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MLA Citation Style Guide: In-Text Citations

Can't find the original source?

If you want to cite a source that is cited in a resource you are using, try to find the original source.  If you can not find it put the abbreviation qtd in (quoted in) before the source you cite in your in-text citation.

Example: He called it, “A fool’s paradise” (Qtd. in Campbell, 245).

More than one source by the same author

If you have more than one resource by the same author, include a shortened title from the particular work you are citing to differentiate it from other works. Use italics for books and quotation marks for articles.


Example (Book): (Sedaris, Me Talk  Pretty 64).

Example (Article): (Burkhardt, "Information Choices" 241).

In-Text Citations

In-text citations (also called Parenthetical citations) are a way to give credit to the ideas used within the paper itself.  This is commonly followed by quoting exact words of another writer (placed in quotation marks) but is also needed even if you paraphrase or summarized another author’s words.  

In-text citations are easy to do, basically you want to let the reader know the name of the person you are citing and where you are citing it from.  This can typically be done by including the author’s last name and page number of the quote in parentheses after the information you are citing.

Examples of In-Text Citations

Author’s name in a citation following a direct quote:

“Branding and privatization turn out to work in tandem” (Barber 200).

Author’s name in the text following a direct quote:
         Buber states, “Those who experience do not participate in the world” (56).

Author’s name in a citation following paraphrasing:

Advertising campaigns frequently use sexuality to sell products (Berger 144).

Author’s name in the text following paraphrasing:

Campbell suggests the shaman’s role in tribes have been as the keeper of the people’s traditions (250).

No author’s name
         When a work doesn’t have an author, use the work’s title or a shortened version of the title when citing it. Place the title in italics if it is a longer work (book, movie, website, etc.) and place the title in quotation marks if it is a shorter work (article, chapter, etc.).

                  Example: They claim to “see startling sights when other men sleep” (Shepherd’s 25).

Electronic resource with no page number
         When an online resource doesn’t have a page numbers use the first word that appears in the work cited information for the item you are citing (usually this will be the author's last name).

                  Example: "Having the President throw out the first pitch to open a new baseball season is a tradition dating to 1910" (Library of Congress).