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MLA - Referencing Guide

Citing in the Text

Citing in the Text

 Short references within the text are given wholly or partly in round brackets.

Use only the surname of the author(s) followed by the page, chapter, paragraph or section numbers if you need to be specific.

No distinction is made between books, journal articles, internet documents or other formats except for electronic documents that do not provide page numbers. In this instance, use the paragraph number, if available, with the abbreviation par.

Citations in the text can either be placed at the end of a sentence in parentheses (brackets) or alternatively, the author's name may be included in the text, with just the page information placed within the brackets.

The citation in the text of your work should appear in parentheses at the end of a sentence before the full stop and include the author's surname and relevant page number or the authors surname may be integrated into the text. The full reference must be listed at the end of your essay in the Works Cited list.

Some examples

A citation for a book appearing in the text as:

When words and pictures compete, the pictures win (Tompkins 144).

would be found in the Works Cited list in the following form:

Tompkins, Al. Aim For the Heart: Write, Shoot, Report and Produce for TV and Multimedia. 3rd ed., CQ Press, 2018.

A citation for an article from an e-journal appearing in the text as either:

Television was identified as the most important medium by both activists and government (Waller and McCallum 1001).
Waller and McCallum reported that television was identified as the most important medium by both activists and government (1001).

would appear in the Works Cited list as:

Waller, Lisa and Kerry McCallum. "How Television Moved a Nation: Media, Change and Indigenous Rights." Media, Culture & Society, vol. 40, no. 7, 2018, pp. 992–1007. Sage Journals,

Note: When referring to multiple authors within the text and within parentheses, precede the final name with the word and

... as Kurtines and Szapocnik demonstrated (23).

... as has been demonstrated (Kurtines and Szapocnik 23).

An electronic document would be cited in the text in the same way as a print document. For example, a citation for an internet document appearing in the text as:

"Younger migrants working in highly-skilled occupations, for example, earn as much or more than their Australian counterparts, but Australian-born people with vocational qualifications generally do better than similarly-skilled migrants from non-English speaking countries" (Miranti et al. 31).

would be given in the Works Cited list as:

Miranti, Riyana, et al. Calling Australia Home: The Characteristics and Contributions of Australia's Migrants. National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM), 2010,

See the All Examples page for examples of in-text and reference list entries for specific resources such as articles, books, and web pages.