins at the wrong end and travels away from the book before one has started to understand it. (504-505)
Citing Various Source Types A Work by More Than One Author If the work has two or three authors, list the names followed by a page number.
Furthermore, a United States District case, Adams v. Mathius, says that placing prisoners in close proximity causes psychological as well as security problems (Walker and Gordon 121).
If the work has more than three authors, list the name of the first author followed by “et al.” (meaning “and others”).
Another common student difficulty is identifying and correcting academic problems (Maimon et al. 22).
A Work with No Known Author If the source has no listed author, use the title (if it is short) or an abbreviated version of the title (if it is long).
More than 50,000 facilities in America today leak far too much and too often ("Finding a Home" 66).
Two or More Works by the Same Author If your paper includes two or more works by the same author, try to use the author’s name and the title in an introductory phrase or use the author’s name in an introductory phrase and a shorthand version of the title in a parenthetical citation.
As Annas reports in “Baby M: Babies,” Mary Beth Whitehead entered into a contract with William Stern with whose sperm she was impregnated (13).
According to Annas, “Surrogacy’s essence is not science, but commerce” (“The Baby Broker Boom” 30).
If the author’s name and the title mustappear in the parenthetical citations, include the author's last name followed by a comma and then the complete title or a shortened title and the page number.
Mary Beth Whitehead entered into a contract with William Stern with whose sperm she was impregnated (Annas, "Baby M: Babies" l3).
"Surrogacy's essence is not science, but commerce" (Annas, "The Baby Broker Boom" 30).
An Indirect Source If you indirectly quote or paraphrase material quoted in an another source, use the abbreviation “qtd. in” (quoted in) to indicate the indirect source of the remarks.
Henry Kissinger reported to the Senate that his pre-summit efforts "created definite animosity among the delegation" (qtd. in "Pre-summit Maneuverings" 86).
A Work with a Volume Number Include a colon between the volume number and the page number.
"Yet the Anglo-Saxon world was by no means entirely given over to the cultural and ethical ideas of Mediterranean Christianity” (Trevelyan 1:96).
A Work by a Corporate Author or Government Body Use the author's name followed by a page reference:
Locating new industry close to transportation is critical in good land use planning (U.S. Govt. 89).
If the name of the organization is long, place it in the text to avoid interrupting your readers.
In its l975 Comprehensive Plan, Directions, the Lancaster County Planning Commission outlined factors that affect land use and development in the county (15-25).
Literary Works and the Bible In citing a literary work available in several editions, include information that will enable readers to find the source in different editions of the work. For reference to a novel, list the page number followed by a chapter number. Note: When writing “the Bible,” be sure not to put “Bible” in italics, and do not capitalize “the.”
Upon meeting his friend, Copperfield said, "I was rather bashful at first, Steerforth being so self-possessed, and elegant, and superior to me in all respects" (Riverside Edition, 226, ch. 20).
For plays, poems, and the Bible, omit page numbers and cite divisions with numbers, separating numbers by periods.
In his first soliloquy, Hamlet muses on the circumstances of his father's death and his mother's marriage to his uncle who is "no more like my father than I to Hercules" (1.1.152-3).
Preparing a List of Works Cited The references in your text are keyed to a Works Cited section that lists all of the books, articles, and other sources that you use in your paper. If your instructor wants you to include all of the sources you consulted, whether you cite them or not, use the title “Works Consulted.” Another name for a listing of sources cited and consulted is “Bibliography,” meaning, literally, "description of books."
You should begin your Works Cited section on a new, numbered page: after the last page of your text if you use parenthetical references and after your Notes page if you list references in notes. Center the heading “Works Cited.” Skip two spaces between the title and the first entry, and double-space the entire list, both between and within entries.
If necessary, the Works Cited section may be more than one page in length. Make the first line of each entry flush with the left-hand margin, and indent subsequent lines of the entry five spaces from the left. List sources in alphabetical order according to the authors' last names. If a source is unsigned, as is often the case with periodical articles, alphabetize by the first main word of the title, ignoring leading articles “A,” “An,” and “The.”
A Book with One Author
For a book, give the author's last name, followed by a comma, then the first name and, if given, middle initial, followed by a period; then give the title of the book, italicized and followed by a period; then give the city (and state or country as necessary), followed by a colon; then the name of the publisher followed by a comma; the date; and finally the medium of publication. The medium of publication for a book is typically print. Do not give page numbers.
Frick, Daniel E. Reinventing Richard Nixon. UP of Kansas, 2008. Print.
If several cities of publication are listed, use only the first one in your citation. For cities outside the United States, add an abbreviation of the country or of the province for Canadian cities. Omit articles and business abbreviations such as “Co.” and use appropriate abbreviations for publishers. For example, instead of writing “Little Brown and Co.,” you may write “Little Brown.” Use the initials “U” and “P” to refer to university presses (i.e., Harvard University Press would be recorded “Harvard UP”). You may omit the name of the publisher for a book published before l900.
A Book with More Than One Author
If the book has more than one author, reverse the order of the first and last names of only the first author; then give the names of the others in normal order.
Bok, Bart J. and Priscilla F. Bok. The Milky Way. Cambridge: Harvard UP, l974. Print.
Eschholz, Paul, Alfred Rosa, and Virginia Clark, eds. Language Awareness. 4th ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986. Print.
An Anthology with an Editor
Begin with the name of the editor, followed by a comma and the abbreviation “ed.” If the editor is also a translator, list both roles (ed. and trans.).