Skip to main content

World History Independent Research: In-Text Citations

Hang on...why do I need to incorporate quotes at all?

Taken from MICDS McCullough Library:

To back up your arguments. You want your thesis/ideas to be trusted. By showing evidence you are demonstrating that you aren't just making up the facts. The better your sources, the better your argument looks. If you needed immigration statistics, getting those numbers from the US census is far more credible than reporting the information that might be found on a Buzzle article. Put it another way, would you want to get your health information from a doctor that only searched Wikipedia?


To demonstrate your research. In a high school history class, you are probably not the first person to do research on a particular topic. There are many historians/experts that have done the work before. You will probably see their names mentioned several times in your research. By quoting and citing them you are demonstrating that you really know your topic and can prove it. Your teachers know who these people are! Teachers can also look at a bibliography and judging by the sources you used they can guess how good of a paper/project it is going to be!


To leave a research trail. When you provide a bibliography/citations you are leaving a trail for others who read your work to go and find additional information. In college, you will probably be searching bibliographies and citations for sources and will appreciate them greatly!

In-Text Citations

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 sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:

Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263). 
Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).
Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. Oxford UP, 1967.

Learn how to incorporate quotes with the Quote Burger!