Skip to main content

Structure citations: In-text citations (MLA)

MLA-style tools

The most recent edition of the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual are available for the asking at the library Reference desk

Citing direct quotations & paraphrases

In-Text Citations

After a quote or a paraphrase, add the author's last name and a page reference. This is usually enough to identify the source and the specific location of the item in your Works Cited section from which you borrowed the material.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 102–103).

 

If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.

Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (102–103).

If you cite from two or more works by the same author, include the title or a shorted form of the title.

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

If two or more authors in your Works Cited share the same last name, add their first initial.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss 102–103).

If two or more authors wrote the work, list them all the first time, then in later references list only the first author followed by "et al."

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss and Johnson 102–103).

Example: "Yet the dog cared not a whit" (Seuss et al. 102–103).

If citing a multivolume work, include the volume number before the page numbers.

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

If no pagination information is available, but paragraphs are numbered, include that information.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss par. 5).

If no pagination information is available and paragraphs are not numbered, the work must be cited only in its entirety, but you can include words in your text that indicate about where to find the quote.

Example: In the first third of his article, Seuss mentioned that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog."

Note: When paraphrasing or mentioning another work, it is helpful to still provide pagination information if the source text is long or difficult, or if it would help the reader find the text being paraphrased.