An in-text referral simply means that you are writing the title of a secondary source within the text of your paper. It is never appropriate to write, for example, “the book says …”. You need to write the title using APA formatting guidelines. The way in which you format the title of a written work will depend on the type of written work that you are referring to. The formatting rules for texts are listed in Table 2.
Confederation College defines plagiarism as “an act of knowingly or unknowingly representing another person’s words or ideas as one’s own” (“Academic Integrity”, 2015, p. 1). When writing an assignment, you must always acknowledge when the words and/or ideas and/or information have been taken from a source, whether it is a digital or physical source.
Sometimes, students will accidentally plagiarize by not correctly using APA in-text citations, not paraphrasing or summarizing properly, or failing to properly document taken information in the References page. On the other hand, students typically knowingly plagiarize when they hand in an entire assignment or a portion of an assignment that is not their own.
The consequences of plagiarism vary, based on the severity of the incident. However, at Confederation College, if a student knowing or unknowingly plagiarizes from another source, any of the following consequences can occur:
- The student receives a 0 for the assignment in question
- The student fails the course
- The incident gets reported in the Academic Integrity Reporting System
- The student will be put on academic probation
- The student receives a permanent note put on their academic transcript, which will impact the student’s application consideration at other academic institutions
- The student is suspended from Confederation College
- The student is expelled from Confederation College
To prevent unknowingly plagiarizing, when writing any assignment, every student at Confederation College must follow the “Anti-Plagiarism Formula” shown in Figure 16.
It is okay to use the research, words, and/or ideas of others’ to incorporate into your assignments, as long as you abide by the Anti-Plagiarism Formula: provide an in-text citation in the body of your assignment and a matching reference entry on the references page.
If you are taking information from another source, you can present that information in three ways: a summary of the information, a paraphrase of the taken information, or a direct quotation.
A summary is when you briefly recap the general points of information that was made in the source that you are borrowing your information from. Summaries must have an in-text citation; however, because summaries can cover an entire work, a page or paragraph number is not needed in the in-text citation.
How to Create an In-Text Citation for a Summary
Once you have summarized the information, you need to create an in-text citation (parenthetical or narrative) for the summarized material. For a narrative in-text citation, in the signal phrase, input the original source’s publishing date in round brackets immediately after the last author’s surname to identify that you have summarized the information that follows it from another source. For a parenthetical in-text citation, only list the author’s surname and the year of publication.
When borrowing any idea or information from another source, it is best practice to paraphrase the information into your own words, which is the overall expectation when writing an assignment for an instructor at Confederation College. Paraphrasing ensures writing-style continuity in your assignment rather than awkwardly inserting a direct quotation with a different writing style. Paraphrasing taken information also highlights your comprehension of the information that you are borrowing from the secondary source.
How to Paraphrase Correctly
Read through the source that you are borrowing the information from, and in a bulleted list (1-2 words / item), write down the important points, the most relevant details that you want to borrow, and the page number(s) that the information is located on. Next, close the original source that you are borrowing from so that you only have your list in front of you; this will help to avoid accidentally plagiarizing by creating sentences that are too similar to the original. Using your own syntactical structures, write out the information in your own words. Replacing original words with synonyms is plagiarism, not paraphrasing.
How to Create an In-Text Citation for a Paraphrase
Once you have paraphrased the information, you need to create an in-text citation (parenthetical or narrative) for the paraphrased material.
Parenthetical In-Text Citation. Type the paraphrased information. Before the end punctuation, in round brackets (parenthesis), type the author’s surname, the year of publication, and the page or paragraph number that the taken information is located on. Add end punctuation after the end bracket of the in-text citation. See Figure 17 for an example.
Narrative In-Text Citation. In the signal phrase, input the original source’s publishing date in round brackets immediately after the last author’s surname to identify that you have paraphrased the information that follows it from another source. Next, in round brackets immediately after the paraphrased information, input the page(s) or paragraph(s) number that the taken information is located on. Add end punctuation after the end bracket of the in-text citation. See Figure 18 for an example.
A direct quotation is used when you are using the exact words of another source in your assignment. Direct quotations should be used sparingly and only when necessary. While it is the expectation that students paraphrase rather than directly quote a source, there are scenarios that a direct quotation is more suitable: an exact definition, a complex or concise piece of information, or when you are writing to something someone has directly stated.
Some modifications to a direct quotation may be necessary, as per the examples in Table 3. A common modification that needs to be made in direct quotations occurs when there are already double quotation marks within the direct quotation. All double quotation marks in the original source must be changed to single quotation marks. If you need to remove content from the middle of a direct quote, you must put a pair of ellipsis with three periods between them, which notifies your reader that you have removed content. If there is a spelling error in the original source, write out the spelling error, but immediately following the error, insert sic surrounded by square brackets to indicate that the error was not a typo on your part. If you need to insert an explanation or an addition into a direct quote, surround the addition in square brackets to indicate to the reader that the addition is not from the original source.
How to Use a Short Direct Quotation (Fewer than 40 Words) Correctly
You must put double quotation marks around any words that you use from your source. Your quoted material must be exactly the same as in the original source. Once you have written out the direct quotation into your paper, you need to create an in-text citation (parenthetical or narrative) for the quoted information.
How to Use a Long Direct Quotation (More than 40 Words) Correctly
Long quotations should not be used unless it is necessary, especially in shorter assignments. Unlike a short quotation, a quotation of more than 40 words does not have double quotation marks surrounding it, and it is formatted in a block style. When inputting the long quotation in a paragraph, ensure that you do not add a space before or after the quotation. Double space the quotation and indent the entire quotation 0.5 inches (0.5”) from the left margin. If there is more than one paragraph in the quotation, indent the first line of the second and subsequent paragraphs.
How to Create an In-Text Citation for a Long Direct Quotation
After the last punctuation mark, create a parenthetical citation in round brackets, and do not put an end punctuation after the in-text citation. Press enter one time and continue writing the paragraph flush with the left margin. Please note that a paragraph should never begin with a long quotation, as shown in Figure 20.
What is an In-Text Citation?
An in-text citation is the second mandatory component of the anti-plagiarism formula, listed in Figure 12. An in-text citation functions in three ways: it indicates that you have taken information and are giving credit to the author of the original source; it signals the end of the taken information; and it also acts as a road map for readers who, if used in conjunction with the reference entry, can locate your taken information easily within the original source. Please note that for every in-text citation, you must have a matching reference entry listed in the References page. As a quick tip, in most cases, the first word in a parenthetical in-text citation will be the first word of the matching reference entry.
How to Use an In-Text Citation
An in-text citation contains three pieces of information: the author, the date, and the page or paragraph number. You must include an in-text citation with every sentence that contains a paraphrase, summary, or quote. Except for in-text citations for summarized information, you must indicate where, in the original source, the information came from, which is typically written with a page or paragraph number. If the information has come from more than one page in the original source, write pp. and then the page range (pp. 4-5) in the in-text citation. If the information has come from more than one paragraph, write paras. and then the paragraph range (paras. 34-35) in the in-text citation.
Parenthetical In-Text Citation
A parenthetical in-text citation has the mandatory information needed to make an in-text citation, and all of the information is located between two round brackets, immediately following the taken information, before the end punctuation.
How to Format a Parenthetical In-Text Citation. As shown in Figure 21, as soon as you input the taken information, you must put the parenthetical in-text citation immediately behind the information, before the period. If the information that you have taken is paraphrased from more than one page or paragraph, use pp. # – # or paras. # – # in the in-text citation.
Narrative In-Text Citation
A narrative in-text citation has the mandatory information needed to make a complete in-text citation; however, the information is written in the signal phrase before the taken information and, in most cases, after the taken information, before the end punctuation.
How To Format a Narrative In-Text Citation. As shown in the signal phrase of Figure 22, identify the author in the written text of your assignment. Immediately after the last surname, input the publication year between two round brackets. After you write the taken information, before the final punctuation, insert the page or paragraph number where the taken information is located in your secondary source.
In-text Citation Examples & Guidelines
The following examples demonstrate how to format an in-text citation based on specifications of the original source. Please note that these are merely common in-text citations and do not cover all in-text citation scenarios. You can modify the author, date, or location portion of the in-text citation in accordance to the APA formats listed below. For example, you could combine an Anonymous author without a publication date in the in-text citation by combining the examples below: (Anonymous, n.d., p. C3).
In-Text Citation Date Reminder
Even if your source has an exact date, you only list the year in which the source was published within the in-text citation.
In-Text Citation Location Reminder
If there is a page number, input the page number, represented by p. #, in the in-text citation. If there is not a page number, input the paragraph #, represented by para. #, in the in-text citation. If the information is from more than one page or paragraph, input the page or paragraph span the information is from, represented by pp. #-# or paras. #-#.