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MLA - Referencing Guide

Citing in the Text

Citing in the Text

The 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 either placed at the end of a sentence in parentheses (brackets) or alternatively, the author's name may be included in the text, and 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 book appearing in the text as:

There are many approaches to writing scripts for broadcast (Hilliard 326-27).

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

Hilliard, Robert L. Writing for Television, Radio, New Media. 9th ed., Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008.

A citation for a journal article appearing in the text as either:

It is clear that goal directed meaning connects perception and specification (Foo and Kelso 222).
OR
Foo and Kelso showed that goal directed meaning connects perception and specification (222).

would appear in the Works Cited list as:

Foo, P., and J.A. Kelso. "Goal Directed Meaning Connects Perception and Specification." Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 24, no. 2, 2001, pp. 222-223.

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).

OR
... 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:

"Eventually the link between generations of speakers was broken, so that many children had little or no knowledge of their traditional languages" (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, par. 4).

would be given in the Works Cited list as:

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Indigenous Australian Languages. AIATSIS, 2014, aiatsis.gov.au/explore/articles/indigenous-australian-languages.