Skip to Main Content
Ask Us

MLA Style 9th Edition

What's in-text citing?

"In-text" means citing the source of information in the body of the text, for example: 

  • In the text of an essay
  • In the outline of a speech 
  • In the slide of a PowerPoint 

Every time you cite a source in your text there has to be a corresponding citation in the Works Cited page at the end of your essay or assignment. 

General Information


  • MLA follows the author-page method 
  • In-text citations are placed within parenthesis and will usually contain the last name of the author and page number.
  • In-text citations should immediately follow a direct quote.
  • When paraphrasing, you need to include an in-text citation.

Parenthetical Citation vs Signal Phrase

Parenthetical citation is used with paraphrased or direct quote material which then has the "Author page number" at the end of the sentence in parentheses.

Example of a Direct Quote: Use quotation marks to indicate the use of the author's exact words within your paragraph.

The characters in this novel are "distinctly complex and extravagant" (Jones 115).

Before chemical or synthetic fertilizers existed, "all food production worldwide was de facto organic" (Paarlberg 166).

Example of a Paraphrase: A paraphrase is when you take a paragraph that you have read and put it into your own words.  You will still need to use an in-text citation as the ideas are not your own.

The beginnings of the organic food movement can be traced back to the early twenty-first century in some European countries such as Austria and England (Paarlberg 58-61).

Example of a Signal Phrase: The author is mentioned in the sentence, page number in parentheses.

In Food Politics, Robert Paarlberg states that  "there are some examples of food aid altering the behavior of consumers in recipient countries" (55).


Paarlberg emphasizes the fact that food aid creates dependency (56-61).

Quoting, Summarizing, and Paraphrasing

Summary vs Paraphrase vs Quote – Click image to redirect to WritingScape website

Using Other People's Ideas Video

Citing Images In-Text

When citing images place under the image in-text (including PowerPoint slides):

Basic Format:

(Fig. #) or (Last Name of artist)


(Fig. 1) or (Warner)

Image Without Author:

(Fig. #) or ("Title of Image")


(Fig. 2) or ("Orange grove - Clewiston, Florida.")

Format Variations

Single Author: 

(Author last name Page number) 


(Story 47).


Two Authors:

(Author Last Name and 2nd Authors last name page number)


(Powel and Conaway 28).


As Powel and Conaway state...(28).


Three or More Authors:

(First Author Last Name et al. page number)


(London et al. 120).

Per London et al. the consequences of these...(120).


No Author:

*specifically for no author, for organization/owner as author, see next section below.

(Shortened title of source in quotes and page number)


("Impact of Global Warming" 65).


Corporate or Organization as Author:

Use the corporation or organization as author. 

(Corporation or Organization page number)


(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 7).


Chapter from an Anthology:

*When citing chapter from anthology, use the chapter author as the author, not the editors. 

(Chapter Author Last Name page number)


(Achebe 543).

Other Formats


Websites are cited the same as other sources in-text, in the (Author page number).

If no author, follow the below guidelines: 

  • Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
  • Do not provide paragraph numbers or page numbers based on your Web browser’s print preview function.
  • Unless you must list the Web site name in the signal phrase in order to get the reader to the appropriate entry, do not include URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs such as when the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name, like or, as opposed to writing out or

Films & Lecture/Presentation:
Use the name of the presenter or the films director in the in-text citation. This should match up with the citation on your Works Cited page.  


Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo stars Herzog's long-time film partner, Klaus Kinski. During the shooting of Fitzcarraldo, Herzog and Kinski were often at odds, but their explosive relationship fostered a memorable and influential film.

During the presentation, Jane Yates stated that invention and pre-writing are areas of rhetoric that need more attention.

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.

Indirect Sources:

An indirect source is a source cited within another source. For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted and include this source on your Works Cited page. 


Ravitch argues that high schools are pressured to act as "social service centers, and they don't do that well" (qtd. in Weisman 259).