MLA Citations

When I talk about a citation, I am referring to something looks like this: (Smith 33) or (“Lincoln, Abraham” 87).

Your citations help your readers know where they can find your source of information, your research. Knowing the author’s name, the readers could look at your Works Cited list, find the name Smith, and then find the name of the book they want to look for.

a. You are using a direct quote,
b. You are rephrasing someone’s idea, theory, or opinion,
c. You are using a fact or statistic that is not common knowledge,
d. You use a fact that is contrary to popular opinion.

1. Use parentheses. ( )
2. Use the author’s last name, if known. (Smith)
3. Use the page number, if known. (Smith 33)
4. No commas, words, or other punctuation marks are needed.
5. If the last name is unavailable, use the title of the book (italicized/underlined of course), such as this: (A Separate Battle 107)
6. If you are using a website without an author listed, use the title of the website, such as this: (“The Sixteenth President”).
7. Notice there’s no page number in the example for number six. That’s because it’s a website.
8. If you want to give credit for a whole paragraph’s worth of ideas, or several sentences, end your last sentence with a period. Then write the citation.
9. If you are giving credit for just one sentence or phrase, the citation goes after the quote or idea, but before the period.


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