Inline Citations

Inline Citations (Parenthetical Documentation): Inline citations or parenthetical documentation are when you add brief parenthetical acknowledgment in your paper wherever you incorporate another's words, facts, or ideas. Usually the author's last name and a page reference are enough to identify the source and the specific location from which you borrowed material.

Avoid interrupting the flow of writing by placing the parenthetical note at the first natural pause in the sentence. The parenthetical reference comes before the punctuation mark that ends the sentence, clause, or phrase containg the borrowed or paraphrased material. An exception is when the quotation is longer than four lines; in this case, set it off from the text by beginning a new line, indenting one inch from the left margin and double-spacing, without adding quotation marks.

(NOTE: All examples are shown single-spaced to conserve room, but should be double-spaced in a research paper.)

Examples of parenthetical documentation

If the author's name is used in the text: Include only the page number(s) or the work in the parenthetical reference.

According to Mandell, "modern sports, therefore, are a particular adaption to modern economic, social, and political life..."(3).

Authors with the same last name: If the bibliography contains works by more than one author with the same last name, the first initial of the auths first name must be included in the parenthetical reference:

"Main Street is the climax of civilization." (S. Lewis 6).

More than one source by the same author: If citing more than one work by an author, include the author's last name (if it does not appear in the text of your paper), a shortened form of the title (only long enough to distinguish between the titles you have referenced) and the page number.

Dian Fossey reflected, "I had a deep wish to see and live with wild animals in a world that hadn't yet been completely changed by humans" (Mowat, Woman 1).

When quotation is longer than 4 lines:

John K. Mahon adds a further ingisht to our understanding of the War of 1812:

Financing the war was very difficult at the time. Baring Brothers, a banking firm of the enemy country, handled routine accounts for the United States overseas, but the firm would take on no loans. The loans were in the end absorbed by wealthy Americans at great hazard--also, as it turned out, at great profit to them.  (385).

If you need additional information, please ask your teacher or librarian, or the use the online resources on the Palo Alto Middle School Libraries Research Center –Citation and Bibliography Help.

Information is based on MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (1999) by Joseph Gibaldi and Write It! A Guide for Research Second Edition/MLA Version (1999) by Betty Bankhead, Janet Nichols, and Dawn Vaughn.

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updated 3-18-13
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