Skip to main content

MLA Style Citation Examples: In text

Find how to cite a web page, journal, book, eBook, textbook, magazine, newspaper, video, DVD, TV show, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or blog post. Find how to format in-text/parenthetical citations, papers, and cite when no author or date is listed.

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. When 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:

  • 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 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)

If citing multiple works by the same author, include the short form of the source's title.

  • (Baron, "Redefining" 194).

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 the sources has explicit chapters or sections and are labeled accordingly, provide the relevant number. Use the appropriate label, such as section (sec.), chapter (ch.), or paragraph (par.).
    • (Martin ch. 1)
    • (Thomspon sec. 6)
    • (Brown, pars. 3-4)
  • When the source has no page numbers nor chapter/section numbers, do not provide a number in the parenthetical citation. This is commonly used for webpages.
    • (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).
Loading ...

Further information

For more information on parenthetical citations, see pages 54-58 in the MLA Handbook, 8th edition.

[ B. D. Owens Library ] B.D. Owens Library | 800 University Dr. Maryville, MO 64468 | 660.562.1193 [ Twitter ] [ Facebook ] [ Instagram ] [ Spotify ] [ Pinterest ]