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Research Handbook: In-Text Citations

If at any point you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact one of our librarians.

An in-text citation can be a parenthetical citation, a footnote, or an endnote depending on the style guide you are using. Regardless of its name, this is a shortened version of a References, Bibliography, or Works Cited entry that appears in the body of your paper or project. In-text citations are also referred to as parenthetical citations because the information is separated from the body of your project by parentheses. In some instances of using the Chicago style, you might also encounter an endnote or footnote, which is a shortened version of a Bibliography entry that appears at the end of your paper or the bottom of the page.

In general, you should include an in-text citation whenever you quote or paraphrase information from any source you use in your project.  The difference between paraphrasing and quoting is that paraphrasing uses the ideas of another in your own words, while quoting is using the words, properly formatted, using either quotation marks or a block indent to indicate it is not your own words. Your instructor may not ask you to do this for small or informal assignments, or projects that only analyze one text. If you are unsure whether your assignment requires in-text citations, check with your instructor. 


In-text citations usually only include one or two key pieces of information about an entry in your References, Bibliography, or Works Cited List. What information you need to include in your citation depends on what type of source you are citing.

This varies depending on the style you are following. The three most common styles used at SUNY Schenectady are APA, Chicago, and MLA.

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