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A Brief Introduction to In-text Citations MLA Style Updated Feb., 2011 PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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University of Scranton CTLE Writing Center. A Brief Introduction to In-text Citations MLA Style Updated Feb., 2011. In-Text Citation. also known as parenthetical documentation . used to cite borrowed words, facts, or ideas at the point they are used in the document.

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A Brief Introduction to In-text Citations MLA Style Updated Feb., 2011

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University of scranton ctle writing center

University of Scranton

CTLE Writing Center

A Brief Introduction toIn-text Citations MLA StyleUpdated Feb., 2011


In text citation

In-Text Citation

  • also known as parenthetical documentation.

  • used to cite borrowed words, facts, or ideas at the point they are used in the document.

  • used in conjunction with and not as a replacement for the Works Cited page.


In text citation vs foot endnotes

In-Text Citation vs. Foot/Endnotes

  • In-text citations lead readers to specific works listed on the Works Cited page.

  • Footnotes and endnotes provide readers with the explanatory information:

    • Content notes offer additional comments, information, insight, etc., not provided in the text

    • Bibliographic notes provide information on additional sources or comments on other sources.


Use an in text citation when

Use an In-Text Citation When

  • You use an idea from a source. The idea is not originally yours. It belongs to the author(s) of the source and must be cited.

  • You paraphrase or summarize a source (even if you change the word order and replace words with synonyms).

  • You directly quote a source.

  • You use information that is not common knowledge.


Some in text citation guidelines

Some In-Text Citation Guidelines

  • For a source with one author:

    Helpfulness and listening skills are key components of consulting success (Burkhart 6).

  • There should be an entry on the Works Cited Page that corresponds to this in-text citation:

    Burkhart, Mary. Tips for Writing Consultants. Scranton: Scranton Books, 2008. Print.


Some in text citation guidelines1

Some In-Text Citation Guidelines

  • Place the in-text citation where a pause occurs naturally, for example, before the punctuation that concludes the phrase, the clause, or the sentence containing the borrowed information.

    • The in-text citation used on the previous screen is referred to as author page style to reflect the order of the information within the citation: (Burkhart 6).


Some in text citation guidelines2

Some In-Text Citation Guidelines

  • For a source with no author:

  • Use the title or a shortened version of the title in quotation marks if it is a short work or in italics/underline if it is a long work.

    • (“Working with Student Writers” 6).


Some in text citation guidelines3

Some In-Text Citation Guidelines

  • For a source with two/three authors:

  • Separate last names with any necessary commas and the word “and.”

    • (Burkhart and Smith 6)

  • For a source with four/more authors:

  • Include all last names or include first last name followed by “et al.”

    • (Burkhart et al. 6).


Some in text citation guidelines4

Some In-Text Citation Guidelines

  • For a source with the author named in a signal phrase:

  • Include just the page number.

    • Mary Burkhart reports that effective listening and communication skills are imperative (6).

  • For a source without page numbers:

  • Include just the author’s name.

    • (Burkhart).


Need more help

Need More Help

For an excellent overview or review of the 2009 updates in MLA style and format, click on Purdue University’s MLA Power Point Presentation

For one-on-one help using MLA, visit

The Writing Center

STT 588 D

(570) 941-6147


Additional resources

Additional Resources

Hacker, Diana and Nancy Sommers. “MLA Papers.” A Writer’s Reference. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2011. 371-428. Print.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009. Print.

MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3rd ed. New York: MLA, 2008. Print.

Russell, Tony, Allen Brizee, and Elizabeth Angeli. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 16 Nov. 2010. Web. 22 Feb. 2011.


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