Essay CitationsIn-Text Citations
Use in-text essay citations when you:
- Add a direct quote to your essay.
- Paraphrase an idea from a source.
- Summarize information from a single source.
EX: In picture books, such as coffee table photography books, the author usually pays for the photographs or permissions to use them. (Bykofsky and Sander, 141).
EX: According to Bykofsky and Sander, in books containing a majority of photos, like coffee table picture books, the author purchases the photos. (141).
The MLA system is an in-text method of citing sources and includes just enough information to help your reader find the information in the works cited page.
Although a quote from an expert can add impact to your essay, in most cases you should try to either paraphrase or summarize the information, using citation to reference your source. However, when you do use direct quotations, follow these rules:
- Insert the quotation exactly as it was written, errors and all. Directly after a spelling error in a quote insert the word [sic]. EX: "Directly after a spelling errer [sic]... "
- If you don't use the whole quotation, use an ellipses followed by trailing quotation marks (..." ) to signify that it isn't the whole quotation.
- If you make a change in the quotation, such as an underline or bold text in part of the quotation, note it in parentheses after the quotation. EX: "Directly after a spelling error [sic] (my underline).
- Use parenthesis ( ) for information that you add after a quote and square brackets [ ] for information you add within the quotation.
- Cite your source. Usually, when you use a quotation, it's appropriate to cite the author's name within the text. In that case, you need only to reference the page number of the quotation.
The works cited section goes on a new page after the end of your essay. Put the text "Works Cited" at the top center of the page. Generally the woks cited should include the name of the author, the name of the article used (if applicable), the name of the publication, the city of publication, and the year of publication of all the references that you used to write your essay.
- List your sources in alphabetical order based on the first word in each citation (ignore words such as "the" and "a").
- Double space your works cited page.
- If the citation spans across multiple lines, indent all lines after the first line.
Author's Last Name, Author's First Name and Middle Name/Initial. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publishing Company Name, Year of Publishing.
Author's Last Name, Author's First Name and Middle Name/Initial. "Article Name." Title of Encyclopedia. Year of Edition or Edition Number ed.
Author's Last Name, Author's First Name and Middle Name/Initial. "Article Name." Title of Magazine Day of Month (If applicable) Month Year: Page Number(s) of article.
Author's Last Name, Author's First Name and Middle Name/Initial. "Title of Article/Document." Title of Site. Ed. Name of Editor (First Name Last Name). Date of publication or most recent update. Name of organization associated with site. Date of when you accessed the document. <http://www.websiteaddress.com>
(If information is not available then leave that section out)
For more complex citations please consult a stylebook.