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MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics Source: The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/ K. Hall,

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Presentation on theme: "MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics Source: The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/ K. Hall,"— Presentation transcript:

1 MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics Source: The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/ K. Hall, NMS Library, Nov 2013

2 Parenthetical Citation : In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by using what is known as parenthetical citation. This method involves placing relevant source information in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase. Examples: The authors state "Tighter gun control in the United States erodes Second Amendment rights" (Smith, Yang, and Moore 76). The Purdue OWL is accessed by millions of users every year. Its "MLA Formatting and Style Guide" is one of the most popular resources (Stolley et al.).

3 In-text citations: Author-Page Style (HOW TO CITE WHEN YOU KNOW THE AUTHOR) The author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, AND a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. Example 1: (In-Text): Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263). (Works Cited Page): Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. London: Oxford U.P., Print.

4 Second way to use Author-Page Style: The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. Example 2: (In-Text): Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263). (Works Cited Page): Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. London: Oxford U.P., Print.

5 Third Way to Use Author-Page Style: This example looks the same as the last one, but notice in this example that you are using in-text citation to give credit even when the information is PARAPHRASED INSTEAD OF A DIRECT QUOTE. Example 3: (In-Text): Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263). (Works Cited Page): Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. London: Oxford U.P., Print.

6 Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263). Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263). Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263). All citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page.

7 Signal Phrases Signal phrases are used to identify the source and type of information like a quotation or summary or paraphrase. Some Verbs to Use in Signal Phrases: acknowledges contends refutes argues illustrates reports asserts notes states believes observes suggests claims points out writes Signal phrase with quotation: Murray states that “personal electronic devices allow us to do more work in less time” (15). Signal phrase with paraphrase: Murray illustrates how personal electronic devices have changed our daily lives (15). (Source:

8 Citing authors with same last names If two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. For example: Although some medical ethicists claim that cloning will lead to designer children (R. Miller 12), others note that the advantages for medical research outweigh this consideration (A. Miller 46).

9 Citing a work by multiple authors For a source with three or fewer authors, list the authors' last names in the text or in the parenthetical citation: Smith, Yang, and Moore argue that tougher gun control is not needed in the United States (76). OR The authors state "Tighter gun control in the United States erodes Second Amendment rights" (Smith, Yang, and Moore 76).

10 For a source with more than three authors, use the first author's last name followed by et al. or list all the last names. Jones et al. counter Smith, Yang, and Moore's argument by noting that the current spike in gun violence in America compels law makers to adjust gun laws (4). OR Legal experts counter Smith, Yang, and Moore's argument by noting that the current spike in gun violence in America compels law makers to adjust gun laws (Jones et al. 4).

11 In-text citations for print sources with no known author When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Use quotation marks for an article or italics for books, and Web sites, and also give page number. Example: (In-Text): We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change..." ("Impact of Global Warming" 6). (Works Cited): "The Impact of Global Warming in North America." Global Warming: Early Signs Web. 23 Mar

12 Citing non-print or sources from the Internet For electronic and Internet sources, follow these guidelines: 1. Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry for that citation (e.g. author name, article name, etc.) 2. You do not need to give page numbers from websites if they do not appear on the site 3. There is usually no need to include URLs in-text. Use the name of the website. For example, The Official Website of Mark Twain or CNN.com as opposed to writing out

13 Example with corporate author: Their mission in part “is to improve government decision making and public policy…” (National. Research Council). Example with title of entire website, no author or sponsor : The site has biographical information and numerous links to websites dedicated to Twain (The Official Web Site of Mark Twain). Example with title of webpage, no author or sponsor: Amphibian populations are in decline in many areas of the world (“Amphibians”). Examples of website in-text citations: (Source:


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