Do you struggle with citing quotes in your papers and assignments? Understanding the MLA citation format can be confusing, but it’s crucial for giving proper credit to your sources and avoiding plagiarism. In this guide, we’ll break down the basics of citing quotes in MLA, including in-text citations and the works cited page, and provide examples to help you master this essential skill.
Before we dive in, let’s take a look at the overall structure of this guide:
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- The basics of MLA citation format
- How to properly use in-text citations for quotes
- The guidelines for creating a works cited page
- Common issues and troubleshooting with MLA citation
- Examples of MLA citation in practice
Understanding MLA Citation Format
Before learning how to cite quotes in MLA, it’s important to understand the format used for MLA citations. The MLA citation style is commonly used for research papers in the humanities, and it follows a specific format for both in-text citations and the works cited page.
In MLA citation format, the author’s last name and the page number where the quote appears must be included in the in-text citation. This information is enclosed in parentheses and placed at the end of the quote or paraphrase. For example:
According to Smith, “MLA formatting is not as difficult as it may seem” (24).
The works cited page, which lists all the sources used in the paper, must also follow a specific format. Each entry should include the author’s name, the title of the source, publication information, and the medium of publication (print, web, etc.). The format differs slightly depending on the type of source being cited, such as a book, journal article, or website.
It’s important to follow these guidelines closely when citing sources in MLA format. Incorrect formatting can result in a lower grade or even plagiarism accusations. Always consult the MLA citation guidelines for specific questions or refer to an MLA citation guide.
Understanding MLA Citation Style
MLA citation style is a set of guidelines created by the Modern Language Association for formatting research papers and citing sources. This style is commonly used in the humanities, including literature, language studies, and cultural studies.
One of the key elements of MLA citation style is consistency. All citations should follow the same format, whether they are in-text citations or entries on the works cited page. This helps readers easily find and identify the sources used in the paper.
Another important aspect of MLA citation style is the use of parenthetical citations. These citations include the author’s last name and the page number where the information was found. This information is enclosed in parentheses and placed at the end of the quote or paraphrase. In some cases, the author’s name may appear in the sentence itself, in which case only the page number is included in the citation.
When creating the works cited page, it’s important to include all the necessary information for each source. This may include the author’s name, title of the source, publication information, and more. Each type of source (book, website, journal article, etc.) may require slightly different information, so it’s important to consult the MLA citation guidelines for specific information.
Citing Quotes in MLA: In-Text Citations
When citing quotes in MLA format, it is important to use in-text citations to give credit to the original author. The in-text citation should appear within the body of the paper and correspond to an entry on the Works Cited page.
The basic format for in-text citations is to include the author’s last name and the page number where the quote can be found. For example: (Smith 45). If the author’s name is not mentioned in the text, it should be included in the citation, along with the page number: (“MLA Citation Guidelines” 20).
If you are citing multiple works by the same author in the same paper, use a shortened version of the title to differentiate between them. For example: (Johnson, History 34) and (Johnson, Politics 67).
For works with two authors, include both names in the in-text citation, separated by the word “and.” For works with three or more authors, include the first author’s name followed by “et al.” For example: (Brown and Wilson 56) and (Robinson et al. 89).
If you are citing a work with no page numbers, such as a website, use a different method to indicate the location of the quote. You can use the author’s name or the name of the source in the signal phrase, followed by the quote in parentheses. For example: According to The New York Times, “quote here” (“MLA Citation Guidelines” para. 4).
It is also important to note that blockquotes, or quotes longer than four lines, should be set apart from the main text and indented. The in-text citation should appear after the end of the quote, outside of the quotation marks. See the example below:
Be sure to check the citation guidelines for the specific type of source you are using, as the format may vary.
Citing Quotes in MLA: Works Cited Page
After you’ve used a quote in the body of your text, it’s important to include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper. This section provides the full citation details for every source you used in your paper, including any quotes.
The Works Cited page should be a separate page at the end of your paper. The page should be titled “Works Cited” and should be centered at the top of the page. The page should be double-spaced, with each entry listed alphabetically by the author’s last name. If the source has no author, the title of the source should be used instead.
|Type of Source||Format||Example|
|Book||Author.Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.||Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Penguin Classics, 2003.|
|Article from a Journal||Author.Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, Publication Date, pp. #-#.||McCarthy, Bridget. “The New Global Economy and the Rise of the West.” Journal of International Economics, vol. 85, no. 2, 2011, pp. 411-23.|
|Website||Author.Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Webpage.” Title of Website, Publisher/Sponsor, Publication Date, URL.||Smith, John. “How to Cite Quotes in MLA.” The Writing Center, University of California, 13 May 2021, https://writingcenter.ucsd.edu/mla-citation.html.|
When citing a quote on your Works Cited page, use the same citation format as the source that the quote came from. To make it easy for your readers to find the specific quote, include the page number where the quote can be found.
Remember, the Works Cited page is a critical component of your paper. If you fail to include a Works Cited page, or if you do not properly format your citations, you risk being accused of plagiarism. Take the time to ensure that your Works Cited page is complete and accurate!
Common Issues and Troubleshooting in MLA Citations
Even the most experienced writers can sometimes struggle with MLA citations. Here are some common issues and troubleshooting tips to help you out:
|You have multiple sources by the same author||Include the author’s name in the in-text citation, and differentiate the works by adding a shortened version of the title to the citation.|
|You are missing information for a citation||If you can’t find all the necessary information, use “n.d.” for “no date” and “n.p.” for “no publisher”.|
|You are citing a source with multiple authors||List all the authors in the in-text citation or in the works cited entry.|
|Your source doesn’t fit into a standard category||Consult the MLA Handbook for guidance on how to properly cite sources that don’t fit into the standard categories.|
Remember, the goal of citation is to give credit to your sources and allow readers to locate them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or consult the MLA Handbook when in doubt.
MLA Citation Examples: Practice Makes Perfect
Now that you’ve learned the basics of citing quotes in MLA format, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Below are some MLA citation examples to help you better understand how to cite different sources.
Book with one author:
(Author’s Last Name Page Number)
“The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.” (Pratchett 89)
Works Cited Page Entry:
|Author||Title of Book||Publisher||Publication Date||Page Number|
(Author’s Last Name Page Number)
“The gender wage gap is a complex issue that cannot be solved overnight.” (Smith 15)
Works Cited Page Entry:
|Author||Title of Article||Title of Journal||Volume and Issue Number||Year of Publication||Page Numbers|
|Smith, Jane||The Gender Wage Gap: A Comprehensive Analysis||Journal of Social Issues||53.2||2017||15-29|
(Author’s Last Name)
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” (Abraham Lincoln)
Works Cited Page Entry:
|Author||Title of Webpage||Title of Website||Publisher, Sponsor, or Affiliation||Publication Date or Access Date||URL|
|Lincoln, Abraham||Quotes About the Future||Famous Quotes and Authors||Famous Quotes and Authors||Accessed 20 August 2021||http://www.famousquotesandauthors.com/topics/future_quotes/|
Remember, when in doubt, always consult the MLA handbook or ask your professor for clarification. Happy citing!
Citing sources in academic writing is crucial. Not only does it give credit to the author, but it also enhances the credibility of the work presented. Learning how to cite quotes in MLA may seem like a daunting task, but with practice, it can become second nature. Remember to always follow the MLA citation guidelines and format, whether it’s an in-text citation or in the Works Cited page.
Here are some key takeaways from this guide on how to cite quotes in MLA:
- MLA citation format is used for humanities and liberal arts subjects.
- In-text citations should include the author’s last name and page number(s) where the quote is found.
- Works Cited page should include all sources cited in the text, and be formatted in a specific way.
- Practice citing quotes in MLA to become more comfortable with the format.
By mastering the art of citing sources, you will be able to present your ideas in a more professional and polished manner. Happy citing!