Lansing Community College Library

The MLA Handbook 9th edition offers guidance on creating works-cited-list entries in MLA style. It also features advice on punctuation, grammar, formatting research papers, and in-text citations. 

MLA Handbook Plus

MLA Handbook Plus provides online access to the MLA Handbook and more for current LCC students and employees with their LCC username and password. 

Visit the MLA Handbook Plus:

In-Text Citation - Chapter 6

Examples below provide an introduction to in-text citation:

Basic format (Author-page Style)

In addition to having a works cited list at the end of your paper, you must give credit to sources that you use within your paper. Usually the author’s last name and page number are enough for the reader to identify the source in the works cited. The citation appears in your text or at the end of a sentence.

Back to Top

Author's name in text

If you cite the author’s name in your sentence, cite only page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The first time you mention the author, include the first and last name. After that, list only the last name. 

Example

Patrick Smith has compared these authors (203-05).

Works Cited

Smith, Patrick A. Tim O'Brien: A Critical Companion. Greenwood P, 2005.

Back to Top

Author's name in parentheses

If you do not cite the author's name in your paper, then include both the author's last name and page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example

These authors have been compared elsewhere (Smith 203-05).

Works Cited

Smith, Patrick A. Tim O'Brien: A Critical Companion. Greenwood P, 2005.

Back to Top

No author (cite by title)

When there is no author listed for a work, include the first few words of the title followed by the page numbers, if available, in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Italicize longer works, such as book titles, plays, or entire websites. Put shorter works in quotation marks.

Example
Although NBC will not air liquor ads until after 9 p.m. to reduce impact on young viewers, the American Medical Association believes this advertising will affect young people ("Liquor Advertising").

Works Cited

"Liquor Advertising Gag is Hard to Swallow." National Post, 19 Dec. 2001, p. A17. ProQuest Central, https://search-proquest.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/docview/329783841?accountid=1599.

Back to Top

Citing two authorS

Author's Name in Text

Include both authors’ first and last names with “and” between the names. The first time you mention the authors, include the first and last names. After that, list only the last names.

Example
Richard Kraus and Sarah Hilsendager believe that a key aspect of the growth of dance on the American cultural scene has been the expansion of dance education (23).

Author's Name in parentheses

Include both authors’ last names, with “and” between the names.
Example
They believe that a key aspect of the growth of dance on the American cultural scene has been the expansion of dance education (Kraus and Hilsendager 23).

Works Cited

Kraus, Richard, and Sarah Hilsendager. History of Dance in Education. Prentice, 1991.

Back to Top

Citing three or more authorS

Author's Name in Text

If the source has three or more authors, cite the first author's name followed by "and colleagues" or "and others." You may also list all of the names.

Example
Chiras and colleagues offer sustainable solutions to global resource and environmental problems (2).

Author's Name in parentheses

If the source has three or more authors, cite the first author's name followed by et al

Example
Chiras and colleagues offer sustainable solutions to global resource and environmental problems (Chiras et al. 2).

Works Cited

Chiras, Daniel, et al. Natural Resource Conservation: Management for a Sustainable Future. Pearson, 2004.

Back to Top

Citing part of a work

Research databases provide access to articles in two different formats:

  • PDF is an exact copy of the article as it appears in the magazine or journal and includes page numbers
  • HTML is the format for online reading and does not include page numbers

If available, use the PDF version because it includes page numbers.

Page numbers

When you quote or paraphrase a specific part of a print or online source with page numbers, give the relevant page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example
Brown wrote, "Time management is an important survival skill" (27).

Works Cited

Brown, D. C. (2003). "No Time for Time Management? Behavioral Agencies have Several Options for Improving Staff Efficiency." Behavioral Healthcare Tomorrow, vol. 12, no. 6, 2003, p. 27-30. General OneFile, link.galegroup.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A111934133/AONE?u=lom_lansingcc&sid=AONE&xid=76a2677a.

without Page Numbers

When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage in an online source without page numbers, no page numbers are needed.

Example
According to Jones, binge drinking is a serious problem.

Works Cited

Jones, Sherry Everett et al. "Binge Drinking among Undergraduate College Students in the United States: Implications for Other Substance Use." Journal of American College Health, vol. 50, no. 1, 2001, p. 33-38. ProQuest Central, search-proquest-com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/docview/213065738?accountid=1599.

Back to Top

Citing indirect sources

Whenever possible, use original source material, not an indirect source. If you must use an indirect source, create a Works Cited entry for the source that you actually read. In either the text of your paper or the in-text citation, refer to both the source you read and the source it mentions.

In the example below, you read an article by Sneed et al. that refers to an article by Bonnanno.

In your in-text citation, use qtd. for "quoted in."

Example
The report by Bonnanno indicated the various mental health impacts of disasters (qtd. in Sneed 793).

Works Cited

Sneed, Rodlescia S., et al. "Behavioral Health Concerns During the Flint Water Crisis, 2016–2018." Community Mental Health Journal, vol. 56, no. 5, 2020, pp. 793-803. ProQuest, dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10597-019-00520-7

Back to Top

Library and Learning Commons

The Library and Learning Commons are located on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floor of the Technology and Learning Center (TLC). Students can get tutoring, research, and technology help, use computers and a technology lab, as well as check out books, study rooms, and laptops.

Technology and Learning Center

Downtown Campus
Technology & Learning Center (TLC)
400 N. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

Hours
Spaces
Campus Map