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MLA Style Citation Examples: In text

NOTE

Note:

  • If there is no author, use the title of the source. Shorten the title to the first noun phrase or word. Keep in mind the in text citation is meant to lead the reader to the correct entry.
  • If titles have similar beginnings, provide more words in the full title. For example, Faulkner's Novels of the South can be shortened to Faulkner's Novels and Under the Volcano can be shortened to Under. 

In text/parenthetical

One author:

  • Maggie Jones noted that reading is a "foundational block for elementary students" (5).  
  • Jones discussed that children need to begin reading at an early age to do well in school (5). 

Two authors:

  • Williams and Johnson argue that schools should adapt rapidly to change (5).

Three or more authors (include the surname of the first author followed by et al.):

  • According to Smith et al, spending time at the library improves grades (10).

If more than one author have the same last name, include all the  author's first initials in all text citations:

  • (J. Anderson 20)

If both authors have the same surname and first initial, provide the authors' full name:

  • (John Anderson 20)

One author:

  • Children need to begin reading at an early age to do well in school (Jones 5).

Two authors:

  • Schools should adapt rapidly to change (Williams and Johnson 5).

Three or more authors (include the surname of the first author followed by et al.):

  • Studies have shown that spending time at the library improves grades (Smith et al. 10).
  • If the sources has explicit paragraph numbers rather than page numbers and are labeled accordingly, provide the relevant number(s) preceded by par. or pars. Change the label appropriately if the source is labeled differently, such as sections (sec., secs.) or chapters (ch., chs.)
    • (Martin, par. 3)
  • When the source has no page numbers or part number, do not provide a number in the parenthetical citation.
    • (Martin)
  • An indirect source is a source cited in another source. For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source used.
    • Samuel Edmonds admitted that Hannah Ball was an "extraordinary speaker" (qtd. in Weisman 34).
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