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Academic Integrity - Referencing, Citation & Avoiding Plagiarism: Secondary source

This guide explains what referencing and citation is and how to use the APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA and Vancouver Styles. It includes a short interactive tutorial on each style.

Secondary source (indirect sources)

MLA recommends taking material from an original source. Where this is not possible you may use a secondary source; a source that refers to the work of someone else.

List the full details of the secondary source in the reference listing. In your in-text citation if what you are quoting, or paraphrasing is a direct quote use the abbreviation qtd. in (“quoted in”) before the secondary source and provide page numbers where the secondary source quoted the original work. In the reference list format the secondary reference as you would any reference of that type. For example a journal article is shown below:

Reference: Indirect source Author Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. Volume, no., Year, pp. page range.

Example: Mann, Susan. "Myths of Asian Womanhood." Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 59, 2000, pp. 835-62. 


  • Original Author Last name (qtd. in secondary source Author Last name Page no)


  • According to Rushdie myths are "the waking dreams our societies permit" (qtd. in Mann 835) 

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