MLA In-Text Citations: Basic Rules

The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook contains a lot of information on new standards for in-text citations, the Works Cited Page, and footnotes. You can figure out how to write references in the chapter 6 of the Handbook, as well as in the chapter 7 of the MLA Style Manual. There are many examples of proper citations, and you can check these sources for more detailed information. In turn, we decided to write a quick guide for you, so you could understand basic principles of MLA citations.

MLA Basics

MLA style implies parenthetical citations within the text. Thus, every time you need to include a direct quote from a certain work, as well as when you paraphrase it, or refer to some ideas expressed in this work, you have to include necessary information in parentheses.

  • Information written in parentheses depends on the type of the source (book, website, DVD, etc.), and on how this source is listed in the Works Cited.
  • Make sure that all sources cited in the text are included in the Works Cited list. If you use some signal phrases or words, make sure that this thing is the first information from the left in a corresponding section of the Works Cited.

Author-Page Style

MLA in-text citations are based on the method known as the author-page style. According to this style, you have to place the author’s last name in parentheses, along with the page number. More detailed information is written only in the Works Cited list. Not only can you write the author’s name in parentheses, but also use it in the signal phrase. In this case, parentheses contain only the page number. Don’t write the page number anywhere in the text, but in parentheses. Here are some examples:

James Smith stated: “donec sodales, nulla at maximus dapibus, leo metus blandit velit, eu interdum magna massa vel ante” (156).

“Donec sodales, nulla at maximus dapibus, leo metus blandit velit, eu interdum magna massa vel ante” (Smith 156).

Both examples above show correct structure of the quote, since both of them provide information about the author, and help readers find necessary page. If your readers want to get more information, they can go to the Works Cited page, and find Smith in the list. There they will see more detailed data:

Smith, James. The Title of the Book. Publisher, 2003.

Print Sources

Citing print sources, such as books, journals, newspapers, and magazines, you can use a signal word or phrase. As a rule, such phrases include the author’s name. However, if you use a signal phrase, you don’t need to include this information in parentheses.

According to Smith, “donec sodales, nulla at maximus dapibus, leo metus blandit velit, eu interdum magna massa vel ante” (123).

Obviously, this in-text citation must be related to the entry that begins with Smith. Don’t forget that we are talking about the first word from the left in the Works Cited:

Smith, James. The Title of the Book. Publisher, 2003.

Corporate Authors

Some works may have corporate authors. In this case you should use the name of the corporation instead of the particular author, along with the page number. In order to make your text easier for readers, we also suggest you to use abbreviations, so they won’t need to read long citations in parentheses, being focused on your main text.

Unknown Authors

If the author of the source is unknown, you must use a short form of the title instead of the name. If this source is relatively short (like an article), then the title must be written in quotation marks. Longer works, such as books, TV series, or websites, are italicized. If the page number is available, you must include it.

“Aliquam molestie et enim ullamcorper viverra. Donec euismod at turpis eget mattis. Donec maximus tortor ac lorem tristique pharetra. Etiam vitae viverra orci. Duis vel mauris auctor, bibendum tellus sit amet, luctus nisi” (“Texts in Latin”).

In this case, readers don’t know the author of the source, but they are able to find this source in the Works Cited, because they have the shortened title of the article. Obviously, the title of such an article will be the first information that appears on the left side of a corresponding entry in the Works Cited. This title is written in quotation marks, like in the example below:

“Texts in Latin for College Students and Everyone Else.” The Title of the Source. 2003. Accessed 13 Apr. 2006.

Now we clarified some basic features of in-text citations according to MLA style. The main thing is that these citations help readers verify your thoughts on a certain source, and use this information in their own works.

Literary and Classic Works with Multiple Editions

Names of authors and page numbers may be not the only information necessary to find a source. A lot of classic works were published in different editions, so you have to provide readers with additional data. In this case, you have to include the page number, and the number of a particular edition. Don’t forget to include this information in the Works Cited list. This number must be separated from the page number with a semicolon. You may also add another data, depending on peculiarities of your source. It may be chapter (ch.), book (bk.), paragraph (par.), volume (vol.), section (sec.), or part (pt.).

Authors with Same Last Names

What you should do, if you’re using citations from different authors who have same last names? Obviously, you will need to include more information in parentheses. Specify both authors’ initials, or even their full names, in case these authors have same initials.

Some authors state that Latin is a dead language (J. Smith 23), while others claim that it’s an integral part of scientific terminology (A. Smith 54).

Works with Multiple Authors

If a cited source has two or more authors, you have to specify their last names in parentheses, or in the signal phrase:

“Latin is an ancient language that is no longer used for communication” (Smith and Brown 14).

According to Smith and Brown, “Latin is an ancient language that is no longer used for communication” (14)

More detailed information is in the Works Cited:

Smith, James, and John Brown. “The Title of the Article.” The Title of the Journal, vol.120, no. 3, Fall 2003, pp. 15-17. JSTOR, doi:43.789/rep.654.879.2411

In case a work is written by more than two authors, write only the last name of the first author in parentheses, replacing other names with a short abbreviation “et al.” Such an abbreviation is used both in the text, and in the Works Cited list.

Multiple Works of the Same Author

In case you have to cite several works written by the same author, you can include short titles in parentheses. If your source is a long work, such as a book, write its short title in italics. Shorter sources are written in quotation marks.

According to Smith, “Latin is an ancient language that is no longer used for communication” (First Book 23). At the same time, he states that “it’s an integral part of scientific terminology” (Second Book 45).

If the name of the author isn’t mentioned in a signal phrase, you have to specify it in parentheses, before the short title of the source.

Multivolume Sources

If a source has several volumes, you must include the number of the volume, followed by page numbers. First you write the number of the volume, put a colon, a space, and write page numbers.

The Bible

There are a lot of versions of the Bible, so you have to make sure that your readers will know which version is used in your research. Thus, write the full title of this version in italics. Then write the title of the book from the Bible (this title isn’t italicized). After this, write the number of a chapter and a verse. If you cite the same version of the Bible further, you don’t have to put the title in parentheses again.

Indirect Sources

Sometimes you have to cite an indirect source. In other words, it’s a quote of a certain source mentioned in another source. In this case you have to use the “qtd.” abbreviation, so your readers could understand what source was used by you.

According to Brown, “donec sodales, nulla at maximus dapibus, leo metus blandit velit, eu interdum magna massa vel ante” (qtd. In Smith 345).

We also suggest you to use direct sources, since this approach looks more serious, and shows your responsibility.

Web Sources and Other Non-Print Sources

As the internet develops, students more often use only online sources in their work. Of course, there are many online sources that cannot be used for researches, since the internet has some problems with validation of information. At the same time, there are many qualitative sources and databases used by students of various universities around the world. As in case of printed sources, in-text citations of online sources must refer to the Works Cited section.

Many students face difficulties trying to write in-text parenthetical citation for online sources. The problem is that such sources don’t have page numbers. The good thing is that usually you don’t need to include parenthetical citations for such a kind of sources at all. Just follow a few simple rules:

  • Include the first type of information from the Works Cited entry. It may be a name of the author, or website, or article.
  • You don’t have to include page numbers, or paragraph numbers.
  • Of course, you have to help your readers find a source in the Works Cited list, so we suggest you to use signal phrases with names of websites. Don’t include URLs in your text, it will only distract readers. You can use parts of URLs, for example, instead of

Non-Print Sources

In the text, you can try to include only signal phrases. If you’re citing a movie, just mention the director’s name, and the title of the movie written in italics. All the specific information must be written in the Works Cited list.

Electronic Sources

The Title of the Source is very popular among internet users from all around the world. Its “The Title of the Article” was accessed by three million users in 2017 (Smith et al.).

Here the author’s last name is mentioned in parentheses, so it’s not a problem to find this source in the Works Cited list. As we mentioned above, “et al.” means “and others”:

Smith, James, et al. “The Title of the Article.” The Title of the Source, 13 Apr. 2017,

You may use multiple citations in the same sentence. In this case, you have to write information about each source in parentheses, separating sources with a semicolon.

If you cite a media source, such as a movie, song, or podcast, you have to specify the time code. It consists of hours, minutes, and seconds, and it looks like this: (01:05:34-01:23:45).

Do You Need so Many Citations?

Ask yourself such a question, and maybe you’ll find out that some citations are unnecessary. If you’re writing a well-known quote, you don’t have to include a parenthetical citation. We also suggest you not to include citations for well-known facts. Thus, just take your time and think of your audience. For example, some facts may need citations for students, but not for graduated experts. However, consider specifics of your audience, and determine the average level of common knowledge.

Chicago Style: Quick Guide for Students

There are a few common citation styles, and Chicago style is one of them. Recently, it was updated once again, so we decided to write a quick guide for those who wants to apply this style to their papers. Prepare to work hard, since this style is definitely not the easiest one. Even if you are perfectly familiar with MLA, it won’t help you get Chicago style right, so be accurate and take into account our tips.

What Is a Chicago Style?

The last version of this style was introduced in 2010, and since then, it wasn’t changed a lot. So, we’ll discuss the 16th edition of this citation style.

The Chicago Manual of Style (so-called CMS) states that this formatting method can be applied to a huge variety of academic papers. Publications, specifications, manuscript preparation – these are just a few options. These all makes Chicago style a Bible for editors and writers. You can find a variety of sources that use this style, and we think that you already have read or used some of them in your writing work. Generally, this type of formatting consists of two separate systems: Author-Date and Notes-Bibliography.

These two types are quite similar but usually used for different purposes. The first one is commonly used in papers on social and scientific issues, the latter one – in works on literature, arts, history and so on. Let’s take a closer look to each one of them.

Bibliography and Notes

This system would be easy to understand for those who are familiar with humanities. It implies certain rules of formatting references. References can be written right in your text or on the separate page. To write it right, you have to get used to it.

Endnotes and Footnotes

Endnotes are written at the end of each part of your paper, or at the end of your entire work. Footnotes are necessary for Chicago style, and you must write them every time you include some reference. It doesn’t matter if it’s a direct quote or a short summary of the source. Footnotes are placed at the bottom of every page where certain references were used.


Using citations, you need to provide your readers with all necessary information about the author and source, such as a name, features of publication, and, of course, title.

If you use more than one quote from the same source, you don’t need to write whole detailed information over and over again, just specify author’s name, short version of the title, and page number.

In case you’re using several quotes from the same page, you can just use a short abbreviation – Ibid. It’s an abbreviation of a Latin phrase that literally means “from the same source”.

Don’t forget to make footnotes, and always start them with page number, adding period and space.


Bibliography (references) is a special page where you have to list books, articles, and any used sources in alphabetical order. Usually you add the title “Bibliography” on the top of the page, and then move right to the list which ends at the end of your paper. Sometimes references may be followed only by the index. Make sure that all your sources are included in this list. Cited sources are necessary, but sometimes tutors ask students to add all other sources used for your research.

You can use different approaches writing your bibliography, but make sure that all used books, CDs, websites and articles are sorted in alphabetical order. Always start from the last name of the author. If the source has no author, take into account the title and its first letter.


  • Common components – title, author’s name, all necessary data about the source, listed alphabetically
  • Authors name – always start from the last name and separate names with comma.
  • Titles – use italic font for all sources. Literary works must also include quotation marks.
  • Date – never forget about a date of publication!
  • Punctuation marks – separate all items of your list by periods.

Features of Academic Language

Keep your language formal. Your main goal is to create an objective and persuasive text, with no slang words or incorrect pronouns. To help you with such a hard task, we made a short list of “don’ts”:

  • Colloquialisms. These are words that sound naturally in everyday spoken language, but never use them in academic writing.
  • Contractions. It is another feature of informal language, so avoid it unless it’s a part of your quote.
  • Rhetorical questions. It’s the thing that is good for narrative style, but definitely bad for academic writing. Keep your language clear and don’t distract your readers from key points.
  • Personal pronouns. Even if you’re explaining obvious facts, this trick automatically makes your point subjective. Never use it if you want to create a proper academic paper.
  • Run-on expressions. These words help us in everyday speech, connecting sentences. However, academic writing is a serious thing, so avoid all that “and so…”, “well, also” and “so on”.

Some of these features listed above may seem to be insignificant details, but when a commission grades your paper, they can either move you to the top or play a bad joke with you. A lot of students failed due to such mistakes. That’s why we offer you our professional help. Our writers can polish your paper and make it perfect, writing papers in proper style and following all standards. If you face any difficulties with formatting your papers, just contact us right now!

A Quick Guide to Turabian Citation Style

This citation style was introduced by Kate L. Turabian. The format is used in huge academic works which imply a lot of papers. It’s based on two main principles. The first one is an author-date style. The second one is a notes-bibliography format, which is also called a bibliographic format. As for the author-date style, it’s also called a reference list style. However, all these scary words mean a well-known type of formatting which you can find in the Chicago Manual Style. Turabian style was developed to improve such an approach and make it easier to use.

Key Features

You may have seen the bibliography format studying different works on history, arts or literature. Like Chicago, this type is related to various notes formats. As for the author-date style, it’s somewhat more common, and it’s mostly used by writers who work in such fields as social sciences and natural sciences, as well as physical sciences. In general, this approach requires you to just write the author’s name and date. The latter is written in parentheses. All sources used for quotes are listed as references.

These two types of Turabian format differ only by related information and notes. Generally, they are quite similar and imply the same requirements. We decided to help you with formatting electronically published books, and articles. These rules can also be applied for online journals.


If you check the Turabian manual, it says that, quoting a book which was published in different versions, your citation should reflect the version used in your work. Therefore, if you’re using the electronic version, you need to add the URL. It also would be good to add the name of the database where you found that book. Your citation will look like this: Author’s Name, Title of the Book (City: Publisher, Year), pages, Database.

Online Article

Articles should also meet certain requirements of Turabian style. You need to specify the online journal, URL or DOI. As with a previous example, you have to write a date and database where you found this article.

Author’s Name. “Title of the Article.” Journal Number (Date): Pages. Access date. URL


Talking about Turabian style, it’s almost impossible to not mention Chicago. These formats have a lot in common; maybe, even more than you expect. It’s easy to find such similarities by yourself, but we also decided to draw your attention to some particular features:

  • Any notes should be written on the same page as references and other additional data.
  • Don’t forget about page numbers. You have to write them on every page, except the cover page.
  • Use one-inch limitations; don’t use the other side of the paper.
  • In case your tutor doesn’t suggest single spacing, always use double spacing in your paper. Single spacing should be applied to notes and bibliography section.
  • Don’t forget to indent first sentence of each paragraph by pressing a Tab key.
  • Using paraphrasing or quotes, we suggest you to include footnotes.

Save Your Time With Citation Machine

Citation machine has long become an easy and effective tool to use. Tons of students do not waste their time organizing their citations manually, when citation machine online can do it automatically within several seconds. Plus, it will be 100% accurate and correct. So, try this convenient tool and cite your sources in any formatting style you need, including APA, MLA, Turabian, Chicago and others.

  1. Pick the style

Choose the formatting style you need.

  1. Enter the sources

Enter the data manually or search for sources by author, title or ISBN. You can cite a book, a magazine, a journal, a website, a video, etc.

  1. Create your bibliography

Organize your bibliography list and download it.


There are several reasons why you need to cite the sources. For one thing, when you refer to other researchers’ works, you add credibility to your own research. As a result, your chances to get the top grades increase. Another thing that makes citations essential for any academic paper is uniqueness of content. It is truly important to cite the sources and organize the referencing materials smart, so that your paper will be free of plagiarism. APA citation machine can help you cite accurately and avoid unintentional plagiarism. Plus, do not forget to check your paper with anti-plagiarism program.


Any formatting style has a number of requirements for you to follow, including referencing standards and guidelines for formatting an assignment itself. With MLA citation machine you can relax and let the tool take care of the rules. It will organize the citations accurately and you will have nothing to worry about. In addition, you can choose from a pile of styles and cite in any style you need. Looking for Chicago citation machine or Turabian citation machine? No problem. AHere you can find generators that will meet all your demands.

What is more, if you need expert assistance with writing, editing or checking a paper, ask us for help. Our professional team of writers and editors are ready to help you 24/7. Send us your requests or call us, and we will craft an excellent paper for you.

APA Formatting Guide: How To Do It Right

Students are asked to write so many papers so their knowledge and writing skills can be assessed. Of course, every student has to know how to format a paper properly. There are different writing styles, and now we are going to talk about APA, one of the most popular styles.

APA stands for American Psychology Association. As you may have already understand, this style is used mostly for papers on psychology, sociology and other humanities. In comparison to MLA, which is an often used writing style too, APA is a bit more difficult. And here is why.

Every papers has its bibliography and in-text citations accordingly. The page with sources is called References. All of them are cited in the text, so that it proves you do not steal someone’s thought but ‘borrowed’ them. Plagiarism issues are very important. The least you can get for plagiarized text is a failing grade.

APA was used to tell a difference between papers on humanities and on more technological subjects or science, or business. Nevertheless, it is also used in other fields.

APA Formatting Basis

Every page is formatted the same. Only the title and reference pages differ a bit.

You must already know that all papers are typed. Pages are double-spaced and have one inch margins. You can use only Times New Roman or Arial, 12pt. Bold and italics can be used only for titles and headings.

Every page has a running head. The title should be written fully and in CAPS. If it is too long, you can make it shorter. Up to 50 characters are allowed. All pages should be numbered. The number of a page goes in the right corner. The very phrase “Running head” should appear only on the title page.

APA Style: How To Structure

There is a typical structure for APA styled papers.

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Main body
  • Conclusion
  • References

You will have to use a specific number of sources. In case you are missing some of them, you need to conduct qualitative or quantitative research. Which one depends only on your purpose and a type of paper you are writing.

How a title page in APA should look like.

Research Paper on Economy of USA

First and Last Names

College Name

Do not forget about a running head at the top.

A title is important. It should be catchy so the reader would want to take it. Of course, if it is some research paper, a title should not be entertaining. It has to be as concise as possible. Thus, the reader would know what it is about.

Next goes an abstract, which is considered a summary of a paper. A research subject, its importance, and your findings should be included there. Research topic and questions, methods and outcomes are essential too. An abstract is limited to 250 words, but the best is one-third of a page. Keywaords can be included.

APA Reference List

As many students, you may not know how sources should be formatted. For that you should consult an expert, or you can try to format it yourself. Then, here is what you should pay attention to.

  • First goes an author’s last name and initials.
  • Then publication date.
  • Source’s title goes in italics.
  • Location and name of a publisher.
  • If possible, provide a number of issue, volume, number of pages from where citations are taken etc.

Of course, you can do it all on your own. But there is no need to waste time as you can buy an essay APA here right now and go have some rest.

Structure Your Paper Correctly

A research paper is an essential assignment you need to deal with in college. You need not only to collect data and provide an in-depth analysis, but also structure your paper according to the set of requirements. An introduction and conclusion are two main parts framing your assignment.

An essay introduction is aimed at grasping the reader’s attention. Use some surprising facts or shocking turns of your investigation. This will attract the reader and make them want to read your paper.

If you have any troubles, you can always ask our service for advice. Or we can write an essay introduction for you. Making your conclusion is also highly important. Any paper needs closure, so your results and findings will be supported and clearly stated.


When the time comes, students spend hours thinking how to write a conclusion for a research paper. How to make it powerful and convincing? The key to a good ending consists in three main tips:

  1. Avoid vague phrases

When writing a basic conclusion, you need to be clear and precise. You are summing up your research, so do not beat around the bush.

  1. Restate, rephrase, and summarize

Concluding your assignment, you basically restate or rephrase your topic and thesis statement. Plus you provide a summary of all main points, results, and findings analyzed in the paper.

  1. Make it catchy

Conclusion for a research paper should be convincing. Introduction and conclusion are interconnected. Ending and essay introduction how? For example, you can ask a question at the beginning and answer it in a conclusion.


The only question left is how to write a conclusion for a research paper and avoid all the mistakes. First and foremost, forget about the use of following phrases ‘In conclusion’ or ‘Summing up’. They are unnatural and even trite.

Secondly, you should also stick to the same tone you use throughout your whole paper. That is to say, do not use some dramatic turn if you paper was written in a purely academic style.

Finally, do not apologize for ‘not being an expert.’ Never use the phrase as it makes the reader doubt your investigation.

If you have any questions left on how to write a research paper, contact our service and we will help you 24/7.