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MLA Style Guide - 9th edition

In-Text Citations - The Basics

The purpose of having in-text citations is to ethically give credit to other's ideas within your paper. This information is like a quick link to your Works Cited list where anyone can get further details about your source and find it themselves. The provided information is brief and should not distract the reader from the "flow of ideas" (MLA 100).

Basic information to include:

  • Author's last name
  • Page number DO NOT use a comma. DO NOT include any abbreviation for the word page.

Format options:

  1. Use author's last name in the text, with page number in parentheses.

    According to Smith, thoughtful information "that supports your argument" (123).

    Notice that in the example the writer refers to the author and uses quotations around the exact words written by the author. Then at the pause of the sentence, which happens to be at the end of it, the write indicates on which page the reader can find that quote from the original source.
  2. Author's name is not referred to in the text, include the last name and page number in parentheses.

    One must use information "that supports your argument" (Smith 123).

    ⇒ Notice in this example the writer did not refer to the author in the text. Instead all the information, author and page number, is found in the parentheses at the pause or end of the sentence.

The full citation, on the works cited page, will look like this:

Smith, Joe. "In-text Citations." Academic Ethics, Lone Star Press, 2016, p. 123.

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