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Parenthetical Citations (In-Text Citations)

(Sources used to create this page are:  MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) & Purdue Online Writing lab)


Parenthetical citations are brief citations at the end of sentences in which you quoted or paraphrased information from a writer other than you.  This is called “parenthetical citation” because the information is placed in a parenthesis.  This parenthesis should closely follow the cited material, usually at the end of the sentence.


Whenever you use words, cite facts, or use ideas that are not your own, you must briefly name the source of the material you quoted by author and page number.

Parenthetical citations do not take the place of a Bibliography Page, which includes all materials you used including the parenthetical citations within your paper.


Example of a parenthetical citation within your paper:

Medieval Europe was a place both of “raids, pillages, slavery, and extortion” and of “traveling merchants, monetary exchange, towns if not cities, and active markets in grain” (Townsend 10)

Explanation of above example:

The parenthetical citation “(Townsend 10)” shows that the quotations came from page 10 of a book by Townsend.

How to list on the Bibliography Page:

Townsend, Robert M. The Medieval Village Economy. Princeton:  Princeton UP, 1993. Print



When citing an internet source, give only the name of the author, and if that is not provided, give the name of the internet site.  You do not have to put page numbers.  For example: (Smith) or (Website of the Wasteland)