Sample Research Paper Mla 2009 Quotes

Keep track of the sources you use as you do your research and draft your paper. Make sure that you have all of the publication information for each source. It can be helpful to have a working bibliography as you go, with a backup of the computer file and/or a print-out. Although it is not needed for the Works Cited, it may also be helpful to keep a record of how you located each source, such as the call numbers of books and URLs of web sites.

BOOKS [5.5]

Books [5.5.1]

Author. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Type of Material.

This is the basic format for a Works Cited entry.


  • Take the title from the title page, not the cover.
  • The book title should be italicized.
  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word, last word, and all major words of the title and subtitle, including words that follow hyphens, e.g., English-Speaking.
  • The following terms should not be capitalized when they are in the middle of a title: articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet), prepositions (e.g., in, of, to, between, against), and the "to" in infinitives, e.g., How to Solve It. [3.6.1]

Publisher [7.5]

  • Give the city of publication and the publisher's name, generally taken from the title page. The state or country is not necessary.
  • Shorten the publisher's name when possible, by omitting business abbreviations such as Corp. and words such as Books and Publishers.
  • For publisher's names that are personal names, use the surname only, e.g., for John Wiley, use Wiley.
  • For university presses, use U for University and P for Press, e.g., Princeton UP.

One Author [5.5.2]

  • Write the author's name as Last Name, First Name.

Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: Norton, 1999. Print.

Two or More Authors [5.5.4]

  • List the names in the order they appear on the title page, with commas between authors, and a period after the last author's name.
  • Only the name of the first author should be reversed (Last Name, First Name); the other name(s) should be written in regular order.
  • For more than three authors, either give only the first author and add et al., or give all the names.

King, Samuel P., and Randall W. Roth. Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement, and Political Manipulation at America's Largest Charitable Trust. Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 2006. Print.

Laverty, Melina F., Eleanor J. Sterling, Amelia Chiles, and Georgina Cullman. Biodiversity 101. Westport: Greenwood, 2008. Print.

Editors, Compilers, Translators [5.5.4]

If the persons named on the title page are editors, compilers, or translators, add a comma and a descriptive label, e.g., eds., comps., trans.

Lucas, John S., and Paul C. Southgate, eds. Aquaculture: Farming Aquatic Animals and Plants. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003. Print.

Corporate Author [5.5.5]

Cite a book by corporate author when a group -- such as an organization, committee, or association -- rather than individual persons, is the author. Cite the corporate author even if this group is also the publisher.

American Welding Society Committee on High-Energy Beam Welding and Cutting. Process Specification and Operator Qualification for Laser Beam Welding. Miami: American Welding Society, 2008. Print.

Government Publications [5.5.20]

Generally, give the name of the government first, then the name of the agency.

State of Hawaii. Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Visitors Research Report. Honolulu: DBEDT, 2007. Print.

Edition [5.5.13]

If a book is identified as being other than the first edition (e.g., 2nd edition, Revised edition), give the edition just before the publication information.

Gralla, Preston. How Wireless Works. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Que, 2006. Print.

Work in an Anthology [5.5.6]

When citing an essay, short story, or other work that is contained in an anthology or other book collection, provide information about both the piece and the complete book. Provide the name of the editor or compiler of the book, preceded by Ed. or Comp., after the title of the book. Give the page numbers of the piece, writing only the last two digits of the second number unless more are needed, e.g., 125-29, but 185-202.

Author of Story. "Title of Story." Title of Book. Editor. City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Page(s). Type of Material.

Humphries, LaJean. "How to Evaluate a Web Site." Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet. Ed. Anne P. Mintz. Medford: CyberAge, 2002. 165-73. Print.

Book in a Series [5.5.15]

If the title page or other introductory pages indicate that the book is part of a series, give the series name and the series number, if any, at the end of the entry. Abbreviations may be used, including Ser. for series.

Smith, Erik L. "Fighting to Regain Custody of My Son." Adoption. Ed. David M. Haugen and Matthew J. Box. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2006. 36-40. Print. Social Issues Firsthand.

Encyclopedias and Reference Books [5.5.7]

  • Cite an article in an encyclopedia like a work in an anthology, above.
  • When citing familiar reference books, especially those that appear often in new editions, full publication information is not necessary.
  • If articles are arranged alphabetically, volume and page numbers are not necessary.
  • Give the edition (if available) and the year of publication.

Pelley, Patricia M. "Vietnam." The World Book Encyclopedia. 2008 ed. 2008. Print.

  • When citing less familiar or specialized reference books, give full publication information, omitting page numbers if articles are arranged alphabetically.

Author of Article (if given). "Article Title." Title of Reference Book. Editor. Vol. number (if any). City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Page(s). Type of Material.

Butwell, Richard. "Vietnam." Lands and Peoples. Vol. 2. Danbury: Grolier, 2001. 293-302. Print.

  • Providing the number of volumes for multi-volume sets is optional. [5.5.14]

Jamieson, Neil. L. "Vietnamese." Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Ed. David Levinson and Karen Christenson. Vol. 6. New York: Scribner's, 2002. Print. 6 vols.

Two or More Works by the Same Author(s) [5.3.4]

When citing two or more sources by the same author, give the name in the first entry only. For the next entries, type three hyphens, add a period, and skip a space (---. ) then give the title. The three hyphens stand for the name(s) in the preceding entry.

Scott, Susan. Exploring Hanauma Bay. Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1993. Print.

---. Plants and Animals of Hawaii. Honolulu: Bess Press, 1991. Print.


Magazine Articles [5.4.6]

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine Date: Page(s). Type of Material.


  • Refer to the guidelines for Authors for books, above.
  • If no author's name is given for an article, begin with the title of the article.

"Tweet Liberty." Sports Illustrated 30 Mar. 2009: 18. Print.


  • For magazines issued every week or every two weeks, give the complete date in this order: Day Month Year, e.g., 21 Jan. 2009. Abbreviate the months (except May, June, July).
  • For magazines issued monthly or bi-monthly, give the month(s) and year.

Kelley, Raina. "Octomom Hypocrisy." Newsweek 16 Mar. 2009: 58. Print.

Reynolds, Kim. "Body Doubles." Motor Trend May 2009: 52-60. Print.

Volume and Issue Numbers

  • Do not give volume and issue numbers for magazine articles.
    (Volume and issue numbers, are given for scholarly journal articles, however. See below.)

Page Number(s)

  • If the article is on consecutive pages, specify the page numbers of the entire article, e.g., 16-20. Give just the last two digits of the second number, when possible, e.g. 188-89, but 196-200.
  • If the article is not on consecutive pages -- for example, it begins on page 27, then skips to page 30, and continues on page 32 -- write only the first page number, followed by a plus sign: 27+.

Estroff, Sharon Duke. "I Was an Undercover Penguin." Good Housekeeping Feb. 2009: 99+. Print.

Scholarly Journal Articles [5.4.2]

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume number.Issue number (Year): Pages. Type of Material.


Refer to the guidelines for Authors when citing books, above.

Volume and Issue Numbers

Write the volume number, a period, then the issue number, e.g. for volume 22, issue 4:   22.4

Page Numbers

Specify the page numbers of the entire article, giving only the last two digits of the second number unless more are needed, e.g., 480-95, but 480-502. If an article is not on consecutive pages, give only the first page number followed by a plus sign: 480+.

Baskin, Yvonne. "Sea Sickness: The Upsurge in Marine Diseases." Bioscience 56.6 (2006): 464-69. Print.

Davis, William D., Thomas Cleary, Michelle Donnelly, and Samuel Hellerman. "Using Sensor Signals to Analyze Fires." Fire Technology 39.4 (2003): 295-308. Print.

Newspaper Articles. [5.4.5]

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper Date, edition: Page(s). Type of Material.

Title of Newspaper

  • Write the title as it appears on the masthead, omitting any introductory article: Honolulu Advertiser, not The Honolulu Advertiser.
  • If the city of publication of a local newspaper is not part of the title, give it in square brackets, e.g., News and Observer [Raleigh]. The city of publication is not necessary for nationally published newspapers, e.g., Wall Street Journal.

Date and Edition

  • Give the date in this order: Day Month Year, e.g., 31 Aug. 2008. Abbreviate the months (except May, June, July).
  • If an edition is specified on the masthead, add it after the date.

Volume, Issue, and Page Number(s)

  • If the article is not on consecutive pages, write only the first page number, followed by a plus sign: A1+.
  • Do not give volume and issue numbers for newspaper articles.

Boylan, Peter. "Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud." Honolulu Advertiser 17 Apr. 2009, home final ed.: B1+. Print.

Dreazen, Yochi J., and Loretta Chao. "U.S. Asks China to Account for Tiananmen." Wall Street Journal 4 June 2009: A8. Print.

Kalani, Nanea. "Stimulus Money for Technology Available, Could Be Hard to Get." Pacific Business News [Honolulu] 5 June 2009: 4. Print.

Editorials [5.4.10]

Follow the format for articles, and add the term Editorial after the article title.

"Don't Block Preschool Funds." Editorial. Honolulu Star Bulletin 13 Apr. 2009: 20. Print.

WEB [5.6]

Web Sites [5.6.2]

When citing web sites, include the author, title, and publication information as for print sources (see above), and add the date of access, because web pages are often updated or moved. All components in the format below may not be identifiable for a web site; include as much as is available.

Author. "Title of the Web Page." Title of the Overall Web Site. Version or Edition. Publisher or Sponsor, Date. Web. Date of Access.


Refer to the guidelines for Authors when citing books, above.


Write the title of the web page in italics if it is independent or shares the same name as the overall web site.

Publisher or Sponsor of the Web Site

If none is indicated, use N.p.


If a complete date is given, write it in the order: Day Month Year. If no publication date is indicated, write n.d.

Altonn, Helen. "Marine Team Sounds Alarm for Reefs." Star Bulletin, 29 Aug. 2008. Web. 17 June 2009.

"Hawaii Drunk Driving Statistics." Alcohol Alert. KeRo, 2009. Web. 17 Mar. 2009.

Holahan, Catherine. "Eddie Bauer Files for Bankruptcy." MSN Money. Microsoft, 17 June 2009. Web. 17 June 2009.

Landau, Elizabeth. "CDC: Swine Flu Viruses in U.S. and Mexico Match." CNN Cable News Network, 25 Apr. 2009. Web. 17 June 2009.

Lehrman, Lewis E. Lincoln at Peoria. Lincoln Institute, n.d. Web. 17 June 2009.

The URL of the web site is optional. Provide the URL if the site is difficult to find, or if the instructor requires it. Write the URL at the end of the entry, enclosed in angle brackets. If the URL must be divided between lines, break it after a slash.

"The Norwegian Pirate Whaling Fleet." Sea Shepherd. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, 2009. Web. 17 June 2009.

Library Subscription Services [5.6.4]

Honolulu Community College (HCC) Library subscribes to services that provide full-text of publications on the Web. Works Cited entries for these publications should include information about the original print materials (using the formats above), plus information identifying the online database and the date of access. The name of the database is very important for retrieving the publication. The access date should be specified because online content changes constantly.

Articles on the web may not have page numbers; when page numbers are not given, write n.pag.

Magazine Articles

Refer to the format for Magazine Articles in print, above.

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine Date: Page(s). Online Database Name. Web. Date of Access.

Britt, Phillip. "Taking the Byte Out of Cybercrime." Information Today Dec. 2008: 1+. General OneFile. Web. 8 June 2009.

Shapiro, Bruce. "The Executioner's Last Song." Nation 13 Apr. 2009: 5. Academic Search Premier. Web. 8 June 2009.

Scholarly Journal Articles

Refer to the format for Scholarly Journal Articles in print, above.

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume number.Issue number (Year): Pages. Online Database Name. Web. Date of Access.

Pickett, William, Ronald J. Iannotti, Bruce Simons-Morton, and Suzanne Dostaler. "Social Environments and Physical Aggression Among 21,107 Students in the United States and Canada." Journal of School Health 79.4 (2009): 160-68. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 8 June 2009.

Newspaper Articles

Refer to the format for Newspaper Articles in print, above.

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper Date, edition: Page(s). Online Database Name. Web. Date of Access.

Lowy, Joan. "High Gas Prices Drive Down Traffic Fatalities." Washington Times 25 Aug. 2008: n. pag. SIRS Researcher. Web. 8 June 2009.

Electronic Books

Refer to the format for Books in print, above.

Author. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Online Database Name. Web. Date of Access.

Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies. Oxford: Berg, 2005. ebrary. Web. 8 June 2009.


Television Broadcast [5.7.1]

"Title of Episode." (if available) Title of Program. Responsible Person(s). Name of Network. Call letters of local station (if any), City, Broadcast Date. Television.

"The Graying of Hawaii." Insights on PBS Hawaii. Prod. Mark Delorme and Audrey Kubota. PBS. KHET, Honolulu, 18 June 2009. Television.

"A Vow of Silence." Forensic Files. Narr. Peter Thomas. Prod. Stephanie Kovac. TruTV. 14 June 2009. Television.

Videorecording [5.7.3]

Title of Video. Director's Name. (and/or other Responsible Person(s)) Distributor, Year. Type of Media.

Mardi Gras: Made in China. Dir. David Redmon. Carnivalesque Films, 2008. DVD.

Picasso. Commentary by Waldemar Januszczak. Dir. Didier Baussy. Home Vision, 1985. Videocassette.

Interview Conducted By the Student [5.7.7]

Name of Person Interviewed. Type of interview. (Personal or Telephone) Date.

Kato, Ken. Personal interview. 11 Apr. 2009.

Other MLA Guides on the Web

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics


MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

Contributors: Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz, Michelle Campbell, Rodrigo Rodríguez-Fuentes, Daniel P. Kenzie, Susan Wegener, Maryam Ghafoor, Purdue OWL Staff
Last Edited: 2017-10-23 08:53:38

Guidelines for referring to the works of others in your text using MLA style are covered in chapter 6 of the MLA Handbook and in chapter 7 of the MLA Style Manual. Both books provide extensive examples, so it's a good idea to consult them if you want to become even more familiar with MLA guidelines or if you have a particular reference question.

Basic in-text citation rules

In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by using what is known as parenthetical citation. This method involves placing relevant source information in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase.

General Guidelines

  • The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends (1.) upon the source medium (e.g. Print, Web, DVD) and (2.) upon the source’s entry on the Works Cited (bibliography) page.
  • Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text, must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry in the Works Cited List.

In-text citations: Author-page style

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:

Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).

Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).

Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. Oxford UP, 1967.

In-text citations for print sources with known author

For Print sources like books, magazines, scholarly journal articles, and newspapers, provide a signal word or phrase (usually the author’s last name) and a page number. If you provide the signal word/phrase in the sentence, you do not need to include it in the parenthetical citation.

Human beings have been described by Kenneth Burke as "symbol-using animals" (3).

Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).

These examples must correspond to an entry that begins with Burke, which will be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of an entry in the Works Cited:

Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: U of California P, 1966.

In-text citations for print sources by a corporate author

When a source has a corporate author, it is acceptable to use the name of the corporation followed by the page number for the in-text citation. You should also use abbreviations (e.g., nat'l for national) where appropriate, so as to avoid interrupting the flow of reading with overly long parenthetical citations.

In-text citations for print sources with no known author

When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number if it is available.

We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change . . ." ("Impact of Global Warming").

In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title of the article appears in the parenthetical citation which corresponds to the full name of the article which appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes the title in quotation marks as the signal phrase in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader directly to the source on the Works Cited page. The Works Cited entry appears as follows:

"The Impact of Global Warming in North America." Global Warming: Early Signs. 1999. Accessed 23 Mar. 2009.

We'll learn how to make a Works Cited page in a bit, but right now it's important to know that parenthetical citations and Works Cited pages allow readers to know which sources you consulted in writing your essay, so that they can either verify your interpretation of the sources or use them in their own scholarly work.

Author-page citation for classic and literary works with multiple editions

Page numbers are always required, but additional citation information can help literary scholars, who may have a different edition of a classic work like Marx and Engels's The Communist Manifesto. In such cases, give the page number of your edition (making sure the edition is listed in your Works Cited page, of course) followed by a semicolon, and then the appropriate abbreviations for volume (vol.), book (bk.), part (pt.), chapter (ch.), section (sec.), or paragraph (par.). For example:

Marx and Engels described human history as marked by class struggles (79; ch. 1).

Citing authors with same last names

Sometimes more information is necessary to identify the source from which a quotation is taken. For instance, if two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. For example:

Although some medical ethicists claim that cloning will lead to designer children (R. Miller 12), others note that the advantages for medical research outweigh this consideration (A. Miller 46).

Citing a work by multiple authors

For a source with two authors, list the authors’ last names in the text or in the parenthetical citation:

Best and Marcus argue that one should read a text for what it says on its surface, rather than looking for some hidden meaning (9).

The authors claim that surface reading looks at what is “evident, perceptible, apprehensible in texts” (Best and Marcus 9).

Corresponding works cited entry:

Best, David, and Sharon Marcus. “Surface Reading: An Introduction.” Representations, vol. 108, no. 1, Fall 2009, pp. 1-21. JSTOR, doi:10.1525/rep.2009.108.1.1

For a source with three or more authors, list only the first author’s last name, and replace the additional names with et al.

According to Franck et al., “Current agricultural policies in the U.S. are contributing to the poor health of Americans” (327).

The authors claim that one cause of obesity in the United States is government-funded farm subsidies (Franck et al. 327).

Corresponding works cited entry:

Franck, Caroline, et al. “Agricultural Subsidies and the American Obesity Epidemic.” American Journal of Preventative Medicine, vol. 45, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 327-333.

Citing multiple works by the same author

If you cite more than one work by a particular author, include a shortened title for the particular work from which you are quoting to distinguish it from the others. Put short titles of books in italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks.

Citing two articles by the same author:

Lightenor has argued that computers are not useful tools for small children ("Too Soon" 38), though he has acknowledged elsewhere that early exposure to computer games does lead to better small motor skill development in a child's second and third year ("Hand-Eye Development" 17).

Citing two books by the same author:

Murray states that writing is "a process" that "varies with our thinking style" (Write to Learn 6). Additionally, Murray argues that the purpose of writing is to "carry ideas and information from the mind of one person into the mind of another" (A Writer Teaches Writing 3).

Additionally, if the author's name is not mentioned in the sentence, you would format your citation with the author's name followed by a comma, followed by a shortened title of the work, followed, when appropriate, by page numbers:

Visual studies, because it is such a new discipline, may be "too easy" (Elkins, "Visual Studies" 63).

Citing multivolume works

If you cite from different volumes of a multivolume work, always include the volume number followed by a colon. Put a space after the colon, then provide the page number(s). (If you only cite from one volume, provide only the page number in parentheses.)

. . . as Quintilian wrote in Institutio Oratoria (1: 14-17).

Citing the Bible

In your first parenthetical citation, you want to make clear which Bible you're using (and underline or italicize the title), as each version varies in its translation, followed by book (do not italicize or underline), chapter and verse. For example:

Ezekiel saw "what seemed to be four living creatures," each with faces of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle (New Jerusalem Bible, Ezek. 1.5-10).

If future references employ the same edition of the Bible you’re using, list only the book, chapter, and verse in the parenthetical citation.

Citing indirect sources

Sometimes you may have to use an indirect source. An indirect source is a source cited in another source. For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted. For example:

Ravitch argues that high schools are pressured to act as "social service centers, and they don't do that well" (qtd. in Weisman 259).

Note that, in most cases, a responsible researcher will attempt to find the original source, rather than citing an indirect source.

Citing non-print or sources from the Internet

With more and more scholarly work being posted on the Internet, you may have to cite research you have completed in virtual environments. While many sources on the Internet should not be used for scholarly work (reference the OWL's Evaluating Sources of Information resource), some Web sources are perfectly acceptable for research. When creating in-text citations for electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source in your Works Cited.

Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources because of the absence of page numbers, but often, these sorts of entries do not require any sort of parenthetical citation at all. For electronic and Internet sources, follow the following guidelines:

  • Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
  • You do not need to give paragraph numbers or page numbers based on your Web browser’s print preview function.
  • Unless you must list the Web site name in the signal phrase in order to get the reader to the appropriate entry, do not include URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs such as when the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name, like or as opposed to writing out or

Miscellaneous non-print sources

Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo stars Herzog's long-time film partner, Klaus Kinski. During the shooting of Fitzcarraldo, Herzog and Kinski were often at odds, but their explosive relationship fostered a memorable and influential film.

During the presentation, Jane Yates stated that invention and pre-writing are areas of rhetoric that need more attention.

In the two examples above “Herzog” from the first entry and “Yates” from the second lead the reader to the first item each citation’s respective entry on the Works Cited page:

Herzog, Werner, dir. Fitzcarraldo. Perf. Klaus Kinski. Filmverlag der Autoren, 1982.

Yates, Jane. "Invention in Rhetoric and Composition." Gaps Addressed: Future Work in Rhetoric and Composition, CCCC, Palmer House Hilton, 2002.

Electronic sources

One online film critic stated that Fitzcarraldo "has become notorious for its near-failure and many obstacles" (Taylor, “Fitzcarraldo”).

The Purdue OWL is accessed by millions of users every year. Its "MLA Formatting and Style Guide" is one of the most popular resources (Russell et al.).

In the first example, the writer has chosen not to include the author name in-text; however, two entries from the same author appear in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes both the author’s last name and the article title in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader to the appropriate entry on the Works Cited page (see below). In the second example, “Russell et al.” in the parenthetical citation gives the reader an author name followed by the abbreviation “et al.,” meaning, “and others,” for the article “MLA Formatting and Style Guide.” Both corresponding Works Cited entries are as follows:

Taylor, Rumsey. "Fitzcarraldo." Slant, 13 Jun. 2003,

Russell, Tony, et al. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL, 2 Aug. 2016,

Multiple citations

To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

. . . as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).

Time-based media sources

When creating in-text citations for media that has a runtime, such as a movie or podcast, include the range of hours, minutes and seconds you plan to reference, like so (00:02:15-00:02:35).

When a citation is not needed

Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations or common knowledge. Remember, this is a rhetorical choice, based on audience. If you're writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, for example, they'll have different expectations of what constitutes common knowledge.


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