Answered By: Vicki Sciuk
Last Updated: Aug 03, 2019     Views: 1139

If you just put one in-text cite at the end of the paragraph, it might not be clear where the ideas at the beginning of the paragraph came from. Therefore, you should include credit to the authors whenever you are quoting, summarizing or paraphrasing facts and ideas from their work. This also helps differentiate your own ideas from those in your references. 

The best way to solve this problem and still make your paper easy to read is to use a lead-in referring to your source at the beginning of a sentence or at the start of the paragraph (signal phrase). You can alternate this with putting the in-text cite in parentheses at the end of other sentences or the paragraph. Try to make it clear in each following sentence if it is still coming from the same source, using phrases like "According to", "They also state...", "That article concludes...". If it is clear, you don't need to repeat the in-text citation for those sentences.

Here are two examples using APA style:

  • McLean and Morris (2014) studied the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and adolescent PTSD. They found that almost 61% of the teenagers they studied were abused by a relative, and 23.8% were chronically abused.
    [Using “They found” in the 2nd sentence shows you are talking about the same source (McLean & Morris), so you don’t have to add another in-text cite for these statistics]  
  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates there will only be 23,820 new cases of primary brain tumors and nervous system cancers diagnosed in 2019, so it is relatively rare. But the NCI also says that metastatic brain tumors, which spread to the brain from other cancer sites like the lungs and breasts, happen ten times as often as primary ones that start in the brain (2019). The most common types of primary brain tumors are Anaplastic Astrocytomas and Glioblastomas (38%), and Meningiomas and other Mesenchymal tumors (27%) (NCI, 2019).

Note: If a signal phrase or lead-in phrase states the authors in the text of the sentence, you only need to put the year in parentheses.

Here's an explanation and example using MLA style, from the MLA Style Center website:


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