Skip to main content

MLA Citation & Style Guide

Guidance for citing sources in MLA style.

Examples - In-Text Citations

MLA (Modern Language Association) Style uses the author-page method for in-text citations. This means that when you cite a source, you should always provide both the author's last name and the page number(s) for the source.*

There are two ways you'll use other people's words in your work.

  • Quotations: using the author's exact words
  • Paraphrases & Summaries: using the author's ideas in your own words

Here are the rules for providing in-text citations in both of these situations.

*Please note that when quoting or paraphrasing from an audio, video, or film clip, you will need to add a time stamp at the end of the in-text citation to indicate the moment referenced.

QUOTATIONS

Rule: When a quotation runs no more than four lines, put it in quotes, incorporate the author's name into the text, and add the page number.

Example:

"He was obeyed," writes Joseph Conrad of the company manager in Heart of Darkness, "yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect" (87).

Rule: When a quotation runs more than four lines, set it off from your text.

  • Begin a new line.
  • Indent one inch from the left margin, double-spaced.
  • Do not use quotation marks.
  • Add the page number in parentheses after the final punctuation mark.
  • Incorporate either the work or the author(s) into the text.

Example:

At the conclusion of Lord of the Flies, Ralph and the other boys realize the horror of their actions:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (186)

Rule: When quoting a phrase that is not originally from the source you have, use the phrase "qtd. in" (quoted in) after the quotation. Follow with the author(s) of the source you have, the volume of the source (if more than one) followed by a colon, and the page number. Provide the information for the source you have in your Works Cited.

Example:

Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 2: 450).

Remember: When quoting or paraphrasing from an audio, video, or film clip, you will need to add a time stamp at the end of the in-text citation to indicate the moment referenced.

PARAPHRASES & SUMMARIES

Rule: When paraphrasing where the author(s) is clearly identified in your text, add the page number after the sentence.

Example:

Others, like Jakobson and Smith, hold the opinion that children who attend pre-school are socially adjusted better than those who do not (156-57).

Rule: When paraphrasing where the author(s) is not clearly identified in your text, add the author(s) and page number after the sentence.

Example:

Between 1968 and 1988, television coverage of presidential elections changed dramatically (Hallin 5).

Remember: When quoting or paraphrasing from an audio, video, or film clip, you will need to add a time stamp at the end of the in-text citation to indicate the moment referenced.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
/**/