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MLA style


  • Keep quotes short
  • Remove unneeded parts and replace with ...
  • Poetry: use a / to denote line breaks
  • If your quote is more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of verse, start your quote on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin
    • Maintain double spacing
    • Don't add quotation marks

In-text citations are supposed to be unobtrusive and direct your reader to the full entry in the works-cited list. It begins with the first element in the entry--author name or title, followed by the page number. 

Mrs. Turpin’s husband is “florid and bald and sturdy…” (O’Connor 266).

Meyer and Miller state that “O’Connor’s fiction grapples with living a spiritual life in a secular world” (234).

In the second example, you don't need to repeat Meyer and Miller in your parenthetical citation since you mention them already.

Note that the period goes after the ).

Note that there is no p. before the page number. That is assumed. If there are no page numbers in your source, then use ch. for chapter, line for line, etc. 

If your reference has 3 or more authors, use the first author's name followed by et al.

(Nickerson et al. 135).

The MLA manual (6,26) addresses works without numbered pages or divisions. Do not count paragraphs! Just don't give a number in your parenthetical citation:

"Small changes in your eating habits can lower your risk for many of the diseases associated with aging" (Parker-Pope) so it's never too early to evaluate your diet.

If your prose mentions what comes first in your works cited entry, then no parenthetical citation is needed:

As Tara Parker-Pope notes, "Small changes in your eating habits can lower your risk for many of the diseases associated with aging."

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