Citing In A Sentence

Updated Feb 13, 2023

Citing in a Sentence: A Guide to Properly Referencing Sources

When writing academic papers or articles, it is crucial to properly cite all the sources used. Citing not only gives credit to the original authors but also adds credibility and integrity to your own work. In this article, we will explore the importance of citing, different citation styles, and provide examples of how to cite in a sentence.

The Importance of Citing

Citing sources is an essential part of scholarly writing as it allows readers to trace back the information, verify claims, and further explore the topic. Here are a few key reasons why citing is important:

  1. Avoiding Plagiarism: Citing your sources prevents plagiarism, which is the act of using someone else's work or ideas without giving them proper credit. Plagiarism can have serious consequences, including academic penalties or damage to your reputation.

  2. Providing Evidence: citing sources adds credibility to your arguments by providing evidence from experts, studies, or well-established works. It shows that you have conducted thorough research and considered different perspectives.

  3. Acknowledging Intellectual Property: Citing is a way to acknowledge and respect the intellectual property rights of others. It demonstrates ethical writing practices and fosters a culture of academic integrity.

Common Citation Styles

There are various citation styles, each with its own rules and formats. Depending on your field of study or the specific requirements of your institution, you may be asked to use a particular style. Here are three commonly used citation styles:

1. MLA (Modern Language Association)

MLA style is often used in humanities and liberal arts disciplines. In MLA, in-text citations typically include the author's last name and the page number of the source. For example:

  • "According to Smith, the impact of climate change is undeniable" (45).

At the end of your paper, a works cited page provides detailed information about each source you cited.

2. APA (American Psychological Association)

APA style is commonly used in social sciences, psychology, and education. In APA, in-text citations include the author's last name and the publication year. For example:

  • "Recent studies have shown a correlation between sleep deprivation and decreased cognitive function" (Johnson, 2019).

The full reference list appears at the end of the paper, providing complete publication details for each source.

3. Chicago/Turabian Style

Chicago style is often used in history, arts, and humanities. In Chicago, in-text citations may use footnotes or endnotes, depending on the preference of the author. For example:

  • "The Industrial Revolution brought significant changes to society."[^1]

A corresponding note or bibliography entry is provided for each source cited.

Examples of Citing in a Sentence

Let's take a look at some examples to understand how to cite sources within a sentence using different citation styles:

  1. MLA Style:

    • "According to recent research, the ozone layer is gradually recovering" (Johnson 23).
  2. APA Style:

    • "The study conducted by Smith and Johnson (2018) revealed a positive correlation between exercise and mental well-being."
  3. Chicago Style:

    • "The Renaissance period witnessed a remarkable flourishing of art and architecture."[^2]

Remember, these examples only demonstrate the basic structure of in-text citations. Depending on the number of authors, type of source, or specific guidelines, the format may vary. Always consult the appropriate style guide for detailed instructions.


Properly citing sources is an integral part of academic writing. It not only avoids plagiarism but also provides credibility and respect to the original authors. By understanding different citation styles and practicing citing in sentences, you can ensure your work is well-referenced and academically sound. So, always remember to cite your sources and give credit where it's due!

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