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How to Cite a Book, Title & Author In Text

by Forest Time, Demand Media

    When writing a term paper for a college class, you may often be asked to provide citations within the text identifying the sources from which you are drawing information. Both the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) have guidelines governing the in-text citation of book titles and authors. The exact form of your citation depends upon which guidelines your professor has asked you to follow.

    APA In-Text Citation

    Step 1

    Reference book titles outside of parentheses. For example, write "In the novel Being in Love, Smith has defined love as a social impulse." According to APA format, italicize the book title (here "Being in Love").

    Step 2

    Write the name of the author in parentheses, along with the year a work was published and the page number you are referencing. Place this at the end of your sentence, before the period. For example, "In the novel Being in Love, love is defined as a social impulse" (Smith, 1999, p. 17).

    Step 3

    List only the year of publication and page number in parentheses if you mention the author by name in the text. For example, "In the novel Being in Love, Smith has defined love as a social impulse" (1999, p. 17).

    MLA In-Text Citation

    Step 1

    Italicize the titles of books mentioned in the text. Write book titles within the text, not in parenthetical citations. For example, "In the novel Being in Love, Smith has defined love as a social impulse." Italicize "Being in Love."

    Step 2

    List the name of the author in parentheses, along with the page number you are referencing. Write this at the end of your sentence, before the period. For example, "In the novel Being in Love, love is defined as a social impulse" (Smith 17).

    Step 3

    List only the page number in parentheses if you mention the author by name in the text. For example, "In the novel Being in Love, Smith has defined love as a social impulse" (17).

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    About the Author

    Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.

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