In-Text Citations

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In-text Citation 101 in MLA format

MLA In-text citation 101

In order to know what to put in the parenthesis for your in-text citation, you must first do the MLA bibliographic citation for your Works Cited page, ie. do a Noodletools entry for each source.  

The following examples provide:

  • A - the MLA citation
  • B - the sample in-text citation for a quotation or paraphrase.

As a general rule, you take the first chunk of information from the works cited citation and use it for what goes in the parenthesis --the in-text citation.  This is usually either the author’s last name or the title of the article/title of the page, whether it be online or in print.

It is never ok to just give the web address

Wherever possible it is better to include the name of the author, if you have it, in the text of your paper.

For example: 
According to Rogak, the poor sales of Silverstein’s first record “…led the way for the writer's further experiments in beatnik flavored folk and country music…”(7).

The three dots before and three dots after the words in the quotation are also showing that I am taking a piece of a larger sentence, that there is more at the beginning of the sentence and more at the end, but I chose to quote this part of it.



Website without an author. Entry always begins with the article title.

  • A: “About Shel.” Shel  Ed. Jason Kaufman. HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2008. Web. 22 Jan. 2010.
  • B: He began writing songs for other people “including ‘A Boy Named Sue’ for Johnny Cash and ‘The Cover of The Rolling Stone’ sung by Dr. Hook” ("About Shel").

Book Source

  • A: Rogak, Lisa. A Boy Named Shel. New York: Thomas Dune Books, 2007. Print.
  • B: Silverstein’s father commented that he "...didn't puke his guts out in steerage to make it over here and then serve a year in the war only to have his son throw his life away by drawing cartoons and dreaming" (Rogak 7).



Magazine without an author

Entry begins with the article title.  This example also happens to be from a database as well.
  • A: “Shel Silverstein, 1930 - 1999.” Publisher’s Weekly 17 May 1999: 32. Biography Resource Center. Web. 22 Jan. 2010
  • B: (Note: quotation begins after the colon.  Because it is 4 or more typed lines, it needs to be indented 10 spaces, no quotation marks.)

It wasn’t until 1963 at the age of 32 that a friend encouraged him to consider publishing a children’s book: 
I never planned to write or draw for kids. It was Tomi Ungerer, a friend of mine,
who insisted—practically dragged me, kicking and  screaming, into Ursula 
Nordstrom's office. And she convinced me that Tomi was right; I could
children's books.  ("Shel Silverstein, 1930 – 1999")