Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA 9: In-Text Citations

Learn how to format your papers and cite sources in MLA 9th edition..

Guidance from MLA & Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Basic In-Text Citation Formatting Guidelines

In-text citation refers to the brief citations included within the text of your paper. They point your reader to the full citation at the end of your paper. In MLA, the in-text citation is generally placed in parentheses at the end of your sentence with the author's last name and page number. The period goes on the outside of the parentheses. You can also include the author's name in the text itself and simply place the page number in parentheses.

1 Author
  • Author's last name followed by page number(s) with the period outside the parentheses
    • (Davis 145).
  • Author's last name may be excluded if it's in the introductory text
    • Richard Davis found that "…" (145).
2 Authors from Same Source
  • If referring to two authors of the same text, join the authors' last names with the word and
    • (Bullock and Merritt 219).
Authors from More Than One Source
  • If referring to more than one source in the same citation, separate the author last names with a semi-colon
    • (Garcia 18-20; Ryan 302).
No Authors
  • If there is no author, use the first part of the citation that would be found in the Works Cited page
    • (National Committee 37).