For many students, the most dreaded part of essay writing is its formatting. If you’re writing an essay for the first time, you have to get used to the specific 5-paragraph structure. You also need to learn how to make a strong argument to make your paper persuasive enough. So, adjusting your writing to a certain style, inserting citations in it, and filling in a reference page may seem like torture for a beginner essay writer. The good thing is - once you get familiar with formatting rules, it will get much easier with the next assignments. All you need to do is to follow our step-by-step guide. Let’s go!
Students face many challenges trying to learn how to do in text citations MLA. If you fail to apply MLA rules correctly, your professor can detect plagiarism in your paper. Correct referencing in a required citation style will free you from these troubles. So how to write an essay according to MLA citation rules?
The MLA citation format (Modern Language Association style) is most often used by students who study liberal arts subjects, as well as humanities. So, if you were assigned to write a book review, literary essay, or movie review, and literature research papers, MLA citation format is the one you should use in your writing. Bear in mind, that all academic writing style formats are reviewed from time to time, so your paper must be cited according to the latest edition of a citation format.
In this article, we’ll be referring to the 8th edition of MLA citation format, as giving the most updated information to students is our priority. If you want to know how to write MLA Research Papers, master the use of citations in-text, structuring footnotes, and a reference page with no stress, follow all steps in our guide.
What defines an essay from a simple text? An essay is an academic paper that refers to trustworthy sources. You cannot make up an essay conclusion without referring to the works of other researchers in the paper body. To make your arguments strong, you should support them with reliable evidence. Quotes from various sources of information like books, websites, journals, or even videos can work as a piece of good evidence for your essay!
You have to use in text citations not only to support your point, but also to provide a piece of background knowledge on the issue. For example, in your paper, you can compare points of view of two scholars, but come to the conclusion that doesn’t resonate with any of their thoughts. If you’re writing a literary essay, it goes without saying that the text of your paper must contain in text citation MLA book. Your arguments without evidence from primary sources won’t be considered as valid. Inserting quotes without a proper citation will not work as well. A quote written in the wrong format will get you nothing but unsatisfactory marks. To get an excellent score, your paper must be flawless in both content and format. Reaching this result of quality is not a big deal if you have an in-depth MLA in text citation guide.
Let’s sum up why every student should know the rules of correct in text citation MLA:
In general, there are two main types of MLA citations: narrative or parenthetical citation. Also, the last page of your writing must be devoted to the list of all cited works (a reference page).
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If you’ve reached this paragraph, it means that your desire to tailor the paper in a perfect way is immense. These tips will let you surprise anybody with how well you have come to understand the MLA format in text citation basics. Apply these tips and tricks in your academic paper and submit your writing to the professor without any worries:
There are two general types in in-text citations: narrative and parenthetical. When you quote an author and indicate their name in the text, it means that you used narrative in-text citation. At the end of the sentence, in parentheses, you should put the page number of a source where the information was found.
Check out the MLA in text citation example:
When it comes to technology, King states that we “need to be comfortable enough with technology tools and services that we can help point our patrons in the right direction, even if we aren’t intimately familiar with how the device works” (11).
This narrative MLA in-text citation indicates King’s name in the sentence itself. The number in brackets refers to the specific line of text was taken from page 11 of the source it was found in.
It is not always necessary to mention the author’s name in the text of your essay. The choice is completely yours. When you want to omit the author’s name in your citation, you should apply a parenthetical citation format. How does it differ from a narrative citation? On this occasion, the author’s name is in parentheses after the sentence, along with the page number.
Take a look at this parenthetical citation example:
When it comes to technology, we “need to be comfortable enough with technology tools and services that we can help point our patrons in the right direction, even if we aren’t intimately familiar with how the device works” (King 11).
You can see that in this case King’s name is not included in the sentence itself, and you can find his name in parentheses in the end of the sentence, with 11 for the page number. We used the 11 because this number indicates that the quote was taken from the 11th page of the journal.
20 years ago students mostly used the sources limited to those that were available in their libraries. But times changed a lot since then, and the internet became a general source for academic content as well. While writing an essay, you can refer not only to academic studies of scholars but also to website articles, online journals, even Youtube videos. All of these services are at your disposal if you insert MLA In text citation website correctly.
Before we proceed to format requirements of website MLA in text citations, take a look at tips on how to use online information in your academic paper. In comparison to books and journals that are kept in libraries of academic institutions, online information can change or disappear. That is why it is necessary to make a copy of every source that you referred to in your essay. Such backup will save you from unpleasant situations, such as plagiarism detection. Your reference must be easy to access, to prove your professor that you took this information from a trustworthy source.
MLA citation style encourages students to use reliable citing containers such as Youtube, JSTOR, or Google Scholar in order to easily access and verify these sources. However, MLA only requires the www. address, so you can omit all https:// when citing URLs.
Take a look at the common features of in text citations MLA of electronic sources. It contains all parameters that you must encounter during the formatting of your paper. But you may face trouble while citing your paper, as not all information can be available. Just try to collect as much as possible:
Here’s an example of Website MLA citation:
Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare Online, 29 Dec. 2011, www.shakespeare-online.com. Accessed 6 July 2016.
It is great if the website you’re citing contains all the necessary criteria for the reference page. But what to do if you lack some information, like the author’s name? If there’s no name available, it is possible to cite without it. Just cite the title of the webpage article first if no author is available.
Here’s the structure:
“Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.
Take a look at the example:
“Giant Panda.” Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institute, 2004, nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/giantpandas/pandafacts
Articles in web magazines or in online scholarly journals are trustworthy sources for information. You can freely use them as the source material for your narrative essay, college admission essay, and other types of academic papers. The sequence of actions in the MLA in text citation online article is similar to the way you site any web source. You should provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, URL, and the date of access.
Where to find the information about the author article publishing date? The author and date of an article on a website is usually placed at the top or bottom of the text. If there is more than one date, use the most recent one. It is important to note that not all online articles have page numbers, so it’s completely okay if your in-text contains just the author’s name in parentheses:
Cohen, Lara Langer. "Emily Dickinson's Teenage Fanclub." The Emily Dickinson Journal, vol. 23, no. 1, 2014, muse.jhu.edu/article/543643.
If a particular video can give a shred of substantial evidence for your essay, don’t miss a chance to mention it in your essay! There are many cases when nothing but a video can be the best reference for your assignment. For example, if you’re writing a book review, and your aim is to show the difference between the novel and the screen adaptation. In this case, every quote taken from a movie should be cited according to MLA in text citation rules.
Many students underrate videos as a possible source of essay evidence. However, more and more unique content is presented in video format nowadays. It could be an interview with a scholar, a journalistic investigation, or even a viral Youtube video! If it can support your point of view and aid you to develop an essay topic successfully, don’t hesitate to insert video MLA in text citations.
There is no significant difference in citing either video sources or print sources in MLA style. Both of these need to be documented using the same basic MLA citation guidelines. If you’re citing a Youtube video, such citation information as source title, date of publishing, and author name is available to you. If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, you can cite the author once. Otherwise, cite the author’s name before the title:
Bialik, Mayim. “Why I Homeschool My Kids.” YouTube, uploaded by Mayim Bialik, 25 October 2018,https://youtu.be/mkF8TNCypEk.
“Moving Illusions.” YouTube, uploaded by Vsauce, 10 December 2013, https://youtu.be/Iw8idyw_N6Q.
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Many authors and academics create writing materials in collaboration. It could be
a book, a journal article, a magazine article, reports, or any other source types written or created by two authors. Students usually get apprehensive about using a book with multiple authors as a source for their paper, because they think the rules of citation can be significantly different. Let’s check out if it’s really that difficult.
When a source was written by two authors, place both authors’ last names in the body of your work (King and Straub 116). It is okay if you list these names in non-alphabetical order. Just follow the same order as shown on the source.
If you want to insert a narrative MLA in-text citation, separate the two last names with the word “and.” After you mentioned both authors’ names, add a space, and indicate the page number where the original quote is found on.
Check out an example of an MLA in-text citation for a book with two authors:
Gaiman and Pratchett further elaborate by sharing their creepy reminder that “just because it’s a mild night doesn’t mean that dark forces aren’t abroad. They’re abroad all of the time. They’re everywhere” (15).
Here is an example of an MLA parenthetical citation for a book with two authors:
Don’t forget that “just because it’s a mild night doesn’t mean that dark forces aren’t abroad. They’re abroad all of the time. They’re everywhere” (Gaiman and Pratchett 15).
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You may think this is absurd, but sometimes it happens that an author’s name isn’t included in a source. We are not talking about books or online scholarly journals, of course. If you use such online sources as digital images, films and videos, encyclopedia articles, dictionary entries, web pages, and more, these sources may not have author names listed.
What to do in this situation? If the source you’re planning to cite does not have an author’s name mentioned, you can indicate only the title of the source in the narrative or parenthetical in-text citation MLA. If the title is rather long, making it shorter it in the body of your assignment is completely acceptable according to MLA citation rules. Just make sure the first word in the full citation is also the first word used in the narrative MLA in-text citation or reference in parentheses. This is done to allow the reader to easily locate the full citation that corresponds to the reference in the text:
Check out the in text citation mla example below. It is a citation of a poem found online, titled “The Last Time.” The poem’s author is unknown.
“From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you will never be the same. You might long for the person you were before, when you had freedom and time and nothing in particular to worry about” (“The Last Time”).
Now take a look at the example of MLA in text citation of the movie, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain.
“Perhaps it would have been different if there hadn’t been a war, but this was 1917, and people were exhausted by loss. Those that were allowed to stay manned the pits, mining the coal that would fuel the ships. Twenty-four hours a day they labored” (The Englishman).
As you can see, we’ve shortened the title in the above reference. In such a way your reader will stay focused on the content of your writing, rather than the sources.
Now that you have got familiar with the basic rules of MLA citation, you probably want to see more in text citation mla examples. Because of the lack of time, many students skip reading of the main requirements and proceed to examples at once. We’ve prepared a list of cool citation examples for you with different types of in-text citations.
Jans, Nick. The Last Light Breaking: Life among Alaska's Inupiat Eskimos. Alaska Northwest Books, 1993.
Tumola, Cristabelle. “NYC Developers Seek to Justify High Prices with New Amenities.” Metro [New York City], 9 Aug. 2016, p. 4.
Gilpin, Laura. Terraced Houses, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. 1939. Library of Congress, Reproduction no. LC-USZ62-102170, www.loc.gov/pictures/item/90716883/.
"Audit and Assurance." Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, 2016, www.cpacanada.ca/en/business-and-accounting-resources/audit-and-assurance. Accessed 6 July 2016.
Brian, Real, et al. “Rural Public Libraries and Digital Inclusion: Issues and Challenges.” Information and Technology Libraries, vol. 33, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 6-24. ProQuest, ezproxy.nypl.org/.
McGonigal, Jane. Gaming and Productivity. YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E.
The authors claim that surface reading looks at what is “evident, perceptible, apprehensible in texts” (Best and Marcus 9).
The MLA citation format has emerged as a referencing style which can be applied to an extensive list of sources from a variety of academic spheres. The methods students can apply to incorporate these citations into their MLA format essays often vary and are up to the individual to decide upon. Nonetheless, the best approach is to mention them as closely as possible to the relevant material such as using them at the end of a paragraph, sentence, or direct quote.
We hope that the set of rules and MLA in text citations examples will ease your studying nights. Still feeling a bit confused about how to how to do in-text citations MLA? Our academic writers are always here for you. They will compose you with an essay draft with an MLA format to make the things crystal clear!