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Writing 10 (Koehler): Citing

Reading & Composition

Why Cite?

  • Giving credit (attribution) to original authors helps you avoid plagiarizing
  • Citations allow your readers to find your sources
  • Citations add credibility to your arguments
  • Your professors expect it as part of standard academic discourse

Key Characteristics of MLA

Big Picture

  • MLA style features in-text parenthetical citations and a corresponding Works Cited page.  Some publishers may ask for endnotes/footnotes rather than parenthetical citations.

In-Text Citations

Use for quotes, paraphrases and summaries

  • Basic format includes author's last name followed by page number(s) - Example: (Patel 245)
  • Author name may be excluded if in the introductory text - Example: Patel found that …. “ “ (245).
  • If referring to two authors of the same text, join last name with and. Example: (Jones and Rhett 119)
  • If no author, use the first part of the citation found in the Works Cited - Example: (National Committee 37)
  • If referring to more than one source in the same citation, separate with a semi-colon - Example: (Davidson 18-20; Simmons 302)

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics (Purdue OWL)

Work Cited List

  • Order citations alphabetically (typically by author's last name)
  • Include hanging indent after the first line
  • Place quotation marks around sources in containers e.g. poem, short story, journal article etc.
  • Italicize sources for stand-alone items e.g. novel, play, journal publication, book etc.
  • Capitalize main words in a title
  • Formatting author in citations
    • one author includes last name, first name. Example: Reddy, Anisha
    • two authors includes last name, first name and first name last name. Example:  Reddy, Anisha and Nate Conner. 
    • three authors includes last name, first name, et al. Example: Jones, Steve, et al.

MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format (Purdue, OWL)

MLA Examples

These examples, using MLA 8th ed., illustrate the order of information you should include and do not include hanging indents or double spacing. To see sample references on a Works Cited page, view the MLA Sample Paper at Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).

Citation Generators

Citation generators are citation tools that are not as robust as citation managers, but they are fast to use for creating citations and bibliographies.