Name and Page Citation
The works-cited page at the end of your essay gives your readers the list of sources
you actually referenced within your paper, allowing your readers to easily find those
sources themselves. The works-cited page is NOT
a bibliography, listing all of the texts you may have researched in preparing the paper.
Within your text, you want to give your readers enough information so that they can
locate the appropriate source information on your works-cited page. This intratextual
system of key information is given in parentheses at the end of a sentence that references
an outside source.
Because the intent of this page is to simply give general guidelines, there will be no
attempt to comprehensively address all the possible ways of documenting your sources. The
ways you document your sources are, to large extent, stylistic choices you make; however,
two major considerations should shape your choices:
1) make sure that your referenced
sources are clearly and specifically cited, including appropriate page numbers or the
numbers of the act, scene and line of a play--your readers should have no questions about
where you found your information;
2) make sure that your reference
specifies a source listed on your works-cited page.
You can include the author's name in your
sentence when you are referencing the entire work and omit any parenthetical reference.
When our reference is general, to an entire text and not a specific
passage within that text, we can include the author's name in our sentence (usually just
the last name--unless it is the first time the author is formally introduced into our
paper in which case we must give the author's entire name) and omit any parenthetical
reference to the author and text:
In Joan Didion's "Sentimental Journeys," the
perceptions of New Yorkers on the Central Park Jogger case are divided.
Although this sentence clearly and specifically indicates the author's source of
information as well as the focus of the passage, there is at least one concern of which we
should be aware with this example:
Inexperienced writers often feel the need to continually announce their sources at the
beginning of a sentence or paragraph. The emphasis can (and frequently does) shift easily
from the author's ideas to a reliance on the source(s) for the content of the paper. When
this happens, the inexperienced writer will unconsciously defer to the authority of the
source, either offering a simple summary rather than analysis or inserting an
abundance of quotes thinking that the quotes will provide the analysis; the author's text
has been appropriated by the sources it has referenced (Bartholomae
Certainly when we write we want to provide a context for our readers, but our paper's
text needs to remain focused primarily on what we want to
communicate, not on what our sources have said. Our readers, if they are interested, can
always choose to review our sources for themselves.
You can include the author's last name in
your sentence, giving the specific page numbers of the referenced source in parentheses at
the end of the sentence.
If we are referencing a specific passage, either in quote or
paraphrase, we can include the author's name in our sentence, but we must also include the
specific page(s) where we found the information, inclosing the page numbers in parentheses
immediately after the quote or idea we are referencing:
The headlines, quoted by Didion, used "Wolf Pack"
several times to refer to the accused teenagers (80). Newspapers used the word
"courage" (82), however, when talking about the jogger, and one statement
alluded to the jogger's character by saying that she wore "a light gold chain around
her slender neck" (88).
Note that this writer includes the author's name in the initial sentence which includes
a very specific quoted reference to the text. At the end of this first sentence, the
writer has correctly cited the page number of Didion's text on which she found "Wolf
If we had the works-cited page for this paper and subsequently located the specific
text the writer had cited, we should be able to turn to page 80 and find Didion writing
about newspaper headlines referring to some "accused teenagers" as a "Wolf
But notice that in the next sentence, the writer does not include the author's name.
The page numbers are correctly cited and placed next to the quoted text they reference.
The writer has ensured that her references are clear to the reader. It is also clear that
the writer is continuing to reference Didion's text and so doesn't need to cite the
author's name in the parenthetical reference. As long as the writer does not introduce
another author or text, additional reference to Didion as the author is not necessary.
can paraphrase or use a quote from a text if, within parentheses at the end of the
sentence, you include the author's last name and the specific page(s) of the source you
If we want to use a specific quote or idea from another author's
text but want to keep the focus of our paper on the ideas we are discussing, we can
parenthetically cite the other author's last name and the specific pages of his text
without having to introduce the other author into our text:
The headlines used "Wolf Pack" several times to refer
to the accused teenagers (80). Newspapers used the word "courage" (82), however,
when talking about the jogger, and one statement alluded to the jogger's character by
saying that she wore "a light gold chain around her slender neck" (Didion 88).
This is the same example passage used above, only this time the passage has been
revised to remove the intertextual reference to the author (Didion). Instead, the author's
name is included in the parenthetical reference at the end of the passage. Note that we do
NOT use a comma to separate the author's last name and page number(s).
Notice also that the author's name is referenced only once. If we are referencing ONLY one
author and ONLY one text repeatedly through a passage (or
paragraph), we only need to cite the author's name once at the end of the passage (or
paragraph). As soon as we introduce another author--or even another text by the same
author--we need to differentiate the sources for our reader (remember, clarity is one of
our major concerns!). And when we begin another paragraph, we need to recite the author's
name, even if we continue to use the same source.
Punctuation of parenthetical references makes sense IF we consider
the parenthetical reference as an integral part of our sentence.
quotation marks always go inside of the parenthetical reference, and the period always
One statement alluded to the jogger's character by saying that
she wore "a light gold
chain around her slender neck" (Didion 88).
already mentioned, never insert a comma to separate the author's name and the page number;
nor should the word page or the abbreviations pg or pp ever be
inserted. Commas are used in parenthetical references only to separate authors' names when
there are three or more authors--just as in any series. And commas are used to indicate
non-consecutive pages (Didion 88, 92), indicating that the quoted word or phrase or the
referenced idea(s) appeared on those specific pages; a hyphen is used to indicate
consecutive pages: (Didion 88-89).
the parenthetical reference as part of the clause structure of our sentences helps us to
remember that the punctuation always goes outside of the parentheses--if our sentence
would normally require punctuation:
Newspapers used the word "courage" (82), however, when
talking about the jogger, and one alluded to the jogger's character by saying that she
wore "a light gold chain around her slender neck" (Didion 88).
Newspapers used the word "courage" when talking about
the jogger (82); one alluded to the jogger's character by saying that she wore "a
light gold chain around her slender neck" (Didion 88).
Newspapers used the word "courage" (82) when talking
about the jogger, and one alluded to the jogger's character by saying that she wore
"a light gold chain around her slender neck" (Didion 88).
Remember that the purpose of the parenthetical reference and punctuation is to help
your reader understand precisely where you found your source of information.
David. "Inventing the University." The St. Martin's Guide to
Teaching Writing. 3rd ed. Robert Connors and Cheryl Glenn. New
York: St. Martin's, 1995. 408-21.