Section 3. Citing Sources in MLA Style

Parenthetical or In-text References
A parenthetical or in-text reference is the term for citing material within the body of your paper. Whenever you summarize, paraphrase or quote another author's material you must include a brief citation to tell the reader what information you have borrowed and from where (usually the author's last name and a page number - click here for the rule for non-paginated souces such as web sites). The brief in-text citation tells the reader that the complete citation can be found at the end of your paper in the Works Cited list.

An example of a parenthetical reference:
The modern world requires both the ability to concentrate on one thing and the ability to attend to more than one thing at a time: "Ideally, each individual would cultivate a repertoire of styles of attention, appropriate to different situations, and would learn how to embed activities and types of attention one within another" (Bateson 97).

When you write (Bateson 97) after a quote in your paper, the reader knows that you have borrowed the quote from an author named Bateson (on page 97) and that the full citation to Bateson's work can be found in the Works Cited list at the end of your paper.

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