MLA Format In-Text Citations AKA Parenthetical Citations!

What is an in-text citation?
• Whenever you use another person’s ideas or words in an essay, you want to let the reader know in your actual essay. • We do this in a really short way inside the paper and give more details about the source at the end of your paper (this is called your Works Cited!)

What do I Need to Include in my In-Text Citation?
• You have to let the reader know two things:
– The author’s last name – The page numbers
• Ex: (Jones 47).  if the author’s last name is Jones and the quote was on page 47

• What if there’s no author given?
– Just leave that part blank!
• (47).

• What if there’s no page number?
– Just leave that part blank!
• (Jones).

Other Special Circumstances
• Two or three authors:
– Just give all of the authors’ names
• (Jones and Smith 47). • (Jones, Smith, and Jackson 47).

• More than three authors:
– Give the first author’s name and then et al (et al = Latin for “and the rest”)
• (Jones et al 47).

You Can Give the Author’s Name in the Signal Phrase Instead
• You must always introduce a quote with what we call a signal phrase. The quote should never be the entire sentence. • We usually don’t include page numbers in the signal phrase. • If the signal phrase includes the author’s last name, you can just put the page number at the end.
– Examples of signal phrases:
• As Rodriguez states, “There are many ways…” (47). • According to Rodriguez, “There are many ways…” (47). • Rodriguez argues that “there are many ways…” (47).

The Anatomy of a Quote
• • • • • Signal Phrase Quotes when using a direct quote Parentheses Page number Punctuation As Rodriguez argues, “We need to agree that the consequences should be appropriate and meaningful” (141).

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