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ENG1020 English Composition : Research resources: MLA Citations

In-line Citations

In-line or in-text citations in the body of your paper point the reader to specific sources listed on your Works Cited page. They usually include the author’s last name or title (if no author is given) and the relevant page numbers (if given). For more information on in-text citations, visit Owl at Purdue's page on In-Text Citations. There are two ways to cite the source in the text: using the author's name in the text, and using the author's name in a parenthetical reference. See below.

Author's name in text

Smith states that while Type 2 diabetes is often found in older adults, more recently it is also being found in children (21-22).

Author's name in parenthetical reference

While Type 2 diabetes is often found in older adults, more recently it is also being found in children (Smith 21-22).

A word of caution...

The best sources of information for your research paper are going to be books (print or electronic, doesn't matter) from the library catalog and articles from the library databases. They have already been vetted for quality by researchers and librarians, AND the library's website has premade citations for you.

MLA resources in our catalog

MLA Resources from Our Catalog

MLA Quick Reference Page

Use this page as a quick reference for setting up your MLA works cited citations and your in-text citations. For more detailed information, see our full MLA Manual Guide. Here you can learn how to find citations in the library catalog and how to make MLA citations from scratch for books, articles, and websites.

Finding a citation using the library's resources

After you have located an article that you want to cite, click on the record for that article. Then look for the "Cite" option on the right side of the screen.

Once you have clicked on that "Cite" option, you should be on a screen with several options toward the top showing you different styles of citation (APA, Chicago, etc.). Scroll down to find the one that says "MLA."

Now copy and paste this citation into your document, or write it down in your notes, and you have a citation for that source. Be sure to double-check the formatting: make sure article names are in quotation marks " ", the titles of books or journals are italicized, and author names or title names are properly capitalized.

IMPORTANT! Remove unwanted formatting!

Sometimes when you copy and paste a citation, the web formatting will be pasted with it, including background shading and other unwanted features. To avoid this, follow these quick instructions on our full MLA Manual guide.

Making an MLA citation (from scratch)

The following are the basic formulas for the most commonly used types of sources for students. For more detailed instructions or for a type of source not mentioned here, refer to our full MLA Manual guideOwl at Purdue's MLA Citation Guide, or the MLA Handbook (8th ed.).

Citing a book


Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.

Example for book by one author:

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York, Penguin, 1987.

Example for book by two authors:

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

Example for book by more than two authors:

Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah State UP, 2004.

Citing a database article

This refers to an article in a magazine or scholarly journal. All articles in the library's databases fall into this category. Follow the same rules as the book citations for articles that have more than one author. If an article has no author, just leave that part out of the citation. (Do NOT put "anonymous" or "no author".)


Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages. Database, permalink.


Campbell, Lisa. “Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry.” Library Journal, vol. 138, no. 7, Apr. 2013, p. 104. EBSCOhost,

It is important to note that the "permalink" is not the link in the URL box at the top of your screen. That is only a temporary link. Click "link" or "permalink" on the article's record and it will give you the permanent link.

Citing a website

If the content of a website has no author, just leave that part out of the citation. (Do NOT put "anonymous" or "no author".)


Author. "Title of post, article, or webpage." Title of website. Publisher, Publication Date, Location (URL, DOI or permalink). Date of Access (optional).


Lundman, Susan. “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.” eHow, Accessed 6 July 2015.

Bernstein, Mark. “10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 16 Aug. 2002,