Citing Your Sources

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MLA In Text Citation

The Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines use a mixture of signal phrases and parenthetical citations to cite quotations, paraphrases, statistics and summaries. The goals of MLA citation is to make your work easy to read and to give credit when you use the words or ideas of others.

In-text citation with a signal phrase:
Human beings have been described by Kenneth Burke as "symbol-using animals" (3).

In-text citation using a parenthetical citation:
Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).

When using MLA in-text citation, provide just enough information for the reader to be able to find the original work in your bibliography, which MLA refers to as the “Works Cited” page.

BASICS: The basic in-text citation consists of the source author’s last name and the page number of the information you borrowed.
AUTHOR: If there is no author, use a brief version of the work’s title. If the author has more than one source in your “Works Cited” list, include a brief version of the title to indicate which work is being cited.
PAGE NUMBERS: The page number has no p. or pp. in front of it. If there’s no page number (for example, websites often do not include page numbers) leave it out of the citation. The page number is not set off from the author name by a comma when both appear in the parenthetical reference.
PUNCTUATION: The sentence-ending period follows the parenthetical citation.

Outside sources:
Basic rules for in-text citation from Bedford-St. Martins, including many examples of “signal phrases”.
See Duke University for a short list of examples of MLA parenthetical citations.
See Purdue Owl for lengthy list of examples of MLA in-text citations, using both signal phrases and parenthetical citations.