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MLA - 8th Edition: In Text Citations

A quick guide for citing your sources in MLA format.

In Text Citations

In-text citations are needed in the body of your paper whenever you use the ideas and words of others. These in-text citations give credit to the source used and should point the reader to the matching entry on the Works Cited page which will include more detailed information on the sources. In text citations should include the author's last name followed by the page number the quotation or paraphrased statement came from. Quotation marks should be placed around the quote if quoting directly from the source.

Below, specific examples are provided.


Author's Name in Text (Paraphrase):

Waugh asserts that Herman Melville opposed the process of globalization (203). 

Author's Name In Reference (Paraphrase):

Many scholars believe Herman Melville opposed the process of globalization (Waugh 203).

Author's Name In Text (with Quote):

According to  Waugh, "Melville was not alone in recognizing this great inter-connectedness" (208).

Author's Name In Reference (with Quote):

When it comes to globalization, "Melville was not alone in recognizing this great inter-connectedness" (Waugh 203).

Author's Name In Reference (with partial quote)

In order to fully understand Melville and his work ". . . we must examine him as a critic of globalization" (Waugh 204).

Quote longer than 4 lines.

(This example with author's name in text)

Waugh addresses how Melville's aspiration to convey the interrelation of global events influenced him:

And yet, at his very core seemed to dwell a burning desire to do just that, to

understand and express some truth about the enormous interconnectedness of all

of these things. Because this dilemma lies at the heart of all his life's work, if

Melville and his work are ever to be understood as fully, and richly as the world

made an impression on him, we must examine him as a critic of globalization, who

was interested in the ways interconnected global processes shaped his world, and

determined to represent that world with all its myriad interconnections intact (293).

Note: Double-space and indent quotes that are longer than 4 lines within the text. There is no need to place them in quotation marks. Include the page number and author (if not in text) in parentheses at the end.

Author has 2 or more works in the Works Cited page

According to Gibaldi, "Most academic papers depend at least partly on secondary research" (MLA Handbook 3).

There is still a debate around the subject of utilizing audiovisual materials to teach literature (Gibaldi, Approaches 17).

Note: Include a partial title so that the reader knows which one is referred to on the Works Cited page. Put short titles of books in italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks.

Work by Multiple Authors 

Two Authors:

This first line of this awesome book begins describing the type of day it was (Gaiman and Pratchett 3). 

According to Gaiman and Pratchett, "It was a nice day" (3). 

Three Authors: 

The first chapter focuses "on the transfer of the vaudeville aesthetic from the stage to radio and television" (David et al.1).

David et al. explain how the vaudeville aesthetic went from the stage to media formats (1). 

Work listed by title on Works Cited page

In the season finale, Daenerys Targaryen sails to Westeros to take the Iron Throne ("Winds of Winter").