Writing and Communication Center

MLA In-Text Citations

MLA uses the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author’s last name and the page number from which the quotation or paraphrase was found must appear in the text. A complete matching reference should be on your Works Cited page. The author’s name may appear either in the text of your paper itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase. The page number, however, should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text.

Short Quotations

For quotations that are fewer than four typed lines of prose or three lines of poetry, enclose the quotation within double quotation marks. Give the page number, or in the case of poetry, the line numbers, in the parenthetical citation. 

When writing your personal statement, concentrate on the opening paragraph because that is “is generally the most important” (Stelzer 8). 

Wang reassures, “The brightest thing in all of heaven/Is dull compared to thee” (17-18).

Long Quotations

When your quotation is four or more lines, place the quotation in an indented block of text without quotation marks. The quotation will still be double spaced. Place your parenthetical citation after the last punctuation mark. When citing long sections of poetry, keep the formatting as close to the original as possible, including the original line breaks.

Sylvan Barnet presents numerous issues to consider when writing about art. When discussing portraits, for example, he tells us that a portrait :

Is not simply a representation; it is also a presentation. In a given portrait, how much of the figure does the artist show, and how much of the available space does the artist cause the figure to occupy? What effects are thus gained? (23)

Continue your paper. Remember that your actual paper will be double spaced.