Online Resource for In-Text Citations and MLA

In-Text Citations

You must document (give credit to the source) for every piece of information you use whether you put it into your own words through summarizing and paraphrasing or use a direct quotation. Just listing your source on a works cited page is not enough.

Basic In-Text Citation Rules
Your in-text citation will correspond with an entry in your Works Cited page.

Author and Page Number
Citation from works cited page: Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: U of California P, 1966.
In text citation: Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).

NOTE: PDF articles have page numbers.

No Known Author with Page Number
When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author’s name. Place the title in quotation marks if it is a short work or italicize it if it is a longer work.
Citation from works cited page: "Biography of John Steinbeck." Critical Insights: John Steinbeck, Oct. 2010, pp. -14. EBSCOhost,
In text citation: Steinbeck "came to know well the Mexican-American workers alongside whom he labored" ("Biography" 13).

NOTE: PDF articles have page numbers.

Author and No Known Page Number
Citation from works cited page: Means, Richard. "Ernest Hemingway." Ernest Hemingway, 8/1/2017, pp. 1-3. EBSCOhost,
In text citation: Ernest Hemingway was a reporter, author, soldier, and sportsman (Means).

No Known Author and Page Number

Citation from works cited page: The National WWII Museum: New Orleans. "Allies and Axis: Who’s Who in WWII?" The National WWII Museum: New Orleans, 14 Dec. 2011, Accessed 7 Aug. 2017.
In text citation:The WWII allies were the United States, Great Britain, France and Soviet Union ("Allies").

Multiple Citations
To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon: has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).

When Citation is not Needed
Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations or common knowledge. Remember, this is a rhetorical choice, based on audience. If you are writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, the readers will have different expectations of what constitutes common knowledge.