Citing in-text

What to include

Despite what you may read in non-academic writing, the only information you should include when citing research in-text is information about the study, the authors' last names, and the year.  Popular press articles often include the name of the article, the name of the journal in which it was published, and even the institutions where the authors work, but none of this is included in academic writing.  Academic writing is short, sweet, and to the point, so you should only include the important stuff, including important details of the study and the information that efficiently tells you how to find the original research (the authors' last names and the year).

In short, you need:

Where to put the reference

You have a lot of freedom in how you want to cite in-text as long as you include all of the necessary information.  If you cite the reference parenthetically (in parentheses at the end of the sentence), the format is more standardized.  Below are a few examples of how you could format your citation:

You should always put the citation in the first sentence where you talk about that study.  If multiple sentences (or more) all refer to the same paper, you only need to cite it at the beginning, and the reader will generally assume that you're still talking about the same thing.  If the study has multiple points that are somewhat disconnected, you may want to cite the same paper two or more sentences in a row (e.g. one sentence is on rates of depression in girls, and the next sentence is on rates of ADHD in boys.  They both came from the same source, but they may seem like they came from different studies).  You want your reader to have an easy time knowing where to look for the reference.  If you seem to be talking about something completely different, it's worth it to re-cite the paper just so your reader doesn't have to wonder where you're coming up with what you're saying, even if that means citing the same study two sentences in a row.

How to format it

The number of authors determines how the reference gets cited.  Below are a couple examples for each.  When putting the authors' names in parentheses, use "&" instead of "and" between the last two authors' names.

How to cite multiple studies at once

If you say that prior studies (plural) support a position or have tested an association, you should cite at least two sources.  When citing two or more references, be sure to list them in alphabetical order according to the first author's last name.  In between each reference (after the year), put a semicolon.  Do not add "and" or "&" between references (only use a semicolon).

Alternatively, you can cite a review article.  Below are examples of how you might cite one, highlighting that it is a review paper.

Common errors: