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Referencing: Citing in text

This Guide contains or links to guidance for the main referencing styles used at JCU (including MLA, Chicago and AGLC, which are not stand-alone Guides), and general information about referencing.

In-text citations

In-text citation styles differ depending on the style. This page provides an overview of the main types of in-text citations and how to cite them correctly.  Look for more specific information for your style on the tabs above or the information to the right.

Quotes and paraphrasing in-text

Formatting quotations

This may vary from style to style but basically all styles deal similarly with short and long quotations. 

Short quotations:

Incorporate short quotations into the text of your essay and enclose them in quotations marks. Note that depending on the style you may need to use single or double quotations marks.

APA example:

This is reflected in the idea that “schools of thought, methodologies and research techniques reflect their social origins” (Hayes, 1995, p.53)

Long quotations

If the material is longer than 4 lines (about 40 words) then it should be set of in an indented block. 

In-text citations - APA or Harvard (author/date)

When you cite (identify) references in the text of your report or essay using an author-date referencing style  like APA or Harvard you should include the following pieces of information.

  • Surname(s) of the author or authors
  • Year of publication
  • Pages numbers if appropriate

APA uses a comma after the last author's name and before the year (Brown, 2006).  Harvard does not (Brown 2006). Both place a comma after the year if using page numbers (Brown, 2006, p.28)

Include page numbers when you quote.  You can also include page numbers when you paraphrase or summarise from a particular page or group of pages. If including page numbers, put a comma after the year and the letter p.  before the numbers.

Examples of In Text Referencing:


  • It has been observed that "life is full of unnecessary complications" (Brown, 2006, p.28).
  • Brown (2006) has noted the complicated nature of life...

    n.b. if the name of the author appears as part of the narrative, as in the 2nd example above, cite only the year in parentheses.  Otherwise, place both the name and the year, separated by comma, in parentheses (as in the 1st example above). 
    Within a paragraph, when the name of the author is part of the narrative, you need not include the year in subsequent nonparenthetical references as long as the source cannot be confused with other sources in your reference list (APA, 2010, p. 174). 


  • While it could be argued that life is "full of unnecessary complications" (Brown 2006, p.28), other theorists suggest...
  • The complicated nature of life has been commented on by theorists such as Brown (2006), who puts forward the suggestion that...

Do I include page numbers in the in-text citation?

Page numbers?

  • Include page numbers if directly quoting someone else’s words.
  • When paraphrasing or summarising, page numbers may also be included.
  • Insert page numbers after the year, separated by a comma.
  • Use the abbreviations p. for single page, and pp. for a page range, e.g. pp. 11-12
  • Make sure you check your subject outline for specific instructions.  Some lecturers will require you to include page numbers for every in-text citation, whether you are quoting, summarising or paraphrasing.

Writing In-Text Citations in APA Style

by Chelsea Lee

When you use others' ideas in your paper, you should credit them with an in-text citation. Several different systems of citation are in use in various academic communities (such as footnotes and endnotes), but APA Style uses a kind of parenthetical referencing called the author–date system.

Basic In-Text Citation Style

As the name authordate system implies, APA Style in-text citations include the author and date, either both inside parentheses or with the author names in running text and the date in parentheses. Here are two examples: 

  • After the intervention, children increased in the number of books read per week (Smith & Wexwood, 2010). 
  • Smith and Wexwood (2010) reported that after the intervention, children increased in the number of books read per week. 

The "and" in Smith and Wexwood is written as an ampersand (&) inside parentheses and as the word and outside of parentheses, as shown in the examples above.

See the full post below including the handy table that shows what substitutions to make for in-text citations when some key information is missing.

In-text citations - MLA (author/page)

For MLA when you quote or paraphrase a specific portion of a text in a source, give enough information, most typically the author's last name and the page number, to identify the exact location of the borrowed material. 


  • This argument has been developed elsewhere (Reynolds 67-69).
  • Reynolds develops this argument (67-69).

In-text citations - Chicago or Vancouver

Other systems only include numbers in the text of the essay rather than parenthetical information.  The Chicago, Turabian and Vancouver styles follow this type of note system. To acknowledge a source in your paper, place a superscript number (in some cases numbers in brackets are acceptable) immediately after the end punctuation of a sentence containing the quotation, paraphrase, or summary.  A footnote or endnote would then appear at the bottom of the relevant page of the essay. In some cases footnotes are not used but the reference list is numbered.



This argument has been developed elsewhere.1


1. Henry Reynolds, Black pioneers (Ringwood, Australia: Penguin, 2000), 67.

Bibliography or Cited Works list (depending on style)

 1.  Reynolds, Henry.  Black pioneers. Ringwood, Australia: Penguin, 2000.

Using Page numbers in text.

For Chicago (using the footnotes version), the page numbers are not included in the text but in the footnotes.

For Vancouver, page numbers for direct quotes are included next to the number in text (but it is considered better to avoid the need for page numbers):

This argument has been developed elsewhere.1(p21)

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

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