An in-text citation's goal is to lead the reader to the matching citation in the references list. For example, the reader may discover the entire reference in the References list if they used the brief in-text citation below. Or perhaps they would click just the title or first line of text for more information before clicking through to the full reference.
In-text citations are also useful for indicating the source of quoted material. For example, if you were writing a paper about Shakespeare and included some lines from his plays, an in-text citation giving credit to the original work could help readers understand that you aren't presenting your own ideas but rather are following the ideas of others.
In-text citations are required when the author includes their sources within the body of the essay. For example, if the writer claims "Shakespeare wrote poems about love," an in-text citation pointing to The Riverside Shakespeare as the source would be necessary because it isn't clear from reading the sentence who it was that wrote these poems (even though it might be obvious from context).
In addition to requiring in-text citations, faculty members often ask students to provide complete citations for works referenced only in notes or bibliography entries.
Citations in the Text An in-text citation is a condensed version of a reference that appears in the body of your writing. It provides enough information to distinguish the source in your reference list. The author(s)' family name and the year of publication are generally included in the abbreviated form. For example: Smith, J. (1996). Introduction. In Smith, J. (Ed.), My favorite teacher (pp. xv-xx). New York: Random House.
Abbreviations are used instead of full citations for a number of reasons. First, not all publishers allow authors to use more than one font in their books. So if your publisher uses Arial or Helvetica as its main font, then using titles and short phrases rather than entire articles or chapters makes sense. Also, many readers find it easier to recognize names and terms this way rather than struggling with an entire article title or chapter heading. Last, some readers prefer the brief, concise style found in abridged books or magazines.
Using abbreviations in your text comes after establishing relationships with your readers. If you want them to know more about a particular topic, why not include a relevant book or article? Or maybe there's a study or survey on the subject that might help them make decisions about things like courses or jobs. By relating information directly to specific situations, you show you're thinking about your audience and trying to provide solutions to problems they may be facing.
In-text citations are utilized in the body of your article whenever you cite or paraphrase a source. The in-text citation refers the reader to the appropriate reference list or bibliography item. Each citation style has its own set of requirements for citing sources. For example, in APA style, you should provide author's name, year published, title, edition, volume number if applicable, and page numbers. You can find out more about APA guidelines here: https://www.apa.org/help/reference/citing-referencing-apas.aspx
In MLA style, you should provide author's last name, date published, publisher, address, telephone number, website URL, subject term (if applicable), and page numbers. You can find out more about MLA guidelines here: https://owl.libraries.yale.edu/owl/english/mla/index.html
In Chicago style, you should provide author's last name, year published, title, editor(s)/compiler, publication information (i.e., place and date), article number, and page numbers.
In-text citations are used to demonstrate where you obtained your information. This is significant since it increases the credibility of your paper and protects you from plagiarism. In addition, it gives readers insight into how you organized your thoughts during writing.
An in-text citation consists of three elements: the author's name, the date written or printed, and the source. For example, if you were to cite an article that was published in a journal, the in-text citation would look like this: "Goldberg et al." (1999). The author names should be included even if you are citing more than one work by the same author. Also note that publications such as books do not have authors; thus the in-text citation for a book would simply include the title and publication date.
It is important to give credit where credit is due. If another writer quotes someone else word-for-word, they should also provide an in-text citation. This demonstrates that they are following good academic writing practices.
Practicing in-text citations will help you organize your ideas while writing papers that are credible and free of plagiarism issues.