MLA In-Text Citation Guides

In-text citations help readers find the location of quotes or other specific pieces of information referenced in your paper and help you avoid committing plagiarism. The Modern Language Association, commonly abbreviated as MLA, has rules about using in-text citations that you will commonly be asked to use when writing papers. MLA Style predominately uses a type of in-text citation called parenthetical citations. This means that the citation information appears after quotes and paraphrases in parentheses. These may resemble citations used in other styles, especially APA, but MLA has its own set of rules. Generally, MLA focuses on making sure the author and page number corresponding to the information are given. There are, however, many exceptions. If you’re writing a paper with MLA citation style, then you should try to keep some guidelines handy.

Here are links to three different websites that compile all the different rules for MLA in-text citations. Explore them, find which link works best for you, and keep the link handy; it is likely that you’ll be asked to write several papers using MLA style during your time in college:

Excelsior University Online Writing Lab:

Purdue University Online Writing Lab:

MLA Official Website:


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