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Research Handbook: MLA In-Text Citations

Include in the text the first item that appears in the Works Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (generally the first author's or creator's last name, or a shortened version of the title), and, if a location is known such as a page number for a book or article, or a location such as the paragraph of a website or webpage. NOTE: If you provide the author's last name or shortened title of the work in the sentence, do not use it in the parenthetical citation, only include in the parentheses the page number or paragraph number if available.

If you cite more than one work by an author, include a shortened title for the work from which you are quoting, putting the titles of larger works such as books and plays in italics, and smaller items such as articles, essays, or poems in quotation marks.


A short quotation is up to 4 lines of text.

A long quotation is over 4 lines of text.


According to some, "quotations should be enclosed in quotation marks" (Last name, p. #), though others disagree.

According to Last Name, "quotations should be block indented" (p. #).

When quoting 1-3 lines of poetry or song lyrics, use a forward slash between each line

"Line 1 / Line 2 / Line 3" (Last name, line #-#).

Quoting is such a hard thing to do. It has been said,

Quoting is a hard skill to master. In general, formatting of quotations depends on the length of the quotation. When you are quoting four lines or more, you would use a block indentation, or block quote without quotation marks. When you are quoting three lines or less, you would enclose the quote in quotation marks. In both cases, you would end with an in-text citation. However, this can vary by the style guide you are following, and/or your instructor's specific directions. (Last Name, p. #)

When quoting more than 3 lines, use a block indent, placing each line on its own line.

Line 1

Line 2

Line 3

Line 4. (Last name, line #-#)

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