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Formatting & References

About In-Text Citations

Every fact, figure, and idea from an outside source must have both in-text citation and be listed on the Works Cited page. To create In-text citations in MLA:

  • Format is (Author #) – don’t spell out the word page before the number
  • Can leave off Author name in the citation if name is included in sentence
  • If your source is a web page, use paragraph number, counting down from the top  – (Author par. #) 
  • Comes at the end of the sentence before the period

The source has more credibility if you can name the author:

  • An organization can be an author if one is not listed – i.e. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name.
  • Only provide partial URLs when it is the name of a corporate author – i.e. CNN.com
  • If the source has two authors, list them both.
  • If a source has three or more authors, list only the first and use 'et al' for the others.

If you write a paragraph that pulls more than once from the same page of the same source—and no other source is quoted—you may use a single parenthesis after the last referral to that source, typically at the end of the paragraph.

When you cite a survey or questionnaire in your paper, put down the name of the person conducting the survey with last name first, first name last, followed by the name of the survey in quotation marks. Next, identify it as a survey or questionnaire followed by the date the survey or questionnaire was conducted.