Example of citation:

Doe, Jane. “The House.” World Literature. Ed. John Doe. New York: Penguin, 1986. 25-30. Print.

What I have in the text is the quote from the chapter in the textbook, the quote is "blah blah blah" (Doe)

Because The House is an original print source and I found it online, how would I in-text cite the page for when this quote appeared in the original print source, because (Doe) doesn't include the page number. Would I in-text cite it as (Doe 25-30) even though this quote doesn't stretch through all those pages, or would I cite only (Doe) in the text? (as I don't know the exact page that this quote appeared).

  • I don't have any reference for this, but without access to the cited original, you may have to cite the textbook author: "Jones quotes Doe as saying blah blah blah..." For that reason, try to track down the original.
    – BradC
    Sep 28, 2017 at 21:47
  • In my field most authorities require you to provide the source from which you obtained this quote: [the ultimate source cited in ordinary form] followed by "quoted in [your source in its ordinary form with page ref]". But we cannot give you a reliable answer: you should consult whatever style manual is required by your professor or publisher.
    – StoneyB
    Sep 28, 2017 at 21:52
  • That's not about English; it's about publication nd referencing. Either way if you know's of a better authority, go to it… otherwise you should ask your editor/ tutor/ supervisor about house style. Sep 28, 2017 at 22:26
  • MLA appears to stipulate that if your source material was online (even if it was originally in print), you should treat it as an online source. However, citations are on topic on Writers, who have a better domain knowledge. Sep 28, 2017 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


A general principle of citation is: only cite what you actually used. You haven't seen the original work, so don't cite it based on someone else's quote. What if the quote you're working from is wrong? Citing the original in that case would misinform people who don't know the truth or appear sloppy to those who do know.

In cases where you don't have access to the original but need to include a quote, follow your style guide for indirect quotes. In MLA, you do that using "qtd. in (secondary source)", as in the following example:

In her article, Segal discusses how Jane Austen introduces many of her characters in terms of their financial situation. For instance, in the beginning of Sense and Sensibility Austen introduces us to the Dashwoods by saying, “The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex. Their estate was large…” (qtd. in Segal 252).

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