How to Cite Multiple Sources in One Sentence
Properly citing sources of borrowed words and information lends credibility to a research paper. Including the same information from multiple sources emphasizes the veracity of ideas. Readers of the research paper must be able to understand which concepts appear in multiple sources, so follow proper procedure to indicate those references within the text.
Multiple Sources for One Idea
Several of the most common documentation formats require the use of a semicolon between the different sources within the citation when both reference the same concept. In American Psychological Association style, place commas between the authors and dates but semicolons between the different sources: (Adams, 2000; Haven, 2010). Harvard style also includes authors and dates in citations but with no punctuation between. Again, place a semicolon between references: (Adams 2000; Haven 2010). For Modern Language Association style, omit punctuation in citations except for semicolon between sources: (Adams 22; Haven 314). For the footnote or endnote style of Chicago formatting, each superscript number refers to a single source, so put appropriate superscript numbers for each source at the end of the borrowed material from that particular source.
Citations Within One Sentence
If a single sentence in your research paper includes multiple ideas from different sources, clarify which information comes from which source by placing parenthetical citations near the ideas they refer to. An example might look like this in APA or Harvard style:
According to Kellerman (2011), few teachers follow such guidelines, although Lambdin (2009) disagrees.
MLA style would look the same except without the dates, and Chicago style would include the superscript numbers, one for Kellerman after "guidelines" and one for Lambdin at the end of the sentence.
- State University of New York, University at Albany: When and Why to Cite Sources
- The University of Wisconsin -- Madison: Citing Multiple Sources in One Reference
- The University of Wisconsin -- Madison: MLA Documentation Guide
- Westminster College: Chicago/CMS/Turabian Quick Guide
- The University of Wisconsin -- Madison: Where to Place Parenthetical Citations
Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.