How to Cite Journal Articles Within a Paragraph

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Sometimes, it feels as though citing research within your paper is as hard as conducting the research itself, particularly when you are dealing with a source like a journal article that has multiple components. To make things even trickier, each major style has slightly different rules.

General Guidelines

Write the citation information -- the author's last name and page number -- inside of the parentheses, but insert any end punctuation afterward, for example: (Thompson 138). If you include the name of the author in the sentence, omit if from within the parentheses, as follows: Thompson attributes this to socioeconomic causes (138).


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American Psychological Association

Write the author or authors' last names followed by the year of publication and the specific page number you are citing, separating each by a comma. If there are multiple authors, use an ampersand rather than "and," for example: (Thompson, 2013, 138) or (MacNeill & Lang, 2000, 124).

Modern Language Association and Harvard

For MLA format, write the author or authors' last names, using "and" rather than an ampersand for multiple authors, and follow with the page number: (Thompson 138) or (MacNeill and Lang 124). Harvard format uses almost exactly the same rule, but with an ampersand instead of "and": (Thompson 138) or (MacNeill & Lang 124).




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