MLA In-Text Citations

MLA In-Text Citations

What are MLA In-Text Citations?
MLA in-text citations generally include the author’s name/s and page number/s for every direct quotation or paraphrase of the author’s words, facts, or ideas used in a paper. All in-text citations must correspond to a source on the Works Cited page.

MLA In-Text Citation Format
In MLA, in-text citations can be either parenthetical or narrative.

General Guidelines for Narrative In-Text Citations:

  • Include the author’s name/s in the text of your sentence.
  • Enclose the page number/s or other location information (e.g., line numbers) in parentheses at the end of the quote or paraphrase.
  • The period goes after the parentheses with the location information.
  • Do not include the author’s name/s again in the parentheses. You only need to include the
    author’s name/s once.

In Metaphors We Live By, the authors suggested that metaphors “actually structure our perceptions and understanding” (Lakoff and Johnson 57).

General Guidelines for Citing a Source without an Author:

  • If a source does not have an author, use the source’s title in your in-text citations instead.
  • Use the full title for a narrative citation (e.g., “Chasing the Dream: How to Succeed in College”).
  • Use a shortened version of the title for a parenthetical citation (e.g., “Chasing the Dream”).
  • The title should be in quotation marks for a shorter work (e.g., a poem, short story, article, or essay) and in italics for a longer work (e.g., a book or movie).

The homily argues that rebelling against the English monarch amounts to rebelling against God (“Homily” 97).

General Guidelines for Citing a Source without Page Numbers:

  • If a source does not have page numbers, you do not have to include any in your in-text citations for that source.
  • Do not use page numbers assigned by a printer.
  • Most PDF files will have page numbers that are stable, so the page numbers should be included in the in-text citation.

Eighty percent of employers believe that all college students “should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences” (Hart).

Note: Individual instructor’s specifications may vary, so check with your instructor before formatting and submitting your work. Information is based on the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook, chapter 6.

Works Consulted

“How do I cite a source that has no author?” MLA Style Center, Modern Language Association of America, 9

August 2017,

Page last updated July 25, 2023.