MLA Citation Style
What Makes Up an MLA Style Citation?
There are two parts to MLA Style citations for research papers. The first part is the in-text citation, which briefly provides relevant information about a source within a set of parentheses. In-text citations are inserted within the body of a research paper, directly following where the source is summarized, paraphrased, quoted, or otherwise referred to. Most in-text citations in MLA Style include the last name of the source’s author and a page number, though there are exceptions.
The purpose of an in-text citation is to guide a reader to the second part of the citation, the Works Cited list entry. A Works Cited list is an alphabetical list of complete citations for every source cited in the body of the research paper. It comes at the end of a research paper. The purpose of the Works Cited list is to help readers find the original sources referenced in a paper on their own. Every in-text citation must match up to an entry in the Works Cited list and vice versa.
There are some general principles and concepts behind MLA Style citations that are important to understand in order to feel comfortable citing the wide range of sources you will use as a student researcher. This video will quickly introduce these concepts, which will be covered in more detail throughout this module.
Please watch this brief video on from The Nature of Writing on "Introduction to MLA Style, 8th Edition."