How to Write Citations in a Report

When writing a report, it is vital to add citations to any quote or paraphrase to avoid plagiarism. Adding a citation to the text while writing is relatively simple because it does not require more than sourcing the author or authors who contributed the information and from whence it came. The in-text citations tell the reader what to look for in the bibliography or works cited page so that if they want to double-check your sources they are able to find the source quickly.

APA Citations

Put the author, name of the work and the quote or paraphrase it came from in parenthesis, if it is not stated, before the quotation. If you write a term such as "She said" rather than "According to Mary Smith..." you must put the author's last name in parenthesis, such as writing (Smith). Follow the name with a comma.

Type in the date of publication of the work. For example, if the quotation came from a book published in 1990, type in the 1990 after the name. If the name of the author was used in the work directly, such as putting the words "According to Mary Smith..." the date is put in parenthesis directly after the name. So, if the author is not mentioned directly, the format is (Smith, 1990) while if it is mentioned the format becomes "According to Mary Smith (1990)..."

Write the page number, if necessary. A page number is only needed in APA style if the quotation comes from a book source or a long source. It is not used for short articles or periodicals. For example, if using the name and date in parenthesis style, the final look of the citation is (Smith, 1990, p. 35). If you are using the other format, the page number is put separately after the quote instead. For example, you write "According to Mary Smith (1990), APA style is confusing" (p. 35).

MLA Citations

Type in the name of the author. In MLA style, in-text citations must have the author name. The name is placed either as part of the writing or after the quotation and in parenthesis.

Write the page number. In MLA format, the page number does not have the letter "p" preceding it. Instead, it has the page directly. For example, if you type a quote you would put (Smith 10). There is no comma.

Type in the name of the work if there is no author, or if you have more than one work from the same author. In the situation with more than one author or work, the title of the work is used instead of an author name. For example, you might type in ("APA Style Guide" 10) instead of (Smith 10).

About the Author

Helen Jain has been writing online articles since December 2009 for various websites. She has studied English and psychology and hopes to get a Ph.D. in English in the future.