Section 3. Citing Sources in MLA Style


How to Format a Basic Parenthetical Reference
A parenthetical reference will usually have the author's last name and the page number from where the work was borrowed. These two parts act as tags to inform the reader what information has been borrowed and from whom. The 'tags' point to the full citation at the end in on the Works Cited page.

Paraphrases, summaries, or quotes can be formatted or 'tagged' in a variety of ways:

Parenthetical for a summary or paraphrase
Here is a parenthetical reference for part of a work that has been summarized or paraphrased. The borrowed information has been condensed into a paragraph that is "tagged" at the end with the author and page number. (This and the following examples are taken from: Trushell, John M. "American Dreams of Mutants: The X-Men-"Pulp" Fiction, Science Fiction, and Superheroes." Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 38 no.1, Aug 2004, p. 149.)
A new writer, Grant Morrison, maintains that the New X-Men was "not a story about super-heroes but about the ongoing evolutionary struggle between good/new and bad/old," and a story that "kids will dig for their sheer gee-whiz, kinetic strut, which college kids will buy for the rebel irony and adults will love for the distraction . . . [a story] aimed at the mainstream, media-literate audience of kids, teenagers and adults with disposable income" (2-3).
Parenthetical for an entire work
When an entire work is referenced, it is preferable to include just the author (or the author and title) in your narrative and indicate in your passage that the work is being summarized. Remember to reference the entire work in the Works Cited page:
This future Middle Ages, as Umberto Eco has remarked,

In _____'s words...

According to ____'s (notes, study, narrative, novel, etc.)...


 Which parenthetical reference is better?

A:

In describing the problem of the "digital divide," Jerabek comments that "one of the central problems inherent with automated systems...is reduced access to information for those who are unable to use the technology" (278).

B:

Jerabek describes the "digital divide" as the barrier created by lack of access to technology and lack of understanding about how to use that technology. "One of the central problems with automated systems, however, is reduced access for those who are unable to use the technology" (Jerabek 278).