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MLA Citation Style Guide: In Text Citation

In Text Citation

In-text citations are included throughout your paper to tell your reader what sources you used at specific points. The in-text citation is simply the author’s last name and the page number where you found the information used.

(Author LastName Page Number)

OR [if no author is given]

(“Brief Title” Page Number)

Examples:
1 Author:  (Sommers 27).
2 Authors:  (Matlesky and Grooms 19-20).
3+ Authors:  (Garcia et al. 167).
No Author:  (“Autism Fact Sheet” 3).
No Page Number:  (Confer).

No Author and No Page Number:  (“Smartphone Addiction”).
Direct Quote:  ” (Green 34).

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Using Sources

There are three main ways to use sources:

1. Summarize/Paraphrase:
The first example below uses a regular in-text citation with the author’s last name and page number.  The second uses a signal phrase to introduce the author in the sentence and lists the page number at the end.

Auditory hallucinations are a symptom of severe Schizophrenia (Wilson 59).

Psychologist Cedric Wilson states that auditory hallucinations are a symptom of severe Schizophrenia (59).

2. Direct Quote:
Use direct quotes only when necessary. Always try to write in your own words instead. One way to limit use of quotations, is to quote only partial sentences. Both examples below are correct, but the second is better.

“Girls are the future mothers of our society, and it is important that we focus on their well-being” (Makebe 27).  

Investing in young girls’ welfare will help us build a stronger nation, because they are “the future mothers of our society” (Makebe 27).

Never force a quote to stand on its own. Always explain what the quote means to your thesis.

3. Block Quote (more than four lines of text or three of poetry)

Unless you are analyzing a piece of literature, do not use a block quote. If you must use a block quote, provide an analysis of what the quote means. Long quotations should be introduced by a sentence explaining what the sentence contributes to your paper. Do not use quotation marks for long quotations, but indent them by ½ inch.

The Fall of the House of Usher opens with dark foreshadowing. Upon his arrival at the house, the narrator feels a deep sense of foreboding:

During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was; but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. (Poe 9)