For a paper I am doing, I am relying on information from this paper. I can't access without paying, but I found this link containing a summary in the form of a fancy GUI slideshow and gives more details than the abstract posted by someone named Kyle Alcock.

According to this answer, I should use 'qtd', making no reference to the indirect source parenthetically but include it in my 'works cited' (or bibliography, appendix, whatever).

A reader of my paper might notice the 'qtd' and want to know about the indirect source. How would said reader do such?

The relevant link provided in the answer gave an example but didn't include citation of an indirect source (assuming I am understanding it right):

parenthetical reference

In a May 1800 letter to Watt, Creighton wrote, "The excellent Satanism reflects immortal honour on the Club" (qtd. in Hunt and Jacob 493).

works cited list

Hunt, Lynn, and Margaret Jacob. "The Affective Revolution in 1790s Britain." Eighteenth-Century Studies 34.4 (2001): 491-521. Print.

Cross posted :


Various style guides have recommendations for citing indirect sources. However it's important to keep in mind that your works cited page is a list of sources you personally have used during your research. Since that's the case, it's recommended (generally) that you don't use indirect sources, but that if you do chose to use indirect sources, you let the audience know where you're gathering your information.

You shouldn't cite the main paper, as you are not quoting material, nor gathering information directly from the source. You should quote the source where you directly culled your information from, as it provides the most accurate information to your audience.

Here are how various style guides recommend dealing with indirect sources:

Chicago recommends the following when quoting an indirect source:

Because authors are generally expected to be intimately familiar with the sources they are citing, Chicago discourages the use of a source that was cited within another (secondary) source. In the case that an original source is utterly unavailable, however, Chicago recommends the use of "quoted in" for the note:

  1. Ian Hacking, The Social Construction of What? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), 103, quoted in Manuel DeLanda, A New Philosophy of Society (New York: Continuum, 2006), 2.

If you don't have access, at all, to the other source, you should, according to CMS, quote the source you're referencing. In this case, you should quote the slideshow, to let outside readers know that you have not accessed the primary document and are relying on someone else's information.

MLA style asks for much of the same:

Sometimes you may have to use an indirect source. An indirect source is a source cited in another source. For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted. For example:

Ravitch argues that high schools are pressured to act as "social service centers, and they don't do that well" (qtd. in Weisman 259).

Note that, in most cases, a responsible researcher will attempt to find the original source, rather than citing an indirect source.

For good measure, here's what APA asks for:

If you use a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. List the secondary source in your reference list and include the secondary source in the parentheses.

Johnson argued that...(as cited in Smith, 2003, p. 102).

Note: When citing material in parentheses, set off the citation with a comma, as above. Also, try to locate the original material and cite the original source.

In all cases, the writers are citing where they found the information, not where that information originally appeared.

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  • Thanks Cole. Chicago seems perfect for my case (I'm guessing Ian Hacking is analogous Kyle Alcock), but MLA is the requirement. :| Sure I'll say 'qtd', but what about the appendix/bibliography? My concern is that a reader sees the 'qtd' and then would want to know what the indirect source is. 'qtd' merely states that there is an indirect source. How does MLA instruct for identifying the indirect source? – BCLC Aug 27 '15 at 13:34
  • An answer on another question says: 'For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted. For example: Ravitch argues that high schools are pressured to act as "social service centers, and they don't do that well" (qtd. in Weisman 259). Note that, in most cases, a responsible researcher will attempt to find the original source... Williams College further clarifies that the indirect work should be included in your Works Cited list: ...include the indirect source in the Works Cited.' – BCLC Aug 27 '15 at 13:34
  • So an MLA bibliography would then be: 'Cit(ation), Cit, Cit, Cit (this is the indirect source, with no indication?), Cit, Cit, Cit, Cit, Cit (this is the direct source which I unfortunately could not access, making no indication as to which 'Cit' is the indirect source?), Cit, Cit, Cit' ? – BCLC Aug 27 '15 at 13:36
  • For both, MLA and Chicago in-text citations, you'll be using the qtd in phrasing. However, once you make your bibliography/works cited page, you'll be citing whichever source you actually looked at. So, in your case, cite the slideshow and nothing else. When you cite this slideshow, you'll simply follow the style-guides citation rules for slideshows and cite it just as you would any other source. – Cole Aug 27 '15 at 13:40
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    Ah, I get what you're saying now. When I cite sources, I generally follow the guideline of, if I haven't read it, I don't include it, but the other person makes a convincing point! I had originally included in my answer that it never hurts to add more but deleted that because I thought that might be a misdirection, but now I think I'd like to recant on that and say, "it really doesn't hurt to add more." In this case, I'd go ahead and cite both the indirect and direct source. It has the added benefit of making it easier on your reader and it won't hurt anything. Thanks for the extra info! – Cole Aug 28 '15 at 23:31

Most State Colleges and Universities will allow you to access their libraries, where you could then copy the paper you need. Worked for me.

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