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In Text Parenthetical Citation Sample Mla Essay

In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by using what is known as parenthetical citation. This method involves placing relevant source information in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase.

In-text citations: Author-page style

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:

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).

Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. London: Oxford UP, 1967. Print.

See Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide - MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics for detailed explanations and examples of in-text citations from different sources.

Russell, Tony, et al. "MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics." Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). Ed. The Writing Lab. Purdue University, 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.  .

The standard citation style guide for the humanities, especially languages and literature, is the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, 2010. The American Modern Language Association (MLA) publishes the manual. It is commonly referred to it as the "MLA Manual".

The English departments at IRSC recommend MLA format for papers written in these fields.

Two types of citations are included in most research papers: citations within the text of the document and a list of reference citations at the end of the paper.

In-Text Citations:

In-text citations appear in the body of your paper. They identify your use of an idea from one of your sources. The MLA Manual uses the author-page citation system for in-text citations. 

Reference Citations:

Information about the sources you use in your work are included as a separate list at the end of the paper.  The MLA Manual suggests using the title, Works Cited, for the list.

Any source information that you provide in an in-text citation must correspond to a source in your Works Cited page.