How To Cite Websites For A Research Paper

Citation–Sequence and Citation–Name

The following examples illustrate the citation–sequence and citation–name systems. The two systems are identical except for the order of references. In both systems, numbers within the text refer to the end references.

In citation–sequence, the end references are listed in the sequence in which they first appear within the text. For example, if a reference by Smith is the first one mentioned in the text, then the complete reference to the Smith work will be number 1 in the end references. The same number is used for subsequent in-text references to the same document.

In citation–name, the end references are listed alphabetically by author. Multiple works by the same author are listed alphabetically by title. The references are numbered in that sequence, such that a work authored by Adam is number 1, Brown is number 2, and so on. Numbers assigned to the end references are used for the in-text references regardless of the sequence in which they appear in the text of the work. For example, if a work by Zielinski is number 56 in the reference list, each in-text reference to Zielinski will be number 56 also.

Journals

List authors in the order in which they appear in the original text, followed by a period. Periods also follow article and journal title and volume or issue information. Separate the date from volume and issue by a semicolon. The location (usually the page range for the article) is preceded by a colon.

Author(s). Article title. Journal title. Date;volume(issue):location.

Journal titles are generally abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations maintained by the ISSN International Centre. See Appendix 29.1 in Scientific Style and Format for more information.

For articles with more than 1 author, names are separated by a comma.

Smart N, Fang ZY, Marwick TH. A practical guide to exercise training for heart failure patients. J Card Fail. 2003;9(1):49–58.

For articles with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 followed by “et al.”

Pizzi C, Caraglia M, Cianciulli M, Fabbrocini A, Libroia A, Matano E, Contegiacomo A, Del Prete S, Abbruzzese A, Martignetti A, et al. Low-dose recombinant IL-2 induces psychological changes: monitoring by Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Anticancer Res. 2002;22(2A):727–732.

Volume with no issue or other subdivision

Laskowski DA. Physical and chemical properties of pyrethroids. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 2002;174:49–170.

Volume with issue and supplement

Gardos G, Cole JO, Haskell D, Marby D, Paine SS, Moore P. The natural history of tardive dyskinesia. J Clin Pharmacol. 1988;8(4 Suppl):31S–37S

Volume with supplement but no issue

Heemskerk J, Tobin AJ, Ravina B. From chemical to drug: neurodegeneration drug screening and the ethics of clinical trials. Nat Neurosci. 2002;5 Suppl:1027–1029.

Multiple issue numbers

Ramstrom O, Bunyapaiboonsri T, Lohmann S, Lehn JM. Chemical biology of dynamic combinatorial libraries. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002;1572(2–3):178–186.

Issue with no volume

Sabatier R. Reorienting health and social services. AIDS STD Health Promot Exch. 1995;(4):1–3.

Books

Separate information about author(s), title, edition, and publication by periods. The basic format is as follows:

Author(s). Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date. Extent. Notes.

Extent can include information about pagination or number of volumes and is considered optional. Notes can include information of interest to the reader, such as language of publication other than English; such notes are optional.

Essential notes provide information about location, such as a URL for online works. See Chapter 29 for more information.

For books with more than 1 author, names are separated by a comma.

Ferrozzi F, Garlaschi G, Bova D. CT of metastases. New York (NY): Springer; 2000.

For books with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 followed by “et al.”

Wenger NK, Sivarajan Froelicher E, Smith LK, Ades PA, Berra K, Blumenthal JA, Certo CME, Dattilo AM, Davis D, DeBusk RF, et al. Cardiac rehabilitation. Rockville (MD): Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (US); 1995.

Organization as author

Advanced Life Support Group. Acute medical emergencies: the practical approach. London (England): BMJ Books; 2001.

Author(s) plus editor(s) or translator(s)

Klarsfeld A, Revah F. The biology of death: origins of mortality. Brady L, translator. Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press; 2003.

Luzikov VN. Mitochondrial biogenesis and breakdown. Galkin AV, translator; Roodyn DB, editor. New York (NY): Consultants Bureau; 1985.

Chapter or other part of a book, same author(s)

Gawande A. The checklist manifesto: how to get things right. New York (NY): Metropolitan Books; 2010. Chapter 3, The end of the master builder; p. 48–71.

Chapter or other part of a book, different authors

Rapley R. Recombinant DNA and genetic analysis. In: Wilson K, Walker J, editors. Principles and techniques of biochemistry and molecular biology. 7th ed. New York (NY): Cambridge University Press; 2010. p. 195–262.

Multivolume work as a whole

Alkire LG, editor. Periodical title abbreviations. 16th ed. Detroit (MI): Thompson Gale; 2006. 2 vol. Vol. 1, By abbreviation; vol. 2, By title.

Dissertations and Theses

Lutz M. 1903: American nervousness and the economy of cultural change [dissertation]. [Stanford (CA)]: Stanford University; 1989.

Patents

Blanco EE, Meade JC, Richards WD, inventors; Ophthalmic Ventures, assignee. Surgical stapling system. United States patent US 4,969,591. 1990 Nov 13.

Newspapers

Weiss R. Study shows problems in cloning people: researchers find replicating primates will be harder than other mammals. Washington Post (Home Ed.). 2003 Apr 11;Sect. A:12 (col. 1).

DVDs

Indicate a copyright date with a lowercase “c”.

Johnson D, editor. Surgical techniques in orthopaedics: anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction [DVD]. Rosemont (IL): American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; c2002. 1 DVD.

Websites and Other Online Formats

References to websites and other online formats follow the same general principles as for printed references, with the addition of a date of update/revision (if available) along with an access date and a URL.

Website

Format:

Title of Homepage. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date of publication [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.

If no date of publication can be determined, use a copyright date (if available), preceded by “c”. Include the URL in the notes.

APSnet: plant pathology. St Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Association; c1994–2005 [accessed 2005 Jun 20]. http://www.apsnet.org/.

Online journal article

Format:

Author(s) of article. Title of article. Title of journal (edition). Date of publication [date updated; date accessed];volume(issue):location. Notes.

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) may be included in the notes in addition to a URL, if available:

Savage E, Ramsay M, White J, Beard S, Lawson H, Hunjan R, Brown D. Mumps outbreaks across England and Wales in 2004: observational study. BMJ. 2005 [accessed 2005 May 31];330(7500):1119–1120. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/330/7500/1119. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7500.1119.

e-Book

Format:

Author(s). Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date of publication [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.

Example:

Brogden KA, Guthmille JM, editors. Polymicrobial diseases. Washington (DC): ASM Press; 2002 [accessed February 28, 2014]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2475/.

Blog

Format:

Author’s name. Title of post [descriptive word]. Title of blog. Date of publication. [accessed date]. URL.

Example:

Fogarty M. Formatting titles on Twitter and Facebook [blog]. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. 2012 Aug 14. [accessed 2012 Oct 19]. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/formatting-titles-on-twitter-and-facebook.aspx.

Forthcoming or Unpublished Material

Not all forthcoming or unpublished sources are suitable for inclusion in reference lists. Check with your publisher if in doubt.

Forthcoming journal article or book

Journal article:

Farley T, Galves A, Dickinson LM, Perez MJ. Stress, coping, and health: a comparison of Mexican immigrants, Mexican-Americans, and non-Hispanic whites. J Immigr Health. Forthcoming 2005 Jul.

Book:

Goldstein DS. Adrenaline and the inner world: an introduction to scientific integrative medicine. Baltimore (MD): Johns Hopkins University Press. Forthcoming 2006.

Paper or poster presented at meeting

Unpublished presentations are cited as follows:

Antani S, Long LR, Thoma GR, Lee DJ. Anatomical shape representation in spine x-ray images. Paper presented at: VIIP 2003. Proceedings of the 3rd IASTED International Conference on Visualization, Imaging and Image Processing; 2003 Sep 8–10; Benalmadena, Spain.

Charles L, Gordner R. Analysis of MedlinePlus en Español customer service requests. Poster session presented at: Futuro magnifico! Celebrating our diversity. MLA ’05: Medical Library Association Annual Meeting; 2005 May 14–19; San Antonio, TX.

References to published presentations are cited much like contributions to books, with the addition of information about the date and place of the conference. See Chapter 29 for more information.

Personal communication

References to personal communication are placed in running text rather than as formal end references.

Permission is usually required and should be acknowledged in an “Acknowledgment” or “Notes” section at the end of the document.

. . . and most of these meningiomas proved to be inoperable (2003 letter from RS Grant to me; unreferenced, see “Notes”) while a few were not.

Name–Year

The following examples illustrate the name–year system. In this system (sometimes called the Harvard system), in-text references consist of the surname of the author or authors and the year of publication of the document. End references are unnumbered and appear in alphabetical order by author and year of publication, with multiple works by the same author listed in chronological order.

Each example of an end reference is accompanied here by an example of a corresponding in-text reference. For more details and many more examples, see Chapter 29 of Scientific Style and Format.

Journals

For the end reference, list authors in the order in which they appear in the original text. The year of publication follows the author list. Use periods to separate each element, including author(s), date of publication, article and journal title, and volume or issue information. Location (usually the page range for the article) is preceded by a colon.

Author(s). Date. Article title. Journal title. Volume(issue):location.

Journal titles are generally abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations maintained by the ISSN International Centre. See Appendix 29.1 in Scientific Style and Format for more information.

For the in-text reference, use parentheses and list author(s) by surname followed by year of publication.

(Author(s) Year)

For articles with 2 authors, names are separated by a comma in the end reference but by “and” in the in-text reference.

Mazan MR, Hoffman AM. 2001. Effects of aerosolized albuterol on physiologic responses to exercise in standardbreds. Am J Vet Res. 62(11):1812–1817.

(Mazan and Hoffman 2001)

For articles with 3 to 10 authors, list all authors in the end reference; in the in-text reference, list only the first, followed by “et al.”

Smart N, Fang ZY, Marwick TH. 2003. A practical guide to exercise training for heart failure patients. J Card Fail. 9(1):49–58.

(Smart et al. 2003)

For articles with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 in the end reference, followed by “et al.”

Pizzi C, Caraglia M, Cianciulli M, Fabbrocini A, Libroia A, Matano E, Contegiacomo A, Del Prete S, Abbruzzese A, Martignetti A, et al. 2002. Low-dose recombinant IL-2 induces psychological changes: monitoring by Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Anticancer Res. 22(2A):727–732.

(Pizzi et al. 2002)

Volume with no issue or other subdivision

Laskowski DA. 2002. Physical and chemical properties of pyrethroids. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 174:49–170.

(Laskowski 2002)

Volume with issue and supplement

Gardos G, Cole JO, Haskell D, Marby D, Paine SS, Moore P. 1988. The natural history of tardive dyskinesia. J Clin Pharmacol. 8(4 Suppl):31S–37S.

(Gardos et al. 1988)

Volume with supplement but no issue

Heemskerk J, Tobin AJ, Ravina B. 2002. From chemical to drug: neurodegeneration drug screening and the ethics of clinical trials. Nat Neurosci. 5 Suppl:1027–1029.

(Heemskerk et al. 2002)

Multiple issue numbers

Ramstrom O, Bunyapaiboonsri T, Lohmann S, Lehn JM. 2002. Chemical biology of dynamic combinatorial libraries. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1572(2–3):178–186.

(Ramstrom et al. 2002)

Issue with no volume

Sabatier R. 1995. Reorienting health and social services. AIDS STD Health Promot Exch. (4):1–3.

(Sabatier 1995)

Books

In the end reference, separate information about author(s), date, title, edition, and publication by periods. The basic format is as follows:

Author(s). Date. Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher. Extent. Notes.

Extent can include information about pagination or number of volumes and is considered optional. Notes can include information of interest to the reader, such as language of publication other than English; such notes are optional. Essential notes provide information about location, such as a URL for online works. See Chapter 29 for more information.

For books with 2 authors, names are separated by a comma in the end reference but by “and” in the in-text reference.

Leboffe MJ, Pierce BE. 2010. Microbiology: laboratory theory and application. Englewood (CO): Morton Publishing Company.

(Leboffe and Pierce 2010)

For books with 3 to 10 authors, list all authors in the end reference; in the in-text reference, list only the first, followed by “et al.”

Ferrozzi F, Garlaschi G, Bova D. 2000. CT of metastases. New York (NY): Springer.

(Ferrozzi et al. 2000)

For books with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 in the end reference, followed by “et al.”

Wenger NK, Sivarajan Froelicher E, Smith LK, Ades PA, Berra K, Blumenthal JA, Certo CME, Dattilo AM, Davis D, DeBusk RF, et al. 1995. Cardiac rehabilitation. Rockville (MD): Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (US).

(Wenger et al. 1995)

Organization as author

[ALSG] Advanced Life Support Group. 2001. Acute medical emergencies: the practical approach. London (England): BMJ Books.

(ALSG 2001)

Author(s) plus editor(s) or translator(s)

Klarsfeld A, Revah F. 2003. The biology of death: origins of mortality. Brady L, translator. Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press.

Luzikov VN. 1985. Mitochondrial biogenesis and breakdown. Galkin AV, translator; Roodyn DB, editor. New York (NY): Consultants Bureau.

(Klarsfeld and Revah 2003)

(Luzikov 1985)

Chapter or other part of a book, same author(s)

Gawande A. 2010. The checklist manifesto: how to get things right. New York (NY): Metropolitan Books. Chapter 3, The end of the master builder; p. 48–71.

(Gawande 2010)

Chapter or other part of a book, different authors

Rapley R. 2010. Recombinant DNA and genetic analysis. In: Wilson K, Walker J, editors. Principles and techniques of biochemistry and molecular biology. 7th ed. New York (NY): Cambridge University Press. p. 195–262.

(Rapley 2010)

Multivolume work as a whole

Alkire LG, editor. 2006. Periodical title abbreviations. 16th ed. Detroit (MI): Thompson Gale. 2 vol. Vol. 1, By abbreviation; vol. 2, By title.

(Alkire 2006)

Dissertations and Theses

Lutz M. 1989. 1903: American nervousness and the economy of cultural change [dissertation]. [Stanford (CA)]: Stanford University.

(Lutz 1989)

Patents

Blanco EE, Meade JC, Richards WD, inventors; Ophthalmic Ventures, assignee. 1990 Nov 13. Surgical stapling system. United States patent US 4,969,591.

(Blanco et al. 1990)

Newspapers

Weiss R. 2003 Apr 11. Study shows problems in cloning people: researchers find replicating primates will be harder than other mammals. Washington Post (Home Ed.). Sect. A:12 (col. 1).

(Weiss 2003)

DVDs

Indicate a copyright date with a lowercase “c”.

Johnson D, editor. c2002. Surgical techniques in orthopaedics: anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction [DVD]. Rosemont (IL): American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 1 DVD.

(Johnson c2002)

Websites and Other Online Formats

References to websites and other online formats follow the same general principles as for printed references, with the addition of a date of update/revision (if available) along with an access date and a URL.

Website

Format for end reference:

Title of Homepage. Date of publication. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.

If no date of publication can be determined, use a copyright date (if available), preceded by “c”. Include the URL in the notes.

APSnet: plant pathology online. c1994–2005. St Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Association; [accessed 2005 Jun 20]. http://www.apsnet.org/.

For the in-text reference, include only the first word or two of the title (enough to distinguish it from other titles in the reference list), followed by an ellipsis.

(APSnet . . . c1994–2005)

Online journal article

Format for end reference:

Author(s) of article. Date of publication. Title of article. Title of journal (edition). [date updated; date accessed];Volume(issue):location. Notes.

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) may be included in the notes in addition to a URL, if available:

Savage E, Ramsay M, White J, Beard S, Lawson H, Hunjan R, Brown D. 2005. Mumps outbreaks across England and Wales in 2004: observational study. BMJ. [accessed 2005 May 31];330(7500):1119–1120. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/330/7500/1119. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7500.1119.

(Savage et al. 2005)

e-Book

Format for end reference:

Author(s). Date of publication. Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.

Example:

Brogden KA, Guthmille JM, editors. 2002. Polymicrobial diseases. Washington (DC): ASM Press; [accessed February 28, 2014]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2475/.

(Brogden and Guthmille 2002)

Blog

Format for end reference:

Author’s name. Date of publication. Title of post [descriptive word]. Title of blog. [accessed date]. URL.

Example:

Fogarty M. 2012 Aug 14. Formatting titles on Twitter and Facebook [blog]. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. [accessed 2012 Oct 19]. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/formatting-titles-on-twitter-and-facebook.aspx.

(Fogarty 2012)

Forthcoming or Unpublished Material

Not all forthcoming or unpublished sources are suitable for inclusion in reference lists. Check with your publisher if in doubt.

Forthcoming journal article or book

Journal article:

Farley T, Galves A, Dickinson LM, Perez MJ. Forthcoming 2005 Jul. Stress, coping, and health: a comparison of Mexican immigrants, Mexican-Americans, and non-Hispanic whites. J Immigr Health.

(Farley et al. 2005)

Book:

Goldstein DS. Forthcoming 2006. Adrenaline and the inner world: an introduction to scientific integrative medicine. Baltimore (MD): Johns Hopkins University Press.

(Goldstein 2006)

Paper or poster presented at meeting

Unpublished presentations are cited as follows:

Antani S, Long LR, Thoma GR, Lee DJ. 2003. Anatomical shape representation in spine x-ray images. Paper presented at: VIIP 2003. Proceedings of the 3rd IASTED International Conference on Visualization, Imaging and Image Processing; Benalmadena, Spain.

Charles L, Gordner R. 2005. Analysis of MedlinePlus en Español customer service requests. Poster session presented at: Futuro magnifico! Celebrating our diversity. MLA ’05: Medical Library Association Annual Meeting; San Antonio, TX.

(Atani et al. 2003)

(Charles and Gordner 2005)

References to published presentations are cited much like contributions to books, with the addition of information about the date and place of the conference. See Chapter 29 for more information.

Personal communication

References to personal communication are placed in running text rather than as formal end references. Permission is usually required and should be acknowledged in an “Acknowledgment” or “Notes” section at the end of the document.

. . . and most of these meningiomas proved to be inoperable (2003 letter from RS Grant to me; unreferenced, see “Notes”) while a few were not.

MLA: Using Sources Correctly

There are three main ways to uses sources in your research paper. You may quote. You may paraphrase. Or you may summarize. All three require an in-text (parenthetical) citation!

In-text Citations

You CANNOT use information from any website or published book unless you give the author (or site) credit--BOTH inside your text and at the end of your paper.  In other words, it is NOT enough to simply list the sources you used on a Works Cited Page or References List. 

As your instructor reads your essay, he or she should clearly be able to see which sentences, facts, or sections of your essay came from Source A, Source B, or Source C, etc. by looking at your in-text citations.

You can give credit to your sources within your text in two different ways: by using a signal phrase or by simply using an in-text citation. 

Signal phrase:  a signal phrase lets the reader know, right at the beginning of the sentence, that the information he or she is about to read comes from another source.

Example:  Your paper might say something like....According to John Smith (2006), author of Pocahontas Is My Love, "Native American women value a deep spiritual connection to the environment."

Notice that since I took a direct quote from John Smith's book, I placed those words in quotation marks.  Notice also that I placed the date that the book was published directly after the author's name in parentheses--this is proper APA format.  Finally, notice that because I explained WHO wrote the book and WHAT book it comes from, the reader is easily able not only to find the source on his/her own to check my facts, but the reader is also more likely to believe what I have to say now that they know that my information comes from a credible source.

For Web Sources: If I was using a particular website (instead of John Smith's book), the signal phrase would look exactly the same, but I would say "According to Pocahontasrules.com..."     

In-Text Citation:  Use an in-text citation in situations where you are not quoting someone directly, but rather using information from another source such as a fact, summary, or paraphrase to support your own ideas.

Example:  She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style," but she did not offer an explanation (Jones, 1998, p. 199).

Notice that it's clear within this sentence that I'm referring to a certain person's beliefs, but since this person's name does not appear at the beginning of the sentence, I have placed her name, the year that her article was published, and the page number where I retrieved this information in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Information on how to format an in-text citation


Summarizing Sources

Summarize an article or a larger section of an article whenever you simply want to present the author's general ideas in your essay. 

How to Write an Effective Summary:  Cover up the original article, it is key that you not quote from the original work.  Restate what you've read in your own words, and be sure to give the author credit using an in-text citation. 

Example:  Congressman Joe Smith (2009) believes that our approach to reforming the healthcare system is backwards and costly.  He discusses our rising national debt in "Healthcare: Let's Talk" and lists several statistics to prove that Obama's new plan will only make things worse.

Summaries are most often used to condense larger texts into more manageable chucks. However, as a writer you should be aware that this more manageable chunks and easily become vague and weigh your paper down with fluff.

Paraphrasing Sources

Paraphrase your sources whenever you believe that you can make the information from a source shorter and/or clearer for your audience.  A paraphrase is NOT an exact copy of the original, simply changing a few words here and there is NOT acceptable. 

Take a look at these examples:     

The original passage from The Confident Student (6th ed.):  “Whatever your age, health and well-being can affect your ability to do well in college.  If you don’t eat sensibly, stay physically fit, manage your stress, and avoid harmful substances, then your health and your grades will suffer” (Kanar 158).  

A legitimate paraphrase: No matter what condition your body is in, you can pretty much guarantee that poor health habits will lead to a lack of academic success.  Students need to take time for their physical and emotional well-being, as well as their studies, during college (Kanar 158). 

A plagiarized version:  No matter how old you are, your well-being and your health can impact your ability to do a good job at school.  If you choose not to eat well, exercise, deal with stress, and avoid getting drunk, then your grades will go down (Kanar 158).

Because the art of paraphrasing is more concise than summarizing, a true paraphrase shows that you as a researcher completely understand the source work.

Quoting your sources

If you need help incorporating your sources into your essay, the first thing you'll need to remember is that quotes cannot stand alone--they can't be placed in a sentence all by themselves.  You need to make each quote a part of your essay by introducing it beforehand and commenting on it afterward.  

Think of each quote like a sandwich—the quote is the meat on the inside, but before you taste the meat, you must also be introduced to the sandwich by the bread. After you bite down on that meat, you need the other piece of bread to round out the meal.

The top piece of bread will tell us where the quote came from and/or how it fits in with what’s already been discussed in the essay.  The bottom piece of bread points out what was important about the quote and elaborates on what was being said.


Quoting FAQ’s

How do I use partial quotations to liven up my writing?

Be sure to introduce the author from the source work within the sentence itself  and use quotation marks. No comma is necessary to introduce the quoted phrase.

Example:

Margaret Reardon points out that today's economy cars are "better equipped" to handle accidents than the smaller cars of the past.

What are block quotations and how are they handled?

Block, or indent, quotations longer than four lines of type. When a quotation is indented, the use of quotation marks is not necessary, and the page number is included outside the ending punctuation.

Example:

Jordan stated:

Like many people who enjoy a leisurely pace of living with such attendant activities as reading, painting, or gardening, I often long for a simpler time, a time when families amused themselves by telling stories after supper, as opposed to watching Baghdad get bombed. (1)

Block quotes are indented by one inch, and should be used sparingly.

How do I punctuate shorter quotations?

For a quotation shorter than four lines, quotation marks are used and the page numbers fall inside the ending punctuation.

Example:

According to DR. Shannon Marcus:  "Many of our student's personal decisions will have the inherent dangers of instant gratification, and so will their political decisions," (548).

Do I use a comma or a colon to introduce a quotation?

A quotation is usually introduced by a comma or a colon. A colon precedes when a quotation is formally introduced or when the quotation itself is a complete sentence, but either no punctuation or a comma generally precedes when the quotation serves as an integral part of the sentence.

Compare:

Shelley argued thus: "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."

but

She thought poets "the unacknowledged legislators of the world."

or

"Poets," according to Shelley, "are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."

or

Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" concludes: "A sadder and a wiser man, / He rose the morrow morn."

How do I correctly change a quotation to suit my purpose, such as to identify a pronoun?

Often, a quotation you wish to use includes a pronoun instead of a name. Since you must copy the quotation verbatim, you should insert the name after the pronoun to clarify who you are talking about. Use brackets (not parenthesis).

Example: "He [Clapton] got the chills when he listened to that material recently."

What if my quotation contains a mistake?

Additionally, if your source makes a “mistak”, you copy the mistake because direct quotations are copied verbatim. However, you indicate that the mistake is not yours by using [sic], which means "thus" and tells the reader that the error appears in the original.

Example:

The professor stressed that "if your source makes a mistak [sic], you should copy the mistake because direct quotations are copied verbatim."

If quotations are verbatim, how do I leave something out of a quotation that I do not need?

Use ellipsis marks if you wish to leave something out of the middle of a quotation (perhaps it is not needed or will make your quotation too long).

Original Source:

She states that

many of our students' personal decisions will have the inherent dangers of instant gratification, and so will their political decisions. Virtual reality will make it possible for them to program themselves into scenarios we now merely fantasize about. As a result, imagination itself will require a new definition. (1)

Quoted with ellipses:

She states that

many of our students' personal decisions will have the inherent dangers of instant gratification, and so will their political decisions. . . . As a result, imagination itself will require a new definition. (1)

Note 1: There are only three ellipses marks used in this sentence. A period also appears, indicating that one sentence ended before the word "As." If you had only left out a few words in mid-sentence, then you would not need a period.

Note 2: Do not change the meaning of the quotation when you leave out part of it!

Note 3: Notice that now that information has been removed from the middle of  the quotation, it is only three lines long. It should no longer be indented.

Use ellipsis marks ( . . . ) at the beginning and end of quotations only if necessary. It is not always necessary to do so, and too many will damage the flow of your essay. Use them sparingly.

If my source quotes somebody else, how do I indicate this?

When you have a quotation within a quotation, handle it this way:

Indented original (article by David Fricke appearing in Rolling Stone):

Clapton [Eric] got the chills when he listened to that material recently. It was the first time he had done so in over fifteen years. "It got too much for me," he says. "Old memories started coming back; old issues raised their head. I think of the people in that band and what happened to them." (qtd. in Fricke 26)

Notice that this quotation is indented because it is longer than four lines. Therefore, no quotation marks are used at the beginning or the end. The quotation marks that appear at the end are the result of needing quotation marks around Clapton's remark, not because the entire paragraph is a quotation. Notice also that the first line is indented an additional five spaces. That's because it's the first sentence in the paragraph in the original. If you begin a quotation in mid-paragraph, there is no indention.

Clapton's name does not appear on your Works Cited page as he is not your source. Fricke is the source. Therefore, Fricke's name should appear. Since Clapton is speaking, however, use "qtd. in" (quoted in) for clarification.

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