When we cite, we should make clear what it is that we are citing. It must be clear to the reader just what it is that we owe to someone else, and whether we have quoted exactly or have used our own words and understanding of the original material.
The reader must be able to distinguish clearly between our words/work and the words/work of others.
Quotations—the exact words as used by others—are indicated either by quotation marks or by displaying (indenting) the quotation.
Paraphrase and summary of others’ work should similarly be distinguishable from our own words and ideas.
Use of a style guide ensures that our citations and references are recorded consistently.
Choice of introductory or parenthetical citation is often a matter of readability, emphasis and authority.
As noted in the definitions below, the citation in the text links to a full reference that will enable the reader to trace the exact material used.
The three main types of in-text citation are as follows.
In-text citation is done by an introductory and/or parenthetical citation providing:
the last name of the author, and