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MLA Style In-Text Citations

When you cite sources in MLA, it's important to use the author-date method. This method is simply including the author's last name as well as the page number of the source. Sometimes there is a comma after the author's last name, but that depends on which version of MLA it is. Generally, just author-page will work as shown below:

In-Text Citation Example: Author-Page Style However, it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (Powell 65).

This method is fairly straight forward and doesn't have any complex exceptions like other styles such as Turabian

For Print sources with a known author, such as books, publications, newspapers, and variations thereof, the citation should consist of the author's last name and the page number. If the name of the author is mentioned in the sentence itself, there is no need to cite the author's name again. Thus, print in-text citations will look as shown below:

In-Text Citation Example: Author-Page for Print Sources with Listed AuthorsHowever, Powell maintains that it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (65)

Often, you will encounter sources that have no known author. This is most common with regards to articles where there is a title, but no listed author. In this case, simply use a shortened version of the work's title, in quotations. For longer works, such as websites, television shows, etc, italicize the title and give a reference page number, as shown below:

In-Text Citation Example: Title-Page for Print Sources with No Listed Author However, it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (Powell 65).

Classic works and literary works with multiple editions require a variation on the standard Author-Page style. Here, you should give the appropriate page number of your citation and then a semicolon. After the semicolon, mark the relevant volume, book, part, chapter, section, or paragraph of the text. Abbreviate them as volume (vol.), book (bk.), chapter (ch.), section (sec.), and paragraph (par.). Shown below:

In-Text Citation Example: Author-Page for Classical and Literary Works in Multiple Editions However, it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (Powell 65).

In the event that authors have the same last name, simply offer the first initial of each author's first name with the in-text citation. On the off chance that they share the same first letter of their first names, spell out the entire name in order to avoid any problems with citation. Shown below:

In-Text Citation Example: Works Whose Authors Share Names However, it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (Powell 65).

Many academic works share authorship between many contributors. For works that have three or fewer authors, you can either state the names in the sentence of the citation, or include them in a series format in the actual in-text citation. Shown below:

In-Text Citation Example: Works by Multiple Authors (Parenthetical, Three or Less Authors) However, Powell, Granger, and Smith maintain that it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (65).

Alternatively:

In-Text Citation Example: Works by Multiple Authors (In-text, Three or Less Authors) However, it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (Powell, Granger, and Smith 65).

If a source has more than three authors, simply use the name of the first author listed in the bibliographical information and add the phrase "et al." in order to encompass the remaining authors. Shown below:

In-Text Citation Example: Works by Multiple Authors (Parenthetical, More than Three Authors)  However, Powell et al. maintain that it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (65).
In-Text Citation Example: Works by Multiple Authors (In-text, More than Three Authors)  However, it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (Powell et al. 65).

Alternatively, you can list the authors in various forms, either in the paragraph or in the citation itself. Shown below:

In-Text Citation Example: Works by Multiple Authors (Parenethetical, More than Three Authors)  However, Powell, Granger, Smith, and Blinkinsop maintain that it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its adherence to affirmative action, but rather the way in which the school carried out its admission process, setting aside 16 of 100 spots for “Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians” (65).

When it comes to citing multiple works by the same author, simply include a brief mention of the title of the article used in order to differentiate it from the other articles written by the same author.

In-Text Citation Example: Multiple Works by the Same Author (Parenthetical)  However, Powell maintains that it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its "adherence to affirmative action" ("Affirmative Action in Schools" 64), but rather the way in which the school "carried out its admission process" ("Admissions Analysis" 23), and its use of quota systems.

Alternatively:

In-Text Citation Example: Multiple Works by the Same Author (In-text)  However, it is important to note that the Court did not decide against the University because of its "adherence to affirmative action" (Powell, "Affirmative Action in Schools" 64), but rather the way in which the school "carried out its admission process" (Powell, "Admissions Analysis" 23), and its use of quota systems.

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