MLA Style Guide, 8th & 9th Editions: In-text Examples
- Works Cited entries: What to Include
- Title of source
- Title of container
- Publication date
- Supplemental Elements
- Book with Personal Author(s)
- Book with Organization as Author
- Book with Editor(s)
- Parts of Books
- Government Publication
- Journal Article
- Magazine Article
- Multivolume Works
- Newspaper Article
- Other Formats
- Websites, Social Media, and Email
- About In-text Citations
- In-text Examples
- How to Paraphrase and Quote
- Citing Poetry
- Formatting Your MLA Paper
- Formatting Your Works Cited List
- MLA Annotated Bibliography
- MLA 9th Edition Quick Guide
- Submit Your Paper for MLA Style Review
Author Page Number System
MLA Handbook, 8th Edition uses the author page number style for in-text citations in this format: (AuthorLastName 43).
Example: (Hemingway 13)
When there is no author, the author is unknown, or the author is not the first element listed in the corresponding Works Cited citation, use the first element listed in the citation in the in-text citation instead. In most causes this will be the title. After this include the page reference. If the title is long, use a shortened version of the title.
Example: ("A New Deal" 121) or ( The Open Box 23)
Chart of In-Text Examples
Give the author's name and the page number or page range in parentheses. If the author's name is stated in the sentence, always place the page number in parentheses at the next natural pause in the text, usually at the end of the sentence.
Alexander notes that race was a critical topic in the 1968 presidential race (22-29).
Give both names separated by the word and when including the names in the text of a sentence or in parentheses.
Wilson and Schlosser state the results...(47).
(Wilson and Schlosser 47).
Three or more authors
When mentioning the authors in the text, give all of the authors' names or list the first author and write "and others". For the parenthetical citation and Works Cited citation, give the first author's name followed by et al.
James and others claim that social customs prevalent in the southern United States have...(157-65).
Social customs in the southern United States have become...(James et al. 157-65).
Multiple works by the same author
Include the author's name, then a comma, then a shortened version of the title, followed by the page reference.
(Dickens, David Copperfield 347).
(Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities 89).
Multiple citations by the same author in one sentence
When you have two citations for the same author in one sentence, usually quotes from two different pages, you can combine them in one citation at the end of the sentence like this: (Ibsen 1700, 1704).
Authors with the same surname
When authors of two separate works in your Works Cited list have the same surname, include the first initial of the author you are referencing in the in-text citation.
(H. Smith 34).
Multiple works by different authors in the same citation
Include the last name and page reference for the first author, then a semi-colon, followed by the last name and page reference for the next author.
(Smith 93; Fayett 131-32).
Organizations as authors/Corporate author
List the corporate author followed by the page reference. Abbreviate words like Department.
(American Library Association 17).
Organizations as authors/Corporate author that is also the Publisher
When the author is an organization or corporation that is also the publisher, the Works Cited citation will begin with the title, instead of the author. Corresponding in-text citations should use an abbreviated version of the title and the page reference.
( Publication 3).
If the author is a government or government body, include the administrative layers listed in the Works Cited entry separated by commas. Use abbreviations for common words like Department (as "Dept.").
(United States, Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary 7).
Works without authors
If the Works Cited entry begins with a title because there is no author, use the title followed by the page reference in the in-text citation. Use an abbreviated version for long titles. To abbreviate a title, use as few words as possible, dropping articles and prepositions, but keeping the first word of the title as alphabetized in your Works Cited. The abbreviated title should be a noun phrase, so likely the first noun in the title along with any adjectives that come before it. Titles of an article, chapter, or web page should be placed in double quotation marks. Titles of a periodical, book, entire website, report, or brochure should be italicized.
ARTICLE title ("New Deal" 121).
BOOK title ( Open Box 18).
LONG book title ( Handbook of Geriatric Therapy 26).
Works with Anonymous listed as author
Only list Anonymous as the author when Anonymous is given as the author's name. Follow that with the page reference. When the author's name is just unknown, skip the author element and move to the next element. Do not use the term Anonymous for works without authors listed.
Works without pagination
When citing a website or webpage (without page numbers), include the author's name only in the in-text citation.
(United States, Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary)
If you are referring to an entire work, you may identify the work in your text using the author or title name from your Works Cited list rather than a parenthetical citation.
To Kill a Mockingbird was published over fifty years ago and is still read by many students today.
Multivolume works (one volume consulted)
If your Works Cited entry indicates only one volume of a multivolume set, include the page reference in the parenthetical citation. The volume is already specified in the Works Cited entry.
Norat, Gisela. "Isabel Allende: Chilean and American Novelist." Notable Latino Writers, vol. 1, Salem Press, 2006, pp. 27-34.
Multivolume works (more than one volume consulted)
If your Works Cited entry indicates more than one volume of a multivolume set, include both the volume and the page reference in the parenthetical citation to distinguish which volume is being referenced.
( Notable , 1: 27).
Notable Latino Writers, vol. 1, Salem Press, 2006, 3 vols.
Media with a timestamp and no page numbers
If your source has no page numbers but has a timestamp, such as a video or audio source, give the timestamp range instead of the page number ranges.
(Busari 00:02:30 - 00:03:15).
Busari, Stephanie. "How Fake News Does Real Harm." TED , Feb. 2017, www.ted.com/talks/stephanie_busari_how_fake_news_does_real_harm?language=en.
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MLA Style Guide: 8th Edition: Multiple Authors
- Works Cited examples
- Direct Quote
- Block Quote
- Indirect Quote
- In-Text Exceptions
- Personal Communications
- MLA Handbook/Other Resources
IN-TEXT CITATIONS FOR A...
See examples below to learn about how multiple authors for one work are handled in MLA parenthetical citations.
Include author's last name and the page number (no comma before the page number) in parentheses:
Include last name of both authors connected by the word ‘and’, followed by the page number (no comma before the page number) in parentheses.
(Johnson and Tuite 110)
Three or more Authors
Include the first author’s last name followed by ‘et al.’ and the page number (no comma before the page number) in parentheses.
(Richard et al. 25)
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MLA Citation Style, 9th Edition
- MLA Style, 9th Edition
- In-text citations
- Books - Multiple Authors
- Books - with editors, translators, etc.
- Book - Essay, Short Story, Poem, etc
- Books - later editions
- Articles - Multiple Authors
- Articles - from scholarly journals
- Articles - from newspapers
- Articles - from magazines
- YouTube Video
- Television Shows
- Images from the Web
- Works Cited: Websites
- Works Cited: Social Media / Informal Communication
- Don't See an Example for Your Source?!
- Report an Error / Question
When a work has two authors, include them in the order they appear on the work, and invert the first author's name but write out the second author's name normally.
Works Cited Format (2 authors, scholarly journal):
In-Text Citation Examples:
Author within the text, direct quote:
Authors not in the text, direct quote:
Three or More Authors
Invert the first author's name add a comma and "et al."
Works Cited Format (3 or more authors, scholarly journal):
In-text Citation Examples:
Authors within the text, direct quote:
- << Previous: Works Cited: Articles in Periodicals
- Next: Articles - from scholarly journals >>
- Last Updated: Aug 24, 2023 9:54 AM
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Generate accurate MLA citations for free
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- A complete guide to MLA in-text citations
MLA In-text Citations | A Complete Guide (9th Edition)
Published on July 9, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on May 19, 2022.
An MLA in-text citation provides the author’s last name and a page number in parentheses.
If a source has two authors, name both. If a source has more than two authors, name only the first author, followed by “ et al. ”
If the part you’re citing spans multiple pages, include the full page range. If you want to cite multiple non-consecutive pages at the same time, separate the page numbers with commas.
Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr
Table of contents, where to include an mla in-text citation, citing sources with no author, citing sources with no page numbers, citing different sources with the same author name, citing sources indirectly, frequently asked questions about mla in-text citations.
Place the parenthetical citation directly after the relevant quote or paraphrase , and before the period or other punctuation mark (except with block quotes , where the citation comes after the period).
If you have already named the author in the sentence, add only the page number in parentheses. When mentioning a source with three or more authors outside of parentheses, use “and others” or “and colleagues” in place of “et al.”
- MLA is the second most popular citation style (Smith and Morrison 17–19) .
- According to Smith and Morrison , MLA is the second most popular citation style (17–19) .
- APA is by far “the most used citation style in the US” (Moore et al. 74) , but it is less dominant in the UK (Smith 16) .
- Moore and colleagues state that APA is more popular in the US than elsewhere (74) .
If a sentence is supported by more than one source, you can combine the citations in a single set of parentheses. Separate the two sources with a semicolon .
Livestock farming is one of the biggest global contributors to climate change (Garcia 64; Davies 14) .
Consecutive citations of the same source
If you cite the same source repeatedly within a paragraph, you can include the full citation the first time you cite it, then just the page number for subsequent citations.
MLA is the second most popular citation style (Smith and Morrison 17–19) . It is more popular than Chicago style, but less popular than APA (21) .
You can do this as long as it remains clear what source you’re citing. If you cite something else in between or start a new paragraph, reintroduce the full citation again to avoid ambiguity.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
For sources with no named author , the in-text citation must match the first element of the Works Cited entry. This may be the name of an organization, or the title of the source.
If the source title or organization name is longer than four words, shorten it to the first word or phrase in the in-text citation, excluding any articles ( a, an, and the ). The shortened title or organization name should begin with the word the source is alphabetized by in the Works Cited.
Follow the general MLA rules for formatting titles : If the source is a self-contained work (e.g. a whole website or an entire book ), put the title in italics; if the source is contained within a larger whole (e.g. a page on a website or a chapter of a book), put the title in quotation marks.
If a source does not have page numbers but is divided into numbered parts (e.g. chapters, sections, scenes, Bible books and verses, Articles of the Constitution , or timestamps), use these numbers to locate the relevant passage.
If the source does not use any numbering system, include only the author’s name in the in-text citation. Don’t include paragraph numbers unless they are explicitly numbered in the source.
Note that if there are no numbered divisions and you have already named the author in your sentence, then no parenthetical citation is necessary.
If your Works Cited page includes more than one entry under the same last name, you need to distinguish between these sources in your in-text citations.
Multiple sources by the same author
If you cite more than one work by the same author, add a shortened title to signal which source you are referring to.
In this example, the first source is a whole book, so the title appears in italics; the second is an article published in a journal, so the title appears in quotation marks.
Different authors with the same last name
To distinguish between different authors with the same last name, use the authors’ initials (or, if the initials are the same, full first names) in your in-text citations:
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Sometimes you might want to cite something that you found quoted in a secondary source . If possible, always seek out the original source and cite it directly.
If you can’t access the original source, make sure to name both the original author and the author of the source that you accessed . Use the abbreviation “qtd. in” (short for “quoted in”) to indicate where you found the quotation.
In these cases, only the source you accessed directly is included in the Works Cited list.
You must include an MLA in-text citation every time you quote or paraphrase from a source (e.g. a book , movie , website , or article ).
Some source types, such as books and journal articles , may contain footnotes (or endnotes) with additional information. The following rules apply when citing information from a note in an MLA in-text citation :
- To cite information from a single numbered note, write “n” after the page number, and then write the note number, e.g. (Smith 105n2)
- To cite information from multiple numbered notes, write “nn” and include a range, e.g. (Smith 77nn1–2)
- To cite information from an unnumbered note, write “un” after the page number, with a space in between, e.g. (Jones 250 un)
If a source has two authors, name both authors in your MLA in-text citation and Works Cited entry. If there are three or more authors, name only the first author, followed by et al.
If a source has no author, start the MLA Works Cited entry with the source title . Use a shortened version of the title in your MLA in-text citation .
If a source has no page numbers, you can use an alternative locator (e.g. a chapter number, or a timestamp for a video or audio source) to identify the relevant passage in your in-text citation. If the source has no numbered divisions, cite only the author’s name (or the title).
If you already named the author or title in your sentence, and there is no locator available, you don’t need a parenthetical citation:
- Rajaram argues that representations of migration are shaped by “cultural, political, and ideological interests.”
- The homepage of The Correspondent describes it as “a movement for radically different news.”
Yes. MLA style uses title case, which means that all principal words (nouns, pronouns , verbs, adjectives , adverbs , and some conjunctions ) are capitalized.
This applies to titles of sources as well as the title of, and subheadings in, your paper. Use MLA capitalization style even when the original source title uses different capitalization .
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McCombes, S. (2022, May 19). MLA In-text Citations | A Complete Guide (9th Edition). Scribbr. Retrieved December 5, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/mla/in-text-citations/
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All you need to know about citations
How to do in-text citations with multiple authors in MLA
The format of MLA's in-text citations varies depending on the number of authors. In the following sections you will learn how to format in-text citations in MLA style, with one author, two authors, and multiple authors.
One Author in-text citation in MLA
To format an in-text citation of a source with one author, include the author’s last name, and the page number or page range in parentheses. For example:
- (Wollstonecraft 26)
If the author’s name is already stated in the sentence, give only the page number or page range in parenthesis at the end of the sentence, or at the next natural pause. For example:
- As Wollstonecraft stated, “I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.” (26).
Two authors in-text citation in MLA
To format an in-text citation of a source with two authors, include the authors' last names separated by the word and , and the page number or page range in parentheses. For example:
- (King and Straub 93-101)
If the authors' names are already stated in the sentence, give only the page number or page range in parenthesis at the end of the sentence, or at the next natural pause. For example:
- Stephen King and Peter Straub shared the same opinion (93-101).
Three or more in-text citation in MLA
To format an in-text citation of a source with three or more authors, include the first author's last name followed by et al., and the page number or page range in parentheses. For example:
- (Sumantran et al. 106-114)
- Sumantran et al. carried out a research about the future of the car (106-114).
This citation style guide is based on the MLA Handbook (9 th edition).
More useful guides
- MLA Style Guide, 8th Edition: In-text Examples
- MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics
- How do I cite a source with multiple authors in MLA style (in-text)?
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In-Text Citations: Author/Authors
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Though the APA's author-date system for citations is fairly straightforward, author categories can vary significantly from the standard "one author, one source" configuration. There are also additional rules for citing authors of indirect sources, electronic sources, and sources without page numbers.
A Work by One Author
The APA manual recommends the use of the author-date citation structure for in-text citation references. This structure requires that any in-text citation (i.e., within the body of the text) be accompanied by a corresponding reference list entry. In the in-text citation provide the surname of the author but do not include suffixes such as "Jr.".
Citing Non-Standard Author Categories
A work by two authors.
Name both authors in the signal phrase or in parentheses each time you cite the work. Use the word "and" between the authors' names within the text and use the ampersand in parentheses.
A Work by Three or More Authors
List only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” in every citation, even the first, unless doing so would create ambiguity between different sources.
In et al. , et should not be followed by a period. Only "al" should be followed by a period.
If you’re citing multiple works with similar groups of authors, and the shortened “et al” citation form of each source would be the same, you’ll need to avoid ambiguity by writing out more names. If you cited works with these authors:
They would be cited in-text as follows to avoid ambiguity:
Since et al. is plural, it should always be a substitute for more than one name. In the case that et al. would stand in for just one author, write the author’s name instead.
If the work does not have an author, cite the source by its title in the signal phrase or use the first word or two in the parentheses. Titles of books and reports are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks. APA style calls for capitalizing important words in titles when they are written in the text (but not when they are written in reference lists).
Note : In the rare case that "Anonymous" is used for the author, treat it as the author's name (Anonymous, 2001). In the reference list, use the name Anonymous as the author.
Organization as an Author
If the author is an organization or a government agency, mention the organization in the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation the first time you cite the source, just as you would an individual person.
If the organization has a well-known abbreviation, you may include the abbreviation in brackets the first time the source is cited and then use only the abbreviation in later citations. However, if you cite work from multiple organizations whose abbreviations are the same, do not use abbreviations (to avoid ambiguity).
Two or More Works in the Same Parentheses
When your parenthetical citation includes two or more works, order them the same way they appear in the reference list (viz., alphabetically), separated by a semi-colon.
If you cite multiple works by the same author in the same parenthetical citation, give the author’s name only once and follow with dates. No date citations go first, then years, then in-press citations.
Authors with the Same Last Name
To prevent confusion, use first initials with the last names.
Two or More Works by the Same Author in the Same Year
If you have two sources by the same author in the same year, use lower-case letters (a, b, c) with the year to order the entries in the reference list. Use the lower-case letters with the year in the in-text citation.
Introductions, Prefaces, Forewords, and Afterwords
When citing an Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword in-text, cite the appropriate author and year as usual.
For interviews, letters, e-mails, and other person-to-person communication, cite the communicator's name, the fact that it was personal communication, and the date of the communication. Do not include personal communication in the reference list.
If using a footnote to reference personal communication, handle citations the same way.
Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples
When citing information you learned from a conversation with an Indigenous person who was not your research participant, use a variation of the personal communication citation above. Include the person’s full name, nation or Indigenous group, location, and any other relevant details before the “personal communication, date” part of the citation.
Citing Indirect Sources
Generally, writers should endeavor to read primary sources (original sources) and cite those rather than secondary sources (works that report on original sources). Sometimes, however, this is impossible. If you use a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. List the secondary source in your reference list and include the secondary source in the parentheses. If you know the year of the original source, include it in the citation.
If possible, cite an electronic document the same as any other document by using the author-date style.
Unknown Author and Unknown Date
If no author or date is given, use the title in your signal phrase or the first word or two of the title in the parentheses and use the abbreviation "n.d." (for "no date").
Sources Without Page Numbers
When an electronic source lacks page numbers, you should try to include information that will help readers find the passage being cited. Use the heading or section name, an abbreviated heading or section name, a paragraph number (para. 1), or a combination of these.
Note: Never use the page numbers of webpages you print out; different computers print webpages with different pagination. Do not use Kindle location numbers; instead, use the page number (available in many Kindle books) or the method above.
The APA Publication Manual describes how to cite many different kinds of authors and content creators. However, you may occasionally encounter a source or author category that the manual does not describe, making the best way to proceed unclear.
In these cases, it's typically acceptable to apply the general principles of APA 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 APA directions for a type of source that resembles the source you want to cite. For example, a sensible way to cite a virtual reality program would be to mimic the APA's guidelines for computer software.
You may also want to investigate whether a third-party organization has provided directions for how to cite this kind of source.
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How to Cite Multiple Authors in MLA
Last Updated: December 5, 2022 Fact Checked
This article was reviewed by Gerald Posner and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 40,596 times.
If you're writing a research paper in the humanities or liberal arts, you may be formatting your citations using the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. This style requires a full citation to sources used in a "Works Cited" page at the end of your paper, as well as parenthetical in-text citations whenever a source is paraphrased or quoted directly. Your format will vary depending on whether you're citing a work with 2 authors or a work with 3 or more authors.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
Works Cited Entry
- For example, if you used a book as a source that was written by Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood, your Works Cited entry would start "Potter, Harry."
Tip: Use the author's names in the order they appear on the title page. This is the order that the authors have agreed to, and whose name is listed first is important.
- To continue the previous example, you would write the names of the two authors as "Potter, Harry and Luna Lovegood."
- For example, suppose you were using a book as a source that was written by Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, and Horace Slughorn. Your Works Cited entry would start "Snape, Severus et al."  X Research source
- For example, you might write "The class intended to teach students how to defend themselves against the dark arts, however, was ineffective (Potter and Lovegood 47)."  X Research source
- For example, you might write "Hogwarts professors were deeply disturbed that Voldemort appeared to have infiltrated the school (Snape et al. 92)."  X Research source
- For example, you might write "Potter and Lovegood described the Defense Against the Dark Arts class as worthless when it came to teaching them anything they could use to protect themselves from a wizard as powerful as Voldemort (47).
Tip: If the work has 3 or more authors, don't forget to add the abbreviation "et al." after the first author's name, even in the text of your paper.
You might also like.
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
- ↑ https://research.wou.edu/mla/mla-multipleauthors
- ↑ https://libguides.uwf.edu/c.php?g=840082&p=6013572
- ↑ http://libanswers.snhu.edu/faq/102973
- ↑ https://irsc.libguides.com/mla/intextexamples
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