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Using In-Text Citation (MLA)
by C. Carroll and G. Lejeune 2015
To cite =
to identify and give credit to the
source of your information.
Why do we need to cite sources?
To bolster your argument with
scholarly support
To avoid plagiarism and academic
To recognize intellectual property
To be honest and ethical 
What needs to be cited?
Quotation = exact copy of author’s
words with same capitalization,
punctuation, etc.
Paraphrase / borrowed idea = Author’s
original idea put in your own words or
What needs to be cited?
You should acknowledge any original or
debatable idea you read in an outside source
Causes / effects of an historical event
Interpretation of a literary work
Debatable authorship or activities
(ex. King Arthur or Robin Hood)
What does NOT need to be cited?
FACTS that can be verified in 3 sources
Examples of facts:
Birth & death dates & places
Locations of landmarks
Plant and animal kingdoms
Widely accepted ideas
If in doubt, cite it!
Example for Crusades Topic
Facts that do NOT need a citation:
When each Crusade occurred
Where crusaders went
Who were specific Crusade leaders
Borrowed ideas that SHOULD be cited:
Why the Crusades were fought
Which decisions were good or bad
Whether Crusades failed or were successful
Where does the citation go?
Citation is located in the text of your paper
(rather than as a footnote), right after the
quote or idea is presented
Citation goes at the end of the sentence, group
of sentences, or paragraph where ideas are used
Appropriate sentence punctuation follows the
parentheses so the citation becomes part of the
What does the citation look like?
Author’s last name in parentheses EX: (Russell)
If no or unknown author, use title of work
EX: (The Middle Ages)
Followed by page number, if any (with no
punctuation between them) EX: (Taylor 25)
Just enough info to guide your reader to the
complete, alphabetized bibliography entry
Example of In-Text Citation:
Direct quotation
“It was generally believed that
participation in the conquest of the
earthly Jerusalem was one way…to
qualify for the heavenly one”
(Packard 64).
Note: period to end sentence goes AFTER
the close parenthesis
Example of In-Text Citation:
According to Packard, crusaders joined
the fight to secure themselves a place
in heaven (64).
Note: even though this idea has been
summarized in your own words, it still
needs to be cited. Since the author’s name
is mentioned in the text, it is not needed
in the parentheses.
Example of In-Text Citation:
Article / Web Page with no Author
“The Crusades should have ended with the capture of
Antioch, but a kind of unreason had taken hold of the
remaining Crusaders. They had lived with their dream
for so long that they could not give it up. They were
driven by a passion for what they believed was a holy
cause; a need to fulfill their Crusader vows; and a lust
for … blood, the spoils of war, and territory”
Note: This quote came from the article “History of the
Crusades” in World History in Context. The title has
been shortened for economy.
Example of In-Text Citation:
Summary/Borrowed Idea
Although the Crusades should have
ended after Antioch, the remaining
Crusaders could not give up their dream
of winning spoils and territory
Key Idea: In-text Citation
Leads to Works Cited Entry
Word in parentheses of in-text citation = same
word as the beginning of the Works Cited
(bibliography) entry.
This word serves as a signpost to the reader to
quickly and easily find the full source in the
Works Cited list.
May be author’s last name, title of article, title
of book, or title of webpage.
Review: Quiz Time! (form only)
Which of these citations is RIGHT & which WRONG?
“Ice cream rocks.” (Carroll, 12)
The moon is made of green cheese (“Moon”).
Smith argues that Teddy Bear Day should be a
national holiday (Britannica).
“The color green suggests new life” (Russell).
The aluminum foil deflector beanie is must-have
protection against mind control. (http:www.
Works Cited
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of
Research Papers, 5th ed. New York: the Modern
Language Association of American, 1999. Print.
“History of the Crusades.” The Crusades Reference
Library. Ed. Neil Schlager, et al. vol. 1: Almanac.
Detroit: UXL, 2005. 81-114. World History in
Context. Web. 14 April 2015. (“History”).
Packard, Sidney. “The Holy Crusades.” The 1100s:
Headlines in History, ed. Helen Kothran. San
Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Print.