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Middle School ELA Citation Progression and Primer

Middle School ELA Citation Progression and Primer  


LESD Middle School ELA Citation

Progression and Primer


6th grade

7th grade

8th grade

*     Demonstrate basic proficiency in all citation examples under Category A.

*     Master all of Category A and Category B.

*     Master all of Category A, B, and Category C.


Category A:

 In-text Citations: Author and Page

Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).

Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).

(Paraphrase example:) Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

In-text Citations: Use the title of the work when the author’s name is unavailable.  Place in quotation marks.

We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change . . ." ("Impact of Global Warming" 6).

In-text Citations: Multiple Authors

The authors state "Tighter gun control in the United States erodes Second Amendment rights" (Smith, Yang, and Moore 76).

In-text Citations: When a question mark appears in the citation...

The feeling of uneasiness in this conflict is revealed when Kincaid asks the question, “Did you really think he would get away with it?” (8).

Quoting a portion of dialogue in fiction: If you quote something a character says, use double quotation marks on the outside ends of the quotation to indicate that you are quoting a portion of the text. Use single quotation marksinside the double quotation marks to indicate that someone is speaking. Example:

"'Thou art not my child! Thou art no Pearl of mine!'" (Hawthorne 97).

Block quotations in fiction: Use block quotation format for fiction excerpts of four or more typed lines. These quotations must be double-spaced and indented one inch (ten spaces). Do not use quotation marks, and place the end punctuation BEFORE the parenthetical citation:

Near the end of Caleb Williams, the title character attempts to convince himself that the events and characters surrounding him are not supernatural after all:

Mr. Falkland, wise as he is and pregnant in resources, acts by human not by supernatural means. He may overtake me by surprise, and in a manner of which I had no previous expectation; but he cannot produce a great and notorious effect without some visible agency, however difficult it may be to trace that agency to its absolute author. He cannot … shroud himself in clouds and impenetrable darkness, and scatter destruction upon the earth from his secret habitation.  (Godwin 306)

Quoting more than one line of dialogue in fiction:  Indent each paragraph within the block citation.  Here is an example where the first sentence is the beginning of a paragraph:

In the aftermath of the hound sighting, Sherlock Holmes keeps his cool:

     Sir Henry lay insensible where he had fallen. We tore away his collar, and Holmes breathed a prayer of gratitude when we saw that there was no sign of a wound and that the rescue had been in time. Already our friend's eyelids shivered and he made a feeble effort to move. Lestrade thrust his brandy-flask between the baronet's teeth, and two frightened eyes were looking up at us.

     "My God!" he whispered. "What was it? What, in heaven's name, was it?"

     "It's dead, whatever it is," said Holmes. (Doyle 82)

In-text citation of an internet resource:

?       You do NOT need to include paragraph numbers or page numbers.

?       Only provide partial URLs such as when the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name like CNN.comorForbes.com as opposed to writing out http://www.cnn.com or http://www.forbes.com.

            Example: (paraphrased evidence)

                        Due to the rapid loss of jobs, the economy is declining (Economist.com).

Example: (direct quote)

“Due to the rapid loss of jobs, the economy is declining for certain” (Economist.com).

Category B:

Citing a Play: Indent each line of dialogue. Put characters’ names in all capital letters followed by a period (.) and then the dialogue. No quotation marks are placed around the dialogue. The page number follows.

Early on in the play “A Raisin in the Sun,” Walter explodes when Ruth refuses to listen to his ideas:

RUTH. Eat your eggs, Walter.

WALTER. (Slams the table and jumps up) --DARN MY EGGS--DARN ALL THE EGGS THAT EVER WAS!

RUTH. Then go to work.

WALTER. (Looking up at her) See--I’m trying to talk to you ‘bout myself--(Shaking his head with the repetition)--and all you can say is eat them eggs and go to work. (34)

Category C:

Citing Poetry: Indent each line of the poem.  Cite the lines you reference using numerals, but NOT the word, “line.”

Ronald Wallace’s poem “The Student Theme” describes words as if they were people:

The adjectives all ganged up on the nouns,

Insistent, loud, demanding, inexact,

Their Latinate constructions flashing. The pronouns

Lost their referents: They were dangling, lacked

the stamina to follow the prepositions lead

in, on, into, to, toward, for, or from. (1-6)

Introducing Citations:

Students should also be proficient in introducing sources and citations in multiple ways. 

       Using Evidence from the text to support your answer  

Language frames for citing evidenceLanguage Frames for analyzing informatiion