Video Lesson: In-Text Citations


Level: Beginner

Length: 2:40

Notes: Citations are in MLA format

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We teach students at a young age that they’re not allowed to copy others’ work, but when they’re older, students learn that it is okay in some instances, specifically when it comes to research projects. This shift in thinking can be quite confusing for students! So, what’s the solution? At, we recommend teaching students how to be responsible researchers at a young age. We think this video, which provides an introduction to in-text, or parenthetical citations, is a great addition to your classroom resources.

In-text citations are important and should be regularly used by students in their research projects to:

  • Prevent plagiarism
  • Allow readers to see that a piece of information originated elsewhere
  • Provide readers with a glimpse as to who created the original source
  • Demonstrate a student’s ability to locate, analyze, and connect the information from other sources to their own research project topic or thesis statement

Ready to get started with the ins and outs of in-text citations? This video provides students with an understanding of:

  • What in-text citations are
  • Why in-text citations are important
  • How to format in-text citations for paraphrases and direct quotes in MLA format
  • How in-text citations connect to citations found in a Works Cited list

In-text citations look different depending on the citation format you plan to use with your students.



Here is the proper format for in-text citations in MLA and APA format, which are the two most popular types of citation formats.

MLA Format:

(Author’s Last name Page number)


Prisoners were told to bring, “a backpack, some food, a few items of clothing. Nothing else” (Weisel 35).

APA Format:

(Author’s Last name, Year published)


Prisoners were told to bring, “a backpack, some food, a few items of clothing. Nothing else” (Weisel, 2006).

While MLA and APA in-text citations are formatted differently, they do have some similarities. If citing a direct quote, the ending quotation mark is placed before the in-text citation. In addition, a period is placed at the very end.

Citing a source that doesn’t have page numbers? Looking to learn more? Check out EasyBib citation guides for MLA format and APA format, which have an in-depth explanation of in-text citations.

For those who use EasyBib Plus or subscription service, there is an option to create in-text, or parenthetical citations. To find it, go to the final page of creating a full citation and click “Parenthetical” below the citation. Edit the information you’d like to include in your in-text citation, and copy and paste the result into your own research project.

Looking for more videos to help with the research process? Be on the lookout for more coming your way! We’re planning on rolling out videos related to the research process and plagiarism in the months to come! Here are our other videos. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to receive our new and exciting resources for educators.

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About the Author

Michele Kirschenbaum

Michele Kirschenbaum is the in-house librarian at EasyBib. You can find her here on Twitter.