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MLA Citation Guide (8th Edition): MLA 8th In-Text Citations, Direct Quotes, Block Quotes

8th Edition

MLA 8th In-Text Citations, Direct Quotes, Block Quotes

The basics of MLA style in-text citations

MLA in-text citations must be used when:

  • Quoting directly from the source.
  • Summarizing content from the source.
  • Paraphrasing content or sentences from the source.

If it is not your original thought, you MUST cite it.

Examples of MLA style in-text citations for summarizing and paraphrasing:

 One work, one author:

  • MLA style uses the author-page format of in-text citation (Smith 54).  

‚ÄčWhen the same source is used a subsequent time in the same paragraph, use only the page number.

  • MLA  requires that references are listed alphabetically on the Works Cited page (110).

When the authors' name is in the narrative, use this format:

  • Smith states that MLA requires that references are listed alphabetically on the reference page (54).


One work, multiple authors:

  • In parenthetical citations use the word "and" in the in-text citation with more than one author (Hacker and Sommers 460). 
  • Hacker and Sommers state that if no page number is available such as in a website then it is acceptable to not provide it (460).


If you have additional questions, please refer to the MLA Style Manuals or the following sources:

Purdue Owl In-Text Citations: The Basics 

University of Maryland Global Campus - MLA Examples 


MLA Direct Quoting

Direct quotes are enclosed in quotation marks.

For quotations less than 4 lines,  the author can either be placed at the beginning or the end of the sentence. Regardless of choice, the page number is always placed at the end of the phrase. See examples below to compare. 

  • Some experts say, "First-year college students struggle with lack of sleep, good eating habits, and APA style" (Roberts 23).
  • According to Roberts,  "First- year college students struggle with the lack of sleep, good eating habits, and APA style" (23).





MLA Block Text

For quotations that are more than 4 lines (3 lines of verse), use a block text format and no quotation marks. Block texts are double-spaced. At the end of the block text place the appropriate punctuation mark then (author name page number).

Librarians and writing tutors enjoy helping students thrive. Librarians connect students with information and writing

tutors help students become excellent written communicators.  Research shows that good readers make good writers.

Not only is reading important to obtaining information to use in the writing process, but it helps the writer know what

sounds right. People who read a lot recognize oddities in sentence structure and paper layout. They notice when a

paragraph or paper is missing something and needs more information. They also notice when a paragraph or paper

adequately communicates the writers intention. Simply stated, after reading a piece, the reader either has an aha

yes! moment or either a ehhhhh yuck moment. (Shierling 21)


Additional help: MLA Blocks of Text (Purdue OWL)