Tuesday 29 August 2017

MLA Referencing: In-Text Citation Style Guide

MLA Referencing: In-Text Citation Style Guide

MLA Style of Referencing: In-Text Citation
The Modern Language Association (MLA) style of referencing is used in many liberal arts and humanities departments around the world. It is a style that emphasises the page number of the source, since it is often used in conjunction with many direct quotes.

For in-text citations, the MLA style uses the format of only placing the author’s surname and page number between brackets next to the paraphrase or quote. For example, (Perry 35). Make sure that you don’t use any punctuation for in-text citations in the MLA format.

If you already use the author’s surname in the body of your work just before the paraphrase or quote, then you will only include the page number in brackets: (35). If you use more than one text from the same author, you can use a shortened title of the text (with a comma before it) in the bracket to distinguish the various works, for example: (Perry, “The Reckoning” 27) and (Perry, Times Gone By 35). Pay attention to the differences in format here: short texts, like poems, short stories, titles of chapters or songs would be placed in inverted commas in references, and longer texts, such as books, anthologies, films or the titles of dissertations would be placed in italics. In the examples from Perry, “The Reckoning” is the title of a poem, and Times Gone By is the title of a novel.

If you have two authors with the same last name, you can include their initials in the in-text citations: (K. Perry 35) and (R. Perry 166). For texts with up to three authors, you can place all of their names in the brackets: (Harrison, Turner and Viveck 47). For texts with more than three authors, give the name of the first author (the one listed first on the title), use the Latin abbreviation “et al.” to show that some names are omitted. Make sure to include the period after the abbreviation. For example: (Jameson et al. 33).

When quoting indirect sources, in the case where the author you are quoting from is already quoting from another text, include the abbreviation “qtd. in” in your reference. For example: (qtd. in Liebermann 291).

For electronic sources like websites where no page number is available, you can give the author’s surname and a shortened title of the text, for example (Erickson, “The Haunting”) would be the reference for a blog post by Thomas Erickson entitled “The Haunting of Elizabeth Priest in David Eileen’s Wanderlust”. The titles of individual web pages and articles will be in inverted commas, and the titles of the sites themselves will be in italics, such as Forbes.com.

Films, songs or other electronic or non-print media will all be referred to with surname and short title. For example, (Cameron, Avatar) will refer to James Cameron’s film Avatar. You can also refer to time ranges in your text if you refer to a specific moment in the film or media, although this is not always necessary as long as you describe the theme. The format of time-based references would be in hours, minutes and seconds: (Cameron, Avatar 01:25:16 – 01:25:30).