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MLA 8th Edition Citations: In-Text

Tutorials & Tools

MLA Resources

MC Library Resources

Use a citation tool to create citations and bibliographies in various formats, including MLA and APA. Always check the citation to make sure it is accurate.

Need Help?

For help with finding articles & other sources, visit the MC Library or contact us online: 

For help with writing papers and creating citations, go to your campus Writing, Reading, & Language Center:

In-Text Citations (MLA Format) - Video

This brief video introduces how to create in-text citations in the MLA format, to give credit for sources you use in a paper or assignment.

Using Sources in Your Writing

Quoting Sources

When you quote a source, you include the author's exact words in your text. Use "quotation marks" around the author's words. Include signal phrases and an in-text citation to show where the quote is from.

Paraphrasing & Summarizing Sources

When you paraphrase or summarize a source, you restate the source's ideas in your own words and sentence structure. Select what is relevant to your topic, and restate only that. Changing only a few words is not sufficient in paraphrasing/ summarizing. Instead, you need to completely rephrase the author's ideas in your own words. You do not need to use quotation marks.

Always use in-text citations when you paraphrase or summarize, to let the reader know that the information comes from another source. Continue to use signal phrases as well.

Signal phrases let your reader know that you are quoting or summarizing from another source.

Examples:

  • In the words of researchers Redelmeier and Tibshirani, "..."
  • As Matt Sundeen has noted, "..."
  • Patti Pena, mother of a child killed by a driver distracted by a cell phone, points out that "..."
  • "...," writes Christine Haughtney.
  • "...," claims wireless spokesperson Annette Jacobs.
  • from Bedford Handbook(583)

Verbs in Signal Phrases

acknowledges
adds
admits
agrees
argues
asserts
believes
claims

comments
compares
confirms
contends
declares
denies
disputes
emphasizes
endorses
grants
illustrates
implies
insists
notes
observes
points out
reasons
refutes
rejects
reports
responds
suggests
thinks
writes

Author Named in Your Text

Format

Signal phrase with author's name, "quote" (page).

Example

One researcher, Carol Gilligan, concludes that "women impose a distinctive construction on moral problems" (105).

Author Not Named in Your Text

Format - One or Two Authors

Signal phrase, "quote" (Author page).

Example - One or Two Authors

According to a study, "the poor and minorities were victims" (Frieden and Sagalyn 29).

Use only the first author's name followed by et al.


Format - More Than Two Authors

Signal phrase, "quote" (Author et al. page).

Example - More Than Two Authors

Recent research shows that "…" (Graham et al. 86).

No Author

If the source has no named author, use the first main word in the title. If it is a very short title, you may use the whole thing. Put the title in quotation marks if it's a short source (e.g., an article) or italicize it if it's a longer source, like a book.

You may also name the title in your text and provide the page number in parentheses.


Format

Signal phrase, "quote" (Shortened Title page).

Signal phrase with title, "quote" (page).

Example

Full title of book = Challenging Capital Punishment: Legal and Social Science Approaches

One article states that, "A death row inmate may demand his execution for notoriety" (Challenging Capital Punishment 135).

Challenging Capital Punishment states that, "A death row inmate may demand his execution for notoriety" (135).

Electronic Sources with No Page Numbers

If there are no page numbers on the electronic source, use only the author name or the first main word of the title.

Format

Signal phrase, "quote" (Author).

Signal phrase, "quote" (Shortened Title).

Example

According to a study, "Twins reared apart report similar feelings" (Palfrey).