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MLA 8 citation help: MLA In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations: The Basics

  • MLA requires parenthetical citations.
  • An in-text citation is the insertion into your text of a brief reference that indicates the source you are borrowing from.
  • Page numbers (or in some cases chapter numbers) are included in the in-text citation when available.
  • No comma between author and page number [i.e. (Bloom 34)].
  • Parenthetical citations match the articles included in the Works Cited list.
  • Signal words, such as the author's name or title, in the text of the paper should be identical to the name or title used to begin that article's citation on the Works Cited list.
  • When citing an article with no author in text, abbreviate title to 3 words (i.e. ("Impact of Global" 6), NOT ("Impact of Global Warming in North America" 6)
  • For examples not covered on this page, please consult manual or see a Librarian!

Two Options for In-Text Citation:

No Mention of Author in Text:

“For all its emphasis upon blood and violence, Macbeth is the most completely internal of all Shakespeare’s tragedies. It presents us with a man who has a clear concept of the universe and his own proper place in it”(McElroy 27).

Works Cited

McElroy, Bernard. “Macbeth: The Torture of the Mind.” Macbeth, edited by Harold Bloom, Chelsea House Publishers, 2005, pp. 27-51.

 

Author Name Included in Text:

According to Bernard McElroy, “Macbeth is the most completely internal of all Shakespeare’s tragedies. It presents us with a man who has a clear concept of the universe and his own proper place in it”(27).

Works Cited

McElroy, Bernard. “Macbeth: The Torture of the Mind.” Macbeth, edited by Harold Bloom, Chelsea House Publishers, 2005, pp. 27-51.

Other In-Text Examples:

Authors with the Same Last Name:

After the Iranian revolution of 1979, Iranian Americans had mixed feelings about their country’s leadership. “Some, uprooted from a land they loved, rue the day that Khomeini came to power and believe sincerely that his austere rule, mitigated only somewhat by his successors, does justice neither to Islam nor to the heritage of Iranian leadership in all of the great sciences and arts of Islam”(J. Smith 48).

Works Cited

Smith, Huston. The Illustrated World’s Religions: A Guide to our Wisdom Traditions. HarperCollins, 1994.

Smith, Jane I. Islam in America. Columbia UP, 1999. Columbia Contemporary American Religion Series.

Two or More Works by the Same Author:

In a pivotal scene leading to the conclusion of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, “… Huck’s spontaneous self is placed in opposition to his acquired conscience, to the prejudices and values of the society he was raised in. When his true self triumphs over his false conscience the emotional climax of the book is reached”(Meltzer, “Mark Twain: A Writer’s” 89).

Works Cited

Meltzer, Milton. Mark Twain Himself: A Pictorial Biography. Bonanza Books, 1960.

---. Mark Twain: A Writer’s Life. Franklin Watts, 1985.

No Author:

In reaction to the Virginia Tech massacre, Congress passed the NICS Improvement Amendment Acts of 2007 to provide financial incentives to states for passing on information regarding known mental illness for inclusion in the FBI NICS Index. However, by 2011 more than half the states had not complied. In these states, “gun dealers were potentially checking names of prospective applicants against woefully inadequate lists, thereby compromising the entire system”(“Second”176).

Works Cited

 

“Second Amendment.” American Law Yearbook 2011: A Guide to the Year’s Major Legal Cases and Developments, Gale, 2012, pp. 173-178. Gale Virtual Reference Library,

http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX1953400065&v=2.1&u=wilm21718&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&asid=b84ae277a67181394aaab69f64db3fcd.

No Page Numbers:

In an economy reliant on fossil fuels, a power plan that reigns in the use of greenhouse gases is a hard sell for the Obama administration. “There are trade-offs, as there always are in life. But when the benefits of action vastly outweigh the costs, the answer is simple: act”(Wagner and Weitzman).

Works Cited

Wagner, Gernot, and Martin L. Weitzman. “An Economist’s Take on How to Combat Climate Change.” NewsHour, PBS, 3 December 2015,

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/an-economists-take-on-how-to-combat-climate-change/.

Two Authors:

In-text: (Simpson and O’Shaughnessy)

Works-cited:

Simpson, Dick, and Betty O’Shaughnessy. Winning Elections in the 21st Century. University of Kansas Press, 2016.

Three or More Authors:

In-text: (Haynes et al. 79)

Works-cited:

Haynes, Charles C., et al. The First Amendment in Schools. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development / First Amendment Center, 2003.

Plays:

In-text: (Hansberry 72; act 1, scene 2)

Works-cited:

Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Vintage Books, 1988.

Works in Verse (like Shakespeare):

In-text: (Macbeth 5.5.27-31) - includes Act.Scene.Line Numbers

Scripture:

In-text: (The Catholic Bible, Isa. 10.1-2) - includes element that begins work cited entry, abbreviated book of the Bible. Chapter.Verse numbers.