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In-Text Citation
ENG 102 Guides

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When you use information from a source, you need to tell the reader where the information came from. Even if you summarize or paraphrase--where you have used your own words--the idea is not yours, so you need to cite the information.

The MLA format for in-text citation involves matching the citation in the essay to the Works Cited page. (To see how to create a Works Cited page, please see the MLA link.)

After the information from a source is used in an essay, add a parenthetical note with the word that you have alphabetized the source under on the Works Cited page. This gives the reader a reference to look for.

Below are some samples of in-text citation:


Computers represent the fastest growing field of technology in existence today. Andy Grove, Chairman of Intel corporation, estimated that by the next millennium, personal computer sales will have reached 100 million units, surpassing both automobiles and television monitors in total sales (Grove 4). With the tremendous growth in computer population, an overwhelming number of job openings and positions have now been created in this enlarging field.

Paraphrase/Quote combination:

Where conventional means have failed in children with learning disabilities, computerized teaching programs have shown success. Frederick Bennett, Ph.D. chose to address the topic of computes in education with his book, Computers as Tutors: Solving the Crisis in Education. In his book, Bennett notes: "Computerized education will bring an improvement of gargantuan value for the nation and for millions of individuals: better education for slower students who suffer the worst deprivations under the present system" (24). He believes that computers offer the perfect solution for the United States' failing education systems. Computer based teaching aids can offer what teachers cannot, a stylized one-on-one teaching environment that can continually appraise a student's progress (Bennett 30).

The information that appears in the parentheses is the word you used to alphabetize it under on the Works Cited page. That is ideally the author's last name, but if you had to use the title of the article, then that is what appears in the parentheses.

Some other guidelines: When you must use the title in the in text citation, you may use only the first one or two words, in quotation marks or underlined. If the citation has appeared earlier in the same paragraph, the full citation is not necessary--you may use only the page number for second and subsequent citations.

Please click on the link below for an exercise with in-text citation.

Link to exercises page