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In-Text Citations: The Basics

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Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style  can be found here .

Reference citations in text are covered on pages 261-268 of the Publication Manual. What follows are some general guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay.

Note:  On pages 117-118, the Publication Manual suggests that authors of research papers should use the past tense or present perfect tense for signal phrases that occur in the literature review and procedure descriptions (for example, Jones (1998)  found  or Jones (1998)  has found ...). Contexts other than traditionally-structured research writing may permit the simple present tense (for example, Jones (1998)  finds ).

APA Citation Basics

When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

If you are referring to an idea from another work but  NOT  directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference.

On the other hand, if you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “p.” (for one page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before listing the page number(s). Use an en dash for page ranges. For example, you might write (Jones, 1998, p. 199) or (Jones, 1998, pp. 199–201). This information is reiterated below.

Regardless of how they are referenced, all sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining

  • Always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials: D. Jones.
  • If you refer to the title of a source within your paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source:  Permanence and Change . Exceptions apply to short words that are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs:  Writing New Media ,  There Is Nothing Left to Lose .

( Note:  in your References list, only the first word of a title will be capitalized:  Writing new media .)

  • When capitalizing titles, capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound word:  Natural-Born Cyborgs .
  • Capitalize the first word after a dash or colon: "Defining Film Rhetoric: The Case of Hitchcock's  Vertigo ."
  • If the title of the work is italicized in your reference list, italicize it and use title case capitalization in the text:  The Closing of the American Mind ;  The Wizard of Oz ;  Friends .
  • If the title of the work is not italicized in your reference list, use double quotation marks and title case capitalization (even though the reference list uses sentence case): "Multimedia Narration: Constructing Possible Worlds;" "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry."

Short quotations

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by "p." for a single page and “pp.” for a span of multiple pages, with the page numbers separated by an en dash).

You can introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.

If you do not include the author’s name in the text of the sentence, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.

Long quotations

Place direct quotations that are 40 words or longer in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout, but do not add an extra blank line before or after it. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.

Because block quotation formatting is difficult for us to replicate in the OWL's content management system, we have simply provided a screenshot of a generic example below.

This image shows how to format a long quotation in an APA seventh edition paper.

Formatting example for block quotations in APA 7 style.

Quotations from sources without pages

Direct quotations from sources that do not contain pages should not reference a page number. Instead, you may reference another logical identifying element: a paragraph, a chapter number, a section number, a table number, or something else. Older works (like religious texts) can also incorporate special location identifiers like verse numbers. In short: pick a substitute for page numbers that makes sense for your source.

Summary or paraphrase

If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference and may omit the page numbers. APA guidelines, however, do encourage including a page range for a summary or paraphrase when it will help the reader find the information in a longer work. 

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How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

Are you feeling overwhelmed by referencing?

When you’re first asked to do referencing in an essay it can be hard to get your head around it. If it’s been a while since you were first taught how to reference, it can be intimidating to ask again how to do it!

I have so many students who consistently lose marks just because they didn’t get referencing right! They’re either embarrassed to ask for extra help or too lazy to learn how to solve the issues.

So, here’s a post that will help you solve the issues on your own.

Already think you’re good at referencing? No worries. This post goes through some surprising and advanced strategies for anyone to improve no matter what level you are at!

In this post I’m going to show you exactly how to reference in an essay. I’ll explain why we do it and I’ll show you 9 actionable tips on getting referencing right that I’m sure you will not have heard anywhere else!

The post is split into three parts:

  • What is a Reference and What is a Citation?
  • Why Reference? (4 Things you Should Know)
  • How to Reference (9 Strategies of Top Students)

If you think you’ve already got a good understanding of the basics, you can jump to our 9 Advanced Strategies section.

Part 1: What is a Reference and What is a Citation?

What is a citation.

An in-text mention of your source. A citation is a short mention of the source you got the information from, usually in the middle or end of a sentence in the body of your paragraph. It is usually abbreviated so as not to distract the reader too much from your own writing. Here’s two examples of citations. The first is in APA format. The second is in MLA format:

  • APA: Archaeological records trace the original human being to equatorial Africa about 250,000–350,000 years ago (Schlebusch & Jakobsson, 2018) .
  • MLA: Archaeological records trace the original human being to equatorial Africa about 250,000–350,000 years ago (Schlebusch and Jakobsson 1) .

In APA format, you’ve got the authors and year of publication listed. In MLA format, you’ve got the authors and page number listed. If you keep reading, I’ll give some more tips on formatting further down in this article.

And a Reference is:

What is a Reference?

A reference is the full details of a source that you list at the end of the article. For every citation (see above) there needs to be a corresponding reference at the end of the essay showing more details about that source. The idea is that the reader can see the source in-text (i.e. they can look at the citation) and if they want more information they can jump to the end of the page and find out exactly how to go about finding the source.

Here’s how you would go about referencing the Schlebusch and Jakobsson source in a list at the end of the essay. Again, I will show you how to do it in APA and MLA formats:

  • APA: Schlebusch, C. & Jakobsson, M. (2018). Tales of Human Migration, Admixture, and Selection in Africa. Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics , 11 (33), 1–24.
  • MLA: Schlebusch, Carina and Mattias Jakobsson. “Tales of Human Migration, Admixture, and Selection in Africa.” Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics , vol. 11, no. 33, 2018, pp. 1–24.

In strategy 1 below I’ll show you the easiest and fool proof way to write these references perfectly every time.

One last quick note: sometimes we say ‘reference’ when we mean ‘citation’. That’s pretty normal. Just roll with the punches. It’s usually pretty easy to pick up on what our teacher means regardless of whether they use the word ‘reference’ or ‘citation’.

Part 2: Why Reference in an Essay? (4 Things you Should Know)

Referencing in an essay is important. By the time you start doing 200-level courses, you probably won’t pass the course unless you reference appropriately. So, the biggest answer to ‘why reference?’ is simple: Because you Have To!

Okay let’s be serious though … here’s the four top ‘real’ reasons to reference:

1. Referencing shows you Got an Expert’s Opinion

You can’t just write an essay on what you think you know. This is a huge mistake of beginning students. Instead this is what you need to do:

Top Tip: Essays at university are supposed to show off that you’ve learned new information by reading the opinions of experts.

Every time you place a citation in your paragraph, you’re showing that the information you’re presenting in that paragraph was provided to you by an expert. In other words, it means you consulted an expert’s opinion to build your knowledge.

If you have citations throughout the essay with links to a variety of different expert opinions, you’ll show your marker that you did actually genuinely look at what the experts said with an open mind and considered their ideas.

This will help you to grow your grades.

2. Referencing shows you read your Assigned Readings

Your teacher will most likely give you scholarly journal articles or book chapters to read for homework between classes. You might have even talked about those assigned readings in your seminars and tutorials.

Great! The assigned readings are very important to you.

You should definitely cite the assigned readings relevant to your essay topic in your evaluative essay (unless your teacher tells you not to). Why? I’ll explain below.

  • Firstly, the assigned readings were selected by your teacher because your teacher (you know, the person who’s going to mark your essay) believes they’re the best quality articles on the topic. Translation: your teacher gave you the best source you’re going to find. Make sure you use it!
  • Secondly, by citing the assigned readings you are showing your teacher that you have been paying attention throughout the course. You are showing your teacher that you have done your homework, read those assigned readings and paid attention to them. When my students submit an essay that has references to websites, blogs, wikis and magazines I get very frustrated. Why would you cite low quality non-expert sources like websites when I gave you the expert’s article!? Really, it frustrates me so, so much.

So, cite the assigned readings to show your teacher you read the scholarly articles your teacher gave to you. It’ll help you grow your marks.

3. Referencing deepens your Knowledge

Okay, so you understand that you need to use referencing to show you got experts’ opinions on the topic.

But there’s more to it than that. There’s actually a real benefit for your learning.

If you force yourself to cite two expert sources per paragraph, you’re actually forcing yourself to get two separate pieces of expert knowledge. This will deepen your knowledge!

So, don’t treat referencing like a vanity exercise to help you gain more marks. Actually view it as an opportunity to develop deeper understandings of the topic!

When you read expert sources, aim to pick up on some new gems of knowledge that you can discuss in your essays. Some things you should look out for when finding sources to reference:

  • Examples that link ideas to real life. Do the experts provide real-life examples that you can mention in your essay?
  • Facts and figures. Usually experts have conducted research on a topic and provide you with facts and figures from their research. Use those facts and figures to deepen your essay!
  • Short Quotes. Did your source say something in a really interesting, concise or surprising way? Great! You can quote that source in your essay .
  • New Perspectives. Your source might give you another perspective, angle or piece of information that you can add to your paragraph so that it’s a deep, detailed and interesting paragraph.

So, the reason we ask you to reference is at the end of the day because it’s good for you: it helps you learn!

4. Referencing backs up your Claims

You might think you already know a ton of information about the topic and be ready to share your mountains of knowledge with your teacher. Great!

So, should you still reference?

Yes. Definitely.

You need to show that you’re not the only person with your opinion. You need to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants.’ Show what other sources have said about your points to prove that experts agree with you.

You should be saying: this is my opinion and it’s based on facts, expert opinions and deep, close scrutiny of all the arguments that exist out there .

If you make a claim that no one else has made, your teacher is going to be like “Have you even been reading the evidence on this topic?” The answer, if there are no citations is likely: No. You haven’t.

Even if you totally disagree with the experts, you still need to say what their opinions are! You’ll need to say: “This is the experts’ opinions. And this is why I disagree.”

So, yes, you need to reference to back up every claim. Try to reference twice in every paragraph to achieve this.

Part 3: Strategies for How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

Let’s get going with our top strategies for how to reference in an essay! These are strategies that you probably haven’t heard elsewhere. They work for everyone – from beginner to advanced! Let’s get started:

1. Print out your Reference Style Cheat Sheet

Referencing is hard and very specific. You need to know where to place your italics, where the commas go and whether to use an initial for full name for an author.

There are so many details to get right.

And here’s the bad news: The automated referencing apps and websites nearly always get it wrong! They tell you they can generate the citation for you. The fact of the matter is: they can’t!

Here’s the best way to get referencing right: Download a referencing cheat sheet and have it by your side while writing your essay.

Your assignment outline should tell you what type of referencing you should use. Different styles include: APA Style, MLA Style, Chicago Style, Harvard Style, Vancouver Style … and many more!

You need to find out which style you need to use and download your cheat sheet. You can jump onto google to find a cheat sheet by typing in the google bar:

how to reference in an essay

Download a pdf version of the referencing style cheat sheet, print it out, and place it on your pinboard or by your side when writing your essay.

2. Only cite Experts

There are good and bad sources to cite in an essay.

You should only cite sources written, critiqued and edited by experts. This shows that you have got the skill of finding information that is authoritative. You haven’t just used information that any old person popped up on their blog. You haven’t just gotten information from your local newspaper. Instead, you got information from the person who is an absolute expert on the topic.

Here’s an infographic listing sources that you should and shouldn’t cite. Feel free to share this infographic on social media, with your teachers and your friends:

good and bad sources infographic

3. Always use Google Scholar

Always. Use. Google. Scholar.

Ten years ago students only had their online university search database to find articles. Those university databases suck. They rarely find the best quality sources and there’s always a big mix of completely irrelevant sources mixed in there.

Google Scholar is better at finding the sources you want. That’s because it looks through the whole article abstract and analyses it to see if it’s relevant to your search keywords. By contrast, most university search databases rely only on the titles of articles.

Use the power of the best quality search engine in the world to find scholarly sources .

Note: Google and Google Scholar are different search engines.

To use Google Scholar, go to: https://scholar.google.com

Then, search on google scholar using keywords. I’m going to search keywords for an essay on the topic: “What are the traits of a good nurse?”

how to reference in an essay

If you really like the idea of that first source, I recommend copying the title and trying your University online search database. Your university may give you free access.

4. Cite at least 50% sources you found on your Own Research

Okay, so I’ve told you that you should cite both assigned readings and readings you find from Google Scholar.

Here’s the ideal mix of assigned sources and sources that you found yourself: 50/50.

Your teacher will want to see that you can use both assigned readings and do your own additional research to write a top essay . This shows you’ve got great research skills but also pay attention to what is provided in class.

I recommend that you start with the assigned readings and try to get as much information out of them, then find your own additional sources beyond that using Google Scholar.

So, if your essay has 10 citations, a good mix is 5 assigned readings and 5 readings you found by yourself.

5. Cite Newer Sources

As a general rule, the newer the source the better .

The best rule of thumb that most teachers follow is that you should aim to mostly cite sources from the past 10 years . I usually accept sources from the past 15 years when marking essays.

However, sometimes you have a really great source that’s 20, 30 or 40 years old. You should only cite these sources if they’re what we call ‘seminal texts’. A seminal text is one that was written by an absolute giant in your field and revolutionized the subject.

Here’s some examples of seminal authors whose old articles you would be able to cite despite the fact that they’re old:

  • Education: Vygotsky, Friere, Piaget
  • Sociology: Weber, Marx, C. Wright Mills
  • Psychology: Freud, Rogers, Jung

Even if I cite seminal authors, I always aim for at least 80% of my sources to have been written in the past 10 years.

6. Reference twice per Paragraph

How much should you reference?

Here’s a good strategy: Provide two citations in every paragraph in the body of the essay.

It’s not compulsory to reference in the introduction and conclusion . However, in all the other paragraphs, aim for two citations.

Let’s go over the key strategies for achieving this:

  • These two citations should be to different sources, not the same sources twice;
  • Two citations per paragraph shows your points are backed up by not one, but two expert sources;
  • Place one citation in the first half of the paragraph and one in the second half. This will indicate to your marker that all the points in the whole paragraph are backed up by your citations.

This is a good rule of thumb for you when you’re not sure when and how often to reference. When you get more confident with your referencing, you can mix this up a little.

7. The sum total of your sources should be minimum 1 per 150 words

You can, of course, cite one source more than once throughout the essay. You might cite the same source in the second, fourth and fifth paragraphs. That’s okay.

Essay Writing Tip: Provide one unique citation in the reference list for every 150 words in the essay.

But, you don’t want your whole essay to be based on a narrow range of sources. You want your marker to see that you have consulted multiple sources to get a wide range of information on the topic. Your marker wants to know that you’ve seen a range of different opinions when coming to your conclusions.

When you get to the end of your essay, check to see how many sources are listed in the end-text reference list. A good rule of thumb is 1 source listed in the reference list per 150 words. Here’s how that breaks down by essay size:

  • 1500 word essay: 10 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
  • 2000 word essay: 13 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
  • 3000 word essay: 20 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
  • 5000 word essay: 33 sources (or more) listed in the reference list

8. Instantly improve your Reference List with these Three Tips

Here’s two things you can do to instantly improve your reference list. It takes less than 20 seconds and gives your reference list a strong professional finish:

a) Ensure the font size and style are the same

You will usually find that your whole reference list ends up being in different font sizes and styles. This is because you tend to copy and paste the titles and names in the citations from other sources. If you submit the reference list with font sizes and styles that are not the same as the rest of the essay, the piece looks really unprofessional.

So, quickly highlight the whole reference list and change its font to the same font size and style as the rest of your essay. The screencast at the end of Step 8 walks you through this if you need a hand!

b) List your sources in alphabetical order.

Nearly every referencing style insists that references be listed in alphabetical order. It’s a simple thing to do before submitting and makes the piece look far more professional.

If you’re using Microsoft Word, simply highlight your whole reference list and click the A>Z button in the toolbar. If you can’t see it, you need to be under the ‘home’ tab (circled below):

how to reference in an essay

You’ve probably never heard of a hanging indent. It’s a style where the second line of the reference list is indented further from the left-hand side of the page than the first line. It’s a strategy that’s usually used in reference lists provided in professional publications.

If you use the hanging indent, your reference list will look far more professional.

Here’s a quick video of me doing it for you:

9. Do one special edit especially for Referencing Style

The top students edit their essays three to five times spaced out over a week or more before submitting. One of those edits should be specifically for ensuring your reference list adheres to the referencing style that your teacher requires.

To do this, I recommend you get that cheat sheet printout that I mentioned in Step 1 and have it by your side while you read through the piece. Pay special attention to the use of commas, capital letters, brackets and page numbers for all citations. Also pay attention to the reference list: correct formatting of the reference list can be the difference between getting the top mark in the class and the fifth mark in the class. At the higher end of the marking range, things get competitive and formatting of the reference list counts.

A Quick Summary of the 9 Top Strategies…

How to reference in an essay

Follow the rules of your referencing style guide (and that cheat sheet I recommended!) and use the top 9 tips above to improve your referencing and get top marks. Not only will your referencing look more professional, you’ll probably increase the quality of the content of your piece as well when you follow these tips!

Here’s a final summary of the 9 top tips:

Strategies for How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

  • Print out your Reference Style Cheat Sheet
  • Only cite Experts
  • Always use Google Scholar
  • Cite at least 50% sources you found on your Own Research
  • Cite Newer Sources
  • Reference twice per Paragraph
  • The sum total of your sources should be minimum 1 per 150 words
  • Instantly improve your Reference List with these Three Tips
  • Do one special edit especially for Referencing Style

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 50 Durable Goods Examples
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Quick guide to Harvard referencing (Cite Them Right)

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There are different versions of the Harvard referencing style. This guide is a quick introduction to the commonly-used Cite Them Right version. You will find further guidance available through the OU Library on the Cite Them Right Database .

For help and support with referencing and the full Cite Them Right guide, have a look at the Library’s page on referencing and plagiarism . If you need guidance referencing OU module material you can check out which sections of Cite Them Right are recommended when referencing physical and online module material .

This guide does not apply to OU Law undergraduate students . If you are studying a module beginning with W1xx, W2xx or W3xx, you should refer to the Quick guide to Cite Them Right referencing for Law modules .

Table of contents

In-text citations and full references.

  • Secondary referencing
  • Page numbers
  • Citing multiple sources published in the same year by the same author

Full reference examples

Referencing consists of two elements:

  • in-text citations, which are inserted in the body of your text and are included in the word count. An in-text citation gives the author(s) and publication date of a source you are referring to. If the publication date is not given, the phrase 'no date' is used instead of a date. If using direct quotations or you refer to a specific section in the source you also need the page number/s if available, or paragraph number for web pages.
  • full references, which are given in alphabetical order in reference list at the end of your work and are not included in the word count. Full references give full bibliographical information for all the sources you have referred to in the body of your text.

To see a reference list and intext citations check out this example assignment on Cite Them Right .

Difference between reference list and bibliography

a reference list only includes sources you have referred to in the body of your text

a bibliography includes sources you have referred to in the body of your text AND sources that were part of your background reading that you did not use in your assignment

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Examples of in-text citations

You need to include an in-text citation wherever you quote or paraphrase from a source. An in-text citation consists of the last name of the author(s), the year of publication, and a page number if relevant. There are a number of ways of incorporating in-text citations into your work - some examples are provided below. Alternatively you can see examples of setting out in-text citations in Cite Them Right .

Note: When referencing a chapter of an edited book, your in-text citation should give the author(s) of the chapter.

Online module materials

(Includes written online module activities, audio-visual material such as online tutorials, recordings or videos).

When referencing material from module websites, the date of publication is the year you started studying the module.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication/presentation) 'Title of item'. Module code: Module title . Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

OR, if there is no named author:

The Open University (Year of publication/presentation) 'Title of item'. Module code: Module title . Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

Rietdorf, K. and Bootman, M. (2022) 'Topic 3: Rare diseases'. S290: Investigating human health and disease . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=1967195 (Accessed: 24 January 2023).

The Open University (2022) ‘3.1 The purposes of childhood and youth research’. EK313: Issues in research with children and young people . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=1949633&section=1.3 (Accessed: 24 January 2023).

You can also use this template to reference videos and audio that are hosted on your module website:

The Open University (2022) ‘Video 2.7 An example of a Frith-Happé animation’. SK298: Brain, mind and mental health . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=2013014&section=4.9.6 (Accessed: 22 November 2022).

The Open University (2022) ‘Audio 2 Interview with Richard Sorabji (Part 2)’. A113: Revolutions . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=1960941&section=5.6 (Accessed: 22 November 2022).

Note: if a complete journal article has been uploaded to a module website, or if you have seen an article referred to on the website and then accessed the original version, reference the original journal article, and do not mention the module materials. If only an extract from an article is included in your module materials that you want to reference, you should use secondary referencing, with the module materials as the 'cited in' source, as described above.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of message', Title of discussion board , in Module code: Module title . Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

Fitzpatrick, M. (2022) ‘A215 - presentation of TMAs', Tutor group discussion & Workbook activities , in A215: Creative writing . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/forumng/discuss.php?d=4209566 (Accessed: 24 January 2022).

Note: When an ebook looks like a printed book, with publication details and pagination, reference as a printed book.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) Title . Edition if later than first. Place of publication: publisher. Series and volume number if relevant.

For ebooks that do not contain print publication details

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) Title of book . Available at: DOI or URL (Accessed: date).

Example with one author:

Bell, J. (2014) Doing your research project . Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Adams, D. (1979) The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy . Available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-ebooks (Accessed: 23 June 2021).

Example with two or three authors:

Goddard, J. and Barrett, S. (2015) The health needs of young people leaving care . Norwich: University of East Anglia, School of Social Work and Psychosocial Studies.

Example with four or more authors:

Young, H.D. et al. (2015) Sears and Zemansky's university physics . San Francisco, CA: Addison-Wesley.

Note: You can choose one or other method to reference four or more authors (unless your School requires you to name all authors in your reference list) and your approach should be consistent.

Note: Books that have an editor, or editors, where each chapter is written by a different author or authors.

Surname of chapter author, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of chapter or section', in Initial. Surname of book editor (ed.) Title of book . Place of publication: publisher, Page reference.

Franklin, A.W. (2012) 'Management of the problem', in S.M. Smith (ed.) The maltreatment of children . Lancaster: MTP, pp. 83–95.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Journal , volume number (issue number), page reference.

If accessed online:

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Journal , volume number (issue number), page reference. Available at: DOI or URL (if required) (Accessed: date).

Shirazi, T. (2010) 'Successful teaching placements in secondary schools: achieving QTS practical handbooks', European Journal of Teacher Education , 33(3), pp. 323–326.

Shirazi, T. (2010) 'Successful teaching placements in secondary schools: achieving QTS practical handbooks', European Journal of Teacher Education , 33(3), pp. 323–326. Available at: https://libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/log... (Accessed: 27 January 2023).

Barke, M. and Mowl, G. (2016) 'Málaga – a failed resort of the early twentieth century?', Journal of Tourism History , 2(3), pp. 187–212. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/1755182X.2010.523145

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Newspaper , Day and month, Page reference.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Newspaper , Day and month, Page reference if available. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Mansell, W. and Bloom, A. (2012) ‘£10,000 carrot to tempt physics experts’, The Guardian , 20 June, p. 5.

Roberts, D. and Ackerman, S. (2013) 'US draft resolution allows Obama 90 days for military action against Syria', The Guardian , 4 September. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/04/syria-strikes-draft-resolut... (Accessed: 9 September 2015).

Surname, Initial. (Year that the site was published/last updated) Title of web page . Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Organisation (Year that the page was last updated) Title of web page . Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Robinson, J. (2007) Social variation across the UK . Available at: https://www.bl.uk/british-accents-and-dialects/articles/social-variation... (Accessed: 21 November 2021).

The British Psychological Society (2018) Code of Ethics and Conduct . Available at: https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/bps-code-ethics-and-conduct (Accessed: 22 March 2019).

Note: Cite Them Right Online offers guidance for referencing webpages that do not include authors' names and dates. However, be extra vigilant about the suitability of such webpages.

Surname, Initial. (Year) Title of photograph . Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Kitton, J. (2013) Golden sunset . Available at: https://www.jameskittophotography.co.uk/photo_8692150.html (Accessed: 21 November 2021).

stanitsa_dance (2021) Cossack dance ensemble . Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/COI_slphWJ_/ (Accessed: 13 June 2023).

Note: If no title can be found then replace it with a short description.

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How to Write an Academic Essay with References and Citations

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Written by  Scribendi

If you're wondering how to write an academic essay with references, look no further. In this article, we'll discuss how to use in-text citations and references, including how to cite a website, how to cite a book, and how to cite a Tweet, according to various style guides.

How to Cite a Website

You might need to cite sources when writing a paper that references other sources. For example, when writing an essay, you may use information from other works, such as books, articles, or websites. You must then inform readers where this information came from. Failure to do so, even accidentally, is plagiarism—passing off another person's work as your own.

You can avoid plagiarism and show readers where to find information by using citations and references. 

Citations tell readers where a piece of information came from. They take the form of footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical elements, depending on your style guide. In-text citations are usually placed at the end of a sentence containing the relevant information. 

A reference list , bibliography, or works cited list at the end of a text provides additional details about these cited sources. This list includes enough publication information allowing readers to look up these sources themselves.

Referencing is important for more than simply avoiding plagiarism. Referring to a trustworthy source shows that the information is reliable. Referring to reliable information can also support your major points and back up your argument. 

Learning how to write an academic essay with references and how to use in-text citations will allow you to cite authors who have made similar arguments. This helps show that your argument is objective and not entirely based on personal biases.

How Do You Determine Which Style Guide to Use?

How to Write an Academic Essay with References

Often, a professor will assign a style guide. The purpose of a style guide is to provide writers with formatting instructions. If your professor has not assigned a style guide, they should still be able to recommend one. 

If you are entirely free to choose, pick one that aligns with your field (for example, APA is frequently used for scientific writing). 

Some of the most common style guides are as follows:

AP style for journalism

Chicago style for publishing

APA style for scholarly writing (commonly used in scientific fields)

MLA style for scholarly citations (commonly used in English literature fields)

Some journals have their own style guides, so if you plan to publish, check which guide your target journal uses. You can do this by locating your target journal's website and searching for author guidelines.

How Do You Pick Your Sources?

When learning how to write an academic essay with references, you must identify reliable sources that support your argument. 

As you read, think critically and evaluate sources for:

Objectivity

Keep detailed notes on the sources so that you can easily find them again, if needed.

Tip: Record these notes in the format of your style guide—your reference list will then be ready to go.

How to Use In-Text Citations in MLA

An in-text citation in MLA includes the author's last name and the relevant page number: 

(Author 123)

How to Cite a Website in MLA

How to Cite a Website in MLA

Here's how to cite a website in MLA:

Author's last name, First name. "Title of page."

Website. Website Publisher, date. Web. Date

retrieved. <URL>

With information from a real website, this looks like:

Morris, Nancy. "How to Cite a Tweet in APA,

Chicago, and MLA." Scribendi. Scribendi

Inc., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2021.

<https://www.scribendi.com/academy/articles/how_to_cite_a_website.en.html>

How Do You Cite a Tweet in MLA ?

MLA uses the full text of a short Tweet (under 140 characters) as its title. Longer Tweets can be shortened using ellipses. 

MLA Tweet references should be formatted as follows:

@twitterhandle (Author Name). "Text of Tweet." Twitter, Date Month, Year, time of

publication, URL.

With information from an actual Tweet, this looks like:

@neiltyson (Neil deGrasse Tyson). "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an

argument that they didn't use reason to get into." Twitter, 29 Sept. 2020, 10:15 p.m.,

https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/1311127369785192449 .

How to Cite a Book in MLA

Here's how to cite a book in MLA:

Author's last name, First name. Book Title. Publisher, Year.

With publication information from a real book, this looks like:

Montgomery, L.M. Rainbow Valley. Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1919.

How to Cite a Chapter in a Book in MLA

Author's last name, First name. "Title of Chapter." Book Title , edited by Editor Name,

Publisher, Year, pp. page range.

With publication information from an actual book, this looks like:

Ezell, Margaret J.M. "The Social Author: Manuscript Culture, Writers, and Readers." The

Broadview Reader in Book History , edited by Michelle Levy and Tom Mole, Broadview

Press, 2015,pp. 375–394.

How to  Cite a Paraphrase in MLA

You can cite a paraphrase in MLA exactly the same way as you would cite a direct quotation. 

Make sure to include the author's name (either in the text or in the parenthetical citation) and the relevant page number.

How to Use In-Text Citations in APA

In APA, in-text citations include the author's last name and the year of publication; a page number is included only if a direct quotation is used: 

(Author, 2021, p. 123)

How to Cite a Website in APA

Here's how to cite a website in APA:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year, Month. date of publication). Title of page. https://URL

Morris, N. (n.d.). How to cite a Tweet in APA, Chicago, and MLA. 

https://www.scribendi.com/academy/articles/how_to_cite_a_website.en.html       

Tip: Learn more about how to write an academic essay with  references to websites .

How Do You  Cite a Tweet in APA ?

APA refers to Tweets using their first 20 words. 

Tweet references should be formatted as follows:

Author, A. A. [@twitterhandle). (Year, Month. date of publication). First 20 words of the

Tweet. [Tweet] Twitter. URL

When we input information from a real Tweet, this looks like:

deGrasse Tyson, N. [@neiltyson]. (2020, Sept. 29). You can't use reason to convince anyone

out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into. [Tweet] Twitter.

https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/1311127369785192449

How to Cite a Book in APA

How to Cite a Book in APA

Here's how to cite a book in APA:   

Author, A. A. (Year). Book title. Publisher.

For a real book, this looks like:

Montgomery, L. M. (1919). Rainbow valley.

Frederick A. Stokes Company.

How to Cite a Chapter in a Book in APA

Author, A. A. (Year). Chapter title. In Editor Name (Ed.), Book Title (pp. page range).

With information from a real book, this looks like:

Ezell, M. J. M. (2014). The social author: Manuscript culture, writers, and readers. In

Michelle Levy and Tom Mole (Eds.), The Broadview Reader in Book History (pp. 375–

394). Broadview Press.

Knowing how to cite a book and how to cite a chapter in a book correctly will take you a long way in creating an effective reference list.

How to Cite a Paraphrase

How to Cite a Paraphrase in APA

You can cite a paraphrase in APA the same way as you would cite a direct quotation, including the author's name and year of publication. 

In APA, you may also choose to pinpoint the page from which the information is taken.

Referencing is an essential part of academic integrity. Learning how to write an academic essay with references and how to use in-text citations shows readers that you did your research and helps them locate your sources.

Learning how to cite a website, how to cite a book, and how to cite a paraphrase can also help you avoid plagiarism —an academic offense with serious consequences for your education or professional reputation.

Scribendi can help format your citations or review your whole paper with our Academic Editing services .

Take Your Essay from Good to Great

Hire an expert academic editor , or get a free sample, about the author.

Scribendi Editing and Proofreading

Scribendi's in-house editors work with writers from all over the globe to perfect their writing. They know that no piece of writing is complete without a professional edit, and they love to see a good piece of writing transformed into a great one. Scribendi's in-house editors are unrivaled in both experience and education, having collectively edited millions of words and obtained numerous degrees. They love consuming caffeinated beverages, reading books of various genres, and relaxing in quiet, dimly lit spaces.

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How to Reference Essays

Last Updated: January 8, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alexander Peterman, MA . Alexander Peterman is a Private Tutor in Florida. He received his MA in Education from the University of Florida in 2017. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 368,245 times.

When you begin writing a research essay, you must take into account the format of your writing and reference pages. There are several reference styles that may be assigned to you, including MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago. Each one has its own set of rules. There's no need to familiarize yourself with all 3 unless you have to, but you do need to learn at least one if you’re in any field involving academic writing. Here are summaries of each style to help you start your essay on the right track.

Referencing Essays Templates

how to reference a book in your essay

  • You will need a citation directly after every sentence (or group of sentences if you're citing the same source in multiple consecutive sentences) containing information you didn't think of yourself. These include: paraphrases, facts, statistics, quotes, and examples.
  • An in-text citation using MLA will simply have the author last name (or title if no author) followed by the page number. No comma between author and page number. For example: (Richards 456) Richards is the author last name, and 456 is the page number.
  • If you have an author name (or title, if no author) but no page number, simply use author last name (or title).

Step 2 Gather information.

  • The easiest way to keep track of MLA citations while doing research is to copy and paste copyright information into a word processing document as you go, or to write it down in a notebook.
  • Things to include for any source are author(s), date published, publisher, page number, volume and issue number, website, date accessed, anything that appears on the copyright page or indicates how to find it again. [2] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 3 Organize the sources.

  • As an example, the format for a standard book citation using MLA style is as follows: Last name of author, First name. Title of Book. City published: Publisher Name, Year published. Source Medium.
  • An MLA website citation looks like the following. If there's no author listed, begin citation with the name of the page: Last name, first name. "Page Title." Website Title. Publisher. Date published. Source Medium. Date accessed.
  • An MLA scholarly article citation looks like the following: Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal . Volume.Issue (Year): page numbers. Source Medium.
  • Write the title of the main work (book, magazine, journal, website, etc.) in italics, or underline if you’re writing references by hand.
  • Chapter or article titles should be in quotation marks.

Step 4 Alphabetize the list.

  • If there is no author listed, as is common on websites, simply skip the author’s name and begin the entry with the title of the work.
  • Alphabetize by the first letter that appears in the entry, whether it has an author name or not.

Step 5 Format the Works Cited page.

  • The formatting should be in Times New Roman font, size 12, with “Works Cited” centered at the top of a new page.
  • Each entry should have hanging indent, meaning all lines below the first line are indented by half an inch.
  • Make sure there is a period after each section of the citations. A period should always end the citation.

Step 1 Cite while you write.

  • Place a parenthetical citation at the end of every sentence (or group of sentences if you're using the same source for multiple consecutive sentences) containing information you didn't know before doing research.
  • An in-text citation using APA will simply have the author last name (or title if no author) followed by the year it was published. No comma between name and year. For example: (Richards 2005) Richards is the author last name, and 2005 is the year.
  • If you have an author name (or title if no author) but no page number, simply use author last name (or title). This is common when citing websites.
  • APA document formatting is very important. APA papers are divided up into 4 sections: the title page, the abstract, the main body, and the references page. The citations of a research paper using APA appear in the References section, the last portion of an APA document. [7] X Research source

Step 2 Gather information.

  • To form APA reference page citations, you will need such information as author name(s), date published, website URL, date you accessed the website, title of work, and so on. [8] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 3 Organize the list.

  • For example, the format for an APA reference of a scholarly journal article is as follows: Author last name, First initial. (Year published). Article or chapter title. Journal or book title, Issue number , page number range. [10] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • The format for an APA book reference looks like: Last name, First name. (Year.) Title of Book: Capital letter also for subtitle . Location: Publisher.
  • The format for an APA website reference looks like: Author, A.A. First name, & Author, B.B. (Date published.) Title of article. In Title of webpage or larger document or book (chapter or section number). Retrieved from URL address

Step 4 Format the page.

  • Capitalize the author's last name and first initial, followed by a period.
  • Only capitalize the first word of a journal article title, unless the title contains a proper noun (called sentence case). Titles of books should preserve the published capitalization.
  • Capitalize the city of publication, and use correct state abbreviations for states. Also capitalize the name of the publisher and end the reference with a period.
  • The title of larger works, whether a book, journal, website, or magazine, is in italics (or underlined if handwriting), as is the issue number that appears right after the title. Titles for shorter works like articles and chapters should not have any indicative punctuation in an APA entry. [12] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • A period should end all citations.

Using Chicago Manual of Style

Step 1 Cite while you write.

  • For Notes and Bibliography, you will use a superscript at the instance of each quote in the text with a corresponding footnote at the end of the page. All footnotes are compiled into endnotes at the end of the work, on the bibliography page. [14] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • For Author Date, you will use parenthetical in-text citations that include author last name and year published, using no punctuation between name and year. The full version of each parenthetical citation is listed alphabetically on the references page. For example: (Simon 2011) Simon is the author last name, and 2011 is the year.
  • You will need a citation directly after every sentence (or group of sentences if you're using the same source for multiple consecutive sentences) containing information you didn't think of yourself. These include: paraphrases, facts, statistics, quotes, and examples.

Step 2 Gather information.

  • If using a book, write down all pertinent information found on the copyright page, including the name of the publisher and the city and year of publication.
  • For other sources, look for this information near the title of the piece you’re looking at. Publication date is often at the bottom of webpages.

Step 3 Use Notes and Bibliography if instructed.

  • Title your references page “Bibliography” centered at the top of the page. Leave 2 blank lines between this title and the first entry, and one blank line between entries.
  • Notes and Bibliography style uses footnotes for page endings and endnotes for chapter endings. The bibliography page will be an alphabetized list of all sources in hanging indent.
  • An example format for a book is as follows: Last name, First name. Book Title . City: Publisher, Year.
  • An example format for a chapter in a print scholarly journal is as follows: Author last name, first name. "Title of Chapter or Article." Book or journal Title Issue Number (Year): Page number range. (For an online scholarly journal article, tack on the following at the end: Date accessed. URL address.)
  • When there is no known author, the entry should begin with the title of the document, whether it's a webpage, chapter, article, and so on.
  • When there are multiple authors, the first listed author appears last name, first name, so that the citation is alphabetized by this author's last name. Subsequent authors are listed by first name, like this: Alcott, Louisa May, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell.
  • Always end a citation with a period.

Step 4 Use Author Date if instructed.

  • When using Author Date style, title your references page “References” centered at the top of the page. Leave 2 blank lines between this title and the first entry, and 1 blank line between entries.
  • Author Date style bibliographies should be organized alphabetically by last name (or by title if no author) in hanging indent.
  • An example format for a book is as follows: Last name, first name. Year. Book Title . City Published: Publisher.
  • An example format for a chapter in a print scholarly journal is as follows: Author last name, first name. Year. "Title of Chapter or Article." Book or journal title issue number: page numbers. (for an online scholarly journal article tack this onto the end: Date accessed. URL address.)
  • An example format for a website is as follows: Name of Website. Year. "Page Title." Date last modified. Date accessed. URL address.

Expert Q&A

Alexander Peterman, MA

  • You don't have to write each bibliography or reference entry on your own. You can download citation management software like Endnote [17] X Research source (purchase required on this one), Zotero [18] X Research source (it's free), or use websites like http://www.bibme.org/ and http://www.easybib.com/ . Select the name of your style manual before you begin creating citations. Copy and paste the citation into your bibliography or references list. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you are assigned to write a paper or other written document in one of these styles, you need to purchase the style manual. It will contain nearly every instance not only of source citation, but paper formatting as well as grammar and punctuation that is unique to that style. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to reference a book in your essay

  • This article only lists how to cite research for each style manual. Each style has its own instructions for setting up the format of the essay, including heading, spacing, margins, font, and so on. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

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Write an Essay

  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.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/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_books.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_author_authors.html
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_electronic_sources.html
  • ↑ https://libguides.jcu.edu.au/apa/reference-list
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_author_authors.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_basic_rules.html
  • ↑ https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/chicago_manual_of_style_17th_edition.html
  • ↑ http://guides.nyu.edu/c.php?g=276562&p=1844734
  • ↑ http://endnote.com
  • ↑ https://www.zotero.org

About This Article

Alexander Peterman, MA

To reference an essay using MLA style, add a citation after any information you found through a source, like facts or quotes. When citing the reference, include the author’s name and the page number you pulled the information from in parenthesis, like “(Richards 456).” Once you’ve finished your essay, add a Words Cited page with all of the information you used to research your essay, like books or articles. To create a Works Cited page, list the sources in alphabetical order using the author’s last name, and include additional information, like year published and the medium. For more tips from our Writing reviewer, like how to reference an essay using APA style, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Answered By: Gabe Gossett Last Updated: Jun 22, 2023     Views: 625652

The basic format for an in-text citation is: Title of the Book (Author Last Name, year).

One author: Where the Wild Things Are (Sendak, 1963) is a depiction of a child coping with his anger towards his mom.

Two authors (cite both names every time): Brabant and Mooney (1986) have used the comic strip to examine evidence of sex role stereotyping. OR The comic strip has been used to examine evidence of sex role stereotyping (Brabant & Mooney, 1986).

Three or more authors (cite the first author plus et al.): Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Clare et al., 2016) depicts a young man's experience at the Shadowhunter Academy, a place where being a former vampire is looked down upon.OR Clare et al. (2016) have crafted a unique story about a young man's journey to find himself.

No author: Cite the first few words of the reference entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter, and italicize the title of a periodical, book, brochure, or report. Examples: From the book Study Guide (2000) ... or ("Reading," 1999).

Note: Titles of periodicals, books, brochures, or reports should be in italics and use normal title capitalization rules.

If you are citing multiple sources by multiple authors in-text, you can list all of them by the author's last name and year of publication within the same set of parentheses, separated by semicolons.

Example: (Adams, 1999; Jones & James, 2000; Miller, 1999)

For more information on how to cite books in-text and as a reference entry, see the APA Publication Manual (7th edition) Section 10.2 on pages 321-325 .

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Comments (13)

  • This was very useful for me! I was having a really hard time finding information on how to mention an article title AND the author in text in APA so this was very helpful!!! by Ryan Waddell on Jun 27, 2019
  • If I just mention that I used a book to teach a topic do I have to include it in the reference list? by Franw on Oct 17, 2019
  • @Franw, if it is a source that informs your paper in any way, or if your reader would have reason to look it up, then you should include a full reference list entry for the book. by Gabe [Research & Writing Studio] on Oct 18, 2019
  • Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but I think the OP is asking how to refer to a book title, not how to cite one. I believe APA uses quotation marks around book titles and MLA uses italics. by AB on Dec 12, 2019
  • @AB: The first sentence has been tweaked to clarify title of book usage, reflecting the examples given. For APA style you should use italics for book titles. It would be quotation marks. by Gabe [Research & Writing Studio] on Dec 12, 2019
  • Hi, can any one help me with in-text-citation of this, how can i cite it in the text Panel, I. L. (2002). Digital transformation: A framework for ICT literacy. Educational Testing Service, 1-53. by Milad on Aug 20, 2021
  • @Milad: In that case it would be (Panel, 2002). If you are quoting, or otherwise choosing to include page numbers, put a comma after the year, then p. and the page number(s). by Gabe Gossett on Aug 20, 2021
  • Hey, I'm a little bit curious, what if I'm mentioning a book and paraphrasing it but still want to give credit. Would I put the information into parenthesis instead? Like: Paraphrased info. ("Title in Italics" Author, year) by Kai on Sep 14, 2023
  • @Kai: Apologies for not seeing your question sooner! (Our academic year has not started yet). If I am understanding your question correctly, what I suggest is referring to the book title in the narrative of your writing, rather than in the in-text citation. I do not see an examples of using a book title in an in-text citation except for rare circumstances including citing a classic religious text or using the title when there is no author information because it is the start of your reference list entry. Basically, APA's in-text convention is supposed to make it easy for your reader to locate the source being cited in the reference list. So the first part of the in-text citation, usually authors, comes first to locate it alphabetically. Putting the book title first when you have an author name can throw that off. by Gabe Gossett on Sep 21, 2023
  • Perhaps this is along the lines of the response to Kai - Can you reference a book title as a common point of social understanding to demonstrate a common concept? Is official citing required if you use widely known titles such as "Where's Waldo" and "Who Moved My Cheese?" to make a point of illustration? by Chez Renee on Sep 30, 2023
  • @Chez: Aside from some classical religious texts, if it is a published book, I'd try to make sure that it is appropriately cited for APA style. That said, I think I understand where it gets tricky with things like Where's Waldo, since that is a series of books and stating "Where's Waldo" is a cultural reference many people would understand, though you can't reasonably cite the entire series. I don't believe that APA gives guidance for this particular issue. If it is being referred to in order to back up a claim, it would help to cite a particular book. If not, then it might work to use a statement such as, "Hanford's Where's Waldo series . . ." by Gabe Gossett on Oct 02, 2023
  • How to cite a dissertation thesis in apa form? by Elizabeth on Feb 05, 2024
  • @Elizabeth: For citing a dissertation or thesis you can check out our page answering that here https://askus.library.wwu.edu/faq/153308 by Gabe Gossett on Feb 05, 2024

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / MLA Format / How to Cite an Essay in MLA

How to Cite an Essay in MLA

The guidelines for citing an essay in MLA format are similar to those for citing a chapter in a book. Include the author of the essay, the title of the essay, the name of the collection if the essay belongs to one, the editor of the collection or other contributors, the publication information, and the page number(s).

Citing an Essay

Mla essay citation structure.

Last, First M. “Essay Title.” Collection Title, edited by First M. Last, Publisher, year published, page numbers. Website Title , URL (if applicable).

MLA Essay Citation Example

Gupta, Sanjay. “Balancing and Checking.” Essays on Modern Democracy, edited by Bob Towsky, Brook Stone Publishers, 1996, pp. 36-48. Essay Database, www . databaseforessays.org/modern/modern-democracy.

MLA Essay In-text Citation Structure

(Last Name Page #)

MLA Essay In-text Citation Example

Click here to cite an essay via an EasyBib citation form.

MLA Formatting Guide

MLA Formatting

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Citation Examples

  • Book Chapter
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  • View all MLA Examples

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To cite your sources in an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author’s name(s), chapter title, book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citations and a works-cited-list entry for essay sources and some examples are given below:

In-text citation template and example:

For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author on the first occurrence. For subsequent citations, use only the surname(s). In parenthetical citations, always use only the surname of the author(s).

Citation in prose:

First mention: Annette Wheeler Cafarelli

Subsequent occurrences: Wheeler Cafarelli

Parenthetical:

….(Wheeler Cafarelli).

Works-cited-list entry template and example:

The title of the chapter is enclosed in double quotation marks and uses title case. The book or collection title is given in italics and uses title case.

Surname, First Name. “Title of the Chapter.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Year, page range.

Cafarelli, Annette Wheeler. “Rousseau and British Romanticism: Women and British Romanticism.” Cultural Interactions in the Romantic Age: Critical Essays in Comparative Literature , edited by Gregory Maertz. State U of New York P, 1998, pp. 125–56.

To cite an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author(s), the essay title, the book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for citations in prose, parenthetical citations, and works-cited-list entries for an essay by multiple authors, and some examples, are given below:

For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author (e.g., Mary Strine).

For sources with two authors, use both full author names in prose (e.g., Mary Strine and Beth Radick).

For sources with three or more authors, use the first name and surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues” (e.g., Mary Strine and others). In subsequent citations, use only the surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues” (e.g., Strine and others).

In parenthetical citations, use only the author’s surname. For sources with two authors, use two surnames (e.g., Strine and Radick). For sources with three or more author names, use the first author’s surname followed by “et al.”

First mention: Mary Strine…

Subsequent mention: Strine…

First mention: Mary Strine and Beth Radick…

Subsequent mention: Strine and Radick…

First mention: Mary Strine and colleagues …. or Mary Strine and others

Subsequent occurrences: Strine and colleagues …. or Strine and others

…. (Strine).

….(Strine and Radick).

….(Strine et al.).

The title of the essay is enclosed in double quotation marks and uses title case. The book or collection title is given in italics and uses title case.

Surname, First Name, et al. “Title of the Essay.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Year, page range.

Strine, Mary M., et al. “Research in Interpretation and Performance Studies: Trends, Issues, Priorities.” Speech Communication: Essays to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Speech Communication Association , edited by Gerald M. Phillips and Julia T. Wood, Southern Illinois UP, 1990, pp. 181–204.

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Citing a Book

Helpful Tips:

Be aware that many books are collections of essays written by several different people and edited by one author. If this is the case for you, format your reference information as a  chapter/essay from a book  rather than citing the entire book.

When using a book that has  more than two authors , include only the name of the first author, followed by "et al." For example:

     Smith, John, et al.  Book Title etc.

Indicate any edition other than the first edition.  For example:

Fletcher, Neville H., and Thomas D. Rossing.  The Physics of Musical Instruments . 2nd ed., Springer, 1998.

How to Cite a Book (entire book)

References to books usually include the following elements:

Author, First, and Second Author. Title of Book  Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized . Edition abbreviated if appropriate, Publisher, Date. NOTE:  The place of publication is not generally included; medium is no longer included.

MLA style book citation

*  Note: Citations are single-spaced here, but be sure to double-space your Works Cited page.

How to Cite a Book (chapter)

*Be aware that many books are collections of essays written by several different people and edited by one author.

References to individual chapters or essays found in a book usually include the following elements:

E ssay/chapter Author, last name first. "Essay or Chapter Title." Book Title,   editor(s) or compiler(s), publisher, date of publication, start page – end page of chapter or essay.  NOTE: Ed. has been replaced with edited by; p age numbers in the works-cited list are now preceded by p. or pp.

how to reference a book in your essay

Other Types of Print Books

See this page for instructions on how to cite the Bible in MLA format.

Edited Book  

Last Name, First Name, editor.  Title of Book: Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized.  Edition abbreviated if appropriate,  Publisher, Date. 

Schutte, Anne Jacobson, et al., editors.  Time, Space, a nd Women's Lives in Early Modern Europe . Truman State UP, 2001. 

Entry for Item Previously Published in Another Source

Author, Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article in Quotes with all Important Words Capitalized".  Title   of the  Book You used Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized, e dited by Name of Editor in First Last Order, Publisher, Date. Pages. Originally published in..... Benedict, Ruth, "The Past and the Future." Contemporary Literary Criticism vol. 97, edited by Deborah A. Stanley, Gale, 1997, pp. 300-1. Originally published in  Nation  7 December 1946, pp. 656-58. 

How to Cite an Ebook

References to ebooks include the following information:

Author(s). Title of book . Publisher, Publication Year. Database*. Date Accessed (optional)**.

*If you are in Seeker, the Database name is located in the ebook's record, below the abstract and publisher/permissions field. If you are in the Catalog, use LNDL Catalog as the Database name in your citation.

**Always check with your professor about whether or not they require Date Accessed.

how to reference a book in your essay

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How to Reference a Print Book – Harvard Style

3-minute read

  • 24th February 2016

We live in a high-speed digital world, but most colleges still have big buildings full of papery things called “books.” These “books” are full of useful information – like an offline version of the internet – that you can use in your work , so it’s important to know how to reference them correctly.

Seriously though, as with most referencing systems , print books serve as the “default” for Harvard citations , with other source types (e-books, edited volumes, etc.) essentially variations of this format. Learning how to reference a print book correctly is therefore a great starting point when getting to grips with citations.

Citations: Author Not Named in Text

Harvard referencing uses author–date citations. When citing a source, you should include the author’s surname and date of publication in parentheses:

The ‘80s were a great time for electronic music (Radcliffe, 2012).

With this information, you help your reader to identify your influences and demonstrate your understanding of existing work in the subject area.

Citations: Author Named in Text

When the author is named in the text, you only need to include the year of publication in the accompanying citation. This should come immediately after the author’s name:

Radcliffe (2012) claims that electronic music became prominent in the 1980s.

Citations: Page Numbers

As well as the author name and year of publication, Harvard-style citations require page numbers for the relevant section when quoting a text:

According to Radcliffe (2012, p. 64), the 1980s were “a great time for electronic music.”

When the author is not named in the text, the citation (including page numbers) comes after the quotation:

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Critics claim that “electronic music became particularly popular in the 1980s” (Radcliffe, 2012, p. 127).

Reference List

As well as in-text citations, the other essential component of Harvard referencing is the reference list . This is a section at the end of your paper where you provide full bibliographic detail for every source cited (listed alphabetically by author surname).

In the case of a print book, the details you need to include are:

Surname, Initial(s). (Year) Title , Place of publication, Publisher.

Note that the title is italicized. For the example citation above, the text would appear in your reference list as:

Radcliffe, M. (2012) Music in the 1980s , New York, PMP Publications.

Furthermore, if the book you’ve cited is not the first edition, this should be indicated after the title:

Radcliffe, M. (2012) Music in the 1980s, 3 rd ed, New York, PMP Publications.

It’s vital to include complete and accurate information for all sources cited in your paper, as otherwise your reader may not be able to work out precisely who you’re referencing.

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A Quick Guide to Referencing | Cite Your Sources Correctly

Referencing means acknowledging the sources you have used in your writing. Including references helps you support your claims and ensures that you avoid plagiarism .

There are many referencing styles, but they usually consist of two things:

  • A citation wherever you refer to a source in your text.
  • A reference list or bibliography at the end listing full details of all your sources.

The most common method of referencing in UK universities is Harvard style , which uses author-date citations in the text. Our free Harvard Reference Generator automatically creates accurate references in this style.

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Table of contents

Referencing styles, citing your sources with in-text citations, creating your reference list or bibliography, harvard referencing examples, frequently asked questions about referencing.

Each referencing style has different rules for presenting source information. For in-text citations, some use footnotes or endnotes , while others include the author’s surname and date of publication in brackets in the text.

The reference list or bibliography is presented differently in each style, with different rules for things like capitalisation, italics, and quotation marks in references.

Your university will usually tell you which referencing style to use; they may even have their own unique style. Always follow your university’s guidelines, and ask your tutor if you are unsure. The most common styles are summarised below.

Harvard referencing, the most commonly used style at UK universities, uses author–date in-text citations corresponding to an alphabetical bibliography or reference list at the end.

Harvard Referencing Guide

Vancouver referencing, used in biomedicine and other sciences, uses reference numbers in the text corresponding to a numbered reference list at the end.

Vancouver Referencing Guide

APA referencing, used in the social and behavioural sciences, uses author–date in-text citations corresponding to an alphabetical reference list at the end.

APA Referencing Guide APA Reference Generator

MHRA referencing, used in the humanities, uses footnotes in the text with source information, in addition to an alphabetised bibliography at the end.

MHRA Referencing Guide

OSCOLA referencing, used in law, uses footnotes in the text with source information, and an alphabetical bibliography at the end in longer texts.

OSCOLA Referencing Guide

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In-text citations should be used whenever you quote, paraphrase, or refer to information from a source (e.g. a book, article, image, website, or video).

Quoting and paraphrasing

Quoting is when you directly copy some text from a source and enclose it in quotation marks to indicate that it is not your own writing.

Paraphrasing is when you rephrase the original source into your own words. In this case, you don’t use quotation marks, but you still need to include a citation.

In most referencing styles, page numbers are included when you’re quoting or paraphrasing a particular passage. If you are referring to the text as a whole, no page number is needed.

In-text citations

In-text citations are quick references to your sources. In Harvard referencing, you use the author’s surname and the date of publication in brackets.

Up to three authors are included in a Harvard in-text citation. If the source has more than three authors, include the first author followed by ‘ et al. ‘

The point of these citations is to direct your reader to the alphabetised reference list, where you give full information about each source. For example, to find the source cited above, the reader would look under ‘J’ in your reference list to find the title and publication details of the source.

Placement of in-text citations

In-text citations should be placed directly after the quotation or information they refer to, usually before a comma or full stop. If a sentence is supported by multiple sources, you can combine them in one set of brackets, separated by a semicolon.

If you mention the author’s name in the text already, you don’t include it in the citation, and you can place the citation immediately after the name.

  • Another researcher warns that the results of this method are ‘inconsistent’ (Singh, 2018, p. 13) .
  • Previous research has frequently illustrated the pitfalls of this method (Singh, 2018; Jones, 2016) .
  • Singh (2018, p. 13) warns that the results of this method are ‘inconsistent’.

The terms ‘bibliography’ and ‘reference list’ are sometimes used interchangeably. Both refer to a list that contains full information on all the sources cited in your text. Sometimes ‘bibliography’ is used to mean a more extensive list, also containing sources that you consulted but did not cite in the text.

A reference list or bibliography is usually mandatory, since in-text citations typically don’t provide full source information. For styles that already include full source information in footnotes (e.g. OSCOLA and Chicago Style ), the bibliography is optional, although your university may still require you to include one.

Format of the reference list

Reference lists are usually alphabetised by authors’ last names. Each entry in the list appears on a new line, and a hanging indent is applied if an entry extends onto multiple lines.

Harvard reference list example

Different source information is included for different source types. Each style provides detailed guidelines for exactly what information should be included and how it should be presented.

Below are some examples of reference list entries for common source types in Harvard style.

  • Chapter of a book
  • Journal article

Your university should tell you which referencing style to follow. If you’re unsure, check with a supervisor. Commonly used styles include:

  • Harvard referencing , the most commonly used style in UK universities.
  • MHRA , used in humanities subjects.
  • APA , used in the social sciences.
  • Vancouver , used in biomedicine.
  • OSCOLA , used in law.

Your university may have its own referencing style guide.

If you are allowed to choose which style to follow, we recommend Harvard referencing, as it is a straightforward and widely used style.

References should be included in your text whenever you use words, ideas, or information from a source. A source can be anything from a book or journal article to a website or YouTube video.

If you don’t acknowledge your sources, you can get in trouble for plagiarism .

To avoid plagiarism , always include a reference when you use words, ideas or information from a source. This shows that you are not trying to pass the work of others off as your own.

You must also properly quote or paraphrase the source. If you’re not sure whether you’ve done this correctly, you can use the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker to find and correct any mistakes.

Harvard referencing uses an author–date system. Sources are cited by the author’s last name and the publication year in brackets. Each Harvard in-text citation corresponds to an entry in the alphabetised reference list at the end of the paper.

Vancouver referencing uses a numerical system. Sources are cited by a number in parentheses or superscript. Each number corresponds to a full reference at the end of the paper.

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how to reference a book in your essay

How To Do In-Text Citations in MLA Format: A Quick Guide for Students

how to reference a book in your essay

An in-text citation is a reference to information originating from another source. In-text citations must be used when you summarize, quote, paraphrase or refer to another source within a written document, such as academic literature. 

In-text citations are essential in academic writing. Without them, how would readers verify the information is reliable and accurate? Trustworthy authors include their sources for verifiable information rather than opinions so readers know where the evidence for claims can be explored further.

The Modern Language Association manages MLA style standards with the purpose to “strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature” and standardize how information sources are credited in scholarly writing. Not only does the MLA recommend proper citation format, but it also suggests proper general formatting, including document spacing, margins and font size.

As you begin authoring scholarly works, you’ll find the need to credit sources. Use this quick guide to learn how to do in-text citations in MLA format.

What is MLA format?

How to do in-text citations in mla, how to do a works cited page in mla, common challenges and solutions, tips for effective in-text citations.

MLA citation style is a system for crediting sources in scholarly writing and has been widely used in classrooms, journals and the press since 1931. What began with a three-page style sheet for the MLA’s scholarly journal became a uniform writing style preferred by academics and the editorial media everywhere.

Since its inception, the in-text citation style has changed from a recommended combination of footnotes and in-text citations in MLA format. The 1951 style guide suggested : “If the reference is brief, insert it, within parentheses, in the text itself . . . ; if it is lengthy, put it in a [foot]note.” As technology and society changed, so did the MLA style. In 1995, the document added recommendations for citing CD-ROMs and online databases. In 2016, the MLA published one of the most modern versions of the MLA Handbook , wherein in-text citations in MLA style should now be written according to a template of core elements.

The modern-day components of an in-text citation in MLA format, as of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook , include:

  • Author’s name
  • Page numbers (if applicable)

These short in-text citations serve as references to a Works Cited list, which should follow a written piece of work and list all sources used in detail.

Authors who correctly use in-text citations in MLA style will prove their credibility, integrity and responsibility to share accurate and reliable information and simultaneously protect themselves from stealing sources and ideas from other writers, also known as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a severe offense , and many institutions have strict rules against the practice .

Now that you understand the importance of citations let’s review how to use in-text citations in MLA style. When referring to another author’s work in your own written text, you must use parenthetical citations, including the source in parentheses within the sentence that refers to the work. 

If a source does not have page numbers, use another numbering system, such as chapters, sections, scenes or articles that are explicitly numbered. If there are no numbered divisions within the work, simply cite the author’s name.

The basic format for in-text citations in MLA writings is as follows:

  • The pail of water was at the top of the hill, which Jack and Jill decided to climb (Mother Goose 1) .

If including a direct quote from a source, enclose the entire quote within quotation marks to avoid confusing the reader. The in-text citation should fall outside the quotation marks at the end of the sentence before the sentence’s period. Paraphrased information does not need quotation marks but does need proper in-text citation.

It should be noted that any information included in your in-text citations must refer to the source information on the Works Cited page listed at the end of your document.

If you’re wondering how to list the references on the Works Cited page, the format varies depending on the type, such as a book or a website.

How to cite a book in MLA

  • Author last name, first name. Title. Publisher, year.

How to cite an article in MLA

  • Author last name, first name. “Article title.” Publication, volume/issue, publication month. Year, page numbers. Database, reference URL.

How to cite a website in MLA

  • Author last name, first name. “Title.” Publication, publication month. Year, web page URL.

While constructing your paper, you may encounter a few citation challenges, such as a source with multiple authors or no known author. Though this can be confusing, this is how to use in-text citations in MLA style for challenging situations.

How to cite multiple authors in MLA

To write an in-text citation in MLA format for a source with multiple authors , simply list each author’s last name before the page number. Sources with more than two authors should cite the first author, followed by “et al.” For example:

  • 2 authors: (Hall and Oates 1)
  • 3+ authors: (Hall et al. 1)

How to cite sources with no author in MLA

Sources with no author must match the first listed element within its Works Cited entry. For example:

  • In-text citation: (Baa, Baa, Black Sheep 0:15)
  • Works Cited entry: “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.” Spotify . https://open.spotify.com/track/1Zpe8ef70Wx20Bu2mLdXc1?si=7TlgCyj1SYmP6K-uy4isuQ

How to cite indirect or secondary sources in MLA

A secondary source is a publication that provides second-hand information from other researchers. You may use secondary sources in your research, though it’s best practice to search for the primary source that supplied the first-hand information, so cite it directly.

If you don’t have access to the original source, include the original author and the author of the secondary source , with the abbreviation “qtd. in” indicating where you accessed the secondary quote. “Qtd. in” stands for “quoted in.” For example:

  • (qtd. in Baa, Baa, Black Sheep 0:15)

Using et al. in MLA citations

As described above, et al. is used instead of listing all names of three or more authors, editors or contributors within your citations. It can also cite collections of essays, stories or poems with three or more contributors. When using et al., you should always use the last name of the first writer listed on the source. For example:

  • (Earth et al. “September” 0:15)
  • Contributors: Earth, Wind and Fire

The most crucial part of in-text citations in MLA style is to keep a consistent and accurate format within the entire body of work. Always use the same punctuation within the in-text citations and the same formatting for sources of the same type. Ensure that double-checking citations is part of your overall proofreading process. All citations, like the written work, should be precise and error-free.

Various tools exist to help you collect and manage your sources and citations. Popular tools include Zotero , EndNote and RefWorks . These tools can create citations for you and keep track of your research documents so you can reference them again if needed. It’s wise to track your sources as they’re included in your writing rather than compiling and citing them when finished.

More resources for writing in MLA format

For the most up-to-date in-text citation information, refer to the MLA Handbook , which can be found online, in bookstores and libraries. The most recent edition of the MLA Handbook is the 9th edition, published in spring 2021.

The MLA also operates the MLA Handbook Plus , a subscription-based digital platform that offers all of the content included in the print edition, plus annual updates and valuable resources, and can be accessed anywhere, whether you’re traveling, at home or in the classroom.

The MLA Style Center offers free online sources on the official MLA style, including templates, questions and answers and advice.

Furman University offers trained consultants for students on campus to provide one-on-one or small-group assistance for writing projects at the Writing & Media Lab (WML). You can make an appointment with a WML Consultant or stop by the James B. Duke Library in the Center for Academic Success (room 002) for on-demand help (subject to scheduling).

The Writing & Media Lab can help with many tasks related to student writing and multimedia projects, including:

  • Brainstorming a paper or project
  • Outlining your ideas
  • Reading through your writing
  • Creating a presentation or poster
  • Helping you practice your presentation
  • Planning a video or podcast
  • Revising, proofreading, or editing

Mastering the art of in-text citations in MLA format will ensure that you, as an academic author, will portray yourself as a serious, responsible and factual writer who uses accurate and reliable sources.

The perspectives and thoughts shared in the Furman Blog belong solely to the author and may not align with the official stance or policies of Furman University. All referenced sources were accurate as of the date of publication.

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Home > Christian Resources > How to Quote a Bible Verse in an Essay

How to Quote a Bible Verse in an Essay

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How to Quote a Bible Verse in an Essay

Published: April 23, 2024

Learn the proper way to cite Bible verses in academic essays, ensuring accurate and respectful integration of scripture into your writing.

(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for Christian.net, at no extra cost. Learn more )

Table of Contents

Choosing the right translation, determining the citation style, in-text citations, introducing bible verses, quoting longer passages, citing the bible in references/works cited, ethical considerations, additional tips.

Quoting Bible verses in an essay is a common practice, especially in religious studies, theology, or literature classes. However, it’s essential to do it correctly to maintain academic integrity and avoid unintentional plagiarism. In this comprehensive guide from Academized.com , I’ll walk you through the steps to quote Bible verses properly, ensuring your essay is well-structured and follows academic conventions.

The first step is to choose the right translation. The Bible has been translated into numerous languages and versions, each with slight variations in wording and phrasing. When quoting a Bible verse, it’s crucial to use a reputable and widely accepted translation that aligns with your specific academic or research purposes.

Some popular translations include the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), and English Standard Version (ESV). The KJV is known for its literary quality and poetic language, while the NIV and ESV are more modern translations aimed at preserving the original meaning while using contemporary language.

If you’re writing for a religious studies or theology course, it’s generally recommended to use a translation approved by the religious institution or denomination you’re studying, as discussed in this Academized review on https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/academized-review-2023-actually-good-mary-walton . For literature or general academic purposes, any widely accepted translation should suffice.

Read more : Christian Blogs To Follow Before Writing a Religious Essay

Next, you’ll need to determine the appropriate citation style. Different academic disciplines and institutions may have their own preferred citation styles. The most common citation styles for quoting Bible verses are:

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style: Commonly used in literature, arts, and humanities. 
  • APA (American Psychological Association) style: Frequently used in social sciences, education, and psychology. 
  • Chicago/Turabian style: Often used in history, religion, and some humanities fields.

Before you start writing, check with your instructor or consult the style guide to ensure you’re using the correct citation format. Adhering to the proper citation style is crucial for maintaining academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism.

When quoting a Bible verse within the body of your essay, you’ll need to include an in-text citation. The format for in-text citations varies depending on the citation style you’re using.

In MLA style, the in-text citation for a Bible verse should include the book name (abbreviated), chapter number, and verse number(s). For example: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3.16).

In APA style, the in-text citation for a Bible verse should include the book name (not abbreviated), chapter number, and verse number(s), separated by colons. For instance: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

In Chicago/Turabian style, the in-text citation for a Bible verse should include the book name (abbreviated), chapter number, and verse number(s), separated by periods, like this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3.16).

It’s also important to introduce Bible verses properly within the context of your essay. You can provide context by explaining the situation or context in which the verse is being used or referenced. Alternatively, you can use a signal phrase to indicate that you’re quoting a Bible verse, such as “As stated in the Gospel of John,” or “The Bible says.”

Introducing the verse with context or a signal phrase helps to smoothly integrate the quotation into your writing and clarifies the source for the reader.

If you’re quoting a longer passage from the Bible that spans multiple verses, you’ll need to format it differently. In MLA style, for example, longer quotations (four or more lines) should be indented one inch from the left margin and double-spaced. Here’s an example:

As the Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2.8-10)

Note the indentation and the use of a signal phrase to introduce the quotation. This format helps to visually separate the longer quotation from your own writing and makes it easier for the reader to follow.

Read more : 35 Beautiful And Inspirational Bible Verses For Daughters

In addition to in-text citations, you’ll need to include a full citation for the Bible in your references or works cited list at the end of your essay. The format for this citation varies depending on the citation style you’re using.

  • MLA Style: In MLA style, the Bible citation should appear as: The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.
  • APA Style: In APA style, the Bible citation should appear as: Bible. (Year of publication). (Version/Translation). (Publisher details). For example: Bible. (2011). New International Version. Biblica.
  • Chicago/Turabian Style: In Chicago/Turabian style, the Bible citation should appear as: Bible. Translated by [Translation/Version]. [Publisher details]. For example: Bible. Translated by New International Version. Biblica, 2011.

Including a full citation in your reference list ensures that readers can easily locate the specific version of the Bible you’ve used in your research.

When quoting from the Bible, it’s important to consider ethical implications and potential biases. The Bible is a sacred text for many religions, and quotes should be handled with respect and sensitivity.

Avoid taking verses out of context or using them to promote harmful or discriminatory viewpoints. Be mindful of the historical and cultural contexts in which the verses were written, and strive for a balanced, objective analysis.

If you’re writing about controversial or sensitive topics related to the Bible, it’s advisable to consult with experts or religious authorities to ensure your interpretations are accurate and respectful.

While quoting Bible verses is important, you should also include your own analysis and interpretation, avoiding excessive quotation. Use quotations judiciously, only quoting verses that are directly relevant to your argument or analysis.

Provide context by explaining the significance of the quoted verse and how it relates to your essay’s main points. Don’t assume that the reader has the same level of familiarity with the Bible or the specific context of the verse.

When interpreting or analyzing Bible verses, be sure to back up your claims with evidence from reliable sources, such as scholarly works or authoritative religious texts.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to effectively quote Bible verses In your essay while maintaining academic integrity, adhering to citation conventions, and demonstrating a nuanced understanding of the material. Remember, quoting Bible verses is not just about including the text; it’s also about providing context, analysis, and demonstrating your knowledge of the subject matter.

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how to reference a book in your essay

Benefits of Citing Book in APA Form for Reader

A PA format stands for the American Psychological Association form, a guideline for formatting academic documents such as research papers, essays, and theses. It is to cite social science disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and education.

APA format specifies guidelines for various elements of an academic paper, including the title page, abstract, body, and reference page. The APA form intends to provide consistency in academic writing, making it easier for readers to understand the analysis presented in a paper. It also helps authors ensure that their work meets the standards of their field. 

How to Use the APA Citation Format

If you’re curious about how to cite a book in APA, this is the right section. Although many college students find it hard to cite books, there are several ways to get this done. We’ll list helpful tips below.

Paraphrasing and Reference List 

When writing data, the author’s last name and year of publication are still included in brackets, without including the page number. Example: (Smith, 2019) or Smith (2019) argued that…

A reference list is a separate page at the end of the paper that lists all data cited within. It is organized alphabetically by the author’s last name, year of publishing, the title of the work, plus publication information.

Use Proper Formatting 

APA citation needs a specific form for the referencing list, including double spacing, hanging indentation, and italicizing book and journal titles. When citing electronic sources, the author’s name, publication year, or title must be there, followed by a URL.

Outsource Your APA Style Papers 

Some find it hard to cite books in APA, especially if they are new or are unfamiliar with the guidelines. Suppose you’re a student like this who wants to get your paper written in APA format , or you need just a quality essay. In that case, you can always outsource it to academic platforms where you have an opportunity to hire a writer to help you get this done in record time. 

On these platforms, students choose writers who have years of experience. They have skills in all types of citations, like APA, so you’ll get proper value for the service. 

Use In-text Citations and Direct Quotes 

When listing ideas from a source within the text, the author’s last name and the year of publication are in brackets. For example, (Smith, 2019).

Direct quotes must be enclosed in quotation marks. Also, include the page number where quotes are found. For example, “This is a direct quote” (Smith, 2019, p. 10).

The Benefits of Citing Your Books With APA 

The APA form is essential to academic research and publication, as it promotes consistency, accuracy, and professionalism. Here are some of the benefits of using this citation for your books.

  • Clear and Consistent: It provides clear guidelines for citing data that promote reference consistency.
  • Avoid Plagiarism: It helps writers to avoid plagiarism by referencing their data accurately.
  • Easy to Follow: It provides specific guidelines for in-text citations, reference lists, and other formatting requirements that are easy to follow.
  • Widely Accepted: It is accepted across disciplines, including social sciences, education, nursing, psychology, and other fields.
  • Boost Reliability: By citing sources according to APA guidelines, writers prove their professionalism by showing that they have conducted thorough probing and are well-versed in the relevant literature.
  • Allows Replication: It allows other researchers to replicate the study by providing clear guidelines on how to cite the data.
  • Provides a Standard Form: It provides a standard form for referencing data, which makes it easy for readers to locate the data cited in a particular work.

Why APA Citation is Used in Books Across Several Disciplines 

Writing has different citation forms, but the APA form is widely accepted because it cuts across various disciplines. Here are reasons why it is so popular in the academic sector.

Standardization

APA form provides a standard way of referencing data recognized by many disciplines. Using a common format helps ensure everyone is on the same page regarding referencing data.

Clarity and Accuracy

APA form aims to promote clarity in reference data. This is important in all aspects, ensuring readers can verify the data cited in a given work. It certifies that they can easily understand the information presented. This clearness ensures correctness since the readers know exactly what they’re reading.

Range 

One can use the APA form for different data varieties, which include books, journals, articles, and websites. APA has a range wide enough to cut across several disciplines for any type of research. One of the reasons why the APA form is so broad is that it provides specific guidelines for referencing different types of data. For example, when referencing a college book , the author’s name, publication date, book title, and publisher information when referencing a college book.

Historical Use

APA form has been used for over 80 years, making it a well-established citation form. Due to how long it has existed in academic publishing, APA is now a standard in the educational sector. The APA created the guidelines to address the need for consistency and standardization.

The first APA Publication Manual aired in 1952, with the latest being the 7th, published in 2019. Over the years, the APA form has improved to show changes in academic publishing.

Flexibility 

While APA form has specific guidelines for referencing data, it also allows variation. This means researchers can adapt it to suit the requirements of their discipline.

Conclusion 

There are many benefits to citing books in APA form for readers. The use of APA promotes accuracy across disciplines. By referencing data in APA form, readers verify the data cited in a given work, ensuring that the data is correct. This is important in a study where accuracy is crucial.

APA helps to boost clarity in analysis, making it easier for others to build upon previous work. The APA form’s uniformity also helps ensure everyone is on the same page regarding citing data. It is crucial that everyone learns how this works to ensure smooth reading.

The post Benefits of Citing Book in APA Form for Reader appeared first on Sunny Sweet Days .

Are you a student curious to learn about the APA citation format and how it applies to you? Check out this article below for a comprehensive guide!

IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Cite a Book

    A Chicago bibliography entry for a book includes the author's name, the book title and subtitle, the edition (if stated), the location and name of the publisher, and the year of publication. For an e-book, add the e-book format (e.g. "Kindle") at the end. Author last name, First name. Book Title: Subtitle.

  2. Referencing Books in Harvard Style

    To reference a book in Harvard style, you need an in-text citation and a corresponding entry in your reference list or bibliography. A basic book reference looks like this: Author surname, initial. ( Year) Book title. City: Publisher. Szalay, D. (2017) All that man is. London: Vintage. (Szalay, 2017, p. 24)

  3. How to Cite a Book in MLA

    If the book cover or title page specifies an edition, add the edition number or name, followed by the abbreviation "ed.", after the title. Note that versions of the Bible are treated slightly differently. MLA format. Author last name, First name. Book Title. Edition ed., Publisher, Year. MLA Works Cited entry.

  4. MLA Works Cited Page: Books

    Cite a book automatically in MLA. The 8 th edition of the MLA handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, by using this methodology, a writer will be able to cite any ...

  5. MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

    In-text citations: Author-page style. MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number (s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the ...

  6. In-Text Citations: The Basics

    When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  7. How to reference books in Harvard style

    In-text citation example: (Smith, Jones and Davies, 2014) To include the same example in the reference list, the same format will be followed as in the method for citing two-author texts. This time, the first two authors' names should be separated by a comma, followed by the last author's name separated by 'and'.

  8. A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing

    When you cite a source with up to three authors, cite all authors' names. For four or more authors, list only the first name, followed by ' et al. ': Number of authors. In-text citation example. 1 author. (Davis, 2019) 2 authors. (Davis and Barrett, 2019) 3 authors.

  9. How to Reference a Book in the APA Referencing Style

    References for print books use the following format, with the title and subtitle in italics and the first letter in the subtitle capitalized: Surname, INITIALS (Year). Title: Subtitle. Publisher. A book with a single author would therefore appear like this: Author, A. N. (2013). Citing sources: How to use APA style.

  10. How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

    9. Do one special edit especially for Referencing Style. The top students edit their essays three to five times spaced out over a week or more before submitting. One of those edits should be specifically for ensuring your reference list adheres to the referencing style that your teacher requires.

  11. Harvard In-Text Citation

    Including page numbers in citations. When you quote directly from a source or paraphrase a specific passage, your in-text citation must include a page number to specify where the relevant passage is located.. Use 'p.' for a single page and 'pp.' for a page range: Meanwhile, another commentator asserts that the economy is 'on the downturn' (Singh, 2015, p. 13).

  12. How to Reference Books and Articles in Text

    However, many current style manuals recommend italicizing book titles and magazine names (impossible to do on a typewriter) and using quotation marks around articles. Example: I read Lord of the Flies in high school. Example: I enjoyed reading "Become Your Own Best Friend" in Newsweek. Choose the correct sentence.

  13. Quick guide to Harvard referencing (Cite Them Right)

    There are different versions of the Harvard referencing style. This guide is a quick introduction to the commonly-used Cite Them Right version. You will find further guidance available through the OU Library on the Cite Them Right Database. For help and support with referencing and the full Cite Them Right guide, have a look at the Library's ...

  14. How to Write an Academic Essay with References and Citations

    When learning how to write an academic essay with references, you must identify reliable sources that support your argument. As you read, think critically and evaluate sources for: Accuracy. Objectivity. Currency. Authority. Keep detailed notes on the sources so that you can easily find them again, if needed.

  15. 4 Ways to Reference Essays

    4. Format the page. Double-space your document, and title the references page "References" at the top-center of the page. Put the page number all the way to the right, and a shortened version of the title of your paper all the way to the left in all capital letters.

  16. Q. How do I refer to a book by title in-text in APA format?

    Jun 22, 2023 624515. The basic format for an in-text citation is: Title of the Book (Author Last Name, year). Examples. One author: Where the Wild Things Are (Sendak, 1963) is a depiction of a child coping with his anger towards his mom. Two authors (cite both names every time): Brabant and Mooney (1986) have used the comic strip to examine ...

  17. How to Cite an Essay in MLA

    Create manual citation. The guidelines for citing an essay in MLA format are similar to those for citing a chapter in a book. Include the author of the essay, the title of the essay, the name of the collection if the essay belongs to one, the editor of the collection or other contributors, the publication information, and the page number (s).

  18. How to Cite Sources

    To quote a source, copy a short piece of text word for word and put it inside quotation marks. To paraphrase a source, put the text into your own words. It's important that the paraphrase is not too close to the original wording. You can use the paraphrasing tool if you don't want to do this manually.

  19. Books

    If this is the case for you, format your reference information as a chapter/essay from a book rather than citing the entire book. When using a book that has more than two authors, include only the name of the first author, followed by "et al." For example: Smith, John, et al. Book Title etc. Indicate any edition other than the first edition ...

  20. How to Reference a Print Book

    In the case of a print book, the details you need to include are: Surname, Initial (s). (Year) Title, Place of publication, Publisher. Note that the title is italicized. For the example citation above, the text would appear in your reference list as: Radcliffe, M. (2012) Music in the 1980s, New York, PMP Publications.

  21. A Quick Guide to Referencing

    In-text citations are quick references to your sources. In Harvard referencing, you use the author's surname and the date of publication in brackets. Up to three authors are included in a Harvard in-text citation. If the source has more than three authors, include the first author followed by ' et al. '.

  22. How To Do In-Text Citations in MLA Format: A Quick Guide for Students

    How to cite multiple authors in MLA. To write an in-text citation in MLA format for a source with multiple authors, simply list each author's last name before the page number. Sources with more than two authors should cite the first author, followed by "et al." For example: 2 authors: (Hall and Oates 1) 3+ authors: (Hall et al. 1)

  23. How to Quote a Bible Verse in an Essay

    When quoting a Bible verse within the body of your essay, you'll need to include an in-text citation. The format for in-text citations varies depending on the citation style you're using. In MLA style, the in-text citation for a Bible verse should include the book name (abbreviated), chapter number, and verse number(s).

  24. Benefits of Citing Book in APA Form for Reader

    A reference list is a separate page at the end of the paper that lists all data cited within. It is organized alphabetically by the author's last name, year of publishing, the title of the work ...

  25. How to Quote

    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.

  26. How to Cite a Quote

    APA in-text citation examples Depending on one's own temperature, "ice can feel either hot or cold" (Smith, 2024, p. 7). Smith (2024) claims that "ice can feel either hot or cold" (p. 7). How to cite a quote in MLA. When you cite a direct quote in MLA, the parenthetical format is (author's last name page number) or (Smith 7).