Citing Work in a Blog Post

Updated on Aug 10, 2018 ・1 min read

I have an idea for a blog post that is based on a presentation I gave at work, which was in turn based on the first two chapters of a book. I used a lot of the author's ideas but modified them and presented them in my own way.

Of course, I'm gonna cite the author! But do I need to do an in-text citation everytime I talk about an idea from the book?

Since this blog post is heavily based on the book, do y'all have any other ideas on how I can properly cite the author without having to do a whole bunch of in-text citations?

Did you find this post useful? Show some love!

I'd just mention in the introduction that you're building on a lot of concepts so-and-so originally wrote about in such-and-such book. No point in making more work for yourself (and the reader) when nobody's checking blog posts for accurate MLA-format bibliographies. In-text citations might still be a good idea if/when you're referencing something in brief that the original author expounds on in more detail.


Yeah I agree with this. You're clearly proceeding in good faith.


I have no idea what is strictly speaking legal or illegal, but just in terms of ethical behaviour, I'd avoid copying a lot of material directly from a book. For example, I wouldn't copy/paste code samples from a book into my own blog post, and I wouldn't copy/paste content directly either unless it's a short quote. Otherwise, I think paraphrasing the ideas that are in the book or creating your own code samples that are inspired by, but are not just trivial modifications, of the material in the book, seems okay to me. These are just my rough personal thoughts though: I don't have any expertise in this area at all.


The web is a bunch of links. You can give credit by just linking. I don't think blog posts have to live up to the rigor of academic papers.

Classic DEV Post from Nov 7 '18

Papers We Love!

Let's start a Papers We Love inspired discussion group here on

Maurice Hayward
I interned at NASA, working on statistical modeling and machine learning projects. Now I'm at Ferguson Enterprise, working on applying UX principles to internal tooling!

DEV is where senior developers are built

Sign up (for free)