Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda

Using In-Text Citations According to MLA 9th Edition

4 min read

Published on: Apr 27, 2024

Last updated on: Apr 30, 2024

MLA In-Text Citation

Do you find MLA in-text citations confusing and tricky? Do you get stuck with unusual in-text citation cases?

If you answered yes then this blog post is for you. 

In this blog post, we will explain the rules and examples of in-text citations according to the MLA 9th edition. We will also highlight what’s new and different in this edition compared to the previous one. 

So, let’s dive right now!

The Rules for In-Text Citations (Explained with Examples)

The main rule of in-text citations in MLA (Modern Language Association) style is to include the author’s last name and the page number of the original source in parentheses. 

The parenthetical citation should be included at the end of the sentence where you use the information.

For Example:

“The sky is blue” (Jones 12).

Let’s get into detail about different conditions you may face during in-text citations. 

Author Mentioned in Text 

In MLA style, if the author’s name is mentioned in the text, you only need to include the page number in parentheses. 

For Example:

Jones argues that “the sky is blue” (12).

Missing Page Number

If the source has no page number, such as a web page or any online source, then you can skip this information.

For Example:

The color of the sky depends on the angle of the sun and the weather conditions (Smith).

Different Work, Same Author

If you have used multiple works by the same author, you need to include a short title of the source to distinguish them from each other. 

For Example:

Johnson discusses the effects of climate change on the sky color in his book (Sky 45) and his essay (“Clouds” 67).

As the above example shows, the title of the book is italicized (Sky 45), whereas the title of the article is in quotations (“Clouds” 67). 

Multiple Sources

If you need to cite multiple sources in the same parentheses, you need to separate them by a semicolon. 

For Example: 

Several studies have shown that the sky color can influence mood and behavior (Lee 34; Kim 56; Park 78).

Source With Two Authors

If the source is the work of two authors, you need to include both authors’ last names in the citation, separated by “and”. 

For Example:

The sky color can vary depending on the season and the latitude (Brown and Green 12).

Multiple Authors

If the source is a work with three or more authors, you need to include only the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” in the citation. 

For Example:

The sky color is influenced by many factors, such as pollution, dust, and smoke (White et al. 15).

Corporate or Organization 

If the source is a work by a corporate author, you need to include the full name of the organization or a shortened version of it in the citation. 

For Example:

The study states that the sky color is a result of the interaction of sunlight with molecules and particles in the air (WMO 10).

Anonymous Author

If the source is a work by an anonymous author, you need to use the title of the source or a shortened version of it in the citation. 

For Example:

A recent report suggests that “the sky color may change dramatically in the future due to global warming” (Global Warming News 5).

Quotation Within a Quotation

If there is a quotation in a block of text, here is what you should remember:

  • Use single quotation marks for the inner quotation.
  • Use double quotation marks for the outer quotation. 

You also need to indicate the source of the inner quotation in your citation.

For Example:

As Smith notes, “Jones famously said, ‘the sky is not always blue’” (qtd. in Smith 24).

Solve MLA Citation Problems With Our Citation Machine

If you need help with your citations, you can use our new and improved citation machine to generate and format your references automatically for your works cited page. 

Just enter the details of your source in our citation machine MLA choose, and our tool will do the rest. 

Cathy Aranda

WRITTEN BY

Cathy Aranda (Mass communication)

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

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