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MLA and APA Citations: MLA In-Text Citations

Use this guide to build citations of resources for a MLA works cited list or an APA reference list

Citation Guides

You have a couple of choices when creating a bibliography:

• Use one of the Create-a-Bibliography tools on the CSM library website

• Use Word's References Tab

• Use the citation style manuals: MLA (REF LB 2369.G53 2016)

•Use the citation guides found below

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab): MLA Formatting and Style Guide

Citation Guide - Handbook

MLA In-Text Citation Tips

General Rules for MLA In-Text Citations

  • Parenthetical (aka in-text) reference point to a specific source in your Works Cited.
  • These references appear in parentheses directly after the quote or paraphrase you used from the source.
  • The reference is made up of the author's last name followed by the page number(s) the quote or paraphrase appears on in the source.
  • If you use the author's name when introducing the quote or paraphrase, use only the page number in the parenthetical reference. For example: In Hamlet, Shakespeare says, "To be or not to be, that is the question" (106).


  • Be sure to check your work against a style guide, such as the Purdue OWL MLA guide, or the MLA Handbook (call number REF LB 2369.G53 2016)!
  • Be sure to use the edition specified by your professor (usually the most recent)! Rules can change from edition to edition!
  • If you have any questions, ask a librarian!


MLA In-Text Citation Examples

One author

(Johnson 21)


Multiple authors with same last name

Add first initial: (J. Henderson 125-126) or (M. Henderson 253-254)


Multiple authors with same first initial and last name

Use full first names: (John Henderson 125-126)


Two to three authors

(Smith and Jones 58) or (Smith, Jones, and Hanover 58)


Three or more authors

Follow the form used in the list of works cited. Write out all the authors’ names or abbreviate with “et al.”: (Smith, Jones, Hanover and Riley 62) or (Smith et al. 62)


Multivolume work

Include the volume number followed by a colon before the page numbers: (Johnston 4: 115)


Work listed by title

Use the first part of the title in place of an author: ("Capitol Punishment" 212)


Web sources without page numbers

Instead of a parenthetical citation, include in your text the author's last name (or the first part of the title, if no author is listed): "Napoli found that..." or "As illustrated in the video 'Photography' the steps of the wet collodion process are..."