MLA Handout

MLA Handout

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https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html

IN-TEXT CITATIONS

We must use in-text citations when we engage with outside sources. It doesn’t matter if you’re paraphrasing, summarizing, or quoting directly; we need always to properly credit the outside sources. It is all pretty simple, if you keep it simple.

If possible, try FIRST to use the author’s last name in the signal phrase. When you do this, you do not need the citation.  If you do not use the author’s name in the signal phrase, then provide the citation.  It all boils down to letting your reader know where the information came from.

  1. Examples of using the author’s name in your sentence, with a signal phrase:

In what has become a proverb from modern literature, Solomon Getty writes that if “the Greeks invented tragedy, the Romans the epistle and the Renaissance the sonnet, our generation invented a new literature, that of testimony.”

Getty asks a critical question: “When does internet surveillance cross the line?”

*Notice that the punctuation for the quotes is within the final quotation mark.

  1. For thisexample, we have one author of an online article, so use just her last name when providing the citation. You do not need a page number because our article is an internet article.Here’s an example of not using our author’s name in a signal phrase, but instead providing a citation.

 

One article mentioned the disturbing details about William Beach’s death: “At the hospital, blood poured from his mouth and nose, splattering sheets, bed rails and physicians” (Armour).

According to one article, “In 2011, the FDA inspected 6 percent of domestic food producers and just 0.4 percent of importers. The FDA has had no rules for how often food producers must be inspected” (Armour).

*Notice that the punctuation comes after the citation.

 

THIS IS EASY. IN MOST CASES (MAYBE ALL) YOU’LL BE ABLE TO FOLLOW THE IN-TEXT CITATION MODELS DESCRIBED ABOVE. Generally, in-text citations get trickier only in a couple of situations.

ONE potentially tricky scenario involves what we call an “indirect source”

Articles often contain the words of other experts, and you might for some reason want to use them. This occurs more commonly than you might think. If the author quoted somebody in her article, there’s probably a good reason: the information is important.  Here’s how you include and cite the words from someone within the article other than the author:

According to Debbie Frederick, William Beach’s daughter, “He died in terror and pain” (qtd. in Armour).

*Notice that we did not include Debbie Frederick’s name in the citation; she is not the author.  But since she is being quoted in the article, we let the reader know by including “qtd. in” before the author’s name.  After all, the author’s name will be alphabetized in the works cited, not Debbie Frederick.

***Note: All these examples included quotations.  If you decide to paraphrase, you must still include the citation after the information.

 

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