How To Cite An Article In An Essay


how to cite an article in an essay

If you’re writing any kind of essay, then you’ll need to cite any sources you reference within it. That includes articles, which are often good evidence sources. Not sure how to cite them in your work? Read on to find out more.

Citing Articles In Your Essay

Whatever you’re looking for professional write my essay help, and whatever the subject of your essay, you’ll need to be able to cite sources in it. These are there to show you have done the required research, and so you can back up any arguments you make in the text.

Without these citations, your argument is going to be a lot weaker. As well as this, you could be incorrectly flagged for plagiarism, especially if you’ve quoted part of the article that you’re using. That’s why it’s so important to know how to cite an article correctly, so you can avoid this and get the best marks possible.

How To Cite An Article In Your Essay

So, how do you cite an article in your essay? The exact way to do it will depend on the citation style you need to use. In this guide we’ll cover APA and MLA styles, as these are the most common ones used right now.

MLA style

When citing in text, the idea is that the citation is quick and readable. You’ll be including your bibliography at the end, so your citations will help the reader quickly see which text you’re referring to.

Direct quotes: If you’re using the author’s quote directly, there are a couple of ways you can cite it. For example, you can put the author’s name before the quote like so:

Smith states: “It is vital to cite sources correctly to avoid plagiarism.” (26)

You can also use the last name after the quote, like so:

“It is vital to cite sources correctly to avoid plagiarism.” (Smith, 26)

Paraphrasing: If you’re paraphrasing or summing up what the author has written, then you won’t need to quote them directly. As such, you would cite them like so:

Smith states that proper citation is essential in all essay writing, to avoid being flagged for plagiarism in your work (26).

If you’re paraphrasing ideas from several pages of the article, then you’ll indicate the page range separated by a comma, like so: 26, 29, 31-33).

Multiple authors or no indicated author: If there are multiple authors on an article, then you’ll simply use the last name of the first person listed, followed by “et al”, which means “and others”, like so:

“It is vital to cite sources correctly to avoid plagiarism.” (Smith et al, 26)

If it’s two authors, then you’ll need to mention them both in your referencing:

“It is vital to cite sources correctly to avoid plagiarism.” (Smith and Harrison, 26)

In the case you can’t find a listed author for the article, then instead of using the name, you’ll use the first few words of the title of the piece instead. When doing this, omit “A”, “An” or “The” from the title as you do so. It would look like this:

“It is vital to cite sources correctly to avoid plagiarism.” (Guide To Essay Writing, 26)

APA style

APA style is slightly different as you’ll need to cite an author’s name, the page of the article, and the year the article was published.

Direct quote: You’ll need to add slightly more detail but it’s still fairly simple to directly quote an author in text. You’ll be adding in the year the article was published, directly after the author’s name.

Smith states (2005):“It is vital to cite sources correctly to avoid plagiarism.” (p. 26)

This can also be done with all the info at the end of the quote, like so:

“It is vital to cite sources correctly to avoid plagiarism.” (Smith, 2005, pg. 26)

Paraphrasing: If you’re paraphrasing in APA style, then there are two ways you can format your citation:

According to Smith (2005), you need to correctly cite all sources used in your essay to avoid plagiarism.

Or you can cite in this way:

In essay writing you must know how to properly cite sources, so you can avoid plagiarism. (Smith, 2005, pg. 26).

Sources with multiple authors: If there are two authors for your source, then you’ll need to use both last names separated by an “&” like so:

The research by Smith & Harrison suggests that…

(Smith & Harrison, 2005, pg. 26)

If there are multiple authors, then the first author’s name with “et al” is used, like so:

Smith et al (2005) suggest that…

(Smith et al, 2005, pg. 26)

If you don’t know who the author is, you’ll use the first words of the article’s title. An article title should be put inside quotation marks:

In essay writing, it’s important to know how to properly cite your sources (“Guide To Essay Writing”, 2005)

Examples Of Article Citations

Now you know how to cite your articles, but it’s always helpful to see how they’re used. Here are some more examples to illustrate how citations should work.


Newspaper article: On November 1st, the city council announced plans to build a new bypass to alleviate traffic (James, 3)

Scholarly article: Research suggests that more involvement from close adults, especially family members, will improve a child’s ability to learn in their early years (Tailor 6)


Newspaper article: The first break in happened on the 2nd June, in the early hours of the morning (King, 2009)

Scholarly article: Giles states (2021): “In recent years, we have reached a critical point in climate change, and action must be taken now to prevent it.” (pg. 12)

It’s easier than you’d think to cite an article in your essay. Use these tips and examples to help you get it right in your next assignment.

written by Mary Watson

editor and tutor, 12 years experience

Mary, our exceptional editor and online tutor, brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. With her extensive expertise in academic writing, she guides and mentors aspiring students, providing them with constructive feedback that propels their essays to the next level.