What Is an in-Text Citation?


Quick Answer

An in-text citation is the labeling of a reference, quote, summary or paraphrase of another source, such as a book or journal article, in an academic paper. Academic disciplines commonly follow one of three formatting styles for citations: APA style, MLA style or Chicago style.

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Full Answer

In APA style, an in-text citation consists of the author’s last name and the year of publication, such as (James, 1994). Each in-text citation requires a corresponding entry in the reference list. In MLA format, the author’s last name and the page number are used to cite an in-text reference, such as (Dubose 168), with a corresponding entry on the works cited page. Chicago style uses consecutive superscript numbers at the end of cited material with the numbers corresponding to footnotes or endnotes.

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