The in-text (also known as the parenthetical) citation is a method to communicate to your reader what source you are using in the text of your assignment. The in-text citation should provide enough information to point the reader to corresponding reference in your work cited page
The works cited page is an alphabetical list of all the sources cited in your paper. Your sources are represented in the works cited page via a full citation. The full citation includes information to identify the source. The types of information recorded in a full citation can include the author name(s), the title of the work, date of publication, title of periodical, title of website, name of the database and the type of medium (web, print, video, cd).
If you need more help with creating full citations for your sources please consult our citation resources page.
Most in-text citations in MLA format refer to the author and page
example: (Johnson 25)
If you are citing a source with more than one author (but less than four) then you must list all the authors and the page
example: (Smith, Thomas, and Jenkins 20)
If you are citing a source with more than three authors you need to provide the first author listed in the full citation followed by an et al
example: (Cassidy et al. 899)
If there is no paging provided for your source (such as website) or your source doesn't use paging (like a video or audio recording) then your citation would just consist of the author's last name
If you work doesn't have an author you'll need to state part of the title in your in-text citation. Make sure that the title is put in double quotes (" ")
For example the full citation for The Library of Congress's African American Pamphlets homepage is:
"African American Pamphlets Home Page." American Memory. The Library of Congress, 19 Oct. 1998. Web. 19 May 2015.
The in-text citation should give enough information to find this citation on the work cited page
The citation starts with: "African American Pamphlets Home Page"
so the in-text would be ("African American Pamphlets Home Page")