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MLA Quick Citation Guide

Quick citation guide for using MLA 8 style

In Text Citations

In MLA style the surname of the author and page number are inserted in the text at the appropriate point.

Single Author

  • List the author and page of the article

Examples:

Warner notes that fairy tales "can be vehicles of the grimmest realism, expressing hope against all odds with gritted teeth" (225).

Fairy tales, while often hopeful, are deeply tied to the often harsh and unpleasant aspects of real life (Warner 225).

Multiple Authors

  • For a work with 2 authors, include the names in the text of your paper or in parentheses.

Examples:

Gilbert and Gubar state that, for Mary Shelley, "reading a book was often an emotional as well as an intellectual event of serious magnitude" (223)

The authors claim that being the child of two notable literary figures as well as the wife of another meant that reading was especially emotionally and intellectually significant for Shelley (Gilbert and Gubar 223).

  •     For works with three or more authors use the surname of the first author followed by "et al." and page.

Examples:

According to Martin-Gomez et al., Herge's attention to detail in the Tintin comics "show us the chronological evolution of twentieth-century urban technology" (1068).

Herge's attention to detail in the Tintin comics provides readers with examples of how urban infrastructures and technologies changed over time (Martin-Gomez et al. 1068).

Other Examples

  • Authors with the same surname 

If you quote or paraphrase two or more authors who have the same last name, provide the authors' first initials. If the authors share the same first initials, you can include their full names to distinguish between them.

Example:

S. Smith (23) and M. Smith (14) each found that in the works of Dickens female inheritance could be made more of a burden than a blessing. 

Dickens portrayed female inheritance as at best a mixed blessing, and often as burdensome (S. Smith, 23; M. Smith, 14).
 

  • Two or more works by the same author(s) 

When citing more than one work by the same author (s), include a shortened title for the work you are quoting to distinguish it from the others. Short titles of books should be in italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks. 

Examples:

Prophecy in the poem, as David Aers has argued, represents moments of social impasse (Chaucer, Langland 63-4).

Presented with the argument that prophecy within the poem represents times of social impasse (Aers, Chaucer, Langland 63-4), the frustration expressed by Piers is especially notable.
 

  • Works by different authors

When citing multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations with a semi-colon.

Example:

Following the popularity of the Indian Pavilion at the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851, South Asian crafts came to represent the type of labor from which an overly industrialized England had supposedly become alienated (Barringer 243–67; Kriegel 146–78).
 

  • Business or corporate author

When citing a business or corporate author, include the name of the the corporate author followed by the page reference. Use abbreviations when appropriate (e.g., Dept. for Department and Nat'l for National) in order to avoid overly long in-text citations.

Example:

In 2016, 29.3 million people visited the 19 Smithsonian museums (Smithsonian 33)
 

  • Sources with no known author

When citing a source without a known author, use a shortened title for the source instead of the author name. If the source is a short work like an article, put the shortened title in quotation marks. For longer works (books, plays, websites, etc.), italicize the shortened title.

Examples:

("Piece of the Pie" 4)

(No More Global Warming)

 

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