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American Literature: In-text citation

Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing

In-Text Citations

After a quote, add the first entry in Works Cited, usually the author's last name and a page reference. “The in-text citation should direct the reader unambiguously to the entry in your works-cited list…” (page numbers used in this guide indicate where the topic is found in the MLA Handbook

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 54).

If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.

Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (54).

If you use more than one work by the same author, abbreviate the title to a noun phrase.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, Fox 117-118).

If more than one author has the same last name, add their first initial, if needed, use the first name.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss 55).

If two authors wrote the work, list both separated by and, if three or more, list the first author followed by et al

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss and Johnson 116).

If no pagination information is available, but paragraphs are numbered, include that information.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, par. 56).

If no pagination information is available and paragraphs are not numbered, the work must be cited only in its entirety, but you can include words in your text that indicate about where to find the quote.

Example: In the first third of his article, Seuss mentioned that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog."

Note: “Identifying the source in your text is essential for nearly every kind of borrowing…quotations…facts…paraphrased ideas” (MLA 57).

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