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Modern Language Association (MLA) style consists of guidelines that define its referencing applications. When writers want to produce high-quality works, they need to follow specific guidelines in citing evidence. Basically, people need to know how to cite in MLA format. In this case, the MLA style enables the author to avoid plagiarism. Hence, people write original papers through the provision of a system for citing borrowed material. As a result, the MLA documentation style facilitates citation by using the author-date parenthetical in-text citation format and a “Works Cited” page.

MLA In-Text Citations

The MLA citation uses parenthetical in-text citations to refer to the sources within a text by considering the question on how to cite in MLA format. Basically, the author-page format or MLA in-text citation leads to the parenthetical citation. For example, the in-text citation comprises of the author’s last name and a page number. In this case, the parenthetical citation may manifest in two forms: as part of the text or at the end of the statement. People include the author’s last name in the statement containing the cited information. Also, they place a page number in round brackets at the end of the sentence. Alternatively, both the page number and author’s last name are positioned at the end of the statement within parentheses in the MLA format in text citation.

How to cite in MLA format

Other Features on How to Cite in MLA Format

There are some cases where the bibliographical information of the source may be incomplete in the MLA format citation. In this case, it causes a slight modification in the author-date in-text citation format. Authors should note it if they want to how to cite in MLA format. People can replace the author’s surname with a corporate author’s name or a shortened title of the source. Moreover, they should format corporation names appropriately. In turn, the shortened titles are limited to four or fewer words. It is important to minimize the effect of long parenthetical citations on the reading flow. If writers do not have page numbers, they can use available locators in the source’s text as substitutes. For example, these locators are chapters, sections, paragraphs, and volume numbers. Generally, writers maintain the author-date format in a relatively rigid form throughout an MLA styled essay.

Works Cited in the MLA format

In-text citations are accompanied by a complementary MLA Works Cited. For instance, the MLA Works Cited example is a detailed documentation of complete bibliographical information for each source used in an essay. In this case, the entries in the MLA format Works Cited allow the readers to track down and retrieve sources for different purposes. It can be a validation of an interpretation and further reading by considering how to cite in MLA format. Also, the various types of sources have specific rules for the creation of their MLA format Works Cited page. However, the author’s name, the title of the source, container’s title, other contributor’s names, version, number, publisher’s name, date of publication, and location are the common elements. In turn, the MLA has detailed illustrations of “Work Cited” page entries for most sources. The general formats for books, journals, and webpages are provided below.


Surname, First Name. Book’s Title. Name of the Publisher, Date of Publication.


Surname, First Name. “Title of the Article.” Journal’s Title, volume, issue, date of publication, pages. Online Database, Digital object identifier or doi to follow academic standards on how to cite in MLA format.


Surname, First Name. “Title of the Webpage.” Name of the Website. Publisher’s Name, online publication date, universal resource locator, Date of Retrieval.

Conclusion on How to Cite in MLA Format

The MLA documentation style comprises of two main elements. Firstly, people need to know the main rules of the parenthetical in-text citations. Then, they must understand the concept of a reference list in answering how to cite in MLA format. In this case, the parenthetical in-text citations conform to the author-date format. Moreover, the reference list is titled as a “Works Cited” page. In turn, the MLA format rules present the complete bibliographical information of sources.

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