Sample Citations

Sample Citations: Citing Research Sources in a Persuasive Essay

Sample In-Text Citation:

According to economics professor Jared Leto, “the economy looks fine if you are already wealthy because our systems are set up to help the rich.”


Good In-Text Citations will include…

  • …Set-up that briefly introduces the source
  • …Set-up that integrates the quotation into a sentence with original language
  • …a clear identification of the source

Example #1

Climate change is not simply an issue of weather. It is also an economic issue. In “The American South Will Bear the Worst of Climate Change’s Costs” Robinson Meyer reports that “climate change will cost the United States 1.2 percent of its GDP for every additional degree Celsius of warming, though that figure is somewhat uncertain. If global temperatures rise by four degrees Celsius by 2100—which is very roughly where the current terms of the Paris Agreement would put the planet—U.S. GDP could shrink anywhere between 1.6 and 5.6
percent.”


Example #2

Short term benefits from climate change may be felt in the northern regions of America, as recent article in The Atlantic shows: “New England, the Pacific Northwest, and the Great Lake states may all prosper as growing seasons lengthen, and the number of frigid, deadly winter days decrease” (Meyer).

These two examples show how we can use different punctuation to set off a quotation. And we can also choose different amounts of content to cite.


Now, here is an example of how an in-text citation is used in a body paragraph of an essay:

A recent study has shown that climate change will have an unequal impact in the United States, hitting some areas very hard. These findings are shared in “The American South Will Bear the Worst of Climate Change’s Costs” where Robinson Meyer reports, “Across the country’s southern half—and especially in states that border the Gulf of Mexico—climate change could impose the equivalent of a 20-percent tax on county-level income.” States in the northern regions of the country, however, may actually see short term economic benefits from climate change (Meyer). This disparity creates a political issue built on the back of an environmental one.

Notice that we are providing set-up for the in-text citation (which in this case is a direct quote followed by a paraphrased citation from the same source). We then add some brief analysis that tells the reader how the cited content connects to the point of the essay.

Sample Citations: Citing in Literary Analysis Essays

Example #1

In Kinkaid’s “Girl,” the dominant narrating voice does not only berate and warn the girl being lectured. She also seems to want to empower the girl, saying, at one point, “this is how to love a man, and if this doesn’t work there are other ways, and if they don’t work don’t feel too bad about giving up.”


Example #2

Louise Mallard experiences a sudden and unexpected joy at the death of her husband. She repeats the word “free” (1) to herself and as she reflects on her feelings Mallard does “not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her” (1).

Now here is an example of a quotation being used in context. You will notice that here too we provide set-up then analysis to connect the quote to a specific point.

Crooks stands up to Curley’s wife, telling her to leave and that he’s “had enough” (80). When he threatens to inform the boss of her behavior, Curley’s wife responds with a threat of her own and demands that Crooks consider the question, “You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?” (80). In this exchange we see the underlying theme of the novel emerge as the cut-throat nature of life on the ranch is shown to be the product of arbitrary social division and an unnatural absence of empathy.

Setting Up a Citation

There are a few common methods for introducing authors whose work you are citing.

There are many correct ways to do this, but here are some tips to get you started. 

  1. When citing from a research source, use the author’s full name the first time you refer to him or her.
  2. Also, it is often helpful to briefly mention the author’s profession or expertise to clarify the reason that you are citing that person. You can also mention the title of the author’s work as a way to indicate your reason for citing that person.

Examples of Citations with Appropriate Set-Up 

According to economics professor Jared Leto, “the economy looks fine if you are already wealthy because our systems are set up to help the rich.”


Clarisse Simmons, author of “Climbing America’s Economic Ladder,” claims that statistics show that it takes more than hard work to get ahead in America (2). 

Improving Citation Style 

Original In-Text Citation

T. Rees Shapiro of The Washington Post reported on November 22, 2016, in an interview with FCA representative McDonnell he stated that, “Traditional higher education doesn’t serve the needs of working adults.”

Adjusted

In an interview with FCA representative McDonnell, T. Rees Shapiro of The Washington Post reported that “Traditional higher education doesn’t serve the needs of working adults.”

Remember…

Good In-Text Citations will include…

  • …Set-up that briefly introduces the source
  • …Set-up that integrates the quotation into a sentence with original language
  • …a clear identification of the source

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