how do you cite a quote in an essay in mla format

how do you cite a quote in an essay in mla format

Citing a quote in an essay in MLA format involves following specific guidelines for in-text citations and creating a corresponding Works Cited page. In a 1000-word essay, space is limited, so you must use your words efficiently. Here’s how to do it:

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  1. In-Text Citations:
    • When quoting a source directly, enclose the quoted text in double quotation marks.
    • Immediately after the quotation, include the author’s last name and the page number (if available) in parentheses. If there’s no page number, use the author’s last name only.
    • If the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence, you can omit it from the parentheses.


    • “This is a direct quote” (Smith 45).
    • According to Smith, “This is a direct quote” (45).
  2. Paraphrased or Summarized Information:
    • When paraphrasing or summarizing information from a source, you still need to give credit to the source.
    • Include the author’s last name and page number (if applicable) in parentheses.


    • (Johnson 22) – for paraphrased or summarized information.
  3. Multiple Authors:
    • For sources with multiple authors, include all authors’ last names in the citation.


    • (Smith, Johnson, and Brown 78) for three authors.
  4. No Author:
    • If there’s no known author, use the title of the source in quotation marks.


    • (“Title of Source” 56).
  5. Electronic Sources:
    • For online sources without page numbers, use the author’s last name or a shortened version of the title.


    • (Johnson) for an online article without page numbers.
    • (“Shortened Title” 7) for an online source with no page numbers or author.

Now, let’s consider how to integrate these citations into your 1000-word essay effectively:

  • Don’t overuse quotes. Use them sparingly and only when the exact wording is crucial to your argument.
  • Make sure your essay has a clear structure with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Introduce quotes and paraphrased information with context and explanation to connect them to your argument.
  • Include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay to list all the sources you cited.

In a 1000-word essay, you might have around 4-5 sources, so use your words wisely to present your argument while integrating these sources smoothly. Your essay should flow naturally with the citations supporting your points.

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