MLA Citation Examples

In-Text Citations

In-text citations in MLA style are sometimes called parenthetical citations. An in-text citation is used to let the reader of your work know that an outside source contributed to your writing of a particular phrase, idea, or argument. In-text citations need to be used following every direct quotation and paraphrase/summary that you write.

In-text citation for source with known author

These citations need to include the author’s last name and the page/paragraph number on which the information was found. If a signal phrase is used earlier in the sentence which includes the author’s name, the name does not need to be included in the citation.

Stephen Hawking describes the climate at Oxford while he was studying there as “very anti-work” (33).

The climate at Oxford during his studies is described as “very anti-work” (Hawking 33).

In-text citation for source with unknown author

These citations need to include the title or shortened title of the work and the page/paragraph number on which the information was found.

While some suggest that transgender individuals should rely on law enforcement for protection it’s reported that “police often participate in the intimidation themselves rather than providing protection” (“Fighting Anti-Trans Violence” 2).

In-text citation for source with multiple authors

These citations need to include the authors’ last names and the page/paragraph number on which the information was found. If a signal phrase is used earlier in the sentence which includes the authors’ last names, the names do not need to be included in the citation. If the source has three or fewer authors, all the authors’ last names need to be listed in the citation. 

Ishiguro, Garcia, and Schmidt suggest that more scientific research is needed before a conclusion between cause and effect can be drawn (198).

“More scientific research needs to be completed before any conclusions about causation can be drawn” (Ishiguro, Garcia, and Schmidt 198).

If the source has more than three authors, only the first author’s last name needs to be listed in the citation, followed by the phrase ‘et al’.

De Walle et al. suggest that mainstream scientists and media organizations have ulterior motives when it comes to conducting such research (231).

The scientists involved in these studies have suggested that mainstream scientists and media organizations may have ulterior motives when it comes to conducting such research (De Walle et al. 231).

Works Cited Entries

Works cited entry for book/print source with known author

Last name, First name. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Ip, Greg. The Little Book of Economics. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010. Book.

Works cited entry for an article in a scholarly journal

 Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): pages. Medium of publication.

Belzer, Alisa. “From Heroic Victims To Competent Comrades: Views Of Adult Literacy Learners In The Research Literature.” Adult Education Quarterly. 65.3 (2015): 250-266. Web.

Works cited entry for a webpage

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). “Page Title.” Name of Website. Name of publisher, date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access.

Ravenscraft, Eric. “How to Change Your Car’s Oil.” Lifehacker. Lifehacker, 1 August 2014. Web. 24 June 2016.