Citing your sources may seem tedious, but it's important to cite because:
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.
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. London: Oxford UP, 1967.
|Journal Article from a Database|
Borgwardt, Elizabeth. “FDR's Four Freedoms as a Human Rights Instrument.” OAH Magazine of History 22.2 (2008): 8-13. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
|In-Text Citation:||(Borgwardt 9)|
Foucault, Michel, Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon. The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality : with Two Lectures by and an Interview with Michel Foucault. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. Print.
|In-Text Citation:||(Foucault, Burchell, Gordon 157)|
Moffitt, Karl. "Trends in Income Support." Changing Poverty, Changing Policies. Ed. Maria Cancian and Sheldon Danziger. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2009. pp. 203-221. Print.
|In-Text Citation:||(Moffitt 217)|
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the arts and humanities. These resources, revised according to the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, offer examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and reference pages: