Skip to main content

MLA Citation Guide: In-text Citations


When quoting or paraphrasing another person's words or ideas, you must give credit to that person.  You do this with an in-text citation. 

An in-text citation is placed at the end of the phrase or sentence(s) you are quoting or paraphrasing. 

It includes the person's name followed by the page number:

(author's last name page number)

With a web site, where there is usually no page numbers, just list the author's last name.


When the author's name is part of the text, list just the page number

In-text citation:

Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

When the author's name is not part of the text, list the name and page number

In-text citation: 

Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).

Citation on Works Cited page:

Wordsworth, William. The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth. Houghton Mifflin, 1932.

When using a web site, with no page number, list just the author's name

In-text citation: 

The incident at Virginia Tech involved a greater number of deaths than any campus shooting in U.S. history (Johnson).

Citation on Works Cited page:

Johnson, Alex. "Worst U.S. Shooting Ever Kills 33 on Va. Campus." MSNBC, 16 April 2007,

When there is no author, use a short form of the title, followed by the page number

In-text citation:

As of 2001, at least three hundred towns and municipalities had considered legislation regulating use of cell phones while driving ("Lawmakers" 2).

Citation on Works Cited page

"Lawmakers Drive Message Home. " Telegraph-Herald, 22  Nov. 2007, p. A8. ProQuest,

When there are two authors, list both names, followed by the page number

In-text citation:

Experts in the affect of trauma should be more extensively involved in the formulation of disaster response policy (Fairbank and Gerrity 317).

Citation for Works Cited page:

Fairbank, John A., and Ellen T. Gerrity. "Making Trauma Intervention Principles Public Policy." Psychiatry, vol. 70, no. 4 2007, pp. 316-319. ProQuest,

Need Help?

Library Reference Desk: 425.640.1472 | Chat online: Ask-a-Librarian