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Citations: MLA In-text

Information on why and how to cite your sources using APA & MLA. Includes links to useful tools and tutorials, as well as other citation styles.

MLA Handbook


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Purdue OWL: In-text Citations

MLA Citations: In-text

In-text Citations: MLA

When you use or refer to the words, ideas, data, images, or any other form of information that is not your own, you must give credit to the source. This is called a citation or reference, and it has two parts. 

First, give an in-text citation at the point that you use another person's work. Usually, this is the author's name (or the title if no name is given) and page numbers (if the source has them). 

Second, place the complete citation for the source in a Works Cited list at the end of your paper or presentation. Arrange the citations in alphabetical order.   

Find more information on how to correctly format in-text citations on pages 54-58 of the MLA Handbook, or check out Purdue OWL page on MLA In-Text Citations.

Template Sentences: MLA

These are some ways you can give an in-text citation:

  • In his/her/their article, ___________ , explained that ____________ (page number).
     
  • According to ____________ , ___________________ (page number).
     
  • _________ found that ___________ (page number).
     
  • “Insert an actual quote here” (Last Name page number). 

Template Sentences in Action: MLA

Here is an exact excerpt from an article:

Hawaiian craftsmen also pioneered the sealing of surfboards, specialist work now referred to in the industry as glassing or laminating. Timbers used in traditional surfboard making are porous and if not sealed quickly absorb large volumes of water. A swollen, waterlogged surfboard gains additional weight, sits lower in the water and loses planing speed on the wave. Sealing counteracted these problems and lengthened life span.

The Hawaiian practices of sealing involved both hand tools and the use of local flora to create viscous water-repellent pastes. Nathan Emerson observed the method in 1892: sealing typically started with the burning of nuts from the kukui tree to create an ash or soot (the same substance as used in traditional Hawaiian tattooing). Leaves from the kukui were then ground to create a liquid, which when mixed with the ash produced a dark-coloured, thickened paste. This was carefully layered over the timber in the same way as a modern liquid resin is covered over foam surfboards. The practice brought out the fine grain of the timber and also produced a protective finish, in Emerson’s words a ‘shining beauty’ (10).

 

This is the MLA citation for the article:

Gibson, Chris and Andrew Warren. “Making Surfboards: Emergence of a Trans-Pacific Cultural Industry.” The Journal of Pacific History, vol.49, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 1-25. Academic Search Complete, dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223344.2013.858439.

 

Letʻs create some in-text citations using the template sentences and the information quoted above. (Note: Do not underline in the body of your paper, this is used to illustrate the point(s) here.)  

  • In his/her/their article, ___________ explained that ____________ (page number).
     
    • In their article, Gibson and Warren, explained that the art of sealing surfboards was pioneered by Hawaiian craftsmen (10).
       
  • According to ____________ , ___________________ (page number).
     
    • According to Gibson and Warren, sealing surfboards will help extend their lifespan (10).
       
  • _________ found that ___________ (page number).
     
    • Gibson and Warren found that sealing surfboards helps to counteract a variety of common problems (10). 
  • “Insert an actual quote here” (Last Name page number).
     
    • “...[S]ealing typically started with the burning of nuts from the kukui tree to create an ash or soot (the same substance as used in traditional Hawaiian tattooing). Leaves from the kukui were then ground to create a liquid, which when mixed with the ash produced a dark-coloured, thickened paste. This was carefully layered over the timber in the same way as a modern liquid resin is covered over foam surfboards” (Gibson and Warren 10).
      • Note: Use an ellipsis (...) where you leave anything out of a direct quote.
         
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