Answered By: Mandy Wong
Last Updated: Jan 06, 2015     Views: 52

As a matter of good scholarship, you should make every effort to consult sources directly. After viewing the source yourself, you may find that you disagree with the interpretation in the first source you found, or you may even find that it has been misquoted. Should you have trouble getting hold of the original, try using our Interlibrary Loan service.

If it is really impossible to get hold of the original, you can make an indirect citation. The exact manner depends on which style you are using.

APA Style

You should cite the source in text as follows:

    Smith has argued that ... (as cited in Wong, 2013, p. 254).


     It has been argued that ... (Smith, as cited in Wong, 2013, p.254).

     In your reference list, include only the source that you have seen yourself (Wong's work in the example above).
     Do not include the original work in the reference list (Smith in this case).

MLA Style

You should cite the source in text as follows:

   Smith has argued that ... (qtd. in Wong 254).

As with APA, do not include the original in your list of works cited.

Chicago Style

Section 14.273 of the Chicago Manual deals with citations taken from secondary sources. As with APA and MLA style, the Chicago Manual discourages such citations: "authors are expected to have examined the works they cite".

If it is unavoidable, an indirect citation can be made. In contrast with APA and MLA, you should list both the original and secondary source in your footnote:

  1. Louis Zukofsky, "Sincerity and Objectification," Poetry 37 (February 1931): 269, quoted in Bonnie Costello, Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possesions (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981),78.