MLA 6th edition (note) Referencing Guide (updated Oct 2023)
This is the citationsy guide to mla 6th edition (note) citations, reference lists, in-text citations, and bibliographies. the complete, comprehensive guide shows you how easy citing any source can be. referencing books, youtube videos, websites, articles, journals, podcasts, images, videos, or music in mla 6th edition (note)..
How do you cite a book in the MLA 6th edition (note) referencing style? (2023 Guide)
How to reference a journal article in the mla 6th edition (note) citation style, how do you cite scientific papers in mla 6th edition (note) format, how to cite a website in a paper in mla 6th edition (note) style, how to cite a youtube video mla 6th edition (note) in 2023, how to cite a podcast using mla 6th edition (note) referencing style, how to cite a piece of music or a song using mla 6th edition (note) referencing style.
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Consider your source's credibility. ask these questions:, contributor/author.
- Has the author written several articles on the topic, and do they have the credentials to be an expert in their field?
- Can you contact them? Do they have social media profiles?
- Have other credible individuals referenced this source or author?
- Book: What have reviews said about it?
- What do you know about the publisher/sponsor? Are they well-respected?
- Do they take responsibility for the content? Are they selective about what they publish?
- Take a look at their other content. Do these other articles generally appear credible?
- Does the author or the organization have a bias? Does bias make sense in relation to your argument?
- Is the purpose of the content to inform, entertain, or to spread an agenda? Is there commercial intent?
- Are there ads?
- When was the source published or updated? Is there a date shown?
- Does the publication date make sense in relation to the information presented to your argument?
- Does the source even have a date?
- Was it reproduced? If so, from where?
- If it was reproduced, was it done so with permission? Copyright/disclaimer included?
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In this section
In-Text Citations: An Overview
In-text citations are brief, unobtrusive references that direct readers to the works-cited-list entries for the sources you consulted and, where relevant, to the location in the source being cited.
An in-text citation begins with the shortest piece of information that directs your reader to the entry in the works-cited list. Thus, it begins with what ever comes first in the entry: the author’s name or the title (or description) of the work. The citation can appear in your prose or in parentheses.
Citation in prose Naomi Baron broke new ground on the subject. Parenthetical citation At least one researcher has broken new ground on the subject (Baron). Work cited Baron, Naomi S. “Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media.” PMLA , vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193–200.
When relevant, an in-text citation also has a second component: if a specific part of a work is quoted or paraphrased and the work includes a page number, line number, time stamp, or other way to point readers to the place in the work where the information can be found, that location marker must be included in parentheses.
Parenthetical citation According to Naomi Baron, reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (194).
The author or title can also appear alongside the page number or other location marker in parentheses.
Parenthetical citation Reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (Baron 194).
All in-text references should be concise. Avoid, for instance, providing the author’s name or title of a work in both your prose and parentheses.
Citation (incorrect) According to Naomi Baron, reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (Baron 194). Citation (correct) According to Naomi Baron, reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (194).
For more on what to include in an in-text citation and how to style it, see sections 6.3–6.30 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook ).
Brandi unruh 10 april 2021 at 11:04 am.
Hello! I am a high school English teacher trying to answer a question that came up during our research unit. I can’t seem to find a definitive answer online. When using a shortened title in an in-text citation, does an ellipsis need to be included? For example, if the title was “The Problem of Poverty in America: A Historical and Cultural Analysis”, would the in-text citation be (“The Problem of Poverty in America...”) or (“The Problem of Poverty in America”)? Thank you for your time and expertise!
Your e-mail address will not be published
Laura Kiernan 12 April 2021 AT 11:04 AM
No, an ellipsis would not be used in an in-text citation. We provide extensive guidance on shortening titles in 6.10 of the new ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
angel 10 May 2021 AT 02:05 PM
hii How to write an in text citation of an entry from encyclopedia which has an editor but no separate authors for each entry ?
William Feeler 11 May 2021 AT 01:05 PM
I see no mention of paragraph numbers for unpaginated prose or sections/lines for drama. are these practices gone?
Laura Kiernan 18 May 2021 AT 01:05 PM
This post provides a general overview of our approach to in-text citations. The complete guidelines appear in sections 6.1–6.30 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Vonceil Park 11 May 2021 AT 01:05 PM
Dear MLA Staff, A professor at my College demands students to provide paragraph number in the in-text citation for online articles that have no page number nor paragraph number. Do we just count the paragraph number and put them in the parenthesis, for example: (para. 3)?
Laura Kiernan 18 May 2021 AT 12:05 PM
Thank you for your question. Your approach to modifying our style in accordance with your professor's instructions works, but we would suggest confirming that styling with your professor.
Arathi Babu 17 May 2021 AT 08:05 AM
How to write an in text citation of an unsigned entry from a reference work?
Laura Kiernan 08 June 2021 AT 11:06 AM
If the entry was in a print work, the in-text citation would include the entry’s title or a shortened version of the entry’s title and the page number of the quotation. If the entry was in a reference work without page numbers, the in-text citation should just contain the title or shortened title of the entry.
Sethu 17 May 2021 AT 02:05 PM
For example: Can I give an in-text citation like the following: Shakespeare, in his work Hamlet, quotes: "To be or not to be" (7).
For citing commonly studied verse works, see 6.22 in the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Trinity Klein 21 May 2021 AT 11:05 AM
Can you please help with proper in-text citation placement for an embedded quotation? Does the citation come immediately after the quotation or at the very end of the sentence? For example, is this correct: He asks her to take him home “in the voice of a child afraid of the dark” which comes as a shock to Scout because he has so long held a bold and rebellious reputation (372). Or should the (372) come immediately after ...dark"...? Thank you!
For more information about the placement of a parenthetical citations, see 6.43 in the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Karima 30 May 2021 AT 05:05 PM
Dear MLA staff, 1) In case i am quoting from multiple sources by the same author, am i required to introduce again the source i am quoting from in the beginning of my sentence? (Quotes are used in multiple paragraphs)
For guidance on citing multiple sources by the same author, see 6.8 in the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Yves 23 June 2021 AT 06:06 PM
Hello, is there a specific rule about how to format a range of page numbers in the parenthetical citation? For example, could (Eden 44-45) be written as (Eden 44-5), or is only one example correct?
Laura Kiernan 24 September 2021 AT 02:09 PM
For information about styling number ranges, see section 2.139 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Faliravo 11 August 2021 AT 05:08 AM
Good morning MLA team, My professor insists that I include the year of publication for in-text citations. Is it going to be okay if I insert the year between the author and the page number?
Thank you very much for your consideration.
Laura Kiernan 24 September 2021 AT 01:09 PM
Your approach to modifying our style in accordance with your professor’s instructions works, but we would suggest confirming that styling with your professor.
Pauline 14 September 2021 AT 11:09 PM
How do I cite an entire work. For example, if I want to say Toni Morrison's the "Bluest Eye" has been used as a textbook for many English literature classes, I suppose I shouldn't put any page number in the parenthetical citation. But I can't find any MLA references on this.
See section 4.14 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
myron glassenberg 04 February 2022 AT 01:02 PM
if source is the whole book, how do I cite in text and in works cited pages. e.g. freud (no page number) Freud , ( 1892) The Pleasure Principle.
Rita Rozzi 20 September 2023 AT 07:09 PM
There is no section 4.14 in the ninth edition. Do you have any updated information? Thank you.
Laura Kiernan 21 September 2023 AT 03:09 PM
Section 4.14, which is titled "Passing Mentions," can be found in chapter 4 of the ninth edition of the handbook.
Lauren McFall 13 October 2021 AT 02:10 PM
Students often refer to the same source consecutively across more than one sentence. I'm having a hard time finding information about the preferred approach according to the MLA. As a parallel, APA makes a specific recommendation - "cite the source in the first sentence in which it is relevant and do not repeat the citation in subsequent sentences as long as the source remains clear and unchanged" https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/appropriate-citation
Laura Kiernan 20 October 2021 AT 04:10 PM
See 6.45 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Ruth Schafer 01 December 2022 AT 07:12 PM
6.45 out of the MLA Handbook's ninth edition does not provide an example of how to cite a multi-sentence paraphrase when using an unpaginated source. Can you give an example of how to cite a multi-sentence paraphrase where the source does not have published page numbering?
Should I introduce the source in my prose and then again at the end of the multi-sentence paraphrase in parentheses when I have finished citing the paraphrase? Example: John Smith from Smith Architecture explains that crawl space foundations are...blah blah blah. These foundations are most commonly used in midwestern constructions where the frost line is...blah, blah, blah. Keep writing the paraphrase and then at the end of the final sentence instead of a page citation write the author's last name (Smith). This way if you switch to a different source, at least the reader knows that you have finished with the Smith source and have moved on to your own commentary or another source's information. Usually, I'd use a page citation at the end of the paraphrase, but when dealing with a source that does not have page numbering, I'm unsure what to do.
Lizzie 18 October 2021 AT 10:10 PM
If I only use textual evidence from the novel I'm examining, do I need to include the authors name with each in text citation? There are no other works cited, so it seems redundant/clutter-y to me
Kayden 29 October 2021 AT 05:10 PM
If I'm trying to cite multiple paragraphs from the same source would it be correct to say (par. 3 and 13) or should it be (par. 3, 13) and is it different if they are next to each other too like (par. 6-7) or (par. 6 and 7).
Laura Kiernan 04 November 2021 AT 11:11 AM
See sections 6.18–6.20 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Rachel 17 November 2021 AT 01:11 PM
When citing from an online source without pagination, if you include the author's name in the introduction to the quote, do you need to include anything in parentheses like the article title?
Laura Kiernan 22 November 2021 AT 12:11 PM
See section 6.26 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
July 25 November 2021 AT 05:11 PM
When quoting an online source (e.g. a website), do I have to indicate the fact that it's an online source in the in-text-citations as in (Name [online]) or is the author's name enough?
Thank you in advance for your answer.
Laura Kiernan 29 November 2021 AT 10:11 AM
According to MLA style, an in-text citation for an online work should not note that the work is online.
Pinkie 19 March 2022 AT 08:03 PM
If I'm writing a response paper, and I need to summarize the whole article to introduce it, then should I use in-text citation?
Laura Kiernan 25 March 2022 AT 01:03 PM
For guidance on paraphrasing, see sections 4.5–4.8 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Kay 09 April 2022 AT 06:04 PM
Hi, am I supposed to include the DOI when one is available in the citation? If I cite the print version of a journal article that has a DOI, still include the DOI in the citation? Thank you!
Laura Kiernan 11 April 2022 AT 11:04 AM
Thank you for your questions. For guidance on including a DOI in your works-cited-list entry, see sections 5.84 and 5.93 in the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Mike 16 April 2022 AT 05:04 PM
Website in-text Citation...
When I'm writing an in-text citation for a website, I'm seeing all manner of different things to include. Do I need to add the author name and year of publishing for the article?\ Do I just need the website name? I'm not really understanding what I need to add or obtain for such a citation within the text I'm writing.
I'm writing a book on my life, and I'm quoting a particular webpage to show one particular angle of an argument I'm making, and, of course, it's not common knowledge, so I want to make sure that I follow all the rules for this kind of thing, so I don't get in trouble with the author(s) of the sources I have quoted from...
Laura Kiernan 18 April 2022 AT 02:04 PM
Thank you for your questions about MLA style. For guidance on in-text citations for web pages, see section 6.26 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Cynthia 21 May 2022 AT 10:05 PM
When you're doing an In-text citations do you put the quotations over the chapter title and then quotations over what you get from the text or do you italicize the title?
Laura Kiernan 25 May 2022 AT 03:05 PM
Thank you for your question. For guidance on how to style chapter titles, see 2.109 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Napatsi 15 August 2022 AT 07:08 PM
I'm trying to find how to put in the in-text citation for a UN declaration article but can only find the "Resolutions of International Governing Bodies" on page 446 of the 9th edition but not how to out it in without an author.
Kim 27 September 2022 AT 12:09 PM
I'm quoting a passage from an unpublished manuscript, and it is not the only work I'm citing by the author, but the only one without a year. So using "Smith 1995, 82" is not possible. What would an in-text citation for this case look like?
Jen 17 November 2022 AT 08:11 PM
How do I cite a news cast for in-text citation like ABC News?
Samantha 04 December 2022 AT 05:12 PM
Hi, For MLA format, should a quote where you need to de-capitalize the first letter be written as "you want" or "(y)ou want". Thanks!
Laura Kiernan 07 December 2022 AT 01:12 PM
Thank you for your question. For guidance on how to indicate that you have lowercased the first letter of a quotation, see 6.56 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Maria Albeti 07 February 2023 AT 01:02 PM
Stewart, David W. Focus groups. In: Frey, B.B. (ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation, vol. 2, pp. 687–692. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications 2018 In this case, how is the correct form to write, because the article is IN the the book?
Eros Karadzhov 15 February 2023 AT 02:02 PM
If we have a sentence that is a statement, but at the end we quote a question, which punctuation mark do we keep, the question mark or the period; maybe both? Example: (1) The author ends his poem with the following question on purpose: "Or does it explode?" (Hughes 11). (2) The author ends his poem with the following question on purpose: "Or does it explode" (Hughes 11)?
Which would be correct, or maybe both are wrong?
Thank you in advance!
Laura Kiernan 16 February 2023 AT 03:02 PM
Thank you for your question. For guidance on quotations ending in a question mark, see section 6.53 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Anonymous 08 March 2023 AT 05:03 PM
What about online articles with no known author or multiple authors? What should the in-text citation look like?
Maria 25 March 2023 AT 04:03 PM
Please settle a dispute with my colleagues. I encourage composition students to avoid listing the title of journal articles within the essay unless it is especially relevant because it clutters their arguments. I came to this conclusion from my interpretation of this statement from MLA: "All in-text references should be concise. Avoid, for instance, providing the author’s name or title of a work in both your prose and parentheses." Could someone please provide an answer or further clarification?
Erika Suffern 30 March 2023 AT 04:03 PM
You are right to identify a principle of concision in our guidelines. That said, it is not wrong to mention a title in prose, but it should be done, as you note, when relevant–not as a de rigeur practice or for “filler.” As Eric Hayot notes in The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities (Columbia UP, 2014), “giving the title” in prose “suggests fuller forthcoming treatment” (159). Another reason for including the title in prose might be to call attention to something about it. Many writers who do mention a title in prose fear having an incomplete citation and are tempted also to include the title in a parenthetical reference, which is unnecessary.
Jay 29 April 2023 AT 12:04 AM
How do I in-text cite a direct quote from the introduction of an ebook with no page numbers? Would I write (Author "Introduction") or just write (Author)?
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An MLA citation generator is a software tool designed to automatically create academic citations in the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format. The generator will take information such as document titles, author, and URLs as in input, and output fully formatted citations that can be inserted into the Works Cited page of an MLA-compliant academic paper.
The citations on a Works Cited page show the external sources that were used to write the main body of the academic paper, either directly as references and quotes, or indirectly as ideas.
👩🎓 Who uses an MLA Citation Generator?
MLA style is most often used by middle school and high school students in preparation for transition to college and further education. Ironically, MLA style is not actually used all that often beyond middle and high school, with APA (American Psychological Association) style being the favored style at colleges across the country.
It is also important at this level to learn why it's critical to cite sources, not just how to cite them.
🙌 Why should I use a Citation Generator?
Writing citations manually is time consuming and error prone. Automating this process with a citation generator is easy, straightforward, and gives accurate results. It's also easier to keep citations organized and in the correct order.
The Works Cited page contributes to the overall grade of a paper, so it is important to produce accurately formatted citations that follow the guidelines in the official MLA Handbook .
⚙️ How do I use MyBib's MLA Citation Generator?
It's super easy to create MLA style citations with our MLA Citation Generator. Scroll back up to the generator at the top of the page and select the type of source you're citing. Books, journal articles, and webpages are all examples of the types of sources our generator can cite automatically. Then either search for the source, or enter the details manually in the citation form.
The generator will produce a formatted MLA citation that can be copied and pasted directly into your document, or saved to MyBib as part of your overall Works Cited page (which can be downloaded fully later!).
MyBib supports the following for MLA style:
Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.
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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 9th Edition): In-Text Citation
- Understanding Core Elements
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In-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information.
- In-text citations in MLA style follow the general format of author's last name followed by a page number enclosed in parentheses. Here is an example: "Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8).
- If the author's name is not given, use the first word (or words) of the title. Follow the same formatting that is used in the works-cited list, such as quotation marks. Here is an example: This is a paraphrase ("Trouble" 22).
- If the source does not have page numbers (for example, some online articles, websites and e-books), only include the author's name for the in-text citation. Do not estimate or make up page numbers.
- In-text citations point the reader to the works-cited list, which is located at the end of your paper, for more complete bibliographic information.
Repeated Use of Sources
If you use information from a single source more than once in succession (i.e., no other sources referred to in between), you can use a simplified in-text citation. Here is an example:
Cell biology is an area of science that focuses on the structure and function of cells (Smith 15). It revolves around the idea that the cell is a "fundamental unit of life" (17).
Note: If using this simplified in-text citation creates ambiguity regarding the source being referred to, use the full in-text citation format.
In-Text Citation Formatting and Examples
Format: (Author's Last Name Page Number)
Example: (Hunt 358)
Format: (Author's Last Name and Author's Last Name Page Number)
Example: (Case and Daristotle 57)
Three or More Authors
Format: (Author's Last Name et al. Page Number)
Example: (Case et al. 57)
Where you would normally put the author's last name, instead use the first one, two, or three words from the title. Do not use initial articles such as "A", "An" or "The". Provide enough words to clarify which sources from your works-cited list that you are referencing.
Follow the formatting of the title. For example, if the title in the works-cited list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation, and if the title in the works-cited list is in quotation marks, put quotation marks around the words from the title in the in-text citation.
Format: (Title Page Number)
( Cell Biology 12)
To cite more than one source when you are paraphrasing, separate the in-text citations with a semi-colon.
Format: (Author's Last Name Page Number; Author's Last Name Page Number).
(Smith 42; Bennett 71).
( It Takes Two ; Brock 43).
Note: In MLA style, the sources within the in-text citation do not need to be in alphabetical order.
Works Quoted in Another Source
Sometimes an author of a book, article or website will mention another person's work by using a quotation or paraphrased idea from that source. (This may be a secondary source.) For example, the Kirkey article you are reading includes a quotation by Smith that you would like to include in your essay. The basic rule is that in both your Works-Cited List and in-text citation you will still cite Kirkey. Kirkey will appear in your Works Cited list – NOT Smith. Add the words "qtd. in" to your in-text citation.
Examples of in-text citations:
According to a study by Smith (qtd. in Kirkey) 42% of doctors would refuse to perform legal euthanasia.
Smith (qtd. in Kirkey) states that “even if euthanasia was legal, 42% of doctors would be against this method of assisted dying” (A.10).
Example of Works Cited List citation:
Kirkey, Susan. "Euthanasia." The Montreal Gazette , 9 Feb. 2013, p. A.10. Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies.
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MLA Citation Style, 9th Edition
- MLA Style, 9th Edition
- In-text citations
- Books - Multiple Authors
- Books - with editors, translators, etc.
- Book - Essay, Short Story, Poem, etc
- Books - later editions
- Articles - Multiple Authors
- Articles - from scholarly journals
- Articles - from newspapers
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- Images from the Web
- Works Cited: Websites
- Works Cited: Social Media / Informal Communication
- Don't See an Example for Your Source?!
- Report an Error / Question
For a complete list of style rules, consult the MLA Handbook at the Reference Desk:
Major Changes in the 9th Edition?
Thankfully, not to Works Cited Entries & In-Text Citations!
There is more guidance and examples on the existing rules and more emphasis on writing. There is also a new chapter on inclusive language.
MLA 9th Edition: Guiding Principles
The MLA Handbook provides a "universal set of guidelines" for citing sources across all format types. Luckily, the 9th edition mainly expands upon the rules listed in the 8th edition. There are no significant changes in Works Cited/In-Text Citations (whew!).
These guidelines state that, if given, these major elements should be included in the citation:
1. Author. 2. Title of Source. 3. Title of Container, 4. Other Contributors, 5. Version, 6. Number, 7. Publisher, 8. Publication date, 9. Location.
Sometimes, elements 3-9 will repeat again, if say, your journal was inside a database.
Putting it all together:
Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review , vol.64, no. 1, 2010, pp.69-
88. JSTOR , www.jstor.org/stable/41403188 .
Works Cited Page & Example
A Works Cited page is a n alphabetical list of the sources you paraphrased or quoted within the text of your paper. Your parenthetical citations within the text of your paper should point to a corresponding entry on this page.
The Works Cited page should:
- Be at the end of your paper and be numbered consecutively with the rest of your paper
- Include the words Works Cited centered at the top of the page
- Include all sources paraphrased or quoted within you paper
- Be alphabetized by the source - usually this is by an author's last name but could be by title in entries where there are no authors.
- Have hanging indents, which means the lines after the first line of an entry are indented.
See the example below.
- Works Cited Page
- Next: In-text citations >>
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MLA Citation Style
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The MLA Handbook
- Video Course from MLA: Quoting and Paraphrasing in MLA Format A ten-part, short but excellent video course on quoting and paraphrasing on MLA format with quizzes and examples to reinforce learning.
Who uses MLA?
The MLA Handbook is the creation of the Modern Language Association (MLA), and is the standard style guide for languages and literatures.
Formatting In Text Citations
All citations in MLA appear in text, as a parenthetical note after the sentence in which the material is cited. The works cited provides all the bibliographical information on the source, so the in text citation only requires Author Lastname and a Page Number. This is bracketed in parentheses and placed before the period at the end of the sentence.
This is the sentence that I am citing (Smith 55).
This is the sentence that I am citing (Smith and Jones 31).
Smith wrote things that I'm talking about in this sentence (45).
If the work does not have an author, or there are multiple works by the same author, a shortened portion of the title will also go in the citation. It should be italicized or in quotes, depending on the source type.
This is another exciting sentence that I'm citing (Jones, The Great Work 178).
Sometimes you just don't have an author to cite ("Another Work" 89).
Determining what information from the original source to use in a citation or who to cite is a decision for the researcher, based on what information is being cited . This is especially true for non-print materials, such as a video, image, or website. As noted in the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. , a citation for audio visual material is based on which part is being referenced.
This sentence cites song lyrics (Songwriter timestamp).
This sentence cites a film (Director's name timestamp).
Note : While older versions of MLA allowed footnotes as an option for citations, the current version of MLA only permits in text citations, not footnotes . The Chicago Manual of Style of the only guide that includes footnotes. Check with your professor or department if you have questions as to which method is best for your work.
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- The Basics of In-Text Citation | APA & MLA Examples
The Basics of In-Text Citation | APA & MLA Examples
Published on March 14, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 23, 2022.
An in-text citation is a short acknowledgement you include whenever you quote or take information from a source in academic writing. It points the reader to the source so they can see where you got your information.
In-text citations most commonly take the form of short parenthetical statements indicating the author and publication year of the source, as well as the page number if relevant.
We also offer a free citation generator and in-depth guides to the main citation styles.
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Table of contents, what are in-text citations for, when do you need an in-text citation, types of in-text citation, frequently asked questions about in-text citations.
The point of an in-text citation is to show your reader where your information comes from. Including citations:
- Avoids plagiarism by acknowledging the original author’s contribution
- Allows readers to verify your claims and do follow-up research
- Shows you are engaging with the literature of your field
Academic writing is seen as an ongoing conversation among scholars, both within and between fields of study. Showing exactly how your own research draws on and interacts with existing sources is essential to keeping this conversation going.
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The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:
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An in-text citation should be included whenever you quote or paraphrase a source in your text.
Quoting means including the original author’s words directly in your text, usually introduced by a signal phrase . Quotes should always be cited (and indicated with quotation marks), and you should include a page number indicating where in the source the quote can be found.
Paraphrasing means putting information from a source into your own words. In-text citations are just as important here as with quotes, to avoid the impression you’re taking credit for someone else’s ideas. Include page numbers where possible, to show where the information can be found.
However, to avoid over-citation, bear in mind that some information is considered common knowledge and doesn’t need to be cited. For example, you don’t need a citation to prove that Paris is the capital city of France, and including one would be distracting.
Different types of in-text citation are used in different citation styles . They always direct the reader to a reference list giving more complete information on each source.
Author-date citations (used in APA , Harvard , and Chicago author-date ) include the author’s last name, the year of publication, and a page number when available. Author-page citations (used in MLA ) are the same except that the year is not included.
Both types are divided into parenthetical and narrative citations. In a parenthetical citation , the author’s name appears in parentheses along with the rest of the information. In a narrative citation , the author’s name appears as part of your sentence, not in parentheses.
Note: Footnote citations like those used in Chicago notes and bibliography are sometimes also referred to as in-text citations, but the citation itself appears in a note separate from the text.
An in-text citation is an acknowledgement you include in your text whenever you quote or paraphrase a source. It usually gives the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page number of the relevant text. In-text citations allow the reader to look up the full source information in your reference list and see your sources for themselves.
At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).
Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.
The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.
- APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
- MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
- Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
- Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.
Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.
The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.
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Caulfield, J. (2022, August 23). The Basics of In-Text Citation | APA & MLA Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved October 4, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/in-text-citation-styles/
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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / Book Citations / Learn how to cite “Beowulf” by Seamus Heaney
Learn how to cite “Beowulf” by Seamus Heaney
Learn how to create in-text citations and a full citation/reference/note for Beowulf by Seamus Heaney using the examples below. Beowulf is cited in 14 different citation styles, including MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, APA, ACS, and many others.
If you are looking for additional help, try the EasyBib citation generator .
Popular Citation Styles
Here are Beowulf citations for five popular citation styles: MLA, APA, Chicago (notes-bibliography), Chicago (author-date), and Harvard style.
Here are Beowulf citations for 14 popular citation styles including Turabian style, the American Medical Association (AMA) style, the Council of Science Editors (CSE) style, IEEE, and more.
Find citation guides for additional books linked here .
Popular Book Citations
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Penn State University Libraries
Mla quick citation guide 8th edition.
- In-text Citation
- Citing Web Pages and Social Media
- Citing Articles
- Citing Books
- Other formats
- MLA Style Quiz
Using In-text Citation
Include an in-text citation when you refer to, summarize, paraphrase, or quote from another source. For every in-text citation in your paper, there must be a corresponding entry in your reference list.
MLA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the page number from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken, for example: (Smith 163). If the source does not use page numbers, do not include a number in the parenthetical citation: (Smith).
Example paragraph with in-text citation
A few researchers in the linguistics field have developed training programs designed to improve native speakers' ability to understand accented speech (Derwing et al. 246; Thomas 15). Their training techniques are based on the research described above indicating that comprehension improves with exposure to non-native speech. Derwing and others conducted their training with students preparing to be social workers, but note that other professionals who work with non-native speakers could benefit from a similar program (258).
Derwing, Tracey M., et al. "Teaching Native Speakers to Listen to Foreign-accented Speech." Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, vol. 23, no. 4, 2002, pp. 245-259.
Thomas, Holly K. Training Strategies for Improving Listeners' Comprehension of Foreign-accented Speech. University of Colorado, Boulder, 2004.
Citing Web Pages In Text
Cite web pages in text as you would any other source, using the author if known. If the author is not known, use the title as the in-text citation.
Your in-text citation should lead your reader to the corresponding entry in the reference list. Below are examples of using in-text citation with web pages.
Entire website with author: In-text citation Parents play an important role in helping children learn techniques for coping with bullying (Kraizer).
Reference entry Kraizer, Sherryll. Safe Child. Coalition for Children, 2011, www.safechild.org.
Web page with no author: In-text citation The term Nittany Lion was coined by Penn State football player Joe Mason in 1904 ("All Things Nittany").
Reference entry "All Things Nittany." About Penn State. Penn State University, 2006, www.psu.edu/ur/about/nittanymascot.html.
In MLA style the author's name can be included either in the narrative text of your paper, or in parentheses following the reference to the source.
Author's name part of narrative:
Gass and Varonis found that the most important element in comprehending non-native speech is familiarity with the topic (163).
Author's name in parentheses:
One study found that the most important element in comprehending non-native speech is familiarity with the topic (Gass and Varonis 163).
Group as author: (American Psychological Association 123)
Multiple works: (separate each work with semi-colons)
Research shows that listening to a particular accent improves comprehension of accented speech in general (Gass and Varonis 143; Thomas 24).
One study found that “the listener's familiarity with the topic of discourse greatly facilitates the interpretation of the entire message” (Gass and Varonis 85).
Gass and Varonis found that “the listener’s familiarity with the topic of discourse greatly facilitates the interpretation of the entire message” (85).
Note: For quotations that are more than four lines of prose or three lines of verse, display quotations as an indented block of text (one inch from left margin) and omit quotation marks. Place your parenthetical citation at the end of the block of text, after the final punctuation mark.
In addition to awareness-raising, practicing listening to accented speech has been shown to improve listening comprehension. This article recommends developing listening training programs for library faculty and staff, based on research from the linguistics and language teaching fields. Even brief exposure to accented speech can help listeners improve their comprehension, thereby improving the level of service to international patrons. (O'Malley 19)
Works by Multiple Authors
When citing works by multiple authors, always spell out the word "and." When a source has three or more authors, only the first one shown in the source is normally given followed by et al.
One author: (Field 399)
Works Cited entry: Field, John. "Intelligibility and the Listener: The Role of Lexical Stress." TESOL Quarterly , vol. 39, no. 3, 2005, pp. 399-423.
Two authors: (Gass and Varonis 67)
Works Cited entry: Gass, Susan, and Evangeline M. Varonis. "The Effect of Familiarity on the Comprehensibility of Nonnative Speech." Language Learning , vol. 34, no. 1, 1984, pp. 65-89.
Three or more authors: (Munro et al. 70)
Works Cited entry: Munro, Murray J., et al. "Salient Accents, Covert Attitudes: Consciousness-raising for Pre-service Second Language Teachers." Prospect , vol. 21, no. 1, 2006, pp. 67-79.
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