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MLA Referencing - In-Text Citations

by Krista

In-Text Citations for Dummies (Or those who've forgotten!)

When referencing a book in particular, you will find that the MLA style uses citations in the form of paranthesis that look something like this: For sometime now, Krista has been caring for her Orchid. (Boniface 3). This encapsulates who wrote the book (hypothetically) and what page the referenced text is found on, this case, the 3rd page.


Here is an example that OWL at Purdue uses very nicely…


Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3)

When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work, or italicize or underline it if it's a longer work.

Your in-text citation will correspond with an entry in your Works Cited page, which, for the Burke citation above, will look something like this:

Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: U
of California P, 1966. (OWL 1)

Multiple Citations

When you have more than one reference you'd like to recognize from one sentence of your own writing, you can include multiple writers using a semi-colon between the two author references like.. (Burke 3; Dewey 21) as OWL uses as an example.

Mutiple Books by Same Author

If in your writing, you have more than one book that is written by the same author, your intext citations should be a bit different to differentiate which sort the reference is from. An example of this would be (Huxley, Brave New World Revisited 23).


Journal Entries, Websites, Art, Articles

This is a very simple reference for these sources. Just include their last name in the brackets and you're done! So that would look like this (Boniface).

Movies

For movie in-text citations, just state the name of the movie and underline it.


Sometimes we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just to feel something. (Crash)

When Citations Aren't Needed

According to OWL, Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations or common knowledge. Remember, this is a rhetorical choice, based on audience. If you're writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, they'll have different expectations of what constitutes common knowledge. (OWL).

References:

  • Purdue OWL. "Purdue OWL. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Online Writing Lab at Purdue. 10 May 2008.
  • Purdue University Writing Lab. 16 June 2008, http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/,
  • See MLA Works Cited Reference at side for more details.
  • Flickr pictures: Book Cell and Book Pile.

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