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MLA Citation Guide: Parenthetical References

A guide the the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style.

Parenthetical References

MLA Handbook, section 6.2

 A parenthetical reference follows a quotation or paraphrase you are using in the text of your writing. The information in parenthetical references points readers to the complete citation found in the works cited page.

For one author, usually the author and page are enough for a parenthetical reference:

 Medieval Europe was a place both of “raids, pillages, slavery, and extortion” and of “traveling merchants, monetary exchange” (Townsend 10).

If you include the name of the author in your text, page number is enough:

Townsend believes that Medieval Europe was a place both of “raids, pillages, slavery, and extortion” and of “traveling merchants, monetary exchange” (10).

 

For a citation with two authors, use "and" between the names whether it is in narrative or parenthetical.

Mancha and Becerra worked to "provide adequate evidence of [their] claims" (34).

They worked to "provide adequate evidence of [their claims" (Mancha and Becerra 34).

 

For a citation with three or more authors, use "et al." parenthetically.

The author posited that the red symbolized "animal, especially human, life, as well as death and sin" (Tristan et al. 57).

 

For a citation that has no author, and therefore the reference list starts with a title, use the title in a parenthetical citation, with the correct formatting for an article, book, etc.

They identified "a new bacterium that feeds on polyurethane" ("Bacteria Eats; We Recycle" 119).

 

For more detailed information and examples, please see:

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 9th ed., call number: LB2369 .M52 2021 held at the Reference Desk and the Reserve Desk.