I am currently writing a paper with APA formatting and relied on inline citations when referencing work that isn't mine. However, the feedback I received on sections with inline citations revolved around needing quotes to show what is my writing and what isn't. For example, I wrote:

While not a popular genre of music, it marked a shift in Japanese music: the government, while not attempting to erase traditional music, would create a new national music, one that mixed Western and Eastern influences, even if it meant classifying certain conventional styles of music as inappropriate or controversial (Ogawa, 1994, pp. 28-31).

I was under the impression that inline citations could be used for both paraphrasing and quotations, so I didn't think much of quoting the original source and used paraphrasing.

Is there a quotation requirement for inline citations? Off the top of my head, I know that direct quotes [ex."something being said" (Citation)] would require a quote, but I am not too sure about inline citations requiring them.

  • Such "mechanical" style issues will depend on the place you want to publish. For example, a school essay, a newspaper or magazine article, a textbook, a journal article, etc., will each have editorial policies that differ. Check for official guidance. Check for how previous authors have done it in the same place.
    – Boba Fit
    May 21 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


If you quote a source verbatim, word for word, that quote must be marked by quotation marks:

Cbrodrti writes they are "not too sure about inline citations" (Source).

When you paraphrase the source, you must not use quotation marks:

Cbrodrti writes they feel doubtful how to use inline citations (Source).

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