Skip to main content

MLA Citation: In-Text Citations

Select the blue tab for the type of citation you need.

Citing Sources

When you use a quote, idea, or information from a source in your paper, you must cite the source in your Works Cited list.

To cite an idea:

Coca-Cola was originally invented by an American pharmacist to be used as a stimulating tonic (Standage 5).

To cite a quote:

"Coffee promoted clarity of thought, making it the ideal drink for scientists, businessmen, and philosophers" (Standage 4).


The in-text citations in parentheses point readers to this reference in the Works Cited list:

Standage, Tom. A History of the World in 6 Glasses. Walker and Company, 2005.


In-Text Citation Examples

One author in text


Marcuse made this claim (148-49).

One author in reference


"This claim initiated the new research" (Marcuse 148-49).

Two or three authors in text


Hunt and Wilkins dispute this point (45-47).

Hunt, Mao, and Wilkins dispute this point (45-47).

Two or three authors in reference


This point is disputed (Hunt and Wilkins 45-47).

This point is disputed (Hunt, Mao, and Wilkins 45-47).

Four or more authors in text


Baxter and her co-authors...this proposal (203-05).

 Four or more authors in reference 

...made this proposal (Baxter, et al. 203-05).

Multivolume work in text


In volume 2, Williams notes... (30-34).

Multivolume work in reference


(Williams, 30-34; vol. 2).

(Schlesinger, vol. 4).

Work with no author


(Primary Colors 56).

("A New Strategy for Fighting AIDS" A22).

Work by a Corporate Author

(National Research Council 15).

Two works by same author

(Hawthorne, The Scarlett Letter 15-20).

(Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance 40-42).