I want to use in-text citation about a sentence I'm borrowing from a journal article. But I'm confused on how to properly use it because the journal article also uses in-text citations on the same sentence I want to use in my paper. How solve this issue?


I can think of two ways to handle the situation (assuming that I understand the problem correctly). Let's say that you are dealing with a sentence with a baked-in citation, like this:

"Call me (Melville 1851) Ishmail."

And you want to append a citation to "(Olson 1947)" to the whole quote; but you don't want to use the same parenthetical style for both citations because readers might then suppose that you had supplied both citations rather than reproducing one and adding the other.

One clear way to distinguish between the two levels of citation is to add an explanatory note to the one you are introducing:

"Call me (Melville 1851) Ishmail." (Olson 1947, internal citation in original)

Another, rather less clear way to differentiate between the two levels of citations is to use different brackets for each level. For instance, if you've been using parentheses to indicate your own added citations, you might indicate the citation that Olson included in his 1947 article by putting it in braces (curly brackets):

"Call me {Melville 1851} Ishmail." (Olson 1947)

In this case, though, you should indicate somewhere (presumably in a footnote) that citations appearing in braces in your paper were present in the original articles that you are quoting. It wouldn't make sense to take this approach unless you had several or many such instances in your paper.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.