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MLA Citation Guide

General Information

In MLA, in-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the Works Cited list at the end of the paper.

Number of Authors/Editors

Format of In-Text Citation

One

 (Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Case 57)

Two

 (Author's Last Name and Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Case and Daristotle 57)

Three or more

 (Author's Last Name et al. Page Number)

 Example: (Case et al. 57)

There are two ways to integrate others' research into your assignment: you can paraphrase or you can quote.

Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation.

Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly it was originally written. When quoting, place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation.

Writing In-Text Citations

Quoting Directly

When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number, like this:

"Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8).

"Here's a direct quote" ("Trouble" 22).

 Note: The period goes outside the brackets, at the end of your in-text citation.

Example:

Mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (Hunt 358).

No Known Author

When a source has no known author, use the first one, two, or three words from the title instead of the author's last name. Don't count initial articles like "A", "An" or "The". You should provide enough words to make it clear which work you're referring to from your Works Cited list.

If the title in the Works Cited list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation.

Example:

(Cell Biology 12)

If the title in the Works Cited list is in quotation marks, put quotation marks around the words from the title in the in-text citation.

Example:

("Nursing" 12)

Paraphrasing

When you write information or ideas from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion, like this:

‚ÄčThis is a paraphrase (Smith 8).

This is a paraphrase ("Trouble" 22).

 Note: The period goes outside the brackets, at the end of your in-text citation.

Example:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 65).

 Note: If the paraphrased information/idea is from several pages, include all of the page numbers.

Example:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 50, 55, 65-71).