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MLA Style


MLA Style uses parenthetical citing for in-text citation. This usually means the author and page number of the source material is placed in parenthesis after the information is delivered. There are different ways to say the same thing when writing. Here are some examples of this, and how to cite it in MLA Style.

Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).

Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).

Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

The three sentences above are basically saying the same thing. Notice what is and is not included in the three different sentences. When the author's name is attributed to the quote just the page number is cited. When just the quote is written, then the author’s name and page number are cited.

If the source material has no known author, use a shortened title of the work and add page number. Use the most important word in the title and put it in quotes, followed by the page number. Ex; (“Writing” 106)

For web page that has no author, do the same as above by using shortened title. If the web source does not have an author or a title, then use the html tag at the end of the web address. Ex; You’re doing a paper on the history of FIT and find information from the following web address,, and put it in your paper.

According to the FIT webpage, “FIT received accreditation in 1957, and as the curriculum and student body grew, the college moved into its first real home—a nine-story building on Seventh Avenue in the heart of the garment district—in 1959” (History).

You would include the MLA styled citing of the link to this information in your works cited page, but by putting the (History) the reader knows where you got the information and where to find it. Even if you didn’t copy and paste and put the information into your own words such as;

FIT gained its accreditation in 1957 and grew quickly. In 1959 they moved into their new home on Seventh Avenue (History).

You would still use the (History) at the end of the information being presented.

For more detailed information about citing in MLA Style, visit the Purdue OWL's guide to MLA.