MLA Citations Writing Center Endicott College By Nicole LeLacheur
In-Text Citations: The Basics Parenthetical Citation
MLA uses the Author-Page Style… • The author’s last name and page number where the quote or paraphrase is taken must be shown within your paper.
The authors name may appear… • In the sentence itself • OR in parentheses at the end of the quote or paraphrase
The page number(s) should… • Always appear in the in the parentheses • NOT the text of your sentence.
Here’s a basic example… Johnson suggested that “the sky is always blue” (23). Notice the period is placed OUTSIDE of the parentheses.
Basic example continued… • The “sky is always blue” (Johnson 23). • Johnson explored the color of the sky and its consistency of that color (23).
“(23) and (Johnson 23)”… • Tells the reader that the facts stated in your sentence can be found on page 23 of a work by an author with the last name Johnson
Example of In-Text citation for Print Sources with a Known Author… It has been suggested by John Smith that “the grass is green” (6). Notice the name of the …so the page # author is stated in the sentence... is at the end
Example of In-Text Citation for Print Sources without a Known Author… It has been suggested that “most animals have fur” (“Animal Facts” 3). Instead of the author’s last name, put the title of the book in quotations followed by the page number
In-Text Citations for Works with More Than One Edition… • Sometimes works have more than one edition • This means you must give more information in your citations
Here’s an example… Brown stated that clouds are grey when it rains (56; ch. 2). Author’s last name Page # followed by a semicolon stated in sentence then the abbreviation for edition in this case chapter (ch.)
If authors have the same last name… • Provide both authors’ first initials • If they have the same first initial… • Provide the entire first name
Here’s a basic example… It has been noted that roses are red (A. Black 16), but others have stated that roses can also be white (L. Black 3). Notice the first initial is followed by a period
In-Text Citations with Multiple Authors… • For a source with THREE or less authors, list their last names in the sentence or at the end in parentheses • Remember, page number should always be at the end
Here’s a couple basic examples… Smith, Johnson, and Brown stated that fresh snow is white (3). The authors suggest that “fresh snow is always white” (Smith, Johnson, and Brown 3). Notice you write out the word “and”
More than three authors… • Use the work’s bibliographical information as a guide • Provide author’s last name followed by et al. or list all the last names
Here’s a few basic examples… Cohen et al. argue Smith, Johnson, and Brown’s statements by showing that snow can sometimes be off-white (3). Theorists disagree with Smith, Johnson, and Brown’s argument by stating that snow can be off-white sometimes (3). Cohen, Moore, James, and Bell argue Smith, Johnson, and Brown’s statement that snow is always white (3).
Multiple Works by the Same Author… • Include a shortened title for the work you are citing • Short titles of books in italics • Short titles of articles in quotation marks
Here’s a basic example… • Citing two articles… Frederick argues that wood is from trees (“Wood Facts” 45), but he has also stated that some wood is from artificial materials (“Wood for Dummies” 22). • Citing two books Frederick stated that wood is a good material to build with (Wood in Words 11). He also believes that there are other materials you can build with, like steel (The World of Wood 4).
If the author’s name isn’t in the sentence then you write it like this… Wood is a very good material to build with (Frederick, “Wood Facts” 45).
Citing sources from the Internet… One online television critic stated that Friends is “a great show for young adults to learn the meaning of friendship” (Marcus, “Television Opinions”). Include the title of the article if there are more then one entry from the author in your text.
If you have multiple citations… • This means you have multiple sources in the same parentheses • You separate the citations by a semicolon
Here’s a basic example… …this is has studied elsewhere (Brown 4; Black 56). Include all authors last names followed by page #
Citation is not needed when… • Familiar proverbs • Well-known quotes/common knowledge • Your own opinion (if told to include opinion)
How to construct a Works Cited page… • In MLA format, a Works Cited page is found at the end of the paper, on a separate page • It tells the reader where the sources are from • All of your in-text citations should be reflected in the works cited page