MLA In-Text Citations (Step-by-Step Guide)

Video description:  MLA In-Text Citations (Step-by-Step Guide)

Using MLA style citations in text when you’re writing a research paper

If you are a person who is writing a research paper and if you’re in school no matter high school or college; at some point you’re going to write a research paper. You’re going to have to cite your

sources. Different instructors use different methods some like APA. In English class it’s probably most likely going to be MLA that’s what I use, it’s what I like, it’s what I’m familiar with.

So I’m going to show you how to do it. And this is pretty confusing for a lot of people but I’m going to try and give you the basics.

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Let’s talk briefly about plagiarism

What is plagiarism? It is the intentional or unintentional use of someone else’s work or ideas as your own. It’s pretty serious as it can result in expulsion or some other type of discipline. I think a lot of the time when people plagiarize they didn’t mean to do it; they just forgot to cite their sources. They weren’t Sure how to cite their source. Just don’t take the risk when in doubt cite your source. If there’s any question in your mind about whether you’re using someone else’s ideas basically if it didn’t come out of your head, you had to get it from somewhere wherever you got that from. If you always cite your sources then you don’t have to be nervous about it.

What is the MLA

It’s the Modern Language Association. and I want to give you a great resource called Purdue Owl Purdue University and OWL stands for Online Writing Lab. I’m going to show you the most common sources which are books and online articles. But there’s a lot of different types of sources, and they have to be cited differently. So if you’re not doing a book or an online article, I recommend you go to this website, and it’ll show you exactly how to do it. But for most people most of the time they’re going to be using books or online articles. So those are the ones I want to go over.

Let’s just go over these two sources

So with an in-text citation, you’ve got the author’s name, and it must appear either in the sentence or the parentheses at the end. The page the number will always be in the parentheses; it will never be in the sentence.

So best will suggest that then I’ve got a comma. A lot of people forget that and then I’ve got my quotation. At the end of the quotation I’ve got the page number. And then notice that the period goes at the the very end of the parentheses. A lot of people want to put it inside the quotation marks because of it looks more correct and I understand. It has to go all the way at the end. Try and think of it as the page numbers part of your sentence may be that will help you. But the period always goes in the end.

Here’s another example

It’s the same thing except for style, purposes, maybe, I didn’t want to introduce the author at the beginning of the quotation depending on how the wording is in the paragraph you’re using maybe you want just to run straight into the quotation, you don’t want to be introducing the author at the beginning all the time because of that. I recommend that you mix up the way you do this as I’m doing here. But I still have the author’s name but in this case because I didn’t introduce it at the beginning it goes in the parentheses at the end. Still, have the page number and the period still goes outside the quotation marks at the very end. Now if you don’t want to use a direct quotation but you’re still conveying some kind of information that you found that’s a paraphrase.

So if the information wasn’t your own, you didn’t know it yourself, you need to cite it. It’s not a quotation. It’s something that you read and then you’re putting it into your own words. But I still, have the author’s name; and I still have the page number and notice the period is still going at the end.

But what’s missing-there are no quotation marks because I’m not using the exact words that best tool used I’m using my own and here’s another example of that it’s the same thing except I didn’t want to introduce the author’s name at the beginning I wanted it at the end. So it goes in the parentheses.

Let’s talk about citing the sources

Here’s the exception and this is the only exception. If a phrase is common or universally known such as a proverb then no citation is needing as is needed. Though quotation marks are

still required. So for example: Aristotle advised the like activities produce like Dispositions. If you’re using that in your paper you don’t have to cite where you found it because it’s a proverb or a common phrase. But it is someone else’s words so you’re going to use the quotation marks. Again when in doubt if you did look it up just cite the source. Because you can get into this a game where you’re saying to yourself well it’s pretty commonly known maybe I don’t need to cite it. Don’t play that game because you can end up in a a lot of trouble it’s not worth it’s too stressful. If you pulled it from something just cites the source; if you already knew it in your head and it just came to you but you know it was someone else uses the quotation marks but don’t cite the source. So as I said when in doubt just cite the source.

The usage of online sources

This is becoming more and more common. About ten years ago it wasn’t accepted in academic papers but now it is more so. If you know the author use it if not use the name or partial name of the website as the author as I showed you in the previous examples. Just use the name or partial name of the website in place of the author.

  • You don’t need to give paragraph numbers or page numbers if it’s online, there probably aren’t any.
  • Don’t give the few full URL in the textit’s sufficient to use. for example: com.
  • You don’t need to put HTTP colon slash. Here’s the thing MLA and 2009 changed the rules on this.
  • You don’t have to give the URLs anymore. Technically the rules say you don’t have to do that anymore but so many people have done it for so long that if you might have some explaining to do if you don’t do it. so just check

Legitimate online sources scholarly articles will be easy to reference because the author will be clearly Indicated. If you’re having trouble finding the source info, it’s probably not a good source to be using for Academics. So if you’ve got some kind of the article that you found online and you can’t figure out who the author Is, probably don’t use it then.

Okay let’s talk about two style points

If the quotation is four lines of prose or less or three; if it’s first to use the format that I just showed you where you have the quotation you have the parentheses and you have the page number. If it’s the longer you need to indent you remove the quotation marks and you place the punctuation before the parenthetical science citation.

This stuff is confusing just use the website I showed you a Purdue the owl that will help you if you forget but the more you do this it almost becomes second nature and you don’t have to think about it that much.