Say I have a quotation that is written at the top of my page something like this:


Robert Contor was always an odd fellow, but when the neighbors discovered his secret, everything changed. (p. 12)

Then, in my paragraph, I reference the quotation like this:

In Abook, it says that Robert Contor's life changed irreversibly after "the neighbors discovered his secret". This shows that .......

To be fully correct and not even have to worry about plagiarism and incorrect citations, do I have to include:

(Abook Leauthor p. 12)

or something like that? Can I legitimately get away with not adding the inline citations after every quotation, even though it is obvious what I'm citing? Does this apply in general when it is fairly obvious where the quotation came from?

Thanks a lot in advance. All responses are greatly appreciated!

  • Are you talking about other books in that area of the text? Personally, as a reader, I find quite tedious when people write "(Smith 1994) said this. And (Smith 1994) continued saying. (Smith 1994) finishes pointing out that..."
    – Davidmh
    Sep 17, 2015 at 4:05

3 Answers 3


I'd look for some form of "short citation" format in whatever style you are using. E.g. the first time around give the full citation, and later on the short one. Another technique would be to cite once, and then just go "As Leauthor says, ...", or even just try to keep all this together. If it is a long discussion, you might even dedicate a (sub)section to this, using sectioning to have it hang together.

In LaTeX/BibTeX I use the plain citation style, which gives a unintrusive [42] only. But that is major surgery...


You should cite every source of information not just text within a publishable content.

Just rephrasing the sentence from the book doesn't mean you didn't refer the book. If the content you referred is included in the book, then you must cite the relevant book too.

Another word of advice: Citing a material doesn't permit you to reproduce its content as it is in the original source. So, in general you ought to rephrase all of information you cite. Exceptions are for equations and quotations.

  • 1
    The quote looks fiction, so I think this is a literary analysis piece, and the point here is not talking about Robert Contor, but asserting that this is what the book says.
    – Davidmh
    Sep 17, 2015 at 4:03

If you are in MLA format, it should always be cited. You would have to cite it as (Author Last Name pg.#) for example, (Smith 7)

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