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Lee High School Library Website: Citation Guide

Citation Guide

Citation Guide


MLA 8th Edition Style Sheet     

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Sample MLA 8th Edition Research Paper

This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2016 Modern Language Association updates. Information provided by the Purdue OWL.

MLA Works Cited Page Basic Format

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. Information provided by the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).

Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz, Michelle Campbell, Rodrigo Rodríguez-Fuentes, Daniel P. Kenzie, Susan Wegener, Maryam Ghafoor, Purdue OWL Staff
Last Edited: 2016-08-02 03:14:08

MLA Formatting Checklist   

Use this checklist to make sure you have formatted your research paper properly.

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics from the Purdue OWL   

In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by using what is known as parenthetical citation because you place the relevant source information in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase. EX: (Wordsworth 263)

The in-text citation should direct the reader unambiguously to the entry in your works-cited list for the source - and if possible, to a passage in the source - while creating the least possible interruption in your text.

Film camera    In text citations basics Purdue Owl Video

About In text citations:

In MLA, in-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the works cited list at the end of the paper.

  • In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a page number enclosed in parentheses. "Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8).
  • If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the works cited list, such as quotation marks. This is a paraphrase ("Trouble" 22).
  •  !  Note: The period goes outside the brackets, at the end of your in-text citation.

Quoting Directly

When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number:

Mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (Hunt 358).

No Page Numbers 

When you quote from electronic sources that do not provide page numbers (like Web pages), cite the author name only.

"Three phases of the separation response: protest, despair, and detachment" (Garelli).


When you write information or ideas from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion.

Paraphrasing from One Page

Include a full in-text citation with the author name and page number (if there is one). For example:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 65).

Paraphrasing from Multiple Pages

If the paraphrased information/idea is from several pages, include them. For example:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 50, 55, 65-71).

Indirect sources

Sources that are paraphrased or quoted in other sources are called indirect sources. Whenever you can, take material from the original source, not a secondhand one.

When using an indirect source, if what you quote or paraphrase is itself a quotation, put the abbreviation qtd. in ("quoted in") before the indirect source you cite in your parenthetical reference.


Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 2: 450).

In this case, you would also need to cite Boswell 2 in your works cited list. 

Unknown author

Where you'd normally put the author's last name, instead use the first one, two, or three words from the title. Don't count initial articles like "A", "An" or "The". You should provide enough words to make it clear which work you're referring to from your Works Cited list.

If the title in the Works Cited list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation.

If the title in the Works Cited list is in quotation marks, put quotation marks around the words from the title in the in-text citation.


(Cell Biology 12)

("Nursing" 12)

Repeated use of sources

If you're using information from a single source more than once in succession (i.e., no other sources referred to in between), you can use a simplified in-text citation.


Cell biology is an area of science that focuses on the structure and function of cells (Smith 15). It revolves around the idea that the cell is a "fundamental unit of life" (17). Many important scientists have contributed to the evolution of cell biology. Mattias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, for example, were scientists who formulated cell theory in 1838 (20). 

 ! Note: If using this simplified in-text citation creates ambiguity regarding the source being referred to, use the full in-text citation format.

In-text citations for more than 1 source

If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon.


(Smith 42; Bennett 71). 

(It Takes Two; Brock 43).

 ! Note: The sources within the in-text citation do not need to be in alphabetical order for MLA style.

Number of Authors/Editors In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name and Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Case and Daristotle 57)

Three or more

 (Author's Last Name et al. Page Number)

 Example: (Case et al. 57)

Long Quotations

What Is a Long Quotation?

If your quotation extends to more than four lines as you're typing your essay, it is a long quotation.

Rules for Long Quotations

There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:

  1. The line before your long quotation, when you're introducing the quote, usually ends with a colon.
  2. The long quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
  3. There are no quotation marks around the quotation.
  4. The period at the end of the quotation comes before your in-text citation as opposed to after, as it does with regular quotations.

Example of a Long Quotation

At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding 186)


How do I cite a book?     

Use the title page first, and then the copyright page (not the cover or jacket), to find:

  • Title and subtitle
  • Author
  • Illustrator, translator or other contributor  
  • Publisher’s name and imprint
  • Latest copyright date
  • Series name (if applicable)
  • Edition (if applicable)

Purdue OWL: Citing Books

Refer to the Purdue OWL for detailed guidance on proper citations for books.

Most library databases include ready made citations 

for articles & resources.  


How do I cite a Website or a webpage?

Common elements needed:     

  • Title
  • Author
  • Editor of the page or site     
  • Name of the Web site or Project
  • Publisher or sponsor
  • Date of the publication
  • Date of access (when you used the website)
  • URL

Purdue OWL: Citation electronic sources

Refer to the Purdue OWL MLA citation guide for specific variations on how to cite a website, webpage, an image or an article within a web magazine.

Basic Citation Format for Images found on a website:   

"Image Title." Image. Name of the Website. Date the image was posted. URL. Accessed on Day Month Year you accessed the website.     

Purdue Online Writing Lab

How to cite audio files:     

The following is excerpted from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (and linked above)

Sound Recordings


A Song or Album

Music can be cited multiple ways. Mainly, this depends on the container that you accessed the music from. Generally, citations begin with the artist name. They might also be listed by composers or performers. Otherwise, list composer and performer information after the album title. Put individual song titles in quotation marks. Album names are italicized. Provide the name of the recording manufacturer followed by the publication date.

If information such as record label or name of album is unavailable from your source, do not list that information.


Rae Morris. “Skin.” Cold, Atlantic Records, 2014, Spotify,

Online Album

Beyoncé. “Pray You Catch Me.” Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment, 2016,


Nirvana. "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Nevermind, Geffen, 1991.


“Best of Not My Job Musicians.” Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! from NPR, 4 June 2016,

Spoken-Word Albums such as Comedy Albums

Treat spoken-word albums the same as musical albums.

Hedberg, Mitch. Strategic Grill Locations. Comedy Central, 2003.

Digital Files (PDFs, MP3s, JPEGs)

Determine the type of work to cite (e.g., article, image, sound recording) and cite appropriately. End the entry with the name of the digital format (e.g., PDF, JPEG file, Microsoft Word file, MP3). If the work does not follow traditional parameters for citation, give the author’s name, the name of the work, the date of creation, and the location.

Beethoven, Ludwig van. Moonlight Sonata. Crownstar, 2006.

Smith, George. “Pax Americana: Strife in a Time of Peace.” 2005. Microsoft Word file.

Council of Writing Program Administrators, National Council of Teachers of English, and National Writing Project. Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing. CWPA, NCTE, and NWP, 2011,

Bentley, Phyllis. “Yorkshire and the Novelist.” The Kenyon Review, vol. 30, no. 4, 1968, pp. 509-22. JSTOR,

Purdue Online Writing Lab

How to cite audio files:     

The following is excerpted from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (and linked above)

An Interview

Interviews typically fall into two categories: print or broadcast published and unpublished (personal) interviews, although interviews may also appear in other, similar formats such as in e-mail format or as a Web document.

Personal Interviews

Personal interviews refer to those interviews that you conduct yourself. List the interview by the name of the interviewee. Include the descriptor Personal interview and the date of the interview.

Smith, Jane. Personal interview. 19 May 2014.

Published Interviews (Print or Broadcast)

List the interview by the full name of the interviewee. If the name of the interview is part of a larger work like a book, a television program, or a film series, place the title of the interview in quotation marks. Place the title of the larger work in italics. If the interview appears as an independent title, italicize it. For books, include the author or editor name after the book title.

Note: If the interview from which you quote does not feature a title, add the descriptor, Interview by (unformatted) after the interviewee’s name and before the interviewer’s name.

Gaitskill, Mary. Interview with Charles Bock. Mississippi Review, vol. 27, no. 3, 1999, pp. 129-50.

Amis, Kingsley. “Mimic and Moralist.” Interviews with Britain’s Angry Young Men, By Dale Salwak, Borgo P, 1984.

Online-only Published Interviews

List the interview by the name of the interviewee. If the interview has a title, place it in quotation marks. Cite the remainder of the entry as you would other exclusive web content. Place the name of the website in italics, give the publisher name (or sponsor), the publication date, and the URL.  

Note: If the interview from which you quote does not feature a title, add the descriptor Interview by (unformatted) after the interviewee’s name and before the interviewer’s name.

Zinkievich, Craig. Interview by Gareth Von Kallenbach. Skewed & Reviewed, 27 Apr. 2009, Accessed 15 May. 2009.

APA Citation Guide from Purdue OWL

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. 

Citation Style Chart: MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style comparison chart

Lee High School is an International Baccalaureate (IBO) World school which follows IBO requirements and expectations.  At Lee High School we expect students to follow a set of values and skills that promote personal integrity.


Lee High School Statement of Academic Honesty

Academic honesty means that one’s own work is authentic and not a reproduction of other person’s work or ideas. When another person’s ideas are used, they are given credit with a citation.

Terms to understand:

  • Plagiarism - the representation of the ideas or work of another person as your own.
  • Duplication of work - copying another student’s work and presenting it as your own.
  • Giving your work to others - allowing your work to be copied and/or submitted for assessment by another student.
  • Misconduct during an examination, including the possession of unauthorized material.
  • Disclosing information to another student, or receiving information from another student, about the content of an examination or test.

How to maintain academic honesty:

  • Credit all the sources I use, even if I have paraphrased or summarized.
  • Clearly distinguish between my work and the source being used (using quotation marks, indentation or a similar method).
  • Use the appropriate citation style (MLA, APA).
  • Ask for Advice
  • If student is being graded individually, a student submits his/her own work.

Things to Remember

  • Lee students are principled and act with integrity and honesty.
  • Lee students should be content creators not content imitators.
  • If you engage in any form of academic dishonesty your administrator with input from your teacher or staff member has the right to impose consequences.
  • Do it right, remember to cite! Credit where credit is due!
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