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MLA - Referencing Guide

Citation Examples

Citation Examples

Single author

The short references within the text are given wholly or partly in parentheses (brackets) .

Use only the surname of the author followed by the appropriate page numbers:

(Huntley 46-47)

If the author's last name is mentioned in the body of the text then the page reference only is enclosed in parentheses:

Huntley has discussed... (47).

Page number(s) must be given for direct quotations, paraphrased or summarised material, and information or ideas from source materials which you have incorporated into the text of your essay, thesis or assignment.

If citing an entire work, page numbers are not given and the author's name is usually incorporated in the text:

... Huntley explores the rich tapestry created in each of the novels of Amy Tan.

Page numbers are also omitted when citing one-page articles or articles in works arranged alphabetically (such as encyclopaedias).

Authors' initials are given only if there are two or more authors with the same last name.

Two authors

When referring to a work with two authors, give the surname of each person:

...was not possible (Lawson and Green 34-35).
Lawson and Green were unable ... (34-35).

Three or more authors

If a work has more than three authors, give the first author's surname followed by et al.:

Littlewood et al. have found ... (97).
... as has been previously demonstated (Littlewood et al. 97).

  Use the same format when listing the work in the works cited list.

Volume numbers included

Include volume numbers within the citation between the authors surname and the page numbers:

...details this theory (Summerfield 2: 73-74).
This theory is dealt with in detail... (Summerfield 2: 73-74).

The citation in the works cited list gives the total number of volumes.

Authors with the same surname

Make a distinction between authors with the same surname by including the author's initial  or if the initial is shared too, the full first name:

The theory was propounded in 1970 ... (A. Larsen 21).
Alan Larsen is among those ... (3).

Multiple works by the same author

If listing one of two or more works by the same author, insert a comma after the author's name, then add a short form of the source title and the page reference:'

The experience of austerity and the experience of maturity are connected (Bly, "Sibling Society" 49).

Corporate author

These are works without a personal author.

Corporate authors may be associations, agencies like government departments, corporations or organisations.

When citing works by a corporate author, it is preferable to include the author's name in the text to avoid interrupting the reading with an extended parenthetical reference:

... as recorded by Australia's Office of Multicultural Affairs (13-14, 24-25).

More than one work cited

List all sources of information with the citations separated by a semicolon (;):

...has been previously demonstrated (Alsop and Walsh 66; Blackford 49).

No author

When a work has no author or the author is anonymous, use the title:

...has been raised (At Home on the Earth 98).

When the in text citation is given in parenthesis, shorten the title if it is long.

If including the title within your text, use italics:

...these issues are raised in At Home on the Earth (98).