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How to Find Articles: MLA In-Text Citations

Citation Resources Guide Contents

MLA Style

MLA rules for this guide are taken from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th Edition available at the Reference Desk at call number LB2369 .G53 2016.

The resources listed below will also help you with MLA citation format:

In-Text Citations: Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing

You must provide parenthetical references (in-text citations) for quotes, paraphrases, and summaries used within a paper. The parenthetical reference refers the reader to the complete bibliographic citation on the Works Cited page. The source information you provide in-text must match the first entry for the related citation on the Works Cited page.

According to MLA guidelines, you must provide the last name of the author(s) and the page number(s) in parentheses at the end of the borrowed material.

"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 102-03).

If you use the author name(s) in the sentence, it need not appear in the parentheses at the end. The page number(s), however, should always appear in the parentheses at the end.

In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (102-03).

More Than One Work by the Same Author

If you use more than one work by the same author, use a shortened form of the title with book titles in italics and article titles in quotation marks:

"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, Fox in Socks 102-103).

No Page Numbers

If a source has no page or other kind of number(s), no number should be included.

      "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss).

If a source uses paragraph numbers instead of page numbers, give the relevant number(s), preceded by the label par. or pars. (sec. or secs., ch. or chs.).

       "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss par. 21).

More Than One Author with the Same Last Name

If more than one author has the same last name, add their first initial.

"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss 102-03).

If more than one author has the same last name and first initial, add full first name.

       "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Dr. Seuss 102-03).

More Than One Author

If two authors wrote the work, list the last names of both.

"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss and Johnson 102-03).

If three or more authors wrote the work, list the last name of the first followed by et al.

"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss et al. 102).

No Known Author

If there is no known author, use a shortened title of the work. Place short titles in quotation marks and longer titles in italics.

       "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" ("Hop on Pop" 102).

      "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street 102).

Corporate Author

For corporate authors, use the corporation name, abbreviated where appropriate:

      "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Dr. Seuss Enterprises 61).

Citing Different Volumes of a Multivolume Work

If citing different volumes of a multivolume work, include the volume number followed by a colon, space, then page number. If citing only one volume, provide only page number.

"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 2: 102).

Accounting for Different Editions of a Work

If there are different editions, give the page number of your edition followed by a semicolon, then appropriate abbreviation (vol., bk., pt., ch., sec., par.).

      "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 102; ch. 1).

Citing a Work That Appears within a Larger Source

If citing a work that appears within a larger source (article, essay), cite the author of the internal source.

Citing Multiple Sources in the Same Parenthetical Reference

For multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate citations with a semicolon.

      "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 102; Einstein 35).

Citing Electronic Sources

For electronic sources, include the first item that appear in the Works Cited entry (author, article title, website name).

  • No need for paragraph or page numbers
  • Only provide partial URLs, such as domain names (CNN.com, Forbes.com)