Skip to Main Content

MLA Style

A guide to MLA style citations for Lincoln Christian University students.

It is very important to ensure that any item listed in a parenthetical or in-text citation corresponds to an item in your works cited list.  

Parenthetical Citations in MLA

MLA uses parenthetical in-textext citations where the last name of the author and specific page or location number are placed in parentheses within the text. 

Most parenthetical citations, placed immediately after a quotation or paraphrase, must include the following element.

  • Include only the author's last name without any initials or suffixes.
  • When citing a specific quotation, idea, or figure from a specific page of the source, indicate the page number or another location number.  Include an abbreviation only when a page number is not used.
  • No punctuation should separate the two elements.
  • Place all elements in parentheses with the period after the closing parentheses.

Corporate Author

When referencing a corporate or organizational author, common abbreviations such as dept. are acceptable. 

If the corporate author has several names which are separated by a comma in the works cited list, use all the names in the parenthetical citation as well. 

No Author

If no author is listed, MLA indicates the title should be abbreviated if it is longer than a single noun phrase.

Titles which do not begin with a noun phrase may be cited by the first word of the title. 

Authors with the Same Name

When citing more than one work by authors with the same last name, include the author's initials in all text and parenthetical citations in order to differentiate between works.

If using multiple works by the same author, include the short form of the cited title after the author's last name.  Use a comma to separate the author and the title of the source. The title should be in quotes or italics like the works cited entry.

Multiple Works in One Citation

If you are citing multiple, non-sequential pages from a single source, list the page numbers in the order you are citing and separate the page numbers with a comma.

If you are citing multiple works by the same author, separate two works with and.  If there are three or more works, use both a comma and and

If you are citing multiple works by different authors, separate the citation with a seimcolon.