This section of the Guide provides basic information about creating in-text citations in MLA style. For more information, you can visit the MLA's website or the excellent Purdue OWL. If you have any questions about creating in-text citations, you can always ask a friendly librarian :).
Despite the popular image of Aaron Burr as unprincipled, some scholars have argued that "Burr was in most ways more forward-thinking, by our standards, than his nemesis Hamilton", particularly regarding women's rights (Isenberg).
Isenberg, Nancy. "Liberals Love Hamilton. But Aaron Burr was a Real Progressive Hero." Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2016,
The order of authors’ names in the citation always mirrors the order on the source itself.
Authors mentioned in text:
Pratchett and Gaiman's character claims that the world will end "next Saturday" (3).
Authors not mentioned in text:
The world will end on a Saturday. “Next Saturday, in fact” (Pratchett and Gaiman 3).
Pratchett, Terry, and Neil Gaiman. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Harper, 2006.
Authors mentioned in text:
According to Gilman et al., the term "hysteria" is attributed to Hippocrates (22).
Authors not mentioned in text:
The use of the term “hysteria” is attributed to Hippocrates (Gilman et al. 22).
Gilman, Sander, et al. Hysteria beyond Freud. U of California P, 1993.
When an organization or governmental body has an especially long name, you might want to avoid using the parenthetical citations and incorporate the source name into the text itself:
Author mentioned in text (this is an effective way to cite government bodies/corporate authors with long names in sources with page numbers):
According to the Inter-parliamentary Union, an estimated 30 percent of street children have disabilities (1).
Using abbreviated names for organizations:
Alternatively, if you wish to cite a government or corporate author in the parentheses rather than the text and the agency is regularly known by an acronym (e.g., US EPA, UNHCR, etc.) if you identify the acronym in parentheses when you introduce it in the text, you may use the acronym in all subsequent references:
According the the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities offers greater protection for people with disabilities than any of its predecessors (9). The adoption of the Convention should "significantly improve the protection of persons with disabilities" (IPU 24).
Inter-Parliamentary Union. From Exclusion to Equality: Realizing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. United Nations,
2007. doi: 10.18356/46bfff7d-en.
Work with no named author:
You can and should abbreviate long titles as this helps make the work more readable. You must make sure that the abbreviations begin with the first word of the Works Cited entry:
Turkish Vans have waterproof coats and are called “water cats” (“Turkish Van”).
"Turkish Van Cat." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica 22 May. 2012,
Use the title of the source, or abbreviated version of it, to make a distinction between the two documents:
The Turkish Van has no health problems associated with the breed (“Turkish Van”, PetMD) and has a long coat with soft fur (“Turkish Van”, Britannica).
"Turkish Van Cat." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2012,
“Turkish Van Cat.” PetMD, 2015, www.petmd.com/cat/breeds/c_ct_turkish_van.
Include brief titles (approximately 2-3 words) or shortened versions of longer titles to distinguish them from one another. Put the titles and shortened titles in quotation marks for articles or in italics for books.
Author mentioned in text:
Krugman has described the austerity measures as “cruel nonsense” (“Europe’s Austerity”) and has gone so far as to compare them to “medieval medicine, where you bled patients to treat their ailments, and when the bleeding made them sicker, you bled them even more” (“Bleeding Europe”).
Author not mentioned in text:
If the author is not mentioned in the sentence, include his or her last name followed by a comma, and then the title of the work (or shortened version) in quotes (and page numbers, if applicable).
Some economists believe the austerity measures imposed on Greece and Spain are not only painful, but are doomed to fail. They have been described as “cruel nonsense” (Krugman, “Europe’s Austerity”) and compared to the medieval medical practice of bleeding the patient to cure him, making him more ill by doing so (Krugman, “Bleeding Europe”).
Krugman, Paul. “Bleeding Europe.” The Conscience of a Liberal. New York Times Company, 12 Dec. 2012,
---. “Europe’s Austerity Madness.” The New York Times, 27 Sep. 2012, https://nyti.ms/1OjU3JX.
Quoting Indirect Sources (quotations from a source/person who is not the author of your source):
Note: this does not apply to people interviewed in news sources, but only to written sources quoted in your source and that you did not look at yourself, so are not citing the original work.
Biographer Ron Chernow describes Washington as having “unerring judgment, sterling character, rectitude, steadfast patriotism, unflagging sense of duty and civic-mindedness” (qtd. in Cayton).
Scientists have discovered that there are distinct brain activities associated with sleepwalking and what are known as sleep terrors (Duhigg ch. 9).
Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit. OverDrive ed., Random House, 2012.
For time based media, cite the relevant time or the range of times in hours, minutes, and seconds as displayed on your media player. Separate each with a colon: HH:MM:SS.
Pendleton notes that the chronically homeless, who comprise approximately 15 percent of the homeless population, account for around 50-60 percent of the expenditures communities dedicate to homeless services (00:02:47-52).
Pendleton, Lloyd. "The Housing First Approach to Homelessness." TED, Nov. 2016,
4000 West Lake Avenue Glenview, Illinois 60026 | Email:GBS LibGuides Administrator | Reference Desk: 847 486 4574