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How to Cite an Essay in MLA

The guidelines for citing an essay in MLA format are similar to those for citing a chapter in a book. Include the author of the essay, the title of the essay, the name of the collection if the essay belongs to one, the editor of the collection or other contributors, the publication information, and the page number(s).

Citing an Essay

Mla essay citation structure.

Last, First M. “Essay Title.” Collection Title, edited by First M. Last, Publisher, year published, page numbers. Website Title , URL (if applicable).

MLA Essay Citation Example

Gupta, Sanjay. “Balancing and Checking.” Essays on Modern Democracy, edited by Bob Towsky, Brook Stone Publishers, 1996, pp. 36-48. Essay Database, www . databaseforessays.org/modern/modern-democracy.

MLA Essay In-text Citation Structure

(Last Name Page #)

MLA Essay In-text Citation Example

Click here to cite an essay via an EasyBib citation form.

MLA Formatting Guide

MLA Formatting

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Bibliography
  • Block Quotes
  • et al Usage
  • In-text Citations
  • Paraphrasing
  • Page Numbers
  • Sample Paper
  • Works Cited
  • MLA 8 Updates
  • MLA 9 Updates
  • View MLA Guide

Citation Examples

  • Book Chapter
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Website (no author)
  • View all MLA Examples

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To cite your sources in an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author’s name(s), chapter title, book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citations and a works-cited-list entry for essay sources and some examples are given below:

In-text citation template and example:

For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author on the first occurrence. For subsequent citations, use only the surname(s). In parenthetical citations, always use only the surname of the author(s).

Citation in prose:

First mention: Annette Wheeler Cafarelli

Subsequent occurrences: Wheeler Cafarelli

Parenthetical:

….(Wheeler Cafarelli).

Works-cited-list entry template and example:

The title of the chapter is enclosed in double quotation marks and uses title case. The book or collection title is given in italics and uses title case.

Surname, First Name. “Title of the Chapter.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Year, page range.

Cafarelli, Annette Wheeler. “Rousseau and British Romanticism: Women and British Romanticism.” Cultural Interactions in the Romantic Age: Critical Essays in Comparative Literature , edited by Gregory Maertz. State U of New York P, 1998, pp. 125–56.

To cite an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author(s), the essay title, the book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for citations in prose, parenthetical citations, and works-cited-list entries for an essay by multiple authors, and some examples, are given below:

For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author (e.g., Mary Strine).

For sources with two authors, use both full author names in prose (e.g., Mary Strine and Beth Radick).

For sources with three or more authors, use the first name and surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues” (e.g., Mary Strine and others). In subsequent citations, use only the surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues” (e.g., Strine and others).

In parenthetical citations, use only the author’s surname. For sources with two authors, use two surnames (e.g., Strine and Radick). For sources with three or more author names, use the first author’s surname followed by “et al.”

First mention: Mary Strine…

Subsequent mention: Strine…

First mention: Mary Strine and Beth Radick…

Subsequent mention: Strine and Radick…

First mention: Mary Strine and colleagues …. or Mary Strine and others

Subsequent occurrences: Strine and colleagues …. or Strine and others

…. (Strine).

….(Strine and Radick).

….(Strine et al.).

The title of the essay is enclosed in double quotation marks and uses title case. The book or collection title is given in italics and uses title case.

Surname, First Name, et al. “Title of the Essay.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Year, page range.

Strine, Mary M., et al. “Research in Interpretation and Performance Studies: Trends, Issues, Priorities.” Speech Communication: Essays to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Speech Communication Association , edited by Gerald M. Phillips and Julia T. Wood, Southern Illinois UP, 1990, pp. 181–204.

MLA Citation Examples

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  • Referencing

A Quick Guide to Referencing | Cite Your Sources Correctly

Referencing means acknowledging the sources you have used in your writing. Including references helps you support your claims and ensures that you avoid plagiarism .

There are many referencing styles, but they usually consist of two things:

  • A citation wherever you refer to a source in your text.
  • A reference list or bibliography at the end listing full details of all your sources.

The most common method of referencing in UK universities is Harvard style , which uses author-date citations in the text. Our free Harvard Reference Generator automatically creates accurate references in this style.

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Table of contents

Referencing styles, citing your sources with in-text citations, creating your reference list or bibliography, harvard referencing examples, frequently asked questions about referencing.

Each referencing style has different rules for presenting source information. For in-text citations, some use footnotes or endnotes , while others include the author’s surname and date of publication in brackets in the text.

The reference list or bibliography is presented differently in each style, with different rules for things like capitalisation, italics, and quotation marks in references.

Your university will usually tell you which referencing style to use; they may even have their own unique style. Always follow your university’s guidelines, and ask your tutor if you are unsure. The most common styles are summarised below.

Harvard referencing, the most commonly used style at UK universities, uses author–date in-text citations corresponding to an alphabetical bibliography or reference list at the end.

Harvard Referencing Guide

Vancouver referencing, used in biomedicine and other sciences, uses reference numbers in the text corresponding to a numbered reference list at the end.

Vancouver Referencing Guide

APA referencing, used in the social and behavioural sciences, uses author–date in-text citations corresponding to an alphabetical reference list at the end.

APA Referencing Guide APA Reference Generator

MHRA referencing, used in the humanities, uses footnotes in the text with source information, in addition to an alphabetised bibliography at the end.

MHRA Referencing Guide

OSCOLA referencing, used in law, uses footnotes in the text with source information, and an alphabetical bibliography at the end in longer texts.

OSCOLA Referencing Guide

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In-text citations should be used whenever you quote, paraphrase, or refer to information from a source (e.g. a book, article, image, website, or video).

Quoting and paraphrasing

Quoting is when you directly copy some text from a source and enclose it in quotation marks to indicate that it is not your own writing.

Paraphrasing is when you rephrase the original source into your own words. In this case, you don’t use quotation marks, but you still need to include a citation.

In most referencing styles, page numbers are included when you’re quoting or paraphrasing a particular passage. If you are referring to the text as a whole, no page number is needed.

In-text citations

In-text citations are quick references to your sources. In Harvard referencing, you use the author’s surname and the date of publication in brackets.

Up to three authors are included in a Harvard in-text citation. If the source has more than three authors, include the first author followed by ‘ et al. ‘

The point of these citations is to direct your reader to the alphabetised reference list, where you give full information about each source. For example, to find the source cited above, the reader would look under ‘J’ in your reference list to find the title and publication details of the source.

Placement of in-text citations

In-text citations should be placed directly after the quotation or information they refer to, usually before a comma or full stop. If a sentence is supported by multiple sources, you can combine them in one set of brackets, separated by a semicolon.

If you mention the author’s name in the text already, you don’t include it in the citation, and you can place the citation immediately after the name.

  • Another researcher warns that the results of this method are ‘inconsistent’ (Singh, 2018, p. 13) .
  • Previous research has frequently illustrated the pitfalls of this method (Singh, 2018; Jones, 2016) .
  • Singh (2018, p. 13) warns that the results of this method are ‘inconsistent’.

The terms ‘bibliography’ and ‘reference list’ are sometimes used interchangeably. Both refer to a list that contains full information on all the sources cited in your text. Sometimes ‘bibliography’ is used to mean a more extensive list, also containing sources that you consulted but did not cite in the text.

A reference list or bibliography is usually mandatory, since in-text citations typically don’t provide full source information. For styles that already include full source information in footnotes (e.g. OSCOLA and Chicago Style ), the bibliography is optional, although your university may still require you to include one.

Format of the reference list

Reference lists are usually alphabetised by authors’ last names. Each entry in the list appears on a new line, and a hanging indent is applied if an entry extends onto multiple lines.

Harvard reference list example

Different source information is included for different source types. Each style provides detailed guidelines for exactly what information should be included and how it should be presented.

Below are some examples of reference list entries for common source types in Harvard style.

  • Chapter of a book
  • Journal article

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Your university should tell you which referencing style to follow. If you’re unsure, check with a supervisor. Commonly used styles include:

  • Harvard referencing , the most commonly used style in UK universities.
  • MHRA , used in humanities subjects.
  • APA , used in the social sciences.
  • Vancouver , used in biomedicine.
  • OSCOLA , used in law.

Your university may have its own referencing style guide.

If you are allowed to choose which style to follow, we recommend Harvard referencing, as it is a straightforward and widely used style.

References should be included in your text whenever you use words, ideas, or information from a source. A source can be anything from a book or journal article to a website or YouTube video.

If you don’t acknowledge your sources, you can get in trouble for plagiarism .

To avoid plagiarism , always include a reference when you use words, ideas or information from a source. This shows that you are not trying to pass the work of others off as your own.

You must also properly quote or paraphrase the source. If you’re not sure whether you’ve done this correctly, you can use the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker to find and correct any mistakes.

Harvard referencing uses an author–date system. Sources are cited by the author’s last name and the publication year in brackets. Each Harvard in-text citation corresponds to an entry in the alphabetised reference list at the end of the paper.

Vancouver referencing uses a numerical system. Sources are cited by a number in parentheses or superscript. Each number corresponds to a full reference at the end of the paper.

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APA (American Psychological Association) style is most frequently used within the social sciences, in order to cite various sources. This APA Citation Guide provides the general format for in-text citations and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th ed.

In APA style, two citations are used to cite a source:

  • A short citation used in the text (called the in-text citation ).
  • A full citation (called the reference ) in the reference list at the end of a paper.

The in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The in-text citation lets the reader know that the information came from the cited source. The reference list entry provides complete details of a source and is shown at the end of a document.

In order to properly cite a source in APA style, you must have both citation types in your paper. Every in-text citation has a reference list entry. Every reference list entry has at least one (maybe more) corresponding in-text citation.

In-text citations

The basic elements needed for an in-text citation are the author’s surname and the publication year . Sometimes, page numbers are also included, especially when quotes are mentioned in the text. In-text citations are mentioned in the text in two ways: as a narrative citation or a parenthetical citation.

Narrative citations are incorporated into the text and act as a part of the sentence. Usually, narrative citations use the author’s name in the text and the publication year is enclosed in parenthesis after the name. An example of a narrative citation for one author is given below:

Barbarin (2013) examined socioemotional learning in African boys.

Parenthetical

Parenthetical citations add the author’s name and the publication year at the end of the sentence in parenthesis. An example of a parenthetical citation is given below:

Inhibition and working memory in young children were studied extensively (Aase, 2014).

When are page numbers are included?

Page numbers are referred to within in-text citations when quotes are used. Examples of both narrative citations and parenthetical citations are given below.

Ahmed (2004, p. 44)

Ahmed (2004, pp. 53–56)

Parenthetical:

(Ahmed, 2004, p. 44)

(Ahmed, 2004, pp. 53–56)

Examples of in-text citations

Here are a few examples of in-text citations for a different number of authors:

Use the surname of the author in in-text citations. Use a comma before the publication year in parenthetical citations.

Narrative: 

Bucher (2018)

Parenthetical: 

(Bucher, 2018)

Two authors

Separate the author surnames with an “and” in narrative citations. Use an ampersand symbol (&) in parenthetical citations.

Popescu and Pennacchiotti (2010)

(Popescu & Pennacchiotti, 2010)

Three or more authors

Use the first author surname name followed by et al.

van Dijck et al. (2018)

(van Dijck et al., 2018)

Group author

Treat the group author similar to how you would treat author names.

Auger Collaboration (2003)

(Auger Collaboration, 2018)

If there is no author for the source, use the source title in place of the author’s name. In general, sources with no author appear as parenthetical citations.

When you add such in-text citations, you will either italicize the text or place it in quotations. If the source title is italicized in the reference list entry, italicize the title in the in-text citation. If the title is not italicized, place it in quotation marks.

Parenthetical, book:

( Nothing here , 1997)

Parenthetical, journal article:

(“Examination of parrotfish impact on coral reefs,” 2018)

Reference list entries

Reference list entries are also called full citations. There are four main details that most reference list entries have:

  • The author field.
  • The publication year.
  • The title of the work ( italicized or in “quotation marks”).
  • The source from where the reference can be obtained (e.g., URL, DOI, etc.).

Depending on the source type, you will also need additional details like volume number, publication title, contributors, medium, etc.

Examples of reference list entries

Below are a few examples of different types of reference entries along with their templates. The examples given are for one author. Note that “F” and “M” in the templates denote the first and the middle initials of an author’s name.

The title of the book is set in italics and sentence case.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the book . Publisher.

Ahmed, S. (2014). The cultural politics of emotion . Edinburgh University Press.

Journal article

The title of the article is in sentence case. The first word of a subtitle is capitalized. The journal title and the volume number are set in italics. If an article has a DOI it should always be included. Use “https://doi.org/” before the DOI. If there is no DOI for an online journal, include the URL instead. Do not use a period after the DOI or URL.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. URL or DOI

Collins, R. (2004). Rituals of solidarity and security in the wake of terrorist attack. Sociological Theory, 22 (1), 53–87. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2004.00204.x

Newspaper or magazine article

Newspaper and magazine articles take the same style. The title of the article is in plain text and sentence case; the title of the newspaper or the magazine is set in italics. Follow the format given in the template and example for setting the date, month, and year.

Surname, F. M. (Date of publication). Title of the article. Title of the Newspaper or Magazine . URL

TNN. (2021, July 18). Parents have a habit of comparing kids to others but you don’t need to. The Times of India . https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com//home/sunday-times/parents-have-a-habit-of-comparing-kids-to-others-but-you-dont-need-to/articleshow/84507857.cms

The webpage title is in plain text, while the Website name is set in italics. Follow the format given in the template and example for setting the date, month, year, and URL.

Author or Organization Name. (Year, Month Day of Publication ). Webpage title. Title of the Website. URL

Lamberth, H. (2021, August 12). Binge drinking is problem drinking: How to get back in control. PSYCOM . https://www.psycom.net/binge-drinking-problem-drinking

YouTube video

The video title is set in sentence case and italicized. The first word after a colon is capitalized. The word “Video” is enclosed in brackets after the video title. This is followed followed by the word “YouTube.” Finally, the link is given. Note that a period is not given after the URL.

Uploader’s name, F. (Year, Month Day Published). Video title [Video]. YouTube. URL

Ananta, P. (2021, February 21). APJ Abdul Kalam inspirational quotes [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjfL51RFL2k

Reference entries for different number of authors

The number of authors in the source decides how the author name(s) will be set in the references list. Here, you will see many journal references with different numbers of authors.

List the author name followed by the publication year.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range.

Spitka, T. (2017). Mediating among mediators: Building a consensus in multilateral interventions. International Negotiation, 23 , 1–30.

Separate the author names by an ampersand. Use a comma between the first author’s initial and the ampersand symbol.

Author Surname, F. M., & Author Surname, F. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. DOI or URL

Bernstein, B., & Solomon, J. (1999). Pedagogy, identity and the construction of a theory of symbolic control: Basil Bernstein questioned by Joseph Solomon. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 20 (2), 265–279. https://doi:10.1080/01425699995443

When you add two organizations in the author field, do not use a comma before the ampersand.

Organization 1 & Organization 2. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. DOI or URL

American Psychological Association & American Psychological Society. (2020). Psychology of children. Journal of Child Psychology, 34 (23), 1–12.

3–20 authors

List all author names. Do not forget to insert an “ampersand” before the last author. The example given below is for three authors.

Author Surname, F. M., Author Surname, F. M., & Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. DOI or URL

Pyysiäinen, J., Halpin, D., & Guilfoyle, A. (2017). Neoliberal governance and ‘responsibilization’ of agents: Reassessing the mechanisms of responsibility-shift in neoliberal discursive environments. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 18 (2), 215–235. https://doi:10.1080/1600910X.2017.1331858

More than 20 authors

List the names of the first 19 authors followed by an ellipsis. Add the final author name after the ellipsis but without the ampersand symbol before the last author name.

Author Surname1, F. M., Author Surname2, F. M., Author Surname3, F. M., Author Surname4, F. M., Author Surname5, F. M., Author Surname6, F. M., Author Surname7, F. M., Author Surname8, F. M., Author Surname9, F. M., Author Surname10, F. M., Author Surname11, F. M., Author Surname12, F. M., Author Surname13, F. M., Author Surname14, F. M., Author Surname15, F. M., Author Surname16, F. M., Author Surname17, F. M., Author Surname18, F. M.,  Author Surname19, F. M,¼ Last Author name, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. DOI or URL

Fox, J., Harper, D., Bird, A., Kindler, F. A., Feng, H.-G., Seng, A. L., Sevel, K., Ed, E., Nell, A., Ten, T., Elin, K. J., Thomas, A., Thendy, S., Fall, W., Fint, E., Gurdy, A. K., Dondy, D., Egert, E., Nanda, A. L., ¼ Long, G.  (2015). Pedagogising knowledge: Bernstein’s theory of the pedagogic device. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23 (4), 571–582.

For additional information on APA format, select from one of the source types below. For help creating APA citations, check out the BibMe APA citation generator.

Source Types:

  • How to cite a Book in APA
  • How to cite a Magazine in APA
  • How to cite a Newspaper in APA
  • How to cite a Website in APA
  • How to cite a Journal Article in APA
  • How to cite a Film in APA
  • How to cite an Interview in APA
  • How to cite a Lecture in APA
  • How to cite a TV Show / Radio Broadcast in APA
  • How to cite an Encyclopedia in APA
  • How to cite a Photograph in APA
  • APA 7 Updates

APA Format:

  • In-Text Citation Basics
  • Reference Page

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As per Section 8.17 from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , for any work that has three or more authors, the name of the first author and “et al.” should be used as in-text citation. The Latin phrase “et al” means “and others” and is used to reduce the citation length.

Example In-Text Citation Entry:

No stretch of reason can categorize cultural appropriation as imaginary (Rahim et al., 2020).

Sometimes, the same set of initial authors and the same publication year appear in a paper. In such rare circumstances, as per Section 8.18 of the APA manual, write out as many names as needed to differentiate between these similar references.

Example In-Text Citation Entries:

Miller, John, Reighstag et al. (2018)

Miller, John, Amudsen, et al. (2018)

As per Section 8.21 and Table 8.1 of the APA Publication Manual , a citation for a group author may be abbreviated in in-text citations. It is not compulsory to do so; however, if the group author is well known or if it appears at least thrice in the paper, then the name of the group may be abbreviated.

Parenthetical in-text citation template and example:

(Full Name of the Group [Abbreviation], year)

(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2018)

Whether it is a narrative or parenthetical in-text citation, the full name of the group should be mentioned in the first instance, along with the abbreviation.

Narrative in-text citation examples:

The American Psychological Association (APA, 2017) argues that… (first instance)

As per the APA (2017), it is standard practice that… (subsequent instances)

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How to Cite an Essay

Last Updated: February 4, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Diya Chaudhuri, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Diya Chaudhuri holds a PhD in Creative Writing (specializing in Poetry) from Georgia State University. She has over 5 years of experience as a writing tutor and instructor for both the University of Florida and Georgia State University. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 558,407 times.

If you're writing a research paper, whether as a student or a professional researcher, you might want to use an essay as a source. You'll typically find essays published in another source, such as an edited book or collection. When you discuss or quote from the essay in your paper, use an in-text citation to relate back to the full entry listed in your list of references at the end of your paper. While the information in the full reference entry is basically the same, the format differs depending on whether you're using the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago citation method.

Template and Examples

how to cite things in essays

  • Example: Potter, Harry.

Step 2 List the title of the essay in quotation marks.

  • Example: Potter, Harry. "My Life with Voldemort."

Step 3 Provide the title and authors or editors of the larger work.

  • Example: Potter, Harry. "My Life with Voldemort." Great Thoughts from Hogwarts Alumni , by Bathilda Backshot,

Step 4 Add publication information for the larger work.

  • Example: Potter, Harry. "My Life with Voldemort." Great Thoughts from Hogwarts Alumni , by Bathilda Backshot, Hogwarts Press, 2019,

Step 5 Include the page numbers where the essay is found.

  • Example: Potter, Harry. "My Life with Voldemort." Great Thoughts from Hogwarts Alumni , by Bathilda Backshot, Hogwarts Press, 2019, pp. 22-42.

MLA Works Cited Entry Format:

LastName, FirstName. "Title of Essay." Title of Collection , by FirstName Last Name, Publisher, Year, pp. ##-##.

Step 6 Use the author's last name and the page number for in-text citations.

  • For example, you might write: While the stories may seem like great adventures, the students themselves were terribly frightened to confront Voldemort (Potter 28).
  • If you include the author's name in the text of your paper, you only need the page number where the referenced material can be found in the parenthetical at the end of your sentence.
  • If you have several authors with the same last name, include each author's first initial in your in-text citation to differentiate them.
  • For several titles by the same author, include a shortened version of the title after the author's name (if the title isn't mentioned in your text).

Step 1 Place the author's name first in your Reference List entry.

  • Example: Granger, H.

Step 2 Add the year the larger work was published.

  • Example: Granger, H. (2018).

Step 3 Include the title of the essay.

  • Example: Granger, H. (2018). Adventures in time turning.

Step 4 Provide the author and title of the larger work.

  • Example: Granger, H. (2018). Adventures in time turning. In M. McGonagall (Ed.), Reflections on my time at Hogwarts

Step 5 List the page range for the essay and the publisher of the larger work.

  • Example: Granger, H. (2018). Adventures in time turning. In M. McGonagall (Ed.), Reflections on my time at Hogwarts (pp. 92-130). Hogwarts Press.

APA Reference List Entry Format:

LastName, I. (Year). Title of essay. In I. LastName (Ed.), Title of larger work (pp. ##-##). Publisher.

Step 6 Use the author's last name and year of publication for in-text citations.

  • For example, you might write: By using a time turner, a witch or wizard can appear to others as though they are actually in two places at once (Granger, 2018).
  • If you use the author's name in the text of your paper, include the parenthetical with the year immediately after the author's name. For example, you might write: Although technically against the rules, Granger (2018) maintains that her use of a time turner was sanctioned by the head of her house.
  • Add page numbers if you quote directly from the source. Simply add a comma after the year, then type the page number or page range where the quoted material can be found, using the abbreviation "p." for a single page or "pp." for a range of pages.

Step 1 Start your Bibliography entry with the name of the author of the essay.

  • Example: Weasley, Ron.

Step 2 Include the title of the essay in quotation marks.

  • Example: Weasley, Ron. "Best Friend to a Hero."

Step 3 Add the title and editor of the larger work along with page numbers for the essay.

  • Example: Weasley, Ron. "Best Friend to a Hero." In Harry Potter: Wizard, Myth, Legend , edited by Xenophilius Lovegood, 80-92.

Step 4 Provide publication information for the larger work.

  • Example: Weasley, Ron. "Best Friend to a Hero." In Harry Potter: Wizard, Myth, Legend , edited by Xenophilius Lovegood, 80-92. Ottery St. Catchpole: Quibbler Books, 2018.

' Chicago Bibliography Format:

LastName, FirstName. "Title of Essay." In Title of Book or Essay Collection , edited by FirstName LastName, ##-##. Location: Publisher, Year.

Step 5 Adjust your formatting for footnotes.

  • Example: Ron Weasley, "Best Friend to a Hero," in Harry Potter: Wizard, Myth, Legend , edited by Xenophilius Lovegood, 80-92 (Ottery St. Catchpole: Quibbler Books, 2018).
  • After the first footnote, use a shortened footnote format that includes only the author's last name, the title of the essay, and the page number or page range where the referenced material appears.

Tip: If you use the Chicago author-date system for in-text citation, use the same in-text citation method as APA style.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

You Might Also Like

Cite a Song

  • ↑ https://style.mla.org/essay-in-authored-textbook/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_books.html
  • ↑ https://utica.libguides.com/c.php?g=703243&p=4991646
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
  • ↑ https://guides.himmelfarb.gwu.edu/c.php?g=27779&p=170363
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ http://libguides.heidelberg.edu/chicago/book/chapter
  • ↑ https://librarybestbets.fairfield.edu/citationguides/chicagonotes-bibliography#CollectionofEssays
  • ↑ https://libguides.heidelberg.edu/chicago/book/chapter

About This Article

Diya Chaudhuri, PhD

To cite an essay using MLA format, include the name of the author and the page number of the source you’re citing in the in-text citation. For example, if you’re referencing page 123 from a book by John Smith, you would include “(Smith 123)” at the end of the sentence. Alternatively, include the information as part of the sentence, such as “Rathore and Chauhan determined that Himalayan brown bears eat both plants and animals (6652).” Then, make sure that all your in-text citations match the sources in your Works Cited list. For more advice from our Creative Writing reviewer, including how to cite an essay in APA or Chicago Style, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Citing sources: Overview

  • Citation style guides

Manage your references

Use these tools to help you organize and cite your references:

  • Citation Management and Writing Tools

If you have questions after consulting this guide about how to cite, please contact your advisor/professor or the writing and communication center .

Why citing is important

It's important to cite sources you used in your research for several reasons:

  • To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  • To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors
  • To allow your reader to track down the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by way of footnotes, a bibliography or reference list

About citations

Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place.

Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site).  They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases.

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

Citations may look different, depending on what is being cited and which style was used to create them. Choose an appropriate style guide for your needs.  Here is an example of an article citation using four different citation styles.  Notice the common elements as mentioned above:

Author - R. Langer

Article Title - New Methods of Drug Delivery

Source Title - Science

Volume and issue - Vol 249, issue 4976

Publication Date - 1990

Page numbers - 1527-1533

American Chemical Society (ACS) style:

Langer, R. New Methods of Drug Delivery. Science 1990 , 249 , 1527-1533.

IEEE Style:

R. Langer, " New Methods of Drug Delivery," Science , vol. 249 , pp. 1527-1533 , SEP 28, 1990 .

American Psychological Association   (APA) style:

Langer, R. (1990) . New methods of drug delivery. Science , 249 (4976), 1527-1533.

Modern Language Association (MLA) style:

Langer, R. " New Methods of Drug Delivery." Science 249.4976 (1990) : 1527-33.

What to cite

You must cite:

  • Facts, figures, ideas, or other information that is not common knowledge

Publications that must be cited include:  books, book chapters, articles, web pages, theses, etc.

Another person's exact words should be quoted and cited to show proper credit 

When in doubt, be safe and cite your source!

Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when you borrow another's words (or ideas) and do not acknowledge that you have done so. In this culture, we consider our words and ideas intellectual property; like a car or any other possession, we believe our words belong to us and cannot be used without our permission.

Plagiarism is a very serious offense. If it is found that you have plagiarized -- deliberately or inadvertently -- you may face serious consequences. In some instances, plagiarism has meant that students have had to leave the institutions where they were studying.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources - both within the body of your paper and in a bibliography of sources you used at the end of your paper.

Some useful links about plagiarism:

  • MIT Academic Integrity Overview on citing sources and avoiding plagiarism at MIT.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism From the MIT Writing and Communication Center.
  • Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It From Indiana University's Writing Tutorial Services.
  • Plagiarism- Overview A resource from Purdue University.
  • Next: Citation style guides >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 16, 2024 7:02 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.mit.edu/citing

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

In-Text Citations: The Basics

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style  can be found here .

Reference citations in text are covered on pages 261-268 of the Publication Manual. What follows are some general guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay.

Note:  On pages 117-118, the Publication Manual suggests that authors of research papers should use the past tense or present perfect tense for signal phrases that occur in the literature review and procedure descriptions (for example, Jones (1998)  found  or Jones (1998)  has found ...). Contexts other than traditionally-structured research writing may permit the simple present tense (for example, Jones (1998)  finds ).

APA Citation Basics

When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

If you are referring to an idea from another work but  NOT  directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference.

On the other hand, if you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “p.” (for one page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before listing the page number(s). Use an en dash for page ranges. For example, you might write (Jones, 1998, p. 199) or (Jones, 1998, pp. 199–201). This information is reiterated below.

Regardless of how they are referenced, all sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining

  • Always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials: D. Jones.
  • If you refer to the title of a source within your paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source:  Permanence and Change . Exceptions apply to short words that are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs:  Writing New Media ,  There Is Nothing Left to Lose .

( Note:  in your References list, only the first word of a title will be capitalized:  Writing new media .)

  • When capitalizing titles, capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound word:  Natural-Born Cyborgs .
  • Capitalize the first word after a dash or colon: "Defining Film Rhetoric: The Case of Hitchcock's  Vertigo ."
  • If the title of the work is italicized in your reference list, italicize it and use title case capitalization in the text:  The Closing of the American Mind ;  The Wizard of Oz ;  Friends .
  • If the title of the work is not italicized in your reference list, use double quotation marks and title case capitalization (even though the reference list uses sentence case): "Multimedia Narration: Constructing Possible Worlds;" "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry."

Short quotations

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by "p." for a single page and “pp.” for a span of multiple pages, with the page numbers separated by an en dash).

You can introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.

If you do not include the author’s name in the text of the sentence, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.

Long quotations

Place direct quotations that are 40 words or longer in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout, but do not add an extra blank line before or after it. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.

Because block quotation formatting is difficult for us to replicate in the OWL's content management system, we have simply provided a screenshot of a generic example below.

This image shows how to format a long quotation in an APA seventh edition paper.

Formatting example for block quotations in APA 7 style.

Quotations from sources without pages

Direct quotations from sources that do not contain pages should not reference a page number. Instead, you may reference another logical identifying element: a paragraph, a chapter number, a section number, a table number, or something else. Older works (like religious texts) can also incorporate special location identifiers like verse numbers. In short: pick a substitute for page numbers that makes sense for your source.

Summary or paraphrase

If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference and may omit the page numbers. APA guidelines, however, do encourage including a page range for a summary or paraphrase when it will help the reader find the information in a longer work. 

When to Cite a Source in a Paper

And What Is Common Knowledge?

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  • Writing Research Papers
  • Writing Essays
  • English Grammar
  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

"Write an essay and back it up with facts."

How many times have you heard a teacher or professor say this? But many students might wonder what exactly counts as a fact, and what doesn't. That means they don't know when it is proper to cite a source, and when it's OK not to use a citation.

Dictionary.com states that a fact is:

  • Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed.

"Demonstrated" is a hint here. What the teacher means when she/he tells you to use facts is that you need to back up your claims with some evidence that supports your claims (sources). It's one trick that teachers use to make sure you actually use some references when you write a paper, instead of simply offering a list of your opinions.

This may sound easy, but it's actually tough sometimes to know when you need to back up a statement with evidence and when it is fine to leave a statement unsupported.

When to Cite a Source

You should use evidence ( citations ) any time you make a claim that is not based on a well-known fact or common knowledge. Here's a list of situations when your teacher would expect a citation:

  • You make a specific claim that could be challenged--like London is the foggiest city in the world. 
  • You quote somebody.
  • You make a specific claim that is not common knowledge like the Indian Ocean is the youngest of the world's major oceans.
  • You paraphrase information from a source (give the meaning but change the wording).
  • Offer an authoritative (expert) opinion--like "germs cause pneumonia."
  • You got an idea from somebody else, even through email or conversation.

Although there may be interesting facts that you have believed or know for many years, you will be expected to provide proof of those facts when you're writing a paper for school.

Examples of Claims You Should Support

  • Hot water can freeze faster than cold water.
  • Poodles are friendlier than Dalmatians.
  • American Chestnut trees are nearly extinct.
  • Eating while driving is more dangerous than talking on the cell phone while driving.
  • Thomas Edison invented a vote counter.

When You Don't Need to Cite a Source

So how do you know when you do not need to cite a source? Common knowledge is basically a fact that practically everyone knows, like the fact that George Washington was a U.S. president.

More Examples of Common Knowledge or Well-Known Facts

  • Bears hibernate in the winter.
  • Fresh water freezes at 32 degrees F.
  • Many trees shed their leaves in the fall.
  • Some trees do not shed their leaves in the fall.
  • Bears hibernate.

A well-known fact is something that many people know, but it is also something that a reader could look up easily if he/she didn't know.

  • It's best to plant flowers in the early spring.
  • Holland is famous for its tulips.
  • Canada has a multilingual population.

If you're not really certain about something being common knowledge, you could give it the little sister test. If you have a younger sibling, ask him or her the subject you're pondering. If you get an answer, it could be common knowledge!

A Good Rule of Thumb

A good rule of thumb for any writer is to go ahead and use a citation when you're not certain whether or not the citation is necessary. The only risk in doing this is littering your paper with unnecessary citations that will drive your teacher crazy. Too many citations will give your teacher the impression that you are attempting to stretch your paper to a certain word count!

Simply trust your own best judgment and be honest with yourself. You'll get the hang of it soon!

  • 50 Argumentative Essay Topics
  • Turabian Style Guide With Examples
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  • What Is Plagiarism?
  • What Is a Citation?
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  • 4 Tips for Using Textual Evidence for Short Stories
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  • APA In-Text Citations

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Using Information Sources Ethically and Legally

  • Understanding Plagiarism
  • Avoidance Tips

When do I need to cite sources?

Does everything need to be cited, all you need to know about citing sources, get help from libraries and writing centers.

Always give credit where credit is due. If the words that you are including in your research belong to someone else, give credit. 

Here is  a brief list of what needs to be credited or documented :  

  • Words or ideas presented in a magazine, book, newspaper, song, TV program, movie, website, computer program, letter, advertisement, or any other medium  
  • Information you gain through interviewing or conversing with another person, face to face, over the phone, or in writing  
  • When you copy the exact words or a unique phrase  
  • When you reprint any diagrams, illustrations, charts, pictures, or other visual materials  
  • When you reuse or repost any digital media, including images, audio, video, or other media  

There are certain things that  do not need documentation or credit, including :  

  • Writing your own lived experiences, your own observations and insights, your own thoughts, and your own conclusions about a subject  
  • When you are writing up your own results obtained through lab or field experiments  
  • When you use your own artwork, digital photographs, video, audio, etc.  
  • When you are using "common knowledge," things like folklore, common sense observations, myths, urban legends, and historical events (but  not  historical documents)  
  • When you are using generally accepted facts (e.g., pollution is bad for the environment) including facts that are accepted within particular discourse communities (e.g., in the field of composition studies, "writing is a process" is a generally accepted fact).  

(From Plagiarism FAQs - Purdue Writing Lab )

The following chart from the UT Arlington Library Acknowledging Sources tutorial will guide you in your decision:

What is common knowledge? This refers to facts well known by many people and verifiable in five or more sources. Examples:

  • Bill Gates is the founder of the Microsoft Corporation.
  • There are 60 minutes in an hour.
  • Columbus is the capital of Ohio.
  • The whole is greater than the part.
  • Common Knowledge inforgraphic

If you have any doubts or questions, ask your professor or librarian. Err on the side of caution: when in doubt, cite!

The online guide Citing Your Sources provides information on citation, style guides, citation tools, and more.

  • Ask a Question (UC Libraries form) Email you reference question and get a response within 24 hours.
  • Subject librarians Contact a specialist in your discipline.

Writing Centers

  • Academic Writing Center (UC Clifton) Trained writing center tutors provide UC students with free writing assistance.

Schedule an appointment

AWC Tutor Feedback (submit a paper of six double-spaced pages or less and get  feedback from a tutor within 48 hours)

Email: [email protected]

  • UC Clermont Learning Commons Support Services

Email: [email protected]

  • UC Blue Ash Writing and Study Skills Center

Submit your work (submit a paper of six double-spaced pages or less and get  feedback from a tutor within 24-48 hours)

Email: [email protected]

  • << Previous: Avoidance Tips
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  • Last Updated: Oct 24, 2023 3:13 PM
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'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

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When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form .

What is ChatGPT and why does it matter? Here's what you need to know

screenshot-2024-03-27-at-4-28-37pm.png

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot with natural language processing (NLP) that allows you to have human-like conversations to complete various tasks. The  generative AI  tool can answer questions and assist you with tasks such as composing emails, essays, code, and more.

Also :  How to use ChatGPT: What you need to know now

It's currently  open to use for free . A paid subscription version called ChatGPT Plus launched in February 2023 with access to priority access to OpenAI's latest models and updates.

Who made ChatGPT?

AI startup OpenAI launched ChatGPT on November 30, 2022. OpenAI has also developed  DALL-E 2  and DALL-E 3 , popular  AI image generators , and Whisper, an automatic speech recognition system. 

Who owns ChatGPT currently?

OpenAI owns ChatGPT. Microsoft is a major investor in OpenAI thanks to multiyear, multi-billion dollar  investments. Elon Musk was an investor when OpenAI was first founded in 2015, but has since completely severed ties with the startup and created his own AI chatbot, Grok .

How can you access ChatGPT?

On April 1, 2024, OpenAI stopped requiring you to log in to use ChatGPT. Now, you can access ChatGPT simply by visiting  chat.openai.com . You can also access ChatGPT  via an app on your iPhone  or  Android  device.

Once you visit the site, you can start chatting away with ChatGPT. A great way to get started is by asking a question, similar to what you would do with Google. You can ask as many questions as you'd like.

Also: ChatGPT no longer requires a login, but you might want one anyway. Here's why

There are still some perks to creating an OpenAI account, such saving and reviewing your chat history and accessing custom instructions. Creating an OpenAI account is entirely free and easy. You can even log in with your Google account.

For step-by-step instructions, check out ZDNET's guide on  how to start using ChatGPT . 

Is there a ChatGPT app?

Yes, an official ChatGPT app is available for both iPhone and Android users. 

Also: ChatGPT dropped a free app for iPhones. Does it live up to the hype?

Make sure to download OpenAI's app, as there are a plethora of copycat fake apps listed on Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store that are not affiliated with the startup.

Is ChatGPT available for free?

ChatGPT is free to use, regardless of what you use it for, including writing, coding, and much more. 

There is a subscription option , ChatGPT Plus, that users can take advantage of that costs $20/month. The paid subscription model guarantees users extra perks, such as priority access to GPT-4o and the latest upgrades. 

Also: ChatGPT vs ChatGPT Plus: Is it worth the subscription fee?

Although the subscription price may seem steep, it is the same amount as Microsoft Copilot Pro and Google One AI, Microsoft's and Google's premium AI offerings. 

The free version is still a solid option as it can access the same model and most of the same perks. One major exception: only subscribers get guaranteed access to GPT-4o when the model is at capacity. 

I tried using ChatGPT and it says it's at capacity. What does that mean?

The ChatGPT website operates using servers. When too many people hop onto these servers, they may overload and can't process your request. If this happens to you, you can visit the site later when fewer people are trying to access the tool. You can also keep the tab open and refresh it periodically. 

Also: The best AI chatbots

If you want to skip the wait and have reliable access, you can subscribe to  ChatGPT Plus  for general access during peak times, faster response times, and priority access to new features and improvements, including priority access to GPT-4o.

You can also try using Bing's AI chatbot, Copilot . This chatbot is free to use, runs on GPT-4, has no wait times, and can access the internet for more accurate information.

What is ChatGPT used for?

ChatGPT has many functions in addition to answering simple questions. ChatGPT can compose essays , have philosophical conversations, do math, and even code for you . 

The tasks ChatGPT can help with also don't have to be so ambitious. For example, my favorite use of ChatGPT is for help creating basic lists for chores, such as packing and grocery shopping, and to-do lists that make my daily life more productive. The possibilities are endless. 

ZDNET has published many ChatGPT how-to guides. Below are some of the most popular ones. 

Use ChatGPT to: 

  • Write an essay
  • Create an app
  • Build your resume
  • Write Excel formulas
  • Summarize content
  • Write a cover letter
  • Start an Etsy business
  • Create charts and tables
  • Write Adruino drivers

Can ChatGPT generate images?

Yes, ChatGPT can generate images, but only for ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Since OpenAI discontinued DALL-E 2 in February 2024, the only way to access its most advanced AI image generator, DALL-E 3, through OpenAI's offerings is via its chatbot and ChatGPT Plus subscription.

Also: DALL-E adds new ways to edit and create AI-generated images. Learn how to use it

Microsoft's Copilot offers image generation, which is also powered by DALL-E 3, in its chatbot for free. This is a great alternative if you don't want to shell out the money for ChatGPT Plus.

How does ChatGPT work?

ChatGPT runs on a large language model (LLM) architecture created by OpenAI called the  Generative Pre-trained Transformer  (GPT). Since its launch, the free version of ChatGPT ran on a fine-tuned model in the GPT-3.5 series until May 2024, when the startup upgraded the model to GPT-4o. 

Also:   Here's a deep dive into how ChatGPT works  

With a subscription to ChatGPT Plus , you can access GPT-3.5, GPT-4, or  GPT-4o . Plus, users also have the added perk of priority access to GPT-4o, even when it is at capacity, while free users get booted down to GPT-3.5. 

Generative AI models of this type are trained on vast amounts of information from the internet, including websites, books, news articles, and more.

What does ChatGPT stand for?

As mentioned above, the last three letters in ChatGPT's namesake stand for Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT), a family of large language models created by OpenAI that uses deep learning to generate human-like, conversational text. 

Also: What does GPT stand for? Understanding GPT 3.5, GPT 4, GPT-4 Turbo, and more

The "Chat" part of the name is simply a callout to its chatting capabilities. 

Is ChatGPT better than a search engine?

ChatGPT is a language model created to converse with the end user. A search engine indexes web pages on the internet to help users find information. One is not better than the other, as each suit different purposes. 

When searching for as much up-to-date, accurate information as you can access, your best bet is a search engine. It will provide you with pages upon pages of sources you can peruse. 

Also: The best AI search engines of 2024: Google, Perplexity, and more

As of May, the free version of ChatGPT can get responses from both the GPT-4o model and the web. It will only pull its answer from, and ultimately list, a handful of sources, as opposed to showing nearly endless search results.

For example, I used GPT-4o to answer, "What is the weather today in San Francisco?" The response told me it searched four sites and provided links to them. 

If you are looking for a platform that can explain complex topics in an easy-to-understand manner, then ChatGPT might be what you want. If you want the best of both worlds, there are plenty of AI search engines on the market that combine both.

What are ChatGPT's limitations?

Despite its impressive capabilities, ChatGPT still has limitations. Users sometimes need to reword questions multiple times for ChatGPT to understand their intent. A bigger limitation is a lack of quality in responses, which can sometimes be plausible-sounding but are verbose or make no practical sense. 

Instead of asking for clarification on ambiguous questions, the model guesses what your question means, which can lead to poor responses. Generative AI models are also subject to hallucinations, which can result in inaccurate responses.

Does ChatGPT give wrong answers?

As mentioned above, ChatGPT, like all language models, has  limitations  and can give nonsensical answers and incorrect information, so it's important to double-check the data it gives you.

Also: 8 ways to reduce ChatGPT hallucinations

OpenAI recommends that you provide feedback on what ChatGPT generates by using the thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons to improve its underlying model. You can even join the startup's Bug Bounty program , which offers up to $20,000 for reporting security bugs and safety issues.

Can ChatGPT refuse to answer my prompts?

AI systems like ChatGPT can and do reject  inappropriate requests . The AI assistant can identify inappropriate submissions to prevent the generation of unsafe content.

Also:  6 things ChatGPT can't do (and another 20 it refuses to do)

These submissions include questions that violate someone's rights, are offensive, are discriminatory, or involve illegal activities. The ChatGPT model can also challenge incorrect premises, answer follow-up questions, and even admit mistakes when you point them out.

These guardrails are important. AI models can generate advanced, realistic content that can be exploited by bad actors for harm, such as spreading misinformation about public figures and influencing elections .

Can I chat with ChatGPT?

Although some people use ChatGPT for elaborate functions, such as writing code or even malware , you can use ChatGPT for more mundane activities, such as having a friendly conversation. 

Also:  Do you like asking ChatGPT questions? You could get paid (a lot) for it

Some conversation starters could be as simple as, "I am hungry, what food should I get?" or as elaborate as, "What do you think happens in the afterlife?" Either way, ChatGPT is sure to have an answer for you. 

Is ChatGPT safe?

People are expressing concerns about AI chatbots replacing or atrophying human intelligence. For example, a chatbot can write an article on any topic efficiently (though not necessarily accurately) within seconds, potentially eliminating the need for human writers.

Chatbots can also write an entire essay within seconds, making it easier for students to cheat or avoid learning how to write properly. This even led  some school districts to block access  when ChatGPT initially launched. 

Also:  Generative AI can be the academic assistant an underserved student needs

Now, not only have many of those schools decided to unblock the technology, but some higher education institutions have been  catering their academic offerings  to AI-related coursework. 

Another concern with AI chatbots is the possible spread of misinformation. ChatGPT itself says: "My responses are not intended to be taken as fact, and I always encourage people to verify any information they receive from me or any other source." OpenAI also notes that ChatGPT sometimes writes "plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers."

Also:  Microsoft and OpenAI detect and disrupt nation-state cyber threats that use AI, report shows

Lastly, there are ethical concerns regarding the information ChatGPT was trained on, since the startup scraped the internet to train the chatbot. 

It also automatically uses people's interactions with the free version of the chatbot to further train its models, raising privacy concerns. OpenAI lets you turn off training in ChatGPT's settings.

Does ChatGPT plagiarize?

Yes, sort of. OpenAI scraped the internet to train ChatGPT. Therefore, the technology's knowledge is influenced by other people's work. Since there is no guarantee that when OpenAI outputs its answers it is entirely original, the chatbot may regurgitate someone else's work in your answer, which is considered plagiarism. 

Is there a ChatGPT detector?

Concerns about students using AI to cheat mean the need for a ChatGPT text detector is becoming more evident. 

In January 2023, OpenAI released a free tool to target this problem. Unfortunately, OpenAI's "classifier" tool could only correctly identify 26% of AI-written text with a "likely AI-written" designation. Furthermore, it provided false positives 9% of the time, incorrectly identifying human-written work as AI-produced. 

The tool performed so poorly  that, six months after being released, OpenAI it shut down "due to its low rate of accuracy." Despite the tool's failure, the startup claims to be researching more effective techniques for AI text identification.

Also: OpenAI unveils text-to-video model and the results are astonishing

Other AI detectors exist on the market, including GPT-2 Output Detector ,  Writer AI Content Detector , and Content at Scale's AI Content Detection  tool. ZDNET put these tools to the test, and the results were underwhelming: all three were found to be unreliable sources for spotting AI, repeatedly giving false negatives. Here are  ZDNET's full test results .

What are the common signs something was written by ChatGPT?

Although tools aren't sufficient for detecting ChatGPT-generated writing, a  study  shows that humans could detect AI-written text by looking for politeness. The study's results indicate that  ChatGPT's writing style is extremely polite . And unlike humans, it cannot produce responses that include metaphors, irony, or sarcasm.

Will my conversations with ChatGPT be used for training?

One of the major risks when using generative AI models is that they become more intelligent by being trained on user inputs. Therefore, when familiarizing yourself with how to use ChatGPT, you might wonder if your specific conversations will be used for training and, if so, who can view your chats.

Also:  This ChatGPT update fixed one of my biggest productivity issues with the AI chatbot

OpenAI will use your conversations with the free chatbot to automatically training data to refine its models. You can opt out of the startup using your data for model training by clicking on the question mark in the bottom left-hand corner, Settings, and turning off "Improve the model for everyone."

What is GPT-4?

GPT-4 is OpenAI's language model that is much more advanced than its predecessor, GPT-3.5. Users can access GPT-4 by subscribing to ChatGPT Plus for $20 per month or using Microsoft's Copilot.

Also: What does GPT stand for? Understanding GPT-3.5, GPT-4, and more

GPT-4 has advanced intellectual capabilities, meaning it outperforms GPT-3.5 in a series of simulated benchmark exams. The newer model also supposedly produces fewer hallucinations. 

What is GPT-4o?

GPT-4o is OpenAI's latest, fastest, and most advanced flagship model. As the name implies, it has the same intelligence as GPT-4. However, the "o" in the title stands for "omni," referring to its multimodal capabilities, which allow it to understand text, audio, image, and video inputs and output text, audio, and image outputs. 

Also:  6 ways OpenAI just supercharged ChatGPT for free users

The model is 50% cheaper in the API than GPT-4 Turbo while still matching its English and coding capabilities and outperforming it in non-English languages, vision, and audio understanding -- a big win for developers.

Are there alternatives to ChatGPT worth considering?

Although ChatGPT gets the most buzz, other options are just as good -- and might even be better suited to your needs. ZDNET has created a list of the best chatbots, which have all been tested by us and show which tool is best for your requirements. 

Also: 4 things Claude AI can do that ChatGPT can't

Despite ChatGPT's extensive abilities, there are major downsides to the AI chatbot. If you want to try the technology, there are plenty of other options: Copilot , Claude , Perplexity ,  Jasper , and more.  

Is ChatGPT smart enough to pass benchmark exams?

Yes, ChatGPT is capable of passing a series of benchmark exams. A professor at Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania's business school, used ChatGPT to take an MBA exam and the results were quite impressive. 

ChatGPT not only passed the exam, but the tool scored between a B- and a B. The professor, Christian Terwiesch, was impressed at its basic operations management, process analysis questions, and explanations.

OpenAI also tested the chatbot's ability to pass benchmark exams. Although ChatGPT could pass many of these benchmark exams, its scores were usually in the lower percentile. However, with GPT-4, ChatGPT can score much higher.

For example, ChatGPT using GPT-3.5 scored in the lower 10th percentile of a simulated Bar Exam, while GPT-4 scored in the top 10th percentile. You can see more examples from OpenAI in the chart below.

Can ChatGPT be used for job application assistance?

Yes, ChatGPT is a great resource to help with job applications. Undertaking a job search can be tedious and difficult, and ChatGPT can help you lighten the load. ChatGPT can build your resume  and write a cover letter .

Also :  How to use ChatGPT to write an essay

If your application has any written supplements, you can use ChatGPT to help you write those essays or personal statements . 

What are the most common ChatGPT plugins, and how do I use them?

Plugins allowed ChatGPT to connect to third-party applications, including access to real-time information on the web. The plugins expanded ChatGPT's abilities , allowing it to assist with many more activities, such as planning a trip or finding a place to eat. 

Also:  My two favorite ChatGPT Plus features and the remarkable things I can do with them

On March 19, 2024, however, OpenAI stopped allowing users to install new plugins or start new conversations with existing ones. Instead, OpenAI replaced plugins with GPTs , which are easier for developers to build. 

Users can find 3 million ChatGPT chatbots, also known as GPTs, on the GPT store. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of spam in the GPT store.

What is Microsoft's involvement with ChatGPT?

Microsoft was an early investor in OpenAI, the AI startup behind ChatGPT, long before ChatGPT was released to the public. Microsoft's first involvement with OpenAI was in 2019, when the company invested $1 billion, and then another $2 billion in the years after. In January 2023, Microsoft extended its partnership with OpenAI through a multiyear, multi-billion dollar investment .

Also: ChatGPT vs. Copilot: Which AI chatbot is better for you?

 Neither company disclosed the investment value, but unnamed sources told Bloomberg that it could total $10 billion over multiple years. In return, OpenAI's exclusive cloud-computing provider is Microsoft Azure, powering all OpenAI workloads across research, products, and API services.

Microsoft has also used its OpenAI partnership to revamp its Bing search engine and improve its browser. 

On February 7, 2023, Microsoft unveiled a new Bing tool , now known as Copilot, that runs on OpenAI's GPT-4, customized specifically for search.

What does Copilot (formerly Bing Chat) have to do with ChatGPT?

In February 2023,  Microsoft unveiled  a new version of Bing -- and its standout feature was its integration with ChatGPT. When it was announced, Microsoft shared that Bing Chat, now Copilot, was powered by a next-generation version of OpenAI's large language model, making it "more powerful than ChatGPT." Five weeks after the launch, Microsoft revealed that Copilot had been running on GPT-4 before the model had even launched. 

How does Copilot compare to ChatGPT?

Copilot uses OpenAI's GPT-4, which means that since its launch, it has been more efficient and capable than the standard, free version of ChatGPT. At the time, Copilot boasted several other features over ChatGPT, such as access to the internet, knowledge of current information, and footnotes.

In May 2024, however, OpenAI supercharged the free version of its chatbot with GPT-4o. The upgrade gave users GPT-4 level intelligence, the ability to get responses from the web via ChatGPT Browse with Bing, analyze data, chat about photos and documents, use GPTs, access the GPT Store, and Voice Mode. Therefore, after the upgrade, ChatGPT reclaimed its crown as the best AI chatbot. 

What is Gemini and how does it relate to ChatGPT?

Gemini is Google's AI chat service, a rival to ChatGPT. On February 6, 2023, Google introduced its experimental AI chat service, which was then called Google Bard. Over a month after the announcement, Google began rolling out  access to Bard first via a waitlist . Now, it is available to the general public. 

Artificial Intelligence

Chatgpt vs. copilot: which ai chatbot is better for you, what does gpt stand for understanding gpt-3.5, gpt-4, gpt-4o, and more, what is copilot (formerly bing chat) here's everything you need to know.

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  1. Citing A Quote From A Book In An Essay

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  2. 4 Ways to Cite an Essay

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  3. 3 formas de citar un ensayo

    how to cite things in essays

  4. 4 Ways to Cite an Essay

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  5. Research Paper Citing Help

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    how to cite things in essays

VIDEO

  1. How to Quote in an Essay (5 Simple Steps)

  2. Citation and Referencing for beginners

  3. How to Reference in an Essay (3 Simple Tips)

  4. How to Use Sources and References in Essay

  5. How to Do EVIDENCE & CITATIONS in Essays

  6. How to cite titles and sources in essays and literature reviews

COMMENTS

  1. How to Cite Sources

    To quote a source, copy a short piece of text word for word and put it inside quotation marks. To paraphrase a source, put the text into your own words. It's important that the paraphrase is not too close to the original wording. You can use the paraphrasing tool if you don't want to do this manually.

  2. How to Cite Sources

    6 Interesting Citation Facts. The world of citations may seem cut and dry, but there's more to them than just specific capitalization rules, MLA in-text citations, and other formatting specifications.Citations have been helping researches document their sources for hundreds of years, and are a great way to learn more about a particular subject area.

  3. How to Cite in APA Format (7th edition)

    On the first line of the page, write the section label "References" (in bold and centered). On the second line, start listing your references in alphabetical order. Apply these formatting guidelines to the APA reference page: Double spacing (within and between references) Hanging indent of ½ inch.

  4. How to Cite Sources in APA Citation Format

    How to Cite an Edited Book in APA Format. This reference format is very similar to the book format apart from one extra inclusion: (Ed(s)). The basic format is as follows: Edited book example: Williams, S.T. (Ed.). (2015). Referencing: A guide to citation rules (3rd ed.). New York, NY: My Publisher . How to Cite a Chapter in an Edited Book in ...

  5. 4 Ways to Cite Sources

    2. Use author-date parenthetical citations in APA. To cite paraphrased material in the text of your paper, put the author's last name in parentheses at the end of the sentence where the paraphrase appears. Place a comma after the author's name, then type the year the source was published.

  6. Basic principles of citation

    The following are guidelines to follow when writing in-text citations: Ensure that the spelling of author names and the publication dates in reference list entries match those in the corresponding in-text citations. Cite only works that you have read and ideas that you have incorporated into your writing. The works you cite may provide key ...

  7. How to Cite an Essay in MLA

    Create manual citation. The guidelines for citing an essay in MLA format are similar to those for citing a chapter in a book. Include the author of the essay, the title of the essay, the name of the collection if the essay belongs to one, the editor of the collection or other contributors, the publication information, and the page number (s).

  8. A Quick Guide to Referencing

    In-text citations are quick references to your sources. In Harvard referencing, you use the author's surname and the date of publication in brackets. Up to three authors are included in a Harvard in-text citation. If the source has more than three authors, include the first author followed by ' et al. '.

  9. In-text citations

    In scholarly writing, it is essential to acknowledge how others contributed to your work. By following the principles of proper citation, writers ensure that readers understand their contribution in the context of the existing literature—how they are building on, critically examining, or otherwise engaging the work that has come before.

  10. APA Citation Examples: How to cite anything in APA format

    The title of the article is in plain text and sentence case; the title of the newspaper or the magazine is set in italics. Follow the format given in the template and example for setting the date, month, and year. Template: Surname, F. M. (Date of publication). Title of the article. Title of the Newspaper or Magazine.

  11. 4 Ways to Cite an Essay

    2. List the title of the essay in quotation marks. After the author's name, type the title of the essay in title case, capitalizing the first word and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs in the title. Place a period at the end of the title, inside the closing quotation marks. [2] Example: Potter, Harry.

  12. MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

    In-text citations: Author-page style. MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number (s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the ...

  13. How to Cite an Article in an Essay? (APA and MLA)

    The author's name might be unknown. If it's the case, use the first several words from the article's title but omit "A," "An," or "The" at the beginning. It can be written in quotes or italics, depending on how it's written in your list of references. The number of words you pick to use depends on the title.

  14. Overview

    Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place. Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site). They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases.

  15. In-Text Citations: The Basics

    When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  16. Citation Styles Guide

    There are three main approaches: Parenthetical citations: You include identifying details of the source in parentheses in the text—usually the author's last name and the publication date, plus a page number if relevant ( author-date ). Sometimes the publication date is omitted ( author-page ). Numerical citations: You include a number in ...

  17. MLA: Citing Within Your Paper

    An in-text citation can be included in one of two ways as shown below: 1. Put all the citation information at the end of the sentence: 2. Include author name as part of the sentence (if author name unavailable, include title of work): Each source cited in-text must also be listed on your Works Cited page. RefWorks includes a citation builder ...

  18. When to Cite a Source in a Paper

    You quote somebody. You make a specific claim that is not common knowledge like the Indian Ocean is the youngest of the world's major oceans. You paraphrase information from a source (give the meaning but change the wording). Offer an authoritative (expert) opinion--like "germs cause pneumonia." You got an idea from somebody else, even through ...

  19. To Cite or Not to Cite?

    When you are writing up your own results obtained through lab or field experiments ; When you use your own artwork, digital photographs, video, audio, etc. When you are using "common knowledge," things like folklore, common sense observations, myths, urban legends, and historical events (but not historical documents)

  20. How to Quote

    Citing a quote in APA Style. To cite a direct quote in APA, you must include the author's last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas. If the quote appears on a single page, use "p."; if it spans a page range, use "pp.". An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative.

  21. What is ChatGPT and why does it matter? Here's what you need to know

    ChatGPT is free to use, regardless of what you use it for, including writing, coding, and much more. There is a subscription option , ChatGPT Plus, that users can take advantage of that costs $20 ...

  22. How to Cite a Website

    Citing a website in MLA Style. An MLA Works Cited entry for a webpage lists the author's name, the title of the page (in quotation marks), the name of the site (in italics), the date of publication, and the URL. The in-text citation usually just lists the author's name. For a long page, you may specify a (shortened) section heading to ...

  23. How to Cite a Book

    To cite a book chapter, first give the author and title (in quotation marks) of the chapter cited, then information about the book as a whole and the page range of the specific chapter. The in-text citation lists the author of the chapter and the page number of the relevant passage. Author last name, First name.