15% off today

from a verified trusted writer

total: $11.23
In-text citations, mistakes to avoid

In-text citations: mistakes to avoid

For even the most experienced academic and research writers, meeting citing and referencing requirements can be a bit of a challenge-especially considering the demands of various styles and the slight changes found in new editions of styling guides. Considering this, its a good idea to make a mental or physical note of the frequent errors that may occur with citing and referencing. Among these common errors are those connected to in-text citations; as this is an area that many people fall short in when adhering to styling guidelines and procedures.

Mistake #1: Only using in-text citations for direct quotes

Though many people are very aware of the direct quotation, others are less familiar with paraphrasing and summarizing. Because of this many portions of an essay or paper may receive a low marking because in fact what occurs in them is a form of plagiarism. To avoid any form of plagiarism it is essential to learn the differences between the three; as well as their appropriate times of usage.

The differences between direct quotes, paraphrasing, and summarizing

The first item is a pretty obvious one; direct quoting simply involves relaying the direct words of a particular source, word for word, letter by letter.
Direct quotations are ideal for several situations. Some of them include instances in which...
  1. the best means of articulating a particular point or message is with the exact phrase used in the original source
  2. when the impact of the quote will be strong, and supportive to your argument
  3. when your paper is in need of an 'expert' voice
And though there are many benefits to direct quotes, writers and especially students, should be weary of them in some situations. The biggest concern is the risk of overusing quotes in a paper or essay. This happens all too often. In general, direct quotations should be used sparingly and never as 'filler' content to extend the page length of a text. Likewise, too many words from other people can easily weaken a writer's voice and take away from the structure and flow of the text.
Secondly, paraphrasing differs from summarizing in that its is usually used to focus on a specific portion of a text, idea or concept mentioned by an author. As opposed to summarizing, its not meant to gather up all the key points or main ideas of the passage or text. And lengthwise paraphrased content will sometimes extend much longer than a summarized content; especially in instances where it is used to clarify or explain a complex text. Also summaries are generally easier to write in contrast to paraphrased text because they usually involve more direct relaying and less 'translation' or conversion of an author's work. Though both involve the use of the student's own unique words in addition to not changing the meaning the author intended to convey.
Paraphrasing is great for difficult or complex ideas and concepts as well as a means of exhibiting an understanding of the text. For instance, paraphrasing may be beneficial in a book critique to demonstrate comprehension of the book. And summarising on the other hand, is great when space is limited and there is a need to quickly review what was provided by a particular source.

Mistake #2: Missing the small details-punctuation and other little hiccups

Since the art of preparing for publication is a tedious one, there are many small details that must be addressed when formatting your paper. With in-text citations the most common of them is issues connected to punctuation. In some cases students may make small mistakes with periods and parenthesis and in other cases they may make large ones by confusing different citation requirements (i.e. not really knowing the difference between MLA, APA, and Turabian - or even worse not really caring!) With the latter situation, a good review of each required styling guide should be undertaken. And with regards to the first concern, a brief review of common errors should suffice. Some examples can be seen below.

What goes in the parenthesis anyway?

The information contained in the parenthesis is determined by the styling guide used. For the popular MLA styling guide the information that is contained in the parenthesis is the author's last name only and the page number of the text. No commas, or other symbols/information should be included. With the APA style the author's last name appears first then a comma then the year of publication, another comma and then finally the page number of the reference. The word page is abbreviated by the letter p and is followed by a period and the actual page number being cited.

Does the period come before or after the quotation mark or parenthesis?

In both MLA and APA styling guides the period comes after the parenthesis. But as mentioned previously, the actual information contained in the parenthesis will differ depending on the styling manual utilized. The Turabian style uses footnotes or endnotes therefore there are no parentheses and the period actually falls within the quotation marks per the normal grammar rule regarding this.

Including author initials

In some cases students may make the mistake of including the author's initials in their in-text citations. This is a common flaw because the author's initials are actually utilized in the APA styling format's reference list page. The reference page appears at the end of the text and includes a list of sources referenced in the text. With the APA guide an author's name will appear as;
Henry, C. for instance, as oppose to Henry, Corrin
Though with both the MLA and Turabian guides the first and last name is actually written out completely and not abbreviated on the reference pages (also with footnotes/endnotes for Turabian). Therefore when including in-text citations, in accordance with the APA's regulations students may get confused and write the author's initials in the parenthesis. But as detailed earlier this only takes place in the reference page. Therefore an APA in-text citation would look like this;
(Henry, 2012, p.12) *With no indication of the author's first or middle initial.

A colon vs a semicolon when introducing long quotations

Lastly, this less common mistake may occur with the insertion of long quotations. Since shorter quotes are more common students may just guess their way through the inclusion of long quotes. In short, a long quote is anything over four lines of verse or prose for MLA, anything larger than 40 words of text for APA and three lines or more/ 2 sentences or more for Turabian style. Regarding punctuation concerns, when providing a signal phrase for a long quotation, the signal phrase should end with a colon with the block text to follow. For instance, when introducing a long quote in MLA you would write;
Johnson provides a detailed description of block quoting in MLA:
----> A block quote would be inserted here, approximately one inch from the left margin.
Note that the block quote does not make use of quotation marks. Also ending citations are marked by the authors last name and page number in parenthesis with the period placed at the end of the sentence before the parenthesis. When using the APA format for long quotations the difference is that the indentation is only an 1/2 inch and the ending citation is marked by a parenthetical citation after the period (or punctuation mark) as well. Lastly, the Turabian style indents its block quotations only four spaces from the left. Also unlike the author styles Turabian actually requires for its block quotes to be single as opposed to double spaced. Likewise, with short block quotes endnotes/footnotes are used and with longer quotes parenthetical citations are utilized including the author's last name, publication year, and page number (with the period being placed at the end of the sentence before the parenthesis).
In conjunction with issues concerning the work cited and reference pages, mistakes with in-text citations are usually the most common ones and therefore should be given the greatest amount of attention when proofreading and editing a work.

Our TOP writers

TOP 10
Writer 99022
ID 99022

Master's in Project Management, PMP, Six Sigma

Rating 97.1%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 99022

8036 written pages

894 orders

814 a+ papers

My Master’s degree and comprehensive writing experience allow me to complete any order fast and hit the nail on the head every time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 99423
ID 99423


Rating 98.5%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (7) about writer 99423

10874 written pages

2175 orders

2110 a+ papers

I am experienced writer with an MBA, PMP, ITIL, that consistently delivers unique, quality papers. I take pride in my experience and quickness.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 85466
ID 85466

MS in Human Resource Management

Rating 97.6%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 85466

18286 written pages

2287 orders

2013 a+ papers

I hold a MS degree in Human Resource and my goal is to help students with flawless, unique papers, delivered on time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 158902
ID 158902


Rating 97.9%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (6) about writer 158902

1150 written pages

128 orders

118 a+ papers

As Registered Nurse (RN, PCN), I can quickly deal with any medical paper. My expertise and writing skills are perfect for this job.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 47072
ID 47072


Rating 99.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 47072

30667 written pages

3834 orders

3604 a+ papers

I have MPA, MHA degrees but, most importantly, experience and skills to provide unique, well-written papers on time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 127980
ID 127980


Rating 99.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 127980

3684 written pages

410 orders

385 a+ papers

I can write about multiple areas and countless topics, as I have a DNP and BA degrees. High-quality writing is my second name.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 155864
ID 155864

PhD in American History

Rating 97.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 155864

1250 written pages

313 orders

282 a+ papers

A PhD in American history comes handy. Unique papers, any topics, swift delivery — helping with academic writing is my passion.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 103589
ID 103589


Rating 97.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (7) about writer 103589

5327 written pages

593 orders

522 a+ papers

Incredibly fast PsyD writer. Efficient paper writing for college. Hundreds of different tasks finished. Satisfaction guaranteed.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 125292
ID 125292


Rating 99.5%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 125292

4856 written pages

486 orders

471 a+ papers

Top-ranked writer with tons of experience. Ready to take on any task, and make it unique, as well as objectively good. Always ready!

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 147680
ID 147680


Rating 98.6%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 147680

4244 written pages

531 orders

489 a+ papers

Experienced Social Work expert focused on good writing, total uniqueness, and customer satisfaction. My goal — to help YOU.

hire writer

Buy your papers from the best writing service

Have your tasks done by our professionals to get the best possible results.

total: $11.23

NO Billing information is kept with us. You pay through secure and verified payment systems.


All papers we provide are of the highest quality with a well-researched material, proper format and citation style.


Our 24/7 Support team is available to assist you at any time. You also can communicate with your writer during the whole process.


You are the single owner of the completed order. We DO NOT resell any papers written by our expert


All orders are done from scratch following your instructions. Also, papers are reviewed for plagiarism and grammar mistakes.


You can check the quality of our work by looking at various paper examples in the Samples section on our website.

Special price $11.23/page
Place an order
more than 63,000 times students trusted us to write their papers
9 out of 10 customers recommend us*
92% of our customers have placed more than 7 orders
*data is based on 6,568 customers' feedback received from Jan 1, 2017 till Jan 1, 2018.
Special price $11.23/page
Place an order
Customer #5659

That was my best experience with custom writing services! Special thanks to your support agents who were so nice to offer me the most effective method to deal with my thesis paper!

Customer #3245

I like how the writer communicated with me, clarified all the details and provided the paper I wanted. He was very loyal with me and my numerous requests for revision) You do what you advertise, high quality paper followed all my requirements!

Estimated Deadline: Tuesday, Dec 12 3:44 AM in Your timezone
Total price: $11.23
Price starts from $11.23
Regular discounts and offers
Excellent results guaranteed
Professional 24/7 support

Free samples of our work

There are different types of essays: narrative, persuasive, compare\contrast, definition and many many others. They are written using a required citation style, where the most common are APA and MLA. We want to share some of the essays samples written on various topics using different citation styles.

Hey, you...Yes, you! Don’t you want to get your Discount?
Your discount will be
sent to the email!

I have read and agree to the Terms of Use, Money Back Guarantee, Privacy and Cookie Policy of BestCustomWriting.com

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot

Use your opportunity to get a discount!

To get your special discount, write your email below

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot

Best papers and best prices!

Want to get quality paper done on time cheaper?

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot