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MLA Style Guide

In-Text Citations

  • In-text citations direct your reader to a full reference list entry. The in-text citation appears within the body of the paper and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication. This enables your reader to locate the corresponding entry in the alphabetical reference list at the end of your paper.
  • Both paraphrases and quotations require citations
  • There are 2 ways to cite in-text using MLA:
    1. With the author's name in the sentence, also known as introducing the source
      • In John Smith's article "Article Title Here," he argues "something relevant to the claim being made" (34).
    2. Without the author's name in the sentence
      • While I am not introducing my source here, it still supports my point because "something relevant to the paper's thesis statement" (Smith 34). 
  • When citing a work by two authors, use 'and'
  • Smith and Doe argue that . . .
  • (Smith and Doe 34). 
  • When citing a work by three or more authors, use 'et al.'
  • Smith et al. argue that . . .
  • (Smith et al. 34). 
  • If the author's name is not published, use a shortened title of the work rather than the author's name
    • ("Cyberbullying" 22). 
  • If the author is a corporation, use the name of the corporation followed by the page number
  • General Motors Corporation argue that . . .
  • (General Motors Corporation 34).