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Citing Guide

Decorative Image MLA

In-Text Citations

Two pieces of information are needed for the in-text (or parenthetical) reference in MLA Style: 

  1. author's name(s)
  2. page number(s) where you got the information.

Example: (Johnson 57)

If your source does not have page numbers (e.g. websites or other electronic material), simply list the author's name in your citation. If you do not have an author name, list the title of the source in quotation marks.

Example: ("A Biography of Abraham Lincoln" 67)

Examples

Paraphrasing a Source:

You may summarize or paraphrase the original words, thought, or idea; however, credit must be given to the source.

Example:  Stem cell research will bring about new ways of treating Alzheimer's disease (Tannen 178-180).

If you include the author's name(s) in the sentence, only the page number(s) is needed in the parenthetical reference.

Example:  Tannen has argued the point that stem cell research will bring about new ways of treating Alzheimer's disease (178-180).

Two Authors:

In citing information from a work by two authors include both author's last names in either the signal phrase or parenthetical reference.

  • Example: Researchers found significant differences in the cancer rates of people who used sunscreen when compared to those who did not (Roberts and Lombardi 73).

Three Authors:

In citing information from a work by three authors include all author's last names in either the signal phrase or parenthetical reference.

  • Example: Researchers found significant differences in the cancer rates of people who used sunscreen when compared to those who did not (Roberts, Simmons, and Lombardi 73).

More Than Three Authors:

If there are more than 3 authors, provide the first author's last name followed by et al. or list all the last names.

  • Example: Some experts disagree with Johnson's argument and state that the spike in property crime is largely a result of high unemployment (Jones et al. 4).

Short Quotation:

When you incorporate a direct quotation into a sentence, you must cite the source. Fit quotations within your sentences:

  • Example 1: “Quotations are effective in research papers when used selectively” (Gibaldi 109).
  • Example 2: Gilbaldi states that "[q]uotations are effective in research papers when used selectively" (109).

Long Quotation:

If the quote you are using is longer than four lines set it off from your text with a free standing block.

  • Example:
Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration:
They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte 78)

Library Information

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