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Referencing at UWS: In-Text Citations

In-text Citations

The in-text citation, often known as 'the bit in the text', forms the first part of a reference and provides brief details, such as authordate of publication and page number(s) within the body of your text.

In-text citations are linked with the reference list at the end of your work (where the complete reference can be found).

The way in which in-text citations appear in the body of your work will depend on your own style of writing and how the citation appears within the context of the sentence.

The following elements should be included in an in-text citation:

Authors/Editors surnames (please note that initials should not be used in an in-text citation)

Year of publication

Page number(s) (if quoting directly or paraphrasing)

Please note that up to 3 authors/editors can be included in the in-text citation.

If there are four or more authors/editors then the first named author is cited, followed by et al (meaning 'and others').  Please note that et al. must always be in italics.  The names of all of the authors must be included in the reference list at the end of your work.


  • According to a recent study (Jones, 2019, p. 5) students were found to be more engaged in tutorials when ...
  • The results of a survey (Thomson and Chapman, 2017, p. 12) demonstrated that ...
  • Recent research on this topic (Smith, Jones and Butler, 2019, p. 42) found that ...
  • According to research (Smith et al., 2021) or According to research by Smith et al. (2021) Please note that all of the authors would be listed in the reference list at the end of your work.


In-text Citations Corporate Author

When citing a corporate author, such as a company, organisation, professional body or institution, for example, cite the full name or the initials if the corporate body is well known, such as the BBC, WHO or the UN.


  • According to its recent annual report (Starbucks, 2020) ...
  • A research survey (National Trust Scotland, 2016, section 9) ...
  • Research carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) (2017, section 14) ...

If the corporate body has a long name then you can write this out in full the first time that it is used and use the initials for subsequent citations.  


  • In a recent study carried out on behalf of its members (Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, (IEEE), 2018, p. 12 - 24) ...

The abbreviation IEEE can then be used in subsequent citations.


  • According to recent research (IEEE, 2019, section 10) ...

Direct Quotations

Direct quotations are a useful way in which to illustrate a specific point that you are trying to make.  However, using too many direct quotations, particularly from a single source, might suggest to the person reading your work that you do not have a clear understanding of the information that you have read and are therefore unable to interpret/present it in your own words.

When quoting directly, or using information taken from a specific page, or pages, of a work, then you must include the page numbers within the in-text citation(s).  Use either p. or pp. before the relevant page numbers.  Choose one or the other as it should be consistent throughout your work.


  • Smith (2015, p. 108) states that 'the direct consequences of man-made climate change ...'

Short quotations (a few words or a short sentence) should be enclosed in quotation marks (as in the example above).  Single or double quotation marks can be used - again be consistent and use the same throughout your work.  If you are quoting from a source that does not have pagination, such as a website, then you should try to use other ways of helping the person reading your work to locate the relevant information as easily as possible, such as a section number, for example.

Longer quotations should appear as a separate paragraph within the body of your text and must be indented from the main text.  Please note that quotation marks are not required in this instance.


In a recent report the World Wildlife Fund stated that:

Global warming stresses ecosystems through temperature rises
water shortages, increased fire threats, drought, weed and pest
invasions and intense storm damage, to name but a few.

(WWF, 2019, p. 44)



Finding more information on in-text citations

More detailed information on setting out citations can be found in Section B:  How to cite (pages 7 - 11) of the Cite Them Right textbook. This includes:

  • Citing a source with no authors/editors (use the title)
  • Citing multiple sources (if you need to refer to more than one publication at the same time (use semicolons (;) to separate them)
  • Citing different sources published by the same author in the same year (use a, b, c ...)
  • Citing a source with no date (use the phrase 'no date')
  • Citing a source with no author (use the title within the in-text citation)

Guidance on using illustrations within your work can also be found there.

Reference List

The Reference List (located at the end of your work) must include all of the references that you have cited.  According to CTR Harvard references are always arranged in alphabetical order by author's surname.  Where there is no author then title should be used.

Secondary Referencing

Secondary referencing is used when you want to refer to a source of information that is mentioned, or directly quoted, in a work that you are using, or have used, in your own work.

Please note that, whenever possible, you should find the original source of the information and refer to that.  Secondary referencing means that you are using another author's interpretation of the original work (which may have been misinterpreted or misquoted by them).

If you are unable to read the primary (original) source then it cannot be included in the list of references at the end of your work; it must only be cited within the body of the text.

Both sources (the original and the secondary source) should be cited in your text.  The phrase 'quoted in' should be used if the author of the secondary source is directly quoting from the original source.  The phrase 'cited in' should be used when the author of the secondary source is summarising the original information.


  • Harris (2014, quoted in Anderson, 2017, p. 48) sums up the theory that ...
  • Fraser's theory on climate change (2012, cited in Phillips, 2019, chapter 4) points to the conclusion that ...

In the examples above only the works by Anderson and Phillips would appear in the reference list at the end of your work.  You can only include the works by Harris and Fraser if you have found, and read, the original works by these authors.


Paraphrasing allows you to refer to the work of someone else without quoting directly from their text.  As you are using your own words it will fit better with your own style of writing and also enables you to demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of what the original author(s) have said.

Even though you are using your own words you must not alter the original meaning and you still have to acknowledge that it is not your own work by providing a citation within the body of your text and a corresponding reference in the list of references at the end.

If you are paraphrasing information from a specific page, or pages, then you must include the relevant page numbers within the in-text citation so that the original text can be located by anyone reading your work.


  • According to a recent research study (Smith, 2015, p. 108) global warming is a significant factor in climate change and is directly responsible for an increase in extreme weather events.


Summarising and paraphrasing are different!

A summary is a brief description of the main points within a piece of work, such as a book chapter, journal article, conference paper or report.  A summary includes main topic headings, for example, and does not provide detailed information in the same way as a direct quote, or paraphrasing smaller parts of the original work, does.