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MLA Style Guide, 8th Edition: In-text Examples

This LibGuide reflects the changes to MLA style as directed by the MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition.

Author Page Number System

MLA Handbook, 8th Edition uses the author page number style for in-text citations in this format: (AuthorLastName 43).

Example: (Hemingway 13)

When there is no author, the author is unknown, or the author is not the first element listed in the corresponding Works Cited citation, use the first element listed in the citation in the in-text citation instead. In most causes this will be the title. After this include the page reference. If the title is long, use a shortened version of the title.

Example: ("A New Deal" 121) or (The Open Box 23)

Chart of In-Text Examples

Type of Citation

In-Text Parenthetical Format

1 work by 1 author

(Harris 23)

1 work by 2 authors

(Harris and Ramirez 23)

1 work by 3 or more authors

(Peet et al.198)

Corporate author

(American Dental Association 42)

Unknown author (use the title)

("A New Deal" 121)


In-Text Examples

One author 

Give the author's name and the page number or page range in parentheses. If the author's name is stated in the sentence, always place the page number in parentheses at the next natural pause in the text, usually at the end of the sentence.

(Alexander 22-9).

Alexander notes that race was a critical topic in the 1968 presidential race (22-9).

Two authors 

Give both names separated by the word and when including the names in the text of a sentence or in parentheses.

Wilson and Schlosser state the results...(47).

(Wilson and Schlosser 47).

Three or more authors 

When mentioning the authors in the text, give all of the authors' names or list the first author and write "and others". For the parenthetical citation and Works Cited citation, give the first author's name followed by et al. 

James and others claim that social customs prevalent in the southern United States have...(157-65).


Social customs in the southern United States have become...(James et al. 157-65).

Multiple works by the same author

Include the author's name, then a comma, then a shortened version of the title, followed by the page reference.

(Dickens, David Copperfield 347).

Authors with the same surname 

When authors of two separate works in your Works Cited list have the same surname, include the first initial of the author you are referencing in the in-text citation.

(H. Smith 34).

Multiple works by different authors in the same citation

Include the last name and page reference for the first author, then a semi-colon, followed by the last name and page reference for the next author.

(Smith 93; Fayett 131-2).

Organizations as authors/Corporate author

List the corporate author followed by the page reference. Abbreviate words like Department.

(American Library Association 17).

Organizations as authors/Corporate author that is also the Publisher

When the author is an organization or corporation that is also the publisher, the Works Cited citation will begin with the title, instead of the author. Corresponding in-text citations should use an abbreviated version of the title and the page reference.

(Publication 3).

Government author

If the author is a government or government body, include the administrative layers listed in the Works Cited entry separated by commas. Use abbreviations for common words like Department (as "Dept.").

(United States, Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary 7).

Works without authors 

If the Works Cited entry begins with a title because there is no author, use the title followed by the page reference in the in-text citation. Use a shortened version for long titles. Titles of an article, chapter, or web page should be placed in double quotation marks. Titles of a periodical, book, entire website, report, or brochure should be italicized.

ARTICLE title ("A New Deal" 121).

BOOK title (The Open Box 18).

LONG book title (Handbook of Geriatric 26).

Works with Anonymous listed as author 

Only list Anonymous as the author when Anonymous is given as the author's name. Follow that with the page reference. When the author's name is just unknown, skip the author element and move to the next element. Do not use the term Anonymous for works without authors listed.

Anonymous said...(83).

(Anonymous 83). 

Works without pagination

When citing a website or webpage (without page numbers), include the author's name only n the in-text citation.


(United States, Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary)

Entire works

If you are referring to an entire work, you may identify the work in your text using the author or title name from your Works Cited list rather than a parenthetical citation.

To Kill a Mockingbird was published over fifty years ago and is still read by many students today.

Multivolume works (one volume consulted)

If your Works Cited entry indicates only one volume of a multivolume set, include the page reference in the parenthetical citation. The volume is already specified in the Works Cited entry.

(Norat 27).

Norat, Gisela. "Isabel Allende: Chilean and American Novelist." Notable Latino Writers, vol. 1, Salem Press, 2006, pp. 27-34.

Multivolume works (more than one volume consulted)

If your Works Cited entry indicates more than one volume of a multivolume set, include both the volume and the page reference in the parenthetical citation to distinguish which volume is being referenced.

(Notable, 1: 27).

Notable Latino Writers, vol. 1, Salem Press, 2006, 3 vols.