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MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

Guidelines for referring to the works of others in your text using MLA style are covered throughout the  MLA Handbook  and in chapter 7 of the  MLA Style Manual . Both books provide extensive examples, so it's a good idea to consult them if you want to become even more familiar with MLA guidelines or if you have a particular reference question.

Basic in-text citation rules

In MLA Style, referring to the works of others in your text is done using parenthetical citations . This method involves providing relevant source information in parentheses whenever a sentence uses a quotation or paraphrase. Usually, the simplest way to do this is to put all of the source information in parentheses at the end of the sentence (i.e., just before the period). However, as the examples below will illustrate, there are situations where it makes sense to put the parenthetical elsewhere in the sentence, or even to leave information out.

General Guidelines

In-text citations: Author-page style

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:

Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads . Oxford UP, 1967.

In-text citations for print sources with known author

For print sources like books, magazines, scholarly journal articles, and newspapers, provide a signal word or phrase (usually the author’s last name) and a page number. If you provide the signal word/phrase in the sentence, you do not need to include it in the parenthetical citation.

These examples must correspond to an entry that begins with Burke, which will be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of an entry on the Works Cited page:

Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method . University of California Press, 1966.

In-text citations for print sources by a corporate author

When a source has a corporate author, it is acceptable to use the name of the corporation followed by the page number for the in-text citation. You should also use abbreviations (e.g., nat'l for national) where appropriate, so as to avoid interrupting the flow of reading with overly long parenthetical citations.

In-text citations for sources with non-standard labeling systems

If a source uses a labeling or numbering system other than page numbers, such as a script or poetry, precede the citation with said label. When citing a poem, for instance, the parenthetical would begin with the word “line”, and then the line number or range. For example, the examination of William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” would be cited as such:

The speaker makes an ardent call for the exploration of the connection between the violence of nature and the divinity of creation. “In what distant deeps or skies. / Burnt the fire of thine eyes," they ask in reference to the tiger as they attempt to reconcile their intimidation with their relationship to creationism (lines 5-6).

Longer labels, such as chapters (ch.) and scenes (sc.), should be abbreviated.

In-text citations for print sources with no known author

When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name, following these guidelines.

Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number if it is available.

Titles longer than a standard noun phrase should be shortened into a noun phrase by excluding articles. For example, To the Lighthouse would be shortened to Lighthouse .

If the title cannot be easily shortened into a noun phrase, the title should be cut after the first clause, phrase, or punctuation:

In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title appears in the parenthetical citation, and the full title of the article appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry on the Works Cited page. Thus, the writer includes the title in quotation marks as the signal phrase in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader directly to the source on the Works Cited page. The Works Cited entry appears as follows:

"The Impact of Global Warming in North America." Global Warming: Early Signs . 1999. www.climatehotmap.org/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2009.

If the title of the work begins with a quotation mark, such as a title that refers to another work, that quote or quoted title can be used as the shortened title. The single quotation marks must be included in the parenthetical, rather than the double quotation.

Parenthetical citations and Works Cited pages, used in conjunction, allow readers to know which sources you consulted in writing your essay, so that they can either verify your interpretation of the sources or use them in their own scholarly work.

Author-page citation for classic and literary works with multiple editions

Page numbers are always required, but additional citation information can help literary scholars, who may have a different edition of a classic work, like Marx and Engels's  The Communist Manifesto . In such cases, give the page number of your edition (making sure the edition is listed in your Works Cited page, of course) followed by a semicolon, and then the appropriate abbreviations for volume (vol.), book (bk.), part (pt.), chapter (ch.), section (sec.), or paragraph (par.). For example:

Author-page citation for works in an anthology, periodical, or collection

When you cite a work that appears inside a larger source (for instance, an article in a periodical or an essay in a collection), cite the author of the  internal source (i.e., the article or essay). For example, to cite Albert Einstein's article "A Brief Outline of the Theory of Relativity," which was published in  Nature  in 1921, you might write something like this:

See also our page on documenting periodicals in the Works Cited .

Citing authors with same last names

Sometimes more information is necessary to identify the source from which a quotation is taken. For instance, if two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. For example:

Citing a work by multiple authors

For a source with two authors, list the authors’ last names in the text or in the parenthetical citation:

Corresponding Works Cited entry:

Best, David, and Sharon Marcus. “Surface Reading: An Introduction.” Representations , vol. 108, no. 1, Fall 2009, pp. 1-21. JSTOR, doi:10.1525/rep.2009.108.1.1

For a source with three or more authors, list only the first author’s last name, and replace the additional names with et al.

Franck, Caroline, et al. “Agricultural Subsidies and the American Obesity Epidemic.” American Journal of Preventative Medicine , vol. 45, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 327-333.

Citing multiple works by the same author

If you cite more than one work by an author, include a shortened title for the particular work from which you are quoting to distinguish it from the others. Put short titles of books in italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks.

Citing two articles by the same author :

Citing two books by the same author :

Additionally, if the author's name is not mentioned in the sentence, format your citation with the author's name followed by a comma, followed by a shortened title of the work, and, when appropriate, the page number(s):

Citing multivolume works

If you cite from different volumes of a multivolume work, always include the volume number followed by a colon. Put a space after the colon, then provide the page number(s). (If you only cite from one volume, provide only the page number in parentheses.)

Citing the Bible

In your first parenthetical citation, you want to make clear which Bible you're using (and underline or italicize the title), as each version varies in its translation, followed by book (do not italicize or underline), chapter, and verse. For example:

If future references employ the same edition of the Bible you’re using, list only the book, chapter, and verse in the parenthetical citation:

John of Patmos echoes this passage when describing his vision (Rev. 4.6-8).

Citing indirect sources

Sometimes you may have to use an indirect source. An indirect source is a source cited within another source. For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted. For example:

Note that, in most cases, a responsible researcher will attempt to find the original source, rather than citing an indirect source.

Citing transcripts, plays, or screenplays

Sources that take the form of a dialogue involving two or more participants have special guidelines for their quotation and citation. Each line of dialogue should begin with the speaker's name written in all capitals and indented half an inch. A period follows the name (e.g., JAMES.) . After the period, write the dialogue. Each successive line after the first should receive an additional indentation. When another person begins speaking, start a new line with that person's name indented only half an inch. Repeat this pattern each time the speaker changes. You can include stage directions in the quote if they appear in the original source.

Conclude with a parenthetical that explains where to find the excerpt in the source. Usually, the author and title of the source can be given in a signal phrase before quoting the excerpt, so the concluding parenthetical will often just contain location information like page numbers or act/scene indicators.

Here is an example from O'Neill's  The Iceman Cometh.

WILLIE. (Pleadingly) Give me a drink, Rocky. Harry said it was all right. God, I need a drink.

ROCKY. Den grab it. It's right under your nose.

WILLIE. (Avidly) Thanks. (He takes the bottle with both twitching hands and tilts it to his lips and gulps down the whiskey in big swallows.) (1.1)

Citing non-print or sources from the Internet

With more and more scholarly work published on the Internet, you may have to cite sources you found in digital environments. While many sources on the Internet should not be used for scholarly work (reference the OWL's  Evaluating Sources of Information  resource), some Web sources are perfectly acceptable for research. When creating in-text citations for electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source on your Works Cited page.

Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources because of the absence of page numbers. However, these sorts of entries often do not require a page number in the parenthetical citation. For electronic and Internet sources, follow the following guidelines:

Miscellaneous non-print sources

Two types of non-print sources you may encounter are films and lectures/presentations:

In the two examples above “Herzog” (a film’s director) and “Yates” (a presentor) lead the reader to the first item in each citation’s respective entry on the Works Cited page:

Herzog, Werner, dir. Fitzcarraldo . Perf. Klaus Kinski. Filmverlag der Autoren, 1982.

Yates, Jane. "Invention in Rhetoric and Composition." Gaps Addressed: Future Work in Rhetoric and Composition, CCCC, Palmer House Hilton, 2002. Address.

Electronic sources

Electronic sources may include web pages and online news or magazine articles:

In the first example (an online magazine article), the writer has chosen not to include the author name in-text; however, two entries from the same author appear in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes both the author’s last name and the article title in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader to the appropriate entry on the Works Cited page (see below).

In the second example (a web page), a parenthetical citation is not necessary because the page does not list an author, and the title of the article, “MLA Formatting and Style Guide,” is used as a signal phrase within the sentence. If the title of the article was not named in the sentence, an abbreviated version would appear in a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence. Both corresponding Works Cited entries are as follows:

Taylor, Rumsey. "Fitzcarraldo." Slant , 13 Jun. 2003, www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/fitzcarraldo/. Accessed 29 Sep. 2009. 

"MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL , 2 Aug. 2016, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. Accessed 2 April 2018.

Multiple citations

To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

Time-based media sources

When creating in-text citations for media that has a runtime, such as a movie or podcast, include the range of hours, minutes and seconds you plan to reference. For example: (00:02:15-00:02:35).

When a citation is not needed

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 (For example, it is expected that U.S. citizens know that George Washington was the first President.). Remember that citing sources is a rhetorical task, and, as such, can vary based on your audience. If you’re writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, for example, you may need to deal with expectations of what constitutes “common knowledge” that differ from common norms.

Other Sources

The MLA Handbook describes how to cite many different kinds of authors and content creators. However, you may occasionally encounter a source or author category that the handbook does not describe, making the best way to proceed can be unclear.

In these cases, it's typically acceptable to apply the general principles of MLA citation to the new kind of source in a way that's consistent and sensible. A good way to do this is to simply use the standard MLA directions for a type of source that resembles the source you want to cite.

You may also want to investigate whether a third-party organization has provided directions for how to cite this kind of source. For example, Norquest College provides guidelines for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers⁠ —an author category that does not appear in the MLA Handbook . In cases like this, however, it's a good idea to ask your instructor or supervisor whether using third-party citation guidelines might present problems.

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How to Cite a Website in APA Style | Format & Examples

Published on November 5, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on June 17, 2022.

APA website citations usually include the author, the publication date, the title of the page or article, the website name, and the URL. If there is no author, start the citation with the title of the article. If the page is likely to change over time, add a retrieval date.

If you are citing an online version of a print publication (e.g. a newspaper , magazine , or dictionary ), use the same format as you would for print, with a URL added at the end. Formats differ for online videos (e.g. TED Talks ), images , and dissertations .

Use the buttons below to explore the format.

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Table of contents, citing an entire website, how to cite online articles, websites with no author, websites with no date, how to cite from social media, frequently asked questions about apa style citations.

When you refer to a website in your text without quoting or paraphrasing from a specific part of it, you don’t need a formal citation. Instead, you can just include the URL in parentheses after the name of the site:

One of the most popular social media sites, Instagram (http://instagram.com), allows users to share images and videos.

For this kind of citation, you don’t need to include the website on the reference page . However, if you’re citing a specific page or article from a website, you will need a formal in-text citation and reference list entry.

Various kinds of articles appear online, and how you cite them depends on where the article appears.

Online articles from newspapers, magazines, and blogs

Articles appearing in online versions of print publications (e.g. newspapers and magazines) are cited like their print versions, but with an added URL.

The same format is used for blog posts. Just include the blog name where you would usually put the name of the magazine or newspaper.

Articles from online-only news sites

For articles from news sites without print equivalents (e.g. BBC News, Reuters), italicize the name of the article and  not  the name of the site.

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citing online sources in text

When a web page does not list an individual author, it can usually be attributed to an organization or government . If this results in the author name being identical to the site name, omit the site name, as in the example below.

If you can’t identify any author at all, replace the author name with the title of the page or article.

In the in-text citation , put the title in quotation marks if it is in plain text in the reference list, or in italics if it is in italics in the reference list. Note that title case is used for the title here, unlike in the reference list. Shorten the title to the first few words if necessary.

When a web page or article does not list a publication or revision date, replace the date with “n.d.” (“no date”) in all citations.

If an online source is likely to change over time, it is recommended to include the date on which you accessed it.

As social media posts are usually untitled, use the first 20 words of the post, in italics, as a title. Also include any relevant information about the type of post and any multimedia aspects (e.g. videos, images, sound, links) in square brackets.

On some social media sites (such as Twitter ), users go by usernames instead of or in addition to their real names. Where the author’s real name is known, include it, along with their username in square brackets:

In some cases, you’ll want to cite a whole social media profile instead of a specific post. In these cases, include an access date, because a profile will obviously change over time:

When citing a webpage or online article , the APA in-text citation consists of the author’s last name and year of publication. For example: (Worland & Williams, 2015). Note that the author can also be an organization. For example: (American Psychological Association, 2019).

If you’re quoting you should also include a locator. Since web pages don’t have page numbers, you can use one of the following options:

When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage from a source, you need to indicate the location of the passage in your APA in-text citation . If there are no page numbers (e.g. when citing a website ) but the text is long, you can instead use section headings, paragraph numbers, or a combination of the two:

(Caulfield, 2019, Linking section, para. 1).

Section headings can be shortened if necessary. Kindle location numbers should not be used in ebook citations , as they are unreliable.

If you are referring to the source as a whole, it’s not necessary to include a page number or other marker.

When no individual author name is listed, but the source can clearly be attributed to a specific organization—e.g., a press release by a charity, a report by an agency, or a page from a company’s website—use the organization’s name as the author in the reference entry and APA in-text citations .

When no author at all can be determined—e.g. a collaboratively edited wiki or an online article published anonymously—use the title in place of the author. In the in-text citation, put the title in quotation marks if it appears in plain text in the reference list, and in italics if it appears in italics in the reference list. Shorten it if necessary.

APA Style usually does not require an access date. You never need to include one when citing journal articles , e-books , or other stable online sources.

However, if you are citing a website or online article that’s designed to change over time, it’s a good idea to include an access date. In this case, write it in the following format at the end of the reference: Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.uva.nl/en/about-the-uva/about-the-university/about-the-university.html

Instead of the author’s name, include the first few words of the work’s title in the in-text citation. Enclose the title in double quotation marks when citing an article, web page or book chapter. Italicize the title of periodicals, books, and reports.

No publication date

If the publication date is unknown , use “n.d.” (no date) instead. For example: (Johnson, n.d.).

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Caulfield, J. (2022, June 17). How to Cite a Website in APA Style | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved June 7, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-examples/website/

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In-Text Citations: An Overview

In-text citations are brief, unobtrusive references that direct readers to the works-cited-list entries for the sources you consulted and, where relevant, to the location in the source being cited.

An in-text citation begins with the shortest piece of information that di­rects your reader to the entry in the works-cited list. Thus, it begins with what ever comes first in the entry: the author’s name or the title (or descrip­tion) of the work. The citation can appear in your prose or in parentheses.

Citation in prose  Naomi Baron broke new ground on the subject. Parenthetical citation At least one researcher has broken new ground on the subject (Baron). Work cited Baron, Naomi S. “Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media.” PMLA , vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193–200. 

When relevant, an in-text citation also has a second component: if a specific part of a work is quoted or paraphrased and the work includes a page number, line number, time stamp, or other way to point readers to the place in the work where the information can be found, that location marker must be included in parentheses.

Parenthetical citation According to Naomi Baron, reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (194).

The author or title can also appear alongside the page number or other loca­tion marker in parentheses.

Parenthetical citation Reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (Baron 194).

All in-text references should be concise. Avoid, for instance, providing the author’s name or title of a work in both your prose and parentheses.

Citation (incorrect) According to Naomi Baron, reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (Baron 194). Citation (correct) According to Naomi Baron, reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (194).

For more on what to include in an in-text citation and how to style it, see sections 6.3–6.30 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook ).

52 Comments

Brandi unruh 10 april 2021 at 11:04 am.

Hello! I am a high school English teacher trying to answer a question that came up during our research unit. I can’t seem to find a definitive answer online. When using a shortened title in an in-text citation, does an ellipsis need to be included? For example, if the title was “The Problem of Poverty in America: A Historical and Cultural Analysis”, would the in-text citation be (“The Problem of Poverty in America...”) or (“The Problem of Poverty in America”)? Thank you for your time and expertise!

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Laura Kiernan 12 April 2021 AT 11:04 AM

No, an ellipsis would not be used in an in-text citation. We provide extensive guidance on shortening titles in 6.10 of the new ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

angel 10 May 2021 AT 02:05 PM

hii How to write an in text citation of an entry from encyclopedia which has an editor but no separate authors for each entry ?

William Feeler 11 May 2021 AT 01:05 PM

I see no mention of paragraph numbers for unpaginated prose or sections/lines for drama. are these practices gone?

Laura Kiernan 18 May 2021 AT 01:05 PM

This post provides a general overview of our approach to in-text citations. The complete guidelines appear in sections 6.1–6.30 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Vonceil Park 11 May 2021 AT 01:05 PM

Dear MLA Staff, A professor at my College demands students to provide paragraph number in the in-text citation for online articles that have no page number nor paragraph number. Do we just count the paragraph number and put them in the parenthesis, for example: (para. 3)?

Laura Kiernan 18 May 2021 AT 12:05 PM

Thank you for your question. Your approach to modifying our style in accordance with your professor's instructions works, but we would suggest confirming that styling with your professor.

Arathi Babu 17 May 2021 AT 08:05 AM

How to write an in text citation of an unsigned entry from a reference work?

Laura Kiernan 08 June 2021 AT 11:06 AM

If the entry was in a print work, the in-text citation would include the entry’s title or a shortened version of the entry’s title and the page number of the quotation. If the entry was in a reference work without page numbers, the in-text citation should just contain the title or shortened title of the entry.

Sethu 17 May 2021 AT 02:05 PM

For example: Can I give an in-text citation like the following: Shakespeare, in his work Hamlet, quotes: "To be or not to be" (7).

For citing commonly studied verse works, see 6.22 in the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Trinity Klein 21 May 2021 AT 11:05 AM

Can you please help with proper in-text citation placement for an embedded quotation? Does the citation come immediately after the quotation or at the very end of the sentence? For example, is this correct: He asks her to take him home “in the voice of a child afraid of the dark” which comes as a shock to Scout because he has so long held a bold and rebellious reputation (372). Or should the (372) come immediately after ...dark"...? Thank you!

For more information about the placement of a parenthetical citations, see 6.43 in the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Karima 30 May 2021 AT 05:05 PM

Dear MLA staff, 1) In case i am quoting from multiple sources by the same author, am i required to introduce again the source i am quoting from in the beginning of my sentence? (Quotes are used in multiple paragraphs)

For guidance on citing multiple sources by the same author, see 6.8 in the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Yves 23 June 2021 AT 06:06 PM

Hello, is there a specific rule about how to format a range of page numbers in the parenthetical citation? For example, could (Eden 44-45) be written as (Eden 44-5), or is only one example correct?

Laura Kiernan 24 September 2021 AT 02:09 PM

For information about styling number ranges, see section 2.139 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Faliravo 11 August 2021 AT 05:08 AM

Good morning MLA team, My professor insists that I include the year of publication for in-text citations. Is it going to be okay if I insert the year between the author and the page number?

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Laura Kiernan 24 September 2021 AT 01:09 PM

Your approach to modifying our style in accordance with your professor’s instructions works, but we would suggest confirming that styling with your professor.

Pauline 14 September 2021 AT 11:09 PM

How do I cite an entire work. For example, if I want to say Toni Morrison's the "Bluest Eye" has been used as a textbook for many English literature classes, I suppose I shouldn't put any page number in the parenthetical citation. But I can't find any MLA references on this.

See section 4.14 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

myron glassenberg 04 February 2022 AT 01:02 PM

if source is the whole book, how do I cite in text and in works cited pages. e.g. freud (no page number) Freud , ( 1892) The Pleasure Principle.

Lauren McFall 13 October 2021 AT 02:10 PM

Students often refer to the same source consecutively across more than one sentence. I'm having a hard time finding information about the preferred approach according to the MLA. As a parallel, APA makes a specific recommendation - "cite the source in the first sentence in which it is relevant and do not repeat the citation in subsequent sentences as long as the source remains clear and unchanged" https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/appropriate-citation

Laura Kiernan 20 October 2021 AT 04:10 PM

See 6.45 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Ruth Schafer 01 December 2022 AT 07:12 PM

6.45 out of the MLA Handbook's ninth edition does not provide an example of how to cite a multi-sentence paraphrase when using an unpaginated source. Can you give an example of how to cite a multi-sentence paraphrase where the source does not have published page numbering?

Should I introduce the source in my prose and then again at the end of the multi-sentence paraphrase in parentheses when I have finished citing the paraphrase? Example: John Smith from Smith Architecture explains that crawl space foundations are...blah blah blah. These foundations are most commonly used in midwestern constructions where the frost line is...blah, blah, blah. Keep writing the paraphrase and then at the end of the final sentence instead of a page citation write the author's last name (Smith). This way if you switch to a different source, at least the reader knows that you have finished with the Smith source and have moved on to your own commentary or another source's information. Usually, I'd use a page citation at the end of the paraphrase, but when dealing with a source that does not have page numbering, I'm unsure what to do.

Lizzie 18 October 2021 AT 10:10 PM

If I only use textual evidence from the novel I'm examining, do I need to include the authors name with each in text citation? There are no other works cited, so it seems redundant/clutter-y to me

Kayden 29 October 2021 AT 05:10 PM

If I'm trying to cite multiple paragraphs from the same source would it be correct to say (par. 3 and 13) or should it be (par. 3, 13) and is it different if they are next to each other too like (par. 6-7) or (par. 6 and 7).

Laura Kiernan 04 November 2021 AT 11:11 AM

See sections 6.18–6.20 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Rachel 17 November 2021 AT 01:11 PM

When citing from an online source without pagination, if you include the author's name in the introduction to the quote, do you need to include anything in parentheses like the article title?

Laura Kiernan 22 November 2021 AT 12:11 PM

See section 6.26 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

July 25 November 2021 AT 05:11 PM

When quoting an online source (e.g. a website), do I have to indicate the fact that it's an online source in the in-text-citations as in (Name [online]) or is the author's name enough?

Thank you in advance for your answer.

Laura Kiernan 29 November 2021 AT 10:11 AM

According to MLA style, an in-text citation for an online work should not note that the work is online.

Pinkie 19 March 2022 AT 08:03 PM

If I'm writing a response paper, and I need to summarize the whole article to introduce it, then should I use in-text citation?

Laura Kiernan 25 March 2022 AT 01:03 PM

For guidance on paraphrasing, see sections 4.5–4.8 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Kay 09 April 2022 AT 06:04 PM

Hi, am I supposed to include the DOI when one is available in the citation? If I cite the print version of a journal article that has a DOI, still include the DOI in the citation? Thank you!

Laura Kiernan 11 April 2022 AT 11:04 AM

Thank you for your questions. For guidance on including a DOI in your works-cited-list entry, see sections 5.84 and 5.93 in the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Mike 16 April 2022 AT 05:04 PM

Website in-text Citation...

When I'm writing an in-text citation for a website, I'm seeing all manner of different things to include. Do I need to add the author name and year of publishing for the article?\ Do I just need the website name? I'm not really understanding what I need to add or obtain for such a citation within the text I'm writing.

I'm writing a book on my life, and I'm quoting a particular webpage to show one particular angle of an argument I'm making, and, of course, it's not common knowledge, so I want to make sure that I follow all the rules for this kind of thing, so I don't get in trouble with the author(s) of the sources I have quoted from...

Laura Kiernan 18 April 2022 AT 02:04 PM

Thank you for your questions about MLA style. For guidance on in-text citations for web pages, see section 6.26 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Cynthia 21 May 2022 AT 10:05 PM

When you're doing an In-text citations do you put the quotations over the chapter title and then quotations over what you get from the text or do you italicize the title?

Laura Kiernan 25 May 2022 AT 03:05 PM

Thank you for your question. For guidance on how to style chapter titles, see 2.109 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Napatsi 15 August 2022 AT 07:08 PM

I'm trying to find how to put in the in-text citation for a UN declaration article but can only find the "Resolutions of International Governing Bodies" on page 446 of the 9th edition but not how to out it in without an author.

Kim 27 September 2022 AT 12:09 PM

I'm quoting a passage from an unpublished manuscript, and it is not the only work I'm citing by the author, but the only one without a year. So using "Smith 1995, 82" is not possible. What would an in-text citation for this case look like?

Jen 17 November 2022 AT 08:11 PM

How do I cite a news cast for in-text citation like ABC News?

Samantha 04 December 2022 AT 05:12 PM

Hi, For MLA format, should a quote where you need to de-capitalize the first letter be written as "you want" or "(y)ou want". Thanks!

Laura Kiernan 07 December 2022 AT 01:12 PM

Thank you for your question. For guidance on how to indicate that you have lowercased the first letter of a quotation, see 6.56 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Maria Albeti 07 February 2023 AT 01:02 PM

Stewart, David W. Focus groups. In: Frey, B.B. (ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation, vol. 2, pp. 687–692. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications 2018 In this case, how is the correct form to write, because the article is IN the the book?

Eros Karadzhov 15 February 2023 AT 02:02 PM

If we have a sentence that is a statement, but at the end we quote a question, which punctuation mark do we keep, the question mark or the period; maybe both? Example: (1) The author ends his poem with the following question on purpose: "Or does it explode?" (Hughes 11). (2) The author ends his poem with the following question on purpose: "Or does it explode" (Hughes 11)?

Which would be correct, or maybe both are wrong?

Thank you in advance!

Laura Kiernan 16 February 2023 AT 03:02 PM

Thank you for your question. For guidance on quotations ending in a question mark, see section 6.53 of the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Anonymous 08 March 2023 AT 05:03 PM

What about online articles with no known author or multiple authors? What should the in-text citation look like?

Maria 25 March 2023 AT 04:03 PM

Please settle a dispute with my colleagues. I encourage composition students to avoid listing the title of journal articles within the essay unless it is especially relevant because it clutters their arguments. I came to this conclusion from my interpretation of this statement from MLA: "All in-text references should be concise. Avoid, for instance, providing the author’s name or title of a work in both your prose and parentheses." Could someone please provide an answer or further clarification?

Erika Suffern 30 March 2023 AT 04:03 PM

You are right to identify a principle of concision in our guidelines. That said, it is not wrong to mention a title in prose, but it should be done, as you note, when relevant–not as a de rigeur practice or for “filler.” As Eric Hayot notes in The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities (Columbia UP, 2014), “giving the title” in prose “suggests fuller forthcoming treatment” (159). Another reason for including the title in prose might be to call attention to something about it. Many writers who do mention a title in prose fear having an incomplete citation and are tempted also to include the title in a parenthetical reference, which is unnecessary.

Jay 29 April 2023 AT 12:04 AM

How do I in-text cite a direct quote from the introduction of an ebook with no page numbers? Would I write (Author "Introduction") or just write (Author)?

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Harvard (Lancaster University Library) referencing guide ( not updated after 2022)

In-text citations

Avoiding overcitation, how to use in-text citations when paraphrasing an idea, how to use in-text citations when using a direct quotation, how to cite works with two authors, how to cite three or more authors, how to cite multiple publications by the same author/s in the same year, how to include multiple citations in your text, how to cite when information is missing, how to cite works which have no obvious author, how to cite unpublished sources, how to cite a secondary source, how to cite legal materials.

An in-text citation is required if you paraphrase (use someone else's ideas in your own words), summarise (use a brief account of someone else's ideas), quote (use someone else's exact words) or copy (use someone else's figures, tables or structure).  When citing references within the text of an assignment, you need the author’s surname/family name or organisation name plus the year of publication and potentially a page number :

(Oliver, 2003)             (Cruttenden, 2014, p. 89)

Over-citation, for example using the same citation in multiple sentences when the topic and source have not changed, can be distracting to the reader and is not necessary.   

It is best practice when citing the same source throughout a single paragraph to cite it in the first sentence where it is used, and while the source remains clear and unchanged i.e. you don't refer to another source, do not repeat the citation. However, although the citation is not repeated it must be clear from the context of that writing that the same source is being used.    

As Cottrell (2011) suggests, it is important to appreciate the difficulties that students can sometimes face when trying to order their thoughts in a more reasoned and logical way. Consequently, critical thinking is a skill which may have to be developed over a long period of time, and which will require a great deal of practice to fully grasp (Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2013).

N.B – notice how you can use in-text citations in different ways depending on whether you want the emphasis on the author (the first in-text citation above) or whether you want the emphasis on the idea (the second in-text citation).

Critical thinking is argued to be the skill “to make careful judgements about information and to evaluate its quality" (Drew and Bingham, 2001, p. 282).

N.B – notice that with a direct quotation you need to use double quotation marks and, where possible, you must include the page number so that your quotation can be verified.

When a book or other source you want to cite has two authors, cite both authors. 

 Drew and Bingham (2001) explained that ...

Research has found that ... (Drew and Bingham, 2001)

If there are three or more authors, cite the first author only followed by ‘ et al.’ (from the Latin meaning ‘and others’).

Harris et al. (2006) have argued that …

It has been argued that ... (Harris et al., 2006)

In your reference list, you should list all authors shown, and you should list these in the same order they appear on the publication.

Harris, A., Robinson, K., Smith, P. & Turner, G. (2006) Management skills. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

There may be times when you have to cite two publications by an author published in the same year. To do this, you need to distinguish between the items in the text and the reference list by allocating letters.

Example: 

The results of the survey showed that the standard of living was higher in the coastal regions (Williams, 2004a). Further research revealed that employment figures were also higher (Williams, 2004b).

In your reference list, the publications would be shown as:

Williams, A. (2004a) Survey of living standards in the coastal regions . London: Survey Press. 

Williams, A. (2004b) Employment figures for the coastal regions . London: Survey Press.

If you need to cite multiple sources in a sentence, then you can put them all in brackets, separated by a semi-colon: 

(Kyenti, 2019; Smith et al. 2020; Townes and Brown, 2018). 

There are a number of strategies you can use when you have missing information in your references. 

1.  No date 

The date is often difficult to find on web-based material.  If no date is available, use n.d. 

(Sword, n.d.) 

Sword, H. (n.d.)  The writing base .  Available at:  https://writersdiet.com/base/  [Accessed 19 July 2021].  

2. No Author 

If you can’t find the name of a person as the author, it is likely that there will be an organisation that you can use instead.  In this case use the organisation’s name as the author.  E.g. 

(Royal Literary Fund, 2018) 

Royal Literary Fund (2018)  Writing Essays . Available at: https://www.rlf.org.uk/resources/writing-essays/ [Accessed 10 June 2015]. 

In the rare cases where there is no person or organisation that can be used as an author, consider carefully whether the source is suitable for an academic assignment. If you still want to reference it, then you can use the title of the work in place of the author. 

3. Missing title 

If there is no title present, then you can describe the work in square brackets instead of the title. 

4. Publishing information 

  If you are struggling to find the publishing information of a book, such as the place of publication or the publisher, check OneSearch , the library catalogue.  You can also find publishing information on the websites of book sellers, publishers and other libraries.   

Be cautious when citing works where the author is not obvious, because this can sometimes mean that the work is not suitable to include as an academic source . However , if you do need to cite a work which appears to have no author, use either the title of the work , the name of the publication or the website instead. In some disciplines, you can use the abbreviation Anon (for Anonymous). If you are unsure, please check with your tutor.  

Example:  

The Times (2007) stated that...  

How to cite a website  

To cite a website or web page within the text of an assignment, cite by the author if there is one clearly stated. If there is no author you should cite by the website name or organisation name.  

A common misconception around critical thinking is that you need to be negative (Royal Literary Fund, 2018).  

The publication of a source is usually a strong indication of the source’s validity. However, there may be occasion when you want to cite unpublished materials. You can indicate this by adding ‘unpublished’ at the end of the full reference, particularly if it is not apparent from the reference that the source is unpublished. 

Name of author, initial. Year (in brackets). Title. Unpublished. 

Some types of unpublished sources, including letters and diaries may have additional information available that you should include within your full reference. For example, if you are citing an unpublished document from within an archive or collection you should include this information. The below example is a correspondence.  

Rigby, G. (1637). Rigby to H. Sherbourne, 13 July [Letter]. Held at: The Peele Collection of Letters, Lancashire Record Office. DDKE9201. 

This is when you are citing the work of an author which is mentioned in a book or journal article by another author. You should always try to read the original work where possible, but if not, you must make it clear that you have not read the original work by using the phrase ‘cited in’ and then include the reference for the source from which the information is taken. 

Within the text you would present this as follows:

There have been many in-depth comparisons (Kazmer and Xie, 2008 cited in Robson, 2011)…

In the reference list, you would provide the full reference for Robson’s (2011) work, not Kazmer and Xie’s (2008) work.

Note: if you are using EndNote to manage your references, see the guide on Editing citations for information about how to create a secondary reference.

Legislation - Acts of Parliament

Cite the full short title of the act including the year.  Note that there is no need to repeat the year:

Key legislation provides for ... (Human Rights Act 1998)

Legislation - Statutory Instruments

Cite the full title of the SI.  Again, there is no need to repeat the year:

Consumer legislation requires...(The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000)

Law reports

The first time you mention a case, cite the title of the case, ie the parties involved,  and the year:

In a recent case (Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd, 2020), it was noted that...

The judgment in the case of McCausland v Duncan Lawrie (1997) showed...

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / Harvard Referencing / How to reference a website using the Harvard referencing style

How to reference a website using the Harvard referencing style

This guide covers how to reference a website in Harvard style. When citing information sourced from the web, it is of paramount importance that you make very clear what it is you are referencing. As sources on the internet can vary widely, your reference should aim to provide a trail that can lead the reader directly to the source. An internet source could be almost anything, including but not limited to scholarly journal articles, newspaper articles, blog posts, and personal web pages. Your reference format for internet sources will vary based on the type of source.

Since most websites are updated from time to time, it is possible that anything you quote may be changed or removed. This means that it is important to record within your citation the date that you last accessed the site.  

Another important fact to be mindful of is that most websites do not have page numbers. If you need to reference a specific location on a website, you can use paragraph numbers in place of page numbers (abbreviated ‘para.’ in your in-text citation).  

Citation styles for different online sources

This section will elaborate on the citation style to be utilized for the following sources, along with examples for each source type.  

Web pages authored by an individual/individuals

Your references for this type of web page will include the following information:  

In-text citation

B. Johnson (2016) made his argument quite clear stating…

Reference list

Johnson, B. (2016) The rise of the Ubermensch. Available at: http://www.bjohnsonsworld.co.uk/theriseoftheubermensch (Accessed: 23 October 2017).

In-text citation (two authors)

After years of research, Russell and Verstappen (2013) found that…

Russell, J. and Verstappen, M. (2013) Rubber compounds and their rate of wear . Available at: http://www.dailysciencefixforyou.com/rubbercompounds (Accessed: 24 November 2019).

Web pages authored by a company or organization

Here’s the information you will need to include for this type of reference:

A patient may suffer mild psychosis (Rural Health Institute, 2018) as a result of…

Rural Health Institute (2018) The effects of shock therapy. Available at: http://www.rhi.co.uk/shocktherapy (Accessed: 31 October 2019).

Web pages with no author  

Citation structure :

Renderings of the architect’s master plan can be found online ( Gumpert’s Modernism, 2013) …

Reference List

Gumpert’s Modernism (2013) Available at: https://www.stellararchitecture.com/modernism/ (Accessed: 24 July 2020)

Web pages with no author or title

Citation structure:

In-text citation    

Salt dough cookies (http://www.wholesomerecipes.com/saltdough.html, 2018) are a wonderful way to….

http://www.wholesomerecipes.com/saltdough.html (2018) (Accessed: 12 September 2020).

Web pages without a date

Citation information:  

Cuba struggled through the decade (Banana Republic News, no date) facing a constant onslaught of….

Banana Republic News (no date) The trials and tribulations of Cuba. Available at: https://www.bananafyinews.com/cuba.html (Accessed: 15 July 2019).

Multiple pages from the same website

If you need to cite multiple pages from the same website, and the pages have different authors and/or publication dates associated with them, then you can simply use corresponding individual in-text citations and reference list entries for each page that you cite. In this case, you would also include the unique URL for each page in its corresponding reference list entry. However, if the pages you are citing all have the same author and publication date, you can differentiate between them in both your reference list entries and in-text citations by adding a lowercase letter after the date.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022a)

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022b)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022a)  International travel . Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/index.html (Accessed: 18 July 2022).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022b) Cruise ship travel during COVID-19 . Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/cruise-travel-during-covid19.html (Accessed: 18 July 2022).

Note that if the web page has no date, insert a hyphen between the words ‘no date’ and the lowercase letter to improve readability, for example: (no date-a) or (no date-b).

Web blogs or video blogs

When citing any information from blogs or vlogs, you need to keep in mind that you are treading a very thin line between objectivity and subjectivity. Blogs or vlogs are meant to be informal as most people use them to express their perspectives on issues or topics that are close to their heart, or to comment on issues from the public domain. So, be incredibly careful as most blogs are not very well reasoned or objective in their stance.

Note that if you’re trying to cite a vlog that was posted on YouTube, you’ll need to know how to cite a YouTube video in Harvard style .

Engelbert D’Souza (2015) has expounded on the “Mandela Effect” at great length….

D’Souza, E. (2015) ‘The Mandela Effect’, Engelbert’s monthly blog , 6 November. Available at: https://www.engelbertsmonthlyblog/november/mandelaeffect/ (Accessed: 11 September 2016).

Social networking sites  

Citation information:

In-text citation  

Hendrix was a master of distortion and feedback (Casanova, 2018) …

Casanova, G. (2018) ‘Jimi Hendrix: wild blue angel’ [Instagram]. 18 September. Available at: https://www.instagram.com (Accessed: 7 October 2019)

The Trump rally drew large crowds in South Carolina ( Trump campaign , 2016).

Trump campaign (2016) [Facebook] 24 October. Available at: https://www.facebook.com (Accessed: 28 February 2019).

Jasper Kuhn (2018) was quite critical about the proceedings…

Kuhn, J. [@kuhnper] (2018) It was appalling to see the leaders of the state bicker like rabid dogs in the assembly [Twitter] 31 January. Available at: https://twitter.com/kuhnper/status/161664645.654654.655 (Accessed: 17 July 2018).

Key takeaways

Published October 29, 2020.

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  4. How to Cite a Website

    To cite a page from a website, you need a short in-text citation and a corresponding reference stating the author's name, the date of publication, the title of the page, the website name, and the URL. This information is presented differently in different citation styles. APA, MLA, and Chicago are the most commonly used styles.

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  6. MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

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    To create a basic works-cited-list entry for an online work, list the author, the title of the work, the title of the website as the title of the container, and the publication details.

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    APA website citations usually include the author, the publication date, the title of the page or article, the website name, and the URL. If there is no author, start the citation with the title of the article. If the page is likely to change over time, add a retrieval date.

  12. Library Guides: APA Quick Citation Guide: In-text Citation

    Using In-text Citation. Include an in-text citation when you refer to, summarize, paraphrase, or quote from another source. For every in-text citation in your paper, there must be a corresponding entry in your reference list. APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005).

  13. In-Text Citations: An Overview

    In-text citations are brief, unobtrusive references that direct readers to the works-cited-list entries for the sources you consulted and, where relevant, to the location in the source being cited. An in-text citation begins with the shortest piece of information that di­rects your reader to the entry in the works-cited list.

  14. How to cite sources within the text

    Over-citation, for example using the same citation in multiple sentences when the topic and source have not changed, can be distracting to the reader and is not necessary. It is best practice when citing the same source throughout a single paragraph to cite it in the first sentence where it is used, and while the source remains clear and ...

  15. Citation Machine®: Format & Generate

    Citation Machine® helps students and professionals properly credit the information that they use. Cite sources in APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, and Harvard for free. ... Citing Sources Guide | Grammar Guide | Plagiarism Guide | Writing Tips. Student Blog. Stay up to date! Get research tips and citation information or just enjoy some fun posts ...

  16. FREE Citation Machine: Accurate & Easy-to-Use

    Citation Generator Powered by Chegg Select style: APA MLA Harvard Chicago ASA IEEE AMA Website Book Journal More Search What Is Cite This For Me's Citation Generator? Cite This For Me's open-access generator is an automated citation machine that turns any of your sources into citations in just a click.

  17. 📖 MyBib

    MyBib is a free bibliography and citation generator that makes accurate citations for you to copy straight into your academic assignments and papers. If you're a student, academic, or teacher, and you're tired of the other bibliography and citation tools out there, then you're going to love MyBib. MyBib creates accurate citations automatically ...

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    Cite sources the easy way Easily create references with our citation generator for 50+ source types. Get started Choose your online writing help Cite This For Me™ free account Cite This For Me™ Premium Citation styles 7000+ styles including Harvard and APA 7000+ styles including Harvard and APA Create bibliographies Up to 15 references Unlimited

  19. How to reference a website using the Harvard referencing style

    If you need to reference a specific location on a website, you can use paragraph numbers in place of page numbers (abbreviated 'para.' in your in-text citation). Citation styles for different online sources. This section will elaborate on the citation style to be utilized for the following sources, along with examples for each source type.