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Public Speaking: MLA Citations (8th Edition)

Useful Print Books for help with MLA 8

In-Text Citations in the MLA 8th Edition

In-Text Citations in MLA 8th Edition

In-Text citations are brief citations found after a direct quote or a paraphrase. They are located in the body of your work.

In-Text citations are placed in parentheses, and have two components

  • The first word found in the full citation on the Works Cited page (usually the last name of the author)
  • The location of the direct quote or paraphrase (usually a page number)

In-Text citations should be placed directly after the direct quote or paraphrase, or in a place that is a natural pause and does not cause the reader to become distracted while reading the body of your work.

Example:

In order to prevent starvation, Watney knew exactly what he needed to do. “My best bet for making calories is potatoes” (Weir 17).

When using the author’s name in the sentence, only include the page number in the parentheses.

Example:

Seuss’s use of words such as, “lurk” and “dank” help students understand the type of character that the Once-ler is (6).

MLA 8: The Basics

There is more information available today, in more formats, than ever before, so the way we cite sources needs to evolve to keep pace. MLA 8 was designed to simplify the process, helping writers accurately and intuitively cite sources more easily, requiring that every source type follow the same format. This means that books, websites, periodicals, videos, photographs, and all other types of sources now use this same standard format.

MLA 8 requires researchers to locate the same “core elements” from their sources and place them in a standard order in order to create their citations.

The “Core Elements” of an MLA 8 citation, along with their corresponding punctuation marks,  include the following (in this order):

  1. Authors.
  2. Title of the source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Numbers,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

The appropriate punctuation mark will follow each core element, unless it is the final piece.  In this case, the punctuation mark would be a period.  

Here’s how an actual source looks when cited using MLA 8:

Goodwin, Doris. Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham

LincolnSimon & Shuster, 2012.