referencing text in essay in mla format

referencing text in essay in mla format

Referencing text in an essay in MLA format involves using in-text citations to attribute information and ideas to the sources you’ve consulted. Here’s how to correctly reference text in a 1000-word essay:

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In-Text Citations:

In MLA format, you should include in-text citations whenever you:

  1. Quote directly from a source.
  2. Paraphrase or summarize someone else’s ideas.
  3. Mention facts, data, or statistics that are not common knowledge.

Here’s how to format in-text citations:

  1. Author’s Last Name and Page Number: When quoting or paraphrasing a specific part of a source, include the author’s last name and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Place the punctuation after the closing parenthesis.


    • “This is a direct quote” (Smith 45).
    • According to Smith, “This is a direct quote” (45).
  2. Author’s Name in the Text: If you mention the author’s name in the sentence, you can omit it from the parentheses. Only include the page number.


    • Smith claims that “This is a direct quote” (45).
  3. No Page Number or Author: If there’s no page number or author, use a shortened version of the source title.


    • (“Title of Source” 56).
  4. Multiple Authors: For sources with multiple authors, include all their last names in the citation.


    • (Smith, Johnson, and Brown 78) for three authors.

Considerations for a 1000-Word Essay:

In a 1000-word essay, space is limited, so use your words efficiently:

  1. Don’t Overuse Quotes: Use direct quotes sparingly and only when the exact wording is crucial to your argument.
  2. Introduce Quotes: Provide context and an explanation when introducing quotes to show how they support your argument.
  3. Paraphrase and Summarize: Whenever possible, paraphrase or summarize information from sources to save space. Be sure to include citations even for paraphrased or summarized material.
  4. Works Cited Page: Include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay listing all the sources you cited. Format your citations on this page according to MLA guidelines.

Remember that proper referencing not only gives credit to the original authors but also adds credibility to your own work by showing that you’ve conducted research and used reputable sources to support your arguments.

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