Parenthetical Referencing and Mla In-text Citation Essay

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Bedford Writing Center MLA IN-TEXT CITATIONS

MLA In-text citation:

When a writer either quotes a specific source or refers to information from a specific source, he gives credit to that source either by directly naming the author or book, or by putting that info in parentheses at the end of the quote or sentence. These are called in-text citations. The first method uses a “signal phrase” to indicate that something taken from a source (such as a quotation, summary, or paraphrase) is about to be used. (Usually the signal phrase includes the author's name). The parenthetical reference includes at least a page number (unless the work has no page number or is organized alphabetically). Any sources the writer uses in the text of her paper will be listed in the “Works Cited” page(s) at the end of the work. Citations in parentheses should be as concise as possible but complete enough so that readers can find the source in that list. The following models illustrate the form for the MLA style of citation. 1. Author named in a signal phrase Ordinarily, you should introduce the material being cited with a signal phrase that includes the author's name. In addition to preparing readers for the source, the signal phrase allows you to keep the parenthetical citation brief. Turback claims that "regulated sport hunting has never driven any wild species into extinction" (74). The signal phrase — "Turback claims" — provides the name of the author; the parenthetical citation gives the page number where the quoted words may be found. By looking up the author's last name in the list of works cited, readers will find complete information about the work's title, publisher, and place and date of publication. Notice that the period follows the parenthetical citation. 2. Author not named in a signal phrase If the signal phase does not include the author's name (or if there is no signal phrase), the author's last name must appear in parentheses along with the page number. Though the number of lion attacks on humans is low, the rate of increase of attacks since the 1960s is cause for serious concern (Rychnovsky 43). N.B. Use no punctuation between the name and the page number. 3. Two or more works by the same author If your list of works cited includes two or more works by the same author, include the title of the work either in the signal phrase or in abbreviated form in the parenthetical reference. In his article "California and the West," reporter T. Christian Miller asserts that from 1990 to 1997, California spent roughly $26 million on conservation lands "to provide habitat for exactly 2.6 mountain lions" (A3). According to T. Christian Miller. "Mountain lions, also called pumas or cougars, range vast territories in search of food, sometimes as large as 100 square miles" ("Cougars" 1). 1

Bedford Writing Center

MLA In-text citation:

The title of an article from a periodical should be put in quotation marks, as in the examples. The title of a book should be underlined or italicized. In the rare case when both the author and a short title must be given in parentheses, the citation should appear as follows: The mountain lion population has been encroaching on human territory in California since 1972, when voters passed a law that banned hunting of the animal (Miller, "Cougars" 1). 4. Two or three authors If your source has two or three authors, name them in the signal phrase or include them in the parenthetical reference. Reyes and Messina report that the adult mountain lion population in California is now estimated at four to six thousand (B1). 5. Four or more authors If your source has four or more authors, include only the first author's name followed by "et al." (Latin for "and others") in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical reference. The study was extended for two years, and only after results were duplicated on both coasts did the authors publish their results (Doe et