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MLA Citation Style 8th Edition: In-Text Citations

This guide will help you cite sources in MLA Citation Style 8th edition

In-Text Citations

Creating a Works Cited page is one part of the citation process. The other required component is to make brief references to the sources you used within the body of the paper or presentation in the form of an in-text citation. This citation alerts your audience to when you are referencing someone else's thoughts, ideas, or work and guides them to the full citation on the Works Cited page. There are different ways to accomplish this as you will see in the examples to the right.


In-text citations should have a corresponding citation in the Works Cited page and vice versa. MLA uses the author-page style for in-text citations. This means that you should use the author's last name (when available) and the page number.  You can read more about in-text citations beginning on page 116 in the 8th Edition Manual.

Help with MLA Style

Example of In-Text Citations

All examples below come from the Purdue Owl.


Author's name in the text:

Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).




Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).




Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).  


Corresponding citation in the Works Cited page:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. London: Oxford UP, 1967.

In-Text Citations for print sources with no known author:

Note: Use a shortened title of the work instead of the missing author name. Enclose in quotation marks if title is short (e.g. article title) or italicize if is is longer (e.g. plays, books, tv shows, entire websites).




We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and

more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change..." ("Impact of Global Warming" 5).

Citing a work by multiple authors:

Source with 2 authors:

Best and Marcus argue that one should read a text for what it says on its surface, rather than looking for some hidden meaning (9).




The authors claim that surface reading looks at what is "evident, perceptible, apprehensible in texts" (Best and Marcus 9).


Source with 3 or more authors:

According to Franck et al, "Current agricultural policies in the U.S. are contributing to the poor health of Americans" (327).




The authors claim that one cause of obesity in the United States is government-funded farm subsides (Franck et al. 327).


These examples and more from the Purdue Owl: