When referring to quotes or outside information in your paper, you will need to use an in-text citation. The two main components for MLA in-text citations are the author's last name and the page number. Use in-text citations for both direct quotes and paraphrasing of information.
General In-Text Citations
You may incorporate the names of the author(s) within your narrative or enclose both parts at the end of a sentence or paragraph.
Smith found that "Increased library use is correlated with higher grades on research assignments" (12).
Students who use the library receive better grades on research papers (Smith 12).
Smith states that students who use the library receive better grades on research papers (12).
For two authors, list both last names with the word and between them.
Students who use the library receive better grades on research papers (Smith and Jones 12).
Smith and Jones state that students who use the library receive better grades on research papers (12).
For three or more authors, list only the first author's name and the phrase et al. if enclosed in parentheses, or the phrase and others if spelled out within the text.
Students who use the library receive better grades on research papers (Smith et al. 12).
Smith and others state that students who use the library receive better grades on research papers (12).
Sometimes authors may be a corporation, company, or organization. Write out the name of the organization in place of the author's last name.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends expanding farmers' markets to more community locations that are centrally located (21-22).
Expanding farmers' markets to more centrally located community areas could lead to an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 21-22).
Citations with No Page Numbers
Many online resources will not have specific page numbers. If the resource you are citing does not have page numbers and does not explicitly number its paragraphs, simply use the author. For eBooks, you can cite a chapter number.
Heckscher notes that the American Rococo style was most prevalent in the seaports of Boston, New York, Charleston, and Philadelphia.
Fitzgerald draws a stark parallel between the glamorous life led by the main characters and the decay of the valley of the ashes (ch. 2).
If applicable, give a time stamp for media quotations.
Pariser states that "Your filter bubble is your own personal, unique universe of information that you live in online. And what's in your filter bubble depends on who you are, and it depends on what you do" (00:04:12).
Citations with No Author
For citations that have no author and begin with a title, use the title, abbreviated. Keep the formatting of the title (in quotation marks or italicized) as given in the Works Cited list. Remember that authors can be organizations.
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Multiple Citations with the Same Author
If you have multiple works by the same author that you will be citing, clarify the work in your citation with a shortened title.
In his despair, Hamlet laments, "To be or not to be—that is the question..." (Shakespeare, Hamlet).