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Citing Sources Inside A Research Paper

Citation–Sequence and Citation–Name

The following examples illustrate the citation–sequence and citation–name systems. The two systems are identical except for the order of references. In both systems, numbers within the text refer to the end references.

In citation–sequence, the end references are listed in the sequence in which they first appear within the text. For example, if a reference by Smith is the first one mentioned in the text, then the complete reference to the Smith work will be number 1 in the end references. The same number is used for subsequent in-text references to the same document.

In citation–name, the end references are listed alphabetically by author. Multiple works by the same author are listed alphabetically by title. The references are numbered in that sequence, such that a work authored by Adam is number 1, Brown is number 2, and so on. Numbers assigned to the end references are used for the in-text references regardless of the sequence in which they appear in the text of the work. For example, if a work by Zielinski is number 56 in the reference list, each in-text reference to Zielinski will be number 56 also.

Journals

List authors in the order in which they appear in the original text, followed by a period. Periods also follow article and journal title and volume or issue information. Separate the date from volume and issue by a semicolon. The location (usually the page range for the article) is preceded by a colon.

Author(s). Article title. Journal title. Date;volume(issue):location.

Journal titles are generally abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations maintained by the ISSN International Centre. See Appendix 29.1 in Scientific Style and Format for more information.

For articles with more than 1 author, names are separated by a comma.

Smart N, Fang ZY, Marwick TH. A practical guide to exercise training for heart failure patients. J Card Fail. 2003;9(1):49–58.

For articles with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 followed by “et al.”

Pizzi C, Caraglia M, Cianciulli M, Fabbrocini A, Libroia A, Matano E, Contegiacomo A, Del Prete S, Abbruzzese A, Martignetti A, et al. Low-dose recombinant IL-2 induces psychological changes: monitoring by Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Anticancer Res. 2002;22(2A):727–732.

Volume with no issue or other subdivision

Laskowski DA. Physical and chemical properties of pyrethroids. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 2002;174:49–170.

Volume with issue and supplement

Gardos G, Cole JO, Haskell D, Marby D, Paine SS, Moore P. The natural history of tardive dyskinesia. J Clin Pharmacol. 1988;8(4 Suppl):31S–37S

Volume with supplement but no issue

Heemskerk J, Tobin AJ, Ravina B. From chemical to drug: neurodegeneration drug screening and the ethics of clinical trials. Nat Neurosci. 2002;5 Suppl:1027–1029.

Multiple issue numbers

Ramstrom O, Bunyapaiboonsri T, Lohmann S, Lehn JM. Chemical biology of dynamic combinatorial libraries. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002;1572(2–3):178–186.

Issue with no volume

Sabatier R. Reorienting health and social services. AIDS STD Health Promot Exch. 1995;(4):1–3.

Books

Separate information about author(s), title, edition, and publication by periods. The basic format is as follows:

Author(s). Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date. Extent. Notes.

Extent can include information about pagination or number of volumes and is considered optional. Notes can include information of interest to the reader, such as language of publication other than English; such notes are optional.

Essential notes provide information about location, such as a URL for online works. See Chapter 29 for more information.

For books with more than 1 author, names are separated by a comma.

Ferrozzi F, Garlaschi G, Bova D. CT of metastases. New York (NY): Springer; 2000.

For books with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 followed by “et al.”

Wenger NK, Sivarajan Froelicher E, Smith LK, Ades PA, Berra K, Blumenthal JA, Certo CME, Dattilo AM, Davis D, DeBusk RF, et al. Cardiac rehabilitation. Rockville (MD): Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (US); 1995.

Organization as author

Advanced Life Support Group. Acute medical emergencies: the practical approach. London (England): BMJ Books; 2001.

Author(s) plus editor(s) or translator(s)

Klarsfeld A, Revah F. The biology of death: origins of mortality. Brady L, translator. Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press; 2003.

Luzikov VN. Mitochondrial biogenesis and breakdown. Galkin AV, translator; Roodyn DB, editor. New York (NY): Consultants Bureau; 1985.

Chapter or other part of a book, same author(s)

Gawande A. The checklist manifesto: how to get things right. New York (NY): Metropolitan Books; 2010. Chapter 3, The end of the master builder; p. 48–71.

Chapter or other part of a book, different authors

Rapley R. Recombinant DNA and genetic analysis. In: Wilson K, Walker J, editors. Principles and techniques of biochemistry and molecular biology. 7th ed. New York (NY): Cambridge University Press; 2010. p. 195–262.

Multivolume work as a whole

Alkire LG, editor. Periodical title abbreviations. 16th ed. Detroit (MI): Thompson Gale; 2006. 2 vol. Vol. 1, By abbreviation; vol. 2, By title.

Dissertations and Theses

Lutz M. 1903: American nervousness and the economy of cultural change [dissertation]. [Stanford (CA)]: Stanford University; 1989.

Patents

Blanco EE, Meade JC, Richards WD, inventors; Ophthalmic Ventures, assignee. Surgical stapling system. United States patent US 4,969,591. 1990 Nov 13.

Newspapers

Weiss R. Study shows problems in cloning people: researchers find replicating primates will be harder than other mammals. Washington Post (Home Ed.). 2003 Apr 11;Sect. A:12 (col. 1).

DVDs

Indicate a copyright date with a lowercase “c”.

Johnson D, editor. Surgical techniques in orthopaedics: anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction [DVD]. Rosemont (IL): American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; c2002. 1 DVD.

Websites and Other Online Formats

References to websites and other online formats follow the same general principles as for printed references, with the addition of a date of update/revision (if available) along with an access date and a URL.

Website

Format:

Title of Homepage. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date of publication [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.

If no date of publication can be determined, use a copyright date (if available), preceded by “c”. Include the URL in the notes.

APSnet: plant pathology. St Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Association; c1994–2005 [accessed 2005 Jun 20]. http://www.apsnet.org/.

Online journal article

Format:

Author(s) of article. Title of article. Title of journal (edition). Date of publication [date updated; date accessed];volume(issue):location. Notes.

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) may be included in the notes in addition to a URL, if available:

Savage E, Ramsay M, White J, Beard S, Lawson H, Hunjan R, Brown D. Mumps outbreaks across England and Wales in 2004: observational study. BMJ. 2005 [accessed 2005 May 31];330(7500):1119–1120. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/330/7500/1119. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7500.1119.

e-Book

Format:

Author(s). Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date of publication [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.

Example:

Brogden KA, Guthmille JM, editors. Polymicrobial diseases. Washington (DC): ASM Press; 2002 [accessed February 28, 2014]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2475/.

Blog

Format:

Author’s name. Title of post [descriptive word]. Title of blog. Date of publication. [accessed date]. URL.

Example:

Fogarty M. Formatting titles on Twitter and Facebook [blog]. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. 2012 Aug 14. [accessed 2012 Oct 19]. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/formatting-titles-on-twitter-and-facebook.aspx.

Forthcoming or Unpublished Material

Not all forthcoming or unpublished sources are suitable for inclusion in reference lists. Check with your publisher if in doubt.

Forthcoming journal article or book

Journal article:

Farley T, Galves A, Dickinson LM, Perez MJ. Stress, coping, and health: a comparison of Mexican immigrants, Mexican-Americans, and non-Hispanic whites. J Immigr Health. Forthcoming 2005 Jul.

Book:

Goldstein DS. Adrenaline and the inner world: an introduction to scientific integrative medicine. Baltimore (MD): Johns Hopkins University Press. Forthcoming 2006.

Paper or poster presented at meeting

Unpublished presentations are cited as follows:

Antani S, Long LR, Thoma GR, Lee DJ. Anatomical shape representation in spine x-ray images. Paper presented at: VIIP 2003. Proceedings of the 3rd IASTED International Conference on Visualization, Imaging and Image Processing; 2003 Sep 8–10; Benalmadena, Spain.

Charles L, Gordner R. Analysis of MedlinePlus en Español customer service requests. Poster session presented at: Futuro magnifico! Celebrating our diversity. MLA ’05: Medical Library Association Annual Meeting; 2005 May 14–19; San Antonio, TX.

References to published presentations are cited much like contributions to books, with the addition of information about the date and place of the conference. See Chapter 29 for more information.

Personal communication

References to personal communication are placed in running text rather than as formal end references.

Permission is usually required and should be acknowledged in an “Acknowledgment” or “Notes” section at the end of the document.

. . . and most of these meningiomas proved to be inoperable (2003 letter from RS Grant to me; unreferenced, see “Notes”) while a few were not.

Name–Year

The following examples illustrate the name–year system. In this system (sometimes called the Harvard system), in-text references consist of the surname of the author or authors and the year of publication of the document. End references are unnumbered and appear in alphabetical order by author and year of publication, with multiple works by the same author listed in chronological order.

Each example of an end reference is accompanied here by an example of a corresponding in-text reference. For more details and many more examples, see Chapter 29 of Scientific Style and Format.

Journals

For the end reference, list authors in the order in which they appear in the original text. The year of publication follows the author list. Use periods to separate each element, including author(s), date of publication, article and journal title, and volume or issue information. Location (usually the page range for the article) is preceded by a colon.

Author(s). Date. Article title. Journal title. Volume(issue):location.

Journal titles are generally abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations maintained by the ISSN International Centre. See Appendix 29.1 in Scientific Style and Format for more information.

For the in-text reference, use parentheses and list author(s) by surname followed by year of publication.

(Author(s) Year)

For articles with 2 authors, names are separated by a comma in the end reference but by “and” in the in-text reference.

Mazan MR, Hoffman AM. 2001. Effects of aerosolized albuterol on physiologic responses to exercise in standardbreds. Am J Vet Res. 62(11):1812–1817.

(Mazan and Hoffman 2001)

For articles with 3 to 10 authors, list all authors in the end reference; in the in-text reference, list only the first, followed by “et al.”

Smart N, Fang ZY, Marwick TH. 2003. A practical guide to exercise training for heart failure patients. J Card Fail. 9(1):49–58.

(Smart et al. 2003)

For articles with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 in the end reference, followed by “et al.”

Pizzi C, Caraglia M, Cianciulli M, Fabbrocini A, Libroia A, Matano E, Contegiacomo A, Del Prete S, Abbruzzese A, Martignetti A, et al. 2002. Low-dose recombinant IL-2 induces psychological changes: monitoring by Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Anticancer Res. 22(2A):727–732.

(Pizzi et al. 2002)

Volume with no issue or other subdivision

Laskowski DA. 2002. Physical and chemical properties of pyrethroids. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 174:49–170.

(Laskowski 2002)

Volume with issue and supplement

Gardos G, Cole JO, Haskell D, Marby D, Paine SS, Moore P. 1988. The natural history of tardive dyskinesia. J Clin Pharmacol. 8(4 Suppl):31S–37S.

(Gardos et al. 1988)

Volume with supplement but no issue

Heemskerk J, Tobin AJ, Ravina B. 2002. From chemical to drug: neurodegeneration drug screening and the ethics of clinical trials. Nat Neurosci. 5 Suppl:1027–1029.

(Heemskerk et al. 2002)

Multiple issue numbers

Ramstrom O, Bunyapaiboonsri T, Lohmann S, Lehn JM. 2002. Chemical biology of dynamic combinatorial libraries. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1572(2–3):178–186.

(Ramstrom et al. 2002)

Issue with no volume

Sabatier R. 1995. Reorienting health and social services. AIDS STD Health Promot Exch. (4):1–3.

(Sabatier 1995)

Books

In the end reference, separate information about author(s), date, title, edition, and publication by periods. The basic format is as follows:

Author(s). Date. Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher. Extent. Notes.

Extent can include information about pagination or number of volumes and is considered optional. Notes can include information of interest to the reader, such as language of publication other than English; such notes are optional. Essential notes provide information about location, such as a URL for online works. See Chapter 29 for more information.

For books with 2 authors, names are separated by a comma in the end reference but by “and” in the in-text reference.

Leboffe MJ, Pierce BE. 2010. Microbiology: laboratory theory and application. Englewood (CO): Morton Publishing Company.

(Leboffe and Pierce 2010)

For books with 3 to 10 authors, list all authors in the end reference; in the in-text reference, list only the first, followed by “et al.”

Ferrozzi F, Garlaschi G, Bova D. 2000. CT of metastases. New York (NY): Springer.

(Ferrozzi et al. 2000)

For books with more than 10 authors, list the first 10 in the end reference, followed by “et al.”

Wenger NK, Sivarajan Froelicher E, Smith LK, Ades PA, Berra K, Blumenthal JA, Certo CME, Dattilo AM, Davis D, DeBusk RF, et al. 1995. Cardiac rehabilitation. Rockville (MD): Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (US).

(Wenger et al. 1995)

Organization as author

[ALSG] Advanced Life Support Group. 2001. Acute medical emergencies: the practical approach. London (England): BMJ Books.

(ALSG 2001)

Author(s) plus editor(s) or translator(s)

Klarsfeld A, Revah F. 2003. The biology of death: origins of mortality. Brady L, translator. Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press.

Luzikov VN. 1985. Mitochondrial biogenesis and breakdown. Galkin AV, translator; Roodyn DB, editor. New York (NY): Consultants Bureau.

(Klarsfeld and Revah 2003)

(Luzikov 1985)

Chapter or other part of a book, same author(s)

Gawande A. 2010. The checklist manifesto: how to get things right. New York (NY): Metropolitan Books. Chapter 3, The end of the master builder; p. 48–71.

(Gawande 2010)

Chapter or other part of a book, different authors

Rapley R. 2010. Recombinant DNA and genetic analysis. In: Wilson K, Walker J, editors. Principles and techniques of biochemistry and molecular biology. 7th ed. New York (NY): Cambridge University Press. p. 195–262.

(Rapley 2010)

Multivolume work as a whole

Alkire LG, editor. 2006. Periodical title abbreviations. 16th ed. Detroit (MI): Thompson Gale. 2 vol. Vol. 1, By abbreviation; vol. 2, By title.

(Alkire 2006)

Dissertations and Theses

Lutz M. 1989. 1903: American nervousness and the economy of cultural change [dissertation]. [Stanford (CA)]: Stanford University.

(Lutz 1989)

Patents

Blanco EE, Meade JC, Richards WD, inventors; Ophthalmic Ventures, assignee. 1990 Nov 13. Surgical stapling system. United States patent US 4,969,591.

(Blanco et al. 1990)

Newspapers

Weiss R. 2003 Apr 11. Study shows problems in cloning people: researchers find replicating primates will be harder than other mammals. Washington Post (Home Ed.). Sect. A:12 (col. 1).

(Weiss 2003)

DVDs

Indicate a copyright date with a lowercase “c”.

Johnson D, editor. c2002. Surgical techniques in orthopaedics: anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction [DVD]. Rosemont (IL): American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 1 DVD.

(Johnson c2002)

Websites and Other Online Formats

References to websites and other online formats follow the same general principles as for printed references, with the addition of a date of update/revision (if available) along with an access date and a URL.

Website

Format for end reference:

Title of Homepage. Date of publication. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.

If no date of publication can be determined, use a copyright date (if available), preceded by “c”. Include the URL in the notes.

APSnet: plant pathology online. c1994–2005. St Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Association; [accessed 2005 Jun 20]. http://www.apsnet.org/.

For the in-text reference, include only the first word or two of the title (enough to distinguish it from other titles in the reference list), followed by an ellipsis.

(APSnet . . . c1994–2005)

Online journal article

Format for end reference:

Author(s) of article. Date of publication. Title of article. Title of journal (edition). [date updated; date accessed];Volume(issue):location. Notes.

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) may be included in the notes in addition to a URL, if available:

Savage E, Ramsay M, White J, Beard S, Lawson H, Hunjan R, Brown D. 2005. Mumps outbreaks across England and Wales in 2004: observational study. BMJ. [accessed 2005 May 31];330(7500):1119–1120. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/330/7500/1119. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7500.1119.

(Savage et al. 2005)

e-Book

Format for end reference:

Author(s). Date of publication. Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.

Example:

Brogden KA, Guthmille JM, editors. 2002. Polymicrobial diseases. Washington (DC): ASM Press; [accessed February 28, 2014]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2475/.

(Brogden and Guthmille 2002)

Blog

Format for end reference:

Author’s name. Date of publication. Title of post [descriptive word]. Title of blog. [accessed date]. URL.

Example:

Fogarty M. 2012 Aug 14. Formatting titles on Twitter and Facebook [blog]. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. [accessed 2012 Oct 19]. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/formatting-titles-on-twitter-and-facebook.aspx.

(Fogarty 2012)

Forthcoming or Unpublished Material

Not all forthcoming or unpublished sources are suitable for inclusion in reference lists. Check with your publisher if in doubt.

Forthcoming journal article or book

Journal article:

Farley T, Galves A, Dickinson LM, Perez MJ. Forthcoming 2005 Jul. Stress, coping, and health: a comparison of Mexican immigrants, Mexican-Americans, and non-Hispanic whites. J Immigr Health.

(Farley et al. 2005)

Book:

Goldstein DS. Forthcoming 2006. Adrenaline and the inner world: an introduction to scientific integrative medicine. Baltimore (MD): Johns Hopkins University Press.

(Goldstein 2006)

Paper or poster presented at meeting

Unpublished presentations are cited as follows:

Antani S, Long LR, Thoma GR, Lee DJ. 2003. Anatomical shape representation in spine x-ray images. Paper presented at: VIIP 2003. Proceedings of the 3rd IASTED International Conference on Visualization, Imaging and Image Processing; Benalmadena, Spain.

Charles L, Gordner R. 2005. Analysis of MedlinePlus en Español customer service requests. Poster session presented at: Futuro magnifico! Celebrating our diversity. MLA ’05: Medical Library Association Annual Meeting; San Antonio, TX.

(Atani et al. 2003)

(Charles and Gordner 2005)

References to published presentations are cited much like contributions to books, with the addition of information about the date and place of the conference. See Chapter 29 for more information.

Personal communication

References to personal communication are placed in running text rather than as formal end references. Permission is usually required and should be acknowledged in an “Acknowledgment” or “Notes” section at the end of the document.

. . . and most of these meningiomas proved to be inoperable (2003 letter from RS Grant to me; unreferenced, see “Notes”) while a few were not.

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

Summary:

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. http://www.climatehotmap.org/. 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 CNN.com or Forbes.com as opposed to writing out http://www.cnn.com or http://www.forbes.com.

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, www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/fitzcarraldo/.

Russell, Tony, et al. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL, 2 Aug. 2016, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/.

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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