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MLA Format (9th Edition): In-Text Citations

Citing a Source Within Your Paper

A parenthetical citation refers to works of others in your writing by putting relevant source information in parentheses after a quote or paraphrase.

Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. In other words, whatever word you use for the in-text, must be the first thing that appears in the Works Cited entry on the Works Cited page.


In-text citations: Author-page style 

For in-text citations, the most common style is author-page style. For example, the author's last name and the page(s) that were quoted or paraphrased must be added at the end of the sentence and a full citation must be added to the Works Cited page. There are several ways in which to cite a source in the text.


  • 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).


All of the example citations tell the reader that the information in the sentence can be found on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. Again, a full citation beginning with the author's last name should appear on the Works Cited page.


In-text citations for print sources with no known author

When the work has no known author, use the title of the work instead of the author's last name. If it's a short work (such as an article, webpage, or chapter from a book), put the title in quotation marks and provide a page number (if available). If it's a longer work (such as plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites), italicize it and provide a page number (if 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" 6).


(This information was obtained from the OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab. To get specific information about how to create other in-text citations, visit their website.

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