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MLA Style: In-Text Citations

Links to helpful websites, citation examples, and personal assistance using the style guide of the Modern Language Association (MLA).
  • URL: http://guides.library.unk.edu/mla-style

Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing in MLA

In-Text Citations

After a quote, add the author's last name and a page reference. This is usually enough to identify the source and the specific location from which you borrowed the material.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 102-103).

If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.

Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (102-103).

If you use more than one work by the same author, include the title or a shorted form of the title.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, Fox in Socks 102-103).

If more than one author has the same last name, add their first initial.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss 102-103).

If two or more authors wrote the work, list them all.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss and Johnson 102-103).

If citing a multivolume work, include the volume number before the page numbers.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 2: 102).

If no pagination information is available, but paragraphs are numbered, include that information.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss par. 5).

If no pagination information is available and paragraphs are not numbered, the work must be cited only in its entirety, but you can include words in your text that indicate about where to find the quote.

Example: In the first third of his article, Seuss mentioned that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog."

If you wish to include two or more works in a single parenthetical reference, use semicolons to separate the citations.

Example: (Smith 35; Jones 167-171)

Note: When paraphrasing or mentioning another work, it is helpful to still provide pagination information if the source text is long or difficult, or if it would help the reader find the text being paraphrased.

For additional examples, see pages 213-232 in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (2009).

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Copyright

These MLA examples were originally created by Scott Pfitzinger, Information Commons & Technology Librarian at Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, and adapted with permission by Jon Ritterbush, Electronic Resources Librarian at University of Nebraska Kearney. Other users of LibGuides are welcome to use this Guide as a template and to make changes as necessary to fit their custom needs.