Citation Guide

Parenthetical Citations in the Body of the Paper

MLA When you quote or paraphrase from a source (book, article, or webpage) in your paper, you need to insert a parenthetical citation. 

Basic Format: Author's last name page numbers (if there are any). Examples:

(Chapman 126)

(Jackson)

What if there's more than one author, or no author?

Direct Quoting - When you are using someone else's exact words.

  1. If you are using a quote that is less than 4 lines, enclose the quote in quotation marks and add the author’s name (unless it is already in the sentence) and page numbers in parentheses.  Place this reference where a pause would occur or at the end of the sentence.  Punctuation marks should be placed after the parenthetical citation. You also will need to add each work from which you cite to your Works Cited page. Here are two examples:
    • The article goes on to say that “People don't do derby just for exercise but usually because it becomes a part of who they are” (Fagundes 1098).

    • Fagundes believes that roller derby gives participants "a chance to feel like a superstar" (1098).

  2. If you are using a quote that is more than 4 lines, do not use quotation marks. Instead, put the quote on a new line and indent the whole block approximately 1 inch from the left margin. Keep the quote double-spaced. Remember to add a parenthetical citation and put the work on your Works Cited page.  For example,

He asserts the following:

More importantly, though, the notion of competing under derby names was a perfect fit with the recent reimagination of the sport as a punk-rock spectacle that allowed, and encouraged, participants to develop outrageous public personas. The story of derby-name emergence probably has more to do with coincidence and path dependence than with conscious design. Derby pioneer Ivanna S. Pankin’s classic derby name pre-dated her founding of Arizona Roller Derby in 2003. Rather, it was a handle and email address she used as a musician in Phoenix’s punk rock scene. When she publicized her nascent league using the alias Ivanna S. Pankin, and the entire Austin scene was already using skate names, the leagues that popped up in their wake followed suit,33 and the practice of using colorful nicknames has been used by virtually all derby leagues and skaters since. (Fagundes 1093-1094)

Paraphrasing or Referring to Works - Acknowledging the sources you used in your research.

  • If you mention the author’s name in the paragraph, then just put the page number in parentheses.

    Fagundes believes it is hard to pin down when the practice of skating under a pseudonym began (1104).

  • If you do not mention the author’s name, then include the author’s name in parentheses before the page number.

    It is hard to pin down when the practice of skating under a pseudonym began (Fagundes 1104).
Feel like you need some practice?
The MLA Style Center offers a Practicing In-Text Citation Handout and Answer Key, as well as an activity for Editing In-Text Citations (with Answer Key).