When quoting texts, give the name of the text followed by the page or line numbers, as appropriate. Always cite line numbers for poetry if they are given in the edition from which you are citing.
If you end a sentence with a quote that does not need a parenthetic citation, the sentence-ending punctuation mark (".", "!", or "?") goes inside the quotation mark. For example:
In response to the Green Knight's words, Arthur jumps up, as if to say, "I'm ready for a fight."
When a parenthetic citation is necessary, one might be tempted to place the parenthetic reference inside the quotation marks:
The bells on the Monk's bridle ring "in a whistlynge wynd als cleere, / And eek as loude as dooth the chapel belle (General Prologue, 170-171)".
This implies that Chaucer wrote "(General Prologue, 170-171)"; obviously, he didn't. So make sure you put the parenthetic reference outside the quotation marks. However, it is conventional to put the period after the quotation, so the correct format is as follows:
The bells on the Monk's bridle ring "in a whistlynge wynd als cleere, / And eek as loude as dooth the chapel belle" (General Prologue, 170-171).
This is also true for the end of a clause. Notice the location of the comma in the following example.
The bells on the Monk's bridle ring "in a whistlynge wynd als cleere, / And eek as loude as dooth the chapel belle" (General Prologue, 170-171), and we may conclude that he wants to be noticed.
ALWAYS put a space between the quotation mark and the parenthetic citation. Compare the following examples.
a. The Green Knight asks, "What, is this Arthures hous?"(309).
b. The Green Knight asks, "What, is this Arthures hous?" (309).
Sentences like sentence (a) make me REALLY grumpy. Spend an extra ten minutes eliminating them entirely from your essay.
Wherever possible, footnotes should be placed after the final punctuation mark of a sentence. You should normally use parenthetic references for line number citations. Use footnotes (or endnotes) only to cite the edition of the text you are using or secondary sources.
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Last Update: 20 March, 2003