Whenever we use a quotation or paraphrase from a source, we always give an in-text reference to show where we found the material. In-text citations are a concise and compact way to refer readers to the more detailed information about the source in the works cited list. For example:
The concept of life balance is reflected in the ancient idea of the “golden mean” (Aristotle 2000, 34).
An in-text reference is composed of the following inside brackets (parenthesis):
- the author’s surname,
- the publication year (of the edition in the writer’s hand),
- any specific page number.
All the information can be enclosed in the brackets, or, if the author’s name is already part of the sentence, only the year of publication and page numbers are so enclosed. For example:
For Aristotle, the “golden mean” meant the idea of balance in life (2000, 34).
The title of the work may appear in the sentence if it is relevant to the argument, but is not part of the citation. For example:
Aristotle’s idea of the golden mean first appeared in his Eudemian Ethics (2000, 34).
Once the author surname and publication year of a given source have been mentioned, subsequent quotes and paraphrases from that source may be cited using only the page numbers where the material is found, until another source is mentioned. When another source has been mentioned, any new citation of the first source must include author surname and publication year. For example:
According to Chittister, Benedict’s Rule is a guideline for ordinary people (1991, 2). Chittister says that anyone can attain spirituality and happiness (4). This is in contrast to Aristotle, who believed that only the superior seek happiness (2000, 114). Nevertheless, according to Chittister, one of the main ways to achieve happiness, is simply by working (1991, 15).
If you need to cite words or an idea that you found cited in your source, use the surname of the author of the cited material, the phrase “cited in”, and a full author-date reference of the source you read:
In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that happiness can be judged objectively only if we, in Solon’s words, “see the end” (Herodotus, cited in Aristotle 2000, 132).
- The referencing style listed for this course is that of the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) author-date system (see http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html and choose the “author date” tab).
- There are many different manuals of style, governing everything from citation to document presentation, and some of the major ones are MLA, APA, IEEE, etc.
- The term “citation” is often used interchangeably with “quotation”, as in legal contexts, where citations are quotes from precedent. Thus, the term “in-text citation” is often used to specify the kind we are talking about here.
- Author-date referencing systems are sometimes called the “Harvard System”, but this is not a major style.