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How to Cite Passages From a Book in an Essay
A writer can emphasize and support his ideas in an essay by citing book passages. Generally, writings submitted for scholastic credit must follow a widely acceptable format. The American Psychological Association and Modern Language Association writing styles are commonly used for high school and college works and have specific rules for quoting book passages.
According to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Sixth Edition), citations include the authors' last names and publication years at the beginning of book quotes. Page numbers, preceded by the letter p, end quotes.
For example, Smith, (2012) states "beta blockers can prevent heart attacks" (p. 246).
Book quotes with 40 or more words are indented 1/2 inch from the left margin without quotation marks. The authors' last names with publication dates in parenthesis begin long quotes. The quotes should end with parenthetical page references.
According to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Paper (Seventh Edition), citations for short book quotes include the author's last name and page number in parenthesis.
For example, "proper use of beta blockers prevents heart attacks" (Smith 244).
Long passages of four or more lines are indented 1 inch from the left margin without quotation marks. The parenthetical author's name and page number are placed at the end of the cite.
APA and MLA require full cites in reference or works cited pages of essays. APA cites include the author's name, publication year, book title, and location and name of the publisher. MLA requires the author's last and first name, book title, location and name of the publisher, and year published. MLA also identifies the publication medium at the end of the cite, such as print.
Need help with a citation? Try our citation generator .
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: In-Text Citations: APA Citation Basics
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting Quotations
- The Writing Center: University of Wisconsin: Using Literary Quotations
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed.
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.
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How to Write a Book Title And Author in an Essay?
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So, you’re writing an essay, and you’re referencing a book. But how on earth do you write and cite the title and the author’s name correctly?
Do you use quotation marks? Italics? Punctuation? And what about capitalization?
The answer is a little more complicated than you might think. It all depends on the style of essay you’re writing, but once you’ve familiarized yourself with the rules for each one, it’s easy to mention and cite any book title and author’s name correctly, so you can get top marks from your instructor, each and every time.
Table of Contents
The Correct Way to Write a Book’s Title And Author in an Essay
In this post, we’ll look at the three most common essay formats used in the US and learn how to properly display book titles and author names in each one.
The Most Popular Essay Formats
The three most commonly used essay formats found in schools, universities, and higher education institutions across America are known as APA, MLA, and Chicago style.
The format your professor assigns will depend on the subject matter, the department, the purpose of the essay, and the instructor’s individual preferences.
APA stands for the American Psychological Association. This is the go-to format for scientific essays, including many social and behavioural sciences.
MLA stands for Modern Language Association and is the most frequently used format in humanities and liberal arts subjects, such as literature and history.
Chicago format, also known as Turabian after its creator, Kate L. Turabian, is commonly used in the publishing world and also in subjects such as anthropology, history, and selected social sciences.
Why is Using The Correct Format so Important?
The short answer is that you’ll receive a lower grade if you don’t.
But of course, there are many good reasons why proper formatting is important when writing papers and essays.
Formats like APA, MLA, and Chicago provide a strict set of criteria to stick to throughout an essay, ensuring consistency.
Consistency avoids confusion for the reader and helps them to quickly and easily identify what the writer is trying to say.
2. References And Research
Sticking with one style or format makes it easier for readers to check citations and conduct further research into the chosen topic.
3. Demonstrating Understanding
In academic settings, adhering to a particular style guide, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, demonstrates your understanding of the rules and principles of written material within that field.
This shows that you don’t just understand the subject; you also know how to write about it.
4. Preparation For Future Studies
Suppose you’re a high school student or a college undergrad, familiarizing yourself with the basic principles of essay formatting. In that case, it is a great way to prepare yourself for your future academic pursuits, especially if you plan to progress onto a graduate or postgraduate program.
How to Write a Book’s Title in The Main Body of an APA Style Essay?
Here are the key rules to remember when writing book titles in the main body of an APA-style essay:
- Use quotation marks (not italics) on either side of the book’s title (with the exception of the holy texts like the Bible and reference works like dictionaries and almanacs).
- The first word of the title should be capitalized.
- All words and terms containing more than four letters or symbols should be capitalized.
- Any two-part words containing a hyphen should be capitalized.
- Words placed directly after a colon or dash should also be capitalized.
For example, “Slaughterhouse-Five”
How to Write a Book’s Title in The Main Body of an MLA or Chicago Style Essay?
MLA and Chicago-style essays use similar rules when it comes to mentioning book titles in the main body of an essay. Here are the key things to remember when using either of these formats:
- The book’s title should be displayed in italics (not quotation marks), with the exception of holy texts like the Bible.
- If the title contains punctuation, this should be italicized, too.
- All verbs, nouns, and adjectives should be capitalized.
- If you’re referring to a chapter or mentioning a book alongside the series it belongs to, use quotation marks, not italics.
O ne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, or “A Clash of Kings” from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
1. Avoid Capitalizing Minor Words
Unless they appear as the first word in a title, the following words should be displayed in lowercase.
- Prepositions , such as on, in, at, and from.
- Articles , such as the, a, and an.
- Coordinating conjunctions , such as so, and, yet, but, and for.
This might sound a little complex at first, but it’s pretty simple and intuitive once you get the hang of it.
99% of the time, the book’s title as it is displayed on the front cover is correct for both MLA and Chicago-style essays.
How to Write a Book’s Title in The Main Body of a Handwritten Essay?
Handwritten essays used to be the norm, but these days, they’re most definitely the exception.
Still, there may be some instances where you’re asked to handwrite an essay rather than type it, in which case, you should follow the rules below.
The capitalization rules for writing book titles in the main body of a handwritten essay are the same as with typed essays.
So, if you’re handwriting an APA-style essay, make sure to capitalize the first letter of the first word in the title and do the same for every word containing more than four letters.
And when handwriting an MLA or Chicago-style essay, capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and do the same for every word except for articles, prepositions, or coordinating conjunctions.
No matter the format, book titles should always be underlined when handwriting an essay
- Underline the complete title, including any words that come after a colon or dash
- Underline any punctuation that appears in the book’s title
- Avoid underlining each word separately; always use one continuous line
- Make your line as straight as possible by using a ruler or following the line on the paper
How to Cite a Book And its Author in a References or Works Cited Page?
So, now you know how to write the title of a book mentioned in the body of an essay.
But what do you do when you need to cite a book and its author in your references or works cited page?
To keep it simple, I’ll use Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 classic children’s novel , Anne of Green Gables, as an example for each essay style.
1. Book Citations in APA Style
Here’s the proper format for citing authors and their book titles in APA:
Last Name, First Names. (Year the book was published). Book title .
For example, Montgomery, Lucy Maud. (1908). Anne of Green Gables.
2. Book Citations in MLA Style
Here’s the proper format for citing authors and their book titles in MLA:
Last Name, First Names. Book title . City of Publication, Publisher, Year the book was published.
Note: You only need to include the city of publication if the book was published before 1900 or if the publisher is not based in the US.
For example, Montgomery, Lucy Maud. Anne of Green Gables. L.C. Page & Co., 1908.
3. Book Citations in Chicago Style
Here’s the proper format for citing authors and their book titles in Chicago style:
Last Name, First Names. Book Title: Subtitle . City of publication: Publisher, Year the book was published.
Note: Just like with MLA style, you only need to include the city of publication if the book was published before 1900 or if the publisher is not based in the US.
For example, Montgomery, Lucy Maud. Anne of Green Gables . L.C. Page & Co., 1908.
4. Book Citations in a Hand Written Essay
If you’re handwriting an essay, you’ll no doubt be handwriting your references or works cited page, too.
In this case, you should still follow the appropriate formatting rules above in relation to the chosen essay style.
But where a title appears in italics in a printed essay, in a handwritten essay, it should be neatly underlined instead.
If you’ve searched high and low for a book’s publisher, publication date, or the city in which it was published, but you still can’t find the information, it’s generally acceptable to leave it out.
Essay writing is a skill that takes practice, and at first, the rules and principles of the different formats can seem complex. This is especially true when you’re writing about books and their authors or citing other people’s work.
But hopefully, this post has helped explain the structures used in each of the most commonly used formats so that next time you write an essay, you can be confident that you’re doing it right.
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How to Put a Quote in an Essay
Last Updated: November 28, 2022 References
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 2,593,671 times.
Using a direct quote in your essay is a great way to support your ideas with concrete evidence, which you need to support your thesis. To select a good quote , look for a passage that supports your argument and is open to analysis. Then, incorporate that quote into your essay, and make sure you properly cite it based on the style guide you’re using.
Incorporating a Short Quote
- For instance, let's say this is the quote you want to use: "The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold."
- If you just type that sentence into your essay and put quotes around it, your reader will be disoriented. Instead, you could incorporate it into a sentence like this: "The imagery in the story mirrors what's happening in Lia's love life, as 'The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold.'"
- "Critic Alex Li says, 'The frequent references to the color blue are used to suggest that the family is struggling to cope with the loss of their matriarch.'"
- "According to McKinney’s research, 'Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.'"
- "Based on several recent studies, people are more likely to sit on the park benches when they're shaded by trees."
- You still need to use quotation marks even if you're only quoting a few words.
- If you're in doubt, it's best to be cautious and use quotes.
- For example, let’s say you used the quote, “According to McKinney’s research, ‘Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.’” Your commentary might read, “This shows that yoga can have a positive impact on people’s health, so incorporating it into the workplace can help improve employee health outcomes. Since yoga makes employees healthier, they’ll likely have reduced insurance costs.”
- When you use a paraphrase, you still need to provide commentary that links the paraphrased material back to your thesis and ideas.
Using a Long Quote
- The reader will recognize that the material is a direct quote because it's set off from the rest of the text. That's why you don't need to use quotation marks. However, you will include your citation at the bottom.
- "In The Things They Carried , the items carried by soldiers in the Vietnam war are used to both characterize them and burden the readers with the weight they are carrying: The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near-necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water." (O'Brien 2)
Variation: When you're citing two or more paragraphs, you must use block quotes, even if the passage you want to quote is less than four lines long. You should indent the first line of each paragraph an extra quarter inch. Then, use ellipses (…) at the end of one paragraph to transition to the next.
- Your block quote will use the same spacing as the rest of your paper, which will likely be double-spacing.
- For example, “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s the only one who’s begun to move on after their mother’s death” might become “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s … begun to move on after their mother’s death.”
- Don’t eliminate words to change the meaning of the original text. For instance, it’s not appropriate to use an ellipsis to change “plants did not grow faster when exposed to poetry” to “plants did … grow faster when exposed to poetry.”
- For example, let’s say you want to use the quote, “All of them experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.” This doesn’t tell the reader who you’re talking about. You could use brackets to say, “All of [the teachers in the study] experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”
- However, if you know the study is talking about teachers, you couldn’t use brackets to say, “All of [society experiences] a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”
- If you don't explain your quote well, then it's not helping your ideas. You can't expect the reader to connect the quote back to your thesis for you.
- For instance, you may prefer to use a long block quote to present a passage from a literary work that demonstrates the author's style. However, let's say you were using a journal article to provide a critic's perspective on an author's work. You may not need to directly quote an entire paragraph word-for-word to get their point across. Instead, use a paraphrase.
Tip: If you’re unsure about a quote, ask yourself, “Can I paraphrase this in more concise language and not lose any support for my argument?” If the answer is yes, a quote is not necessary.
Citing Your Quote
- An MLA citation will look like this: (Lopez 24)
- For sources with multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Anderson and Smith 55-56) or (Taylor, Gomez, and Austin 89)
- If you use the author’s name in your lead-in to the quote, you just need to provide the year in parentheses: According to Luz Lopez, “the green grass symbolizes a fresh start for Lia (24).”
- An APA citation for a direct quote looks like this: (Ronan, 2019, p. 10)
- If you’re citing multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Cruz, Hanks, and Simmons, 2019, p. 85)
- If you incorporated the author’s name into your lead-in, you can just give the year and page number: Based on Ronan’s (2019, p. 10) analysis, “coffee breaks improve productivity.”
- For instance, a Chicago Style citation will look like this: (Alexander 2019, 125)
- If you’re quoting a source with multiple authors, separate them with the word “and:” (Pattinson, Stewart, and Green 2019, 175)
- If you already incorporated the author’s name into your quote, then you can just provide the year and page number: According to Alexander, “the smell of roses increases feelings of happiness” (2019, 125).
- For MLA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories , vol. 2, no. 5, 2019, p. 15-22.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- In APA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. (2019). A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in "Her Darkest Sunshine." Journal of Stories , 2(5), 15-22.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- For Chicago Style, your article citation would look like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories 2 no. 4 (2019): 15-22.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
Selecting a Quote
Tip: Quotes are most effective when the original language of the person or text you’re quoting is worth repeating word-for-word.
- If you’re struggling to explain the quote or link it back to your argument, then it’s likely not a good idea to include it in your essay.
- Paraphrases and summaries work just like a direct quote, except that you don’t need to put quotation marks around them because you’re using your own words to restate ideas. However, you still need to cite the sources you used.
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- Always cite your quotes properly. If you don't, it is considered plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.ursinus.edu/live/files/1160-integrating-quotespdf
- ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-quotes-.html
- ↑ https://helpfulprofessor.com/quotes/
- ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/using-sources/quotations/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_quotations.html
- ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
- ↑ https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_articles_in_periodicals.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/periodicals.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/
About This Article
The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.
To put a quote in an essay, incorporate it directly into a sentence if it's shorter than 4 typed lines. For example, you could write "According to researchers," and then insert the quote. If a quote is longer than 4 typed lines, set it off from the rest of the paragraph, and don't put quotes around it. After the quote, include an in-text citation so readers know where it's from. The right way to cite the quote will depend on whether you're using MLA, APA, or Chicago Style formatting. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to omit words from a quote, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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- Suggested Ways to Introduce Quotations
Suggested ways to introduce quotations
When you quote another writer's words, it's best to introduce or contextualize the quote.
How to quote in an essay?
To introduce a quote in an essay, don't forget to include author's last name and page number (MLA) or author, date, and page number (APA) in your citation. Shown below are some possible ways to introduce quotations. The examples use MLA format.
1. Use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation.
- The setting emphasizes deception: "Nothing is as it appears" (Smith 1).
- Piercy ends the poem on an ironic note: "To every woman a happy ending" (25).
2. Begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with quoted words.
Note that in the second example below, a slash with a space on either side ( / ) marks a line break in the original poem.
- Hamlet's task is to avenge a "foul and most unnatural murder" (Shakespeare 925).
- The speaker is mystified by her sleeping baby, whose "moth-breath / flickers among the flat pink roses" (Plath 17).
3. Use an introductory phrase naming the source, followed by a comma to quote a critic or researcher
Note that the first letter after the quotation marks should be upper case. According to MLA guidelines, if you change the case of a letter from the original, you must indicate this with brackets. APA format doesn't require brackets.
- According to Smith, "[W]riting is fun" (215).
- In Smith's words, " . . .
- In Smith's view, " . . .
4. Use a descriptive verb, followed by a comma to introduce a critic's words
Avoid using says unless the words were originally spoken aloud, for instance, during an interview.
- Smith states, "This book is terrific" (102).
- Smith remarks, " . . .
- Smith writes, " . . .
- Smith notes, " . . .
- Smith comments, " . . .
- Smith observes, " . . .
- Smith concludes, " . . .
- Smith reports, " . . .
- Smith maintains, " . . .
- Smith adds, " . . .
5. Don't follow it with a comma if your lead-in to the quotation ends in that or as
The first letter of the quotation should be lower case.
- Smith points out that "millions of students would like to burn this book" (53).
- Smith emphasizes that " . . .
- Smith interprets the hand washing in MacBeth as "an attempt at absolution" (106).
- Smith describes the novel as "a celebration of human experience" (233).
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Citation Guide (MLA 9th Edition) UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- In-Text Citations
- Title of source
- Title of container
- Publication date
- Supplemental Elements
- Books, eBooks & Pamphlets
- Class Notes & Presentations
- Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
- Government Documents
- Images, Charts, Graphs, Maps & Tables
- Interviews and Emails (Personal Communications)
- Journal Articles
- Magazine Articles
- Newspaper Articles
- Religious Texts
- Social Media
- Theses and Dissertations
- Videos & DVDs
- When Information Is Missing
Works Quoted in Another Source
About in-text citations, basic format.
- Sample Works Cited List
- Sample Annotations This link opens in a new window
In-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. They should cause minimal disruption to the reading flow. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the works cited list at the end of the paper.
- In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a page number enclosed in parentheses. "Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8).
- If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the works cited list, such as quotation marks. This is a paraphrase instead of a direct quote ("Trouble" 22).
- If the author is mentioned in context, you do not need to repeat it in the in-text citation. Include the page number (if available) enclosed in parentheses. According to Smith, "here's a direct quote" (8). "Trouble" uses a signal phrase (22).
Basic format for parenthetical citations
- (Last Name Page #)
I am citing a source with
You only need the author's last name and the page number.
Connect both authors' last names with and , followed by the page number.
(Case and Brand 57)
(Strunk and White 36)
(Sturken and Cartwright 134)
3 or more Authors
Use the first author's last name and et al., followed by the page number.
(Case et al. 57)
(Franck et al. 327)
No or Unknown Author
Use a shortened title of the work. Don't include initial articles like "A", "An" or "The".
- If the title in the Works Cited list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation: ( Title Page Number)
- If the title in the Works Cited list is in quotation marks, put quotation marks around the words from the title in the in-text citation: ("Title" Page Number)
( Cell Biology 12).
No Page Numbers
When available, use stable page, chapter, or section numbers. If none is available, omit it.
- For e-books, do not use device-specific locations, e.g. "240 of 503" or "Loc. 1690 of 3014".
- For audio-visual sources (such as films and oral interviews), use the timecode for the quote instead of the page number.
- When you quote from electronic sources, such as a webpage, that do not provide page numbers, cite the author's name only.
(Scalzi Chap. 7)
("New Student Orientation")
- Include the page number without specifying page or p. or pp.
- Do not add a comma, semi-color, or other punctuation mark between Last Name and Page #
- Do not add a colon or other punctuation mark before the first parenthesis.
- The ending period of a sentence goes after the in-text citation
Other online guides to help you with in-text citations:
When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number:
Mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (Hunt 358).
What Is a Long Quotation?
If your quotation extends to more than four lines as you're typing your essay, it is a long quotation.
Rules for Long Quotations
There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:
- The line before your long quotation, when you're introducing the quote, usually ends with a colon.
- The long quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
- There are no quotation marks around the quotation.
- The period at the end of the quotation comes before your in-text citation as opposed to after , as it does with regular quotations.
Example of a Long Quotation
At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:
The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding 186)
Sometimes an author of a book, article or website will mention another person’s work by using a quotation or paraphrased idea from that source. (This may be called a secondary source.) For example, the Kirkey article you are reading includes a quotation by Smith that you would like to include in your essay.
The basic rule is that in both your References list and in-text citation you will still cite Kirkey. Kirkey will appear in your Works Cited list – NOT Smith.
You will add the words “qtd. in” to your in-text citation.
Examples of in-text citations:
According to a study by Smith (qtd. in Kirkey) 42% of doctors would refuse to perform legal euthanasia.
Smith (qtd. in Kirkey) states that “even if euthanasia was legal, 42% of doctors would be against this method of assisted dying” (A.10).
Example of Works Cited list citation :
Kirkey, Susan. "Euthanasia." The Montreal Gazette , 9 Feb. 2013, p. A.10. Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies.
When you write information or ideas from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion.
Paraphrasing from One Page
Include a full in-text citation with the author name and page number (if there is one). For example:
Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 65).
Paraphrasing from Multiple Pages
If the paraphrased information/idea is from several pages, include them. For example:
Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 50, 55, 65-71).
If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation or paraphrased section. For example:
Hunt explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (358).
Repeated Use of Sources
If you're using information from a single source more than once in succession (i.e., no other sources referred to in between), you can use a simplified in-text citation.
Cell biology is an area of science that focuses on the structure and function of cells (Smith 15). It revolves around the idea that the cell is a "fundamental unit of life" (17). Many important scientists have contributed to the evolution of cell biology. Mattias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, for example, were scientists who formulated cell theory in 1838 (20).
Note: If using this simplified in-text citation creates ambiguity regarding the source being referred to, use the full in-text citation format.
In-Text Citation For More Than One Source
If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon.
(Smith 42; Bennett 71).
( It Takes Two ; Brock 43).
Note: The sources within the in-text citation do not need to be in alphabetical order for MLA style.
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- Writing Tips
How to Reference a Book using the Harvard Referencing Style
- 16th May 2013
Print books are perhaps the most used sources in academic essays . Moreover, most UK universities use a version of Harvard referencing . As a result, it’s pretty important you know how to reference print books using the Harvard referencing style.
In-Text Citations for a Book
Harvard citations place basic source details in brackets, with additional detail saved for the reference list (see below). The details you’ll need for a citation are the author’s surname and a year of publication:
A teacher’s attitude can inform her classroom strategy (Mendler, 2012).
If you’ve named the author in the text, though, you only need to give the year of publication in brackets:
Mendler (2012) claims that classroom strategy is vital.
The only other information you might need to include in a citation like this are the relevant page numbers if you’re quoting a source directly:
According to Mendler (2012, p. 45), classroom strategy must ‘take account of teacher attitude’.
This changes slightly when a text has multiple authors (usually more than three or four), as then you only include the first listed author’s surname followed by ‘et al.’ (a Latin phrase meaning ‘and others’).
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All books cited in your essay should also be listed in your reference list, ordered alphabetically by author surname. The general format for this is:
Surname, Initial(s). (Year) Title , Place of publication, Publisher.
If you cite a book written by a single author, the reference would look something like this:
Mendler, A. N. (2012) When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim your Game , Alexandria, ASCD.
If you cite a book written by more than one author, remember to include (and reverse) all names:
Moss, C. M. and Brookhart, S. M. (2012) Learning Targets: Helping Students Aim for Understanding in Today’s Lesson , Alexandria, ASCD.
Of course, if you want to make doubly sure all of your referencing is accurate, you could always submit your work to Proofed .
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- How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago
How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago
Published on April 15, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on May 31, 2023.
Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:
- The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks or formatted as a block quote
- The original author is correctly cited
- The text is identical to the original
The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .
Table of contents
How to cite a quote in apa, mla and chicago, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.
Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using. Three of the most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
Citing a quote in APA Style
To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas . If the quote appears on a single page, use “p.”; if it spans a page range, use “pp.”
An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.
Punctuation marks such as periods and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks .
- Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
- Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510) .
Complete guide to APA
Citing a quote in mla style.
An MLA in-text citation includes only the author’s last name and a page number. As in APA, it can be parenthetical or narrative, and a period (or other punctuation mark) appears after the citation.
- Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 510) .
- Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510) .
Complete guide to MLA
Citing a quote in chicago style.
Chicago style uses Chicago footnotes to cite sources. A note, indicated by a superscript number placed directly after the quote, specifies the author, title, and page number—or sometimes fuller information .
Unlike with parenthetical citations, in this style, the period or other punctuation mark should appear within the quotation marks, followed by the footnote number.
Complete guide to Chicago style
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it. Don’t present quotations as stand-alone sentences.
There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:
- Add an introductory sentence
- Use an introductory signal phrase
- Integrate the quote into your own sentence
The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.
Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.
If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs , such as “states,” “argues,” “explains,” “writes,” or “reports,” to describe the content of the quote.
- In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).
Introductory signal phrase
You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source, but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.
- According to a recent poll, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- As Levring (2018) explains, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).
Integrated into your own sentence
To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation .
- A recent poll suggests that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- Levring (2018) reports that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (p. 3).
When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.
To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in single (instead of double) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.
Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use double quotation marks.
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “ “ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ” he told me, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” ” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to “remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 1).
Note: When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .
Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.
Shortening a quote
If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.
Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.
Altering a quote
You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different verb tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.
Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.
The Latin term “ sic ” is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.
In some cases, it can be useful to italicize part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase “emphasis added” to show that the italics were not part of the original text.
You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalization made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.
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- Missing commas and periods
- Incorrect usage of “et al.”
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If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.
Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a period, the citation appears after the period.
To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)
Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage in your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.
However, there are some situations in which quoting is more appropriate.
When focusing on language
If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.
When giving evidence
To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.
When presenting an author’s position or definition
When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.
But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.
If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- ChatGPT vs human editor
- ChatGPT citations
- Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
- Using ChatGPT for your studies
- What is ChatGPT?
- Chicago style
- Critical thinking
- Types of plagiarism
- Avoiding plagiarism
- Academic integrity
- Consequences of plagiarism
- Common knowledge
A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.
In academic writing , there are three main situations where quoting is the best choice:
- To analyze the author’s language (e.g., in a literary analysis essay )
- To give evidence from primary sources
- To accurately present a precise definition or argument
Don’t overuse quotes; your own voice should be dominant. If you just want to provide information from a source, it’s usually better to paraphrase or summarize .
Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .
For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: “This is a quote” (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).
Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.
A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate “block” of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.
The rules for when to apply block quote formatting depend on the citation style:
- APA block quotes are 40 words or longer.
- MLA block quotes are more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of poetry.
- Chicago block quotes are longer than 100 words.
If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:
- APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
- MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.
If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.
In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.
In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .
As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.
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McCombes, S. & Caulfield, J. (2023, May 31). How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago. Scribbr. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-quote/
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