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MLA 9th Edition

In-text Citations

Click on the heading or plus sign (+) to see examples of in-text citations.

See chapter 6 (p. 227-251) of the MLA Handbook: 9th edition. 

In paginated works (sources with page numbers), the format for in-text citations includes the author(s) last name(s) and page number.  See below for examples, and for examples for sources that are not paginated.

The general format for a work with one author:

(Author Last Name xx)


(Gerstel 393)

The general format for a work with 2 authors:

(Author Last Name and Author Last Name xx)


(Gaudet and Caron-Bourbonnais 171)

The general format for a work with 3 or more authors:

(Author Last Name et al. xx)


(Adler et al. 5)

The general format for a government publication or corporate author:

(Corporate Author xx)


(Alberta Sustainable Resource Development 22)

The general format for no author:

(Abbreviated Title of Source xx)



("Literary" 22)



(Concussion 124)

For sources that use explicit line or division numbers, use these numbers in place of page numbers.

For poetry, use line numbers:

(Tagore, line 4)

(Achebe, lines 12-14)

For drama or verse works, cite by act, scene, and line, separating the numbers with periods. The example below is for act 1, scene 2, line 35 :

(Miller 1.2.35)

The general format for no page numbers:

(Author, division abbr. xx)

Example paragraphs:

(Strong et al., par. 1)

or chapters

(Laskas, ch. 8)

or sections

(Aslan, sec. 2)

The general format for audiovisual media uses time (hours:minutes:seconds):

(Author xx:xx:xx-xx)

Example 5 seconds of interview:

(Kinew 00:07:16-21)

or 2 minutes and 12 seconds of television episode:

("Into the Deep" 00:32:02-34:14)

The general format for an indirect source:

(qtd. in Author xx)


Sarah Bailey replied that "MLA was a great improvement" (qtd. in Townsend 1).

If one citation includes two or more references separate the names of the authors with a semi-colon:

The general format for an idea from 2 sources:

(Author xx; Author xx)


(Gerstel 22; Block and Betrus 45)

NorQuest Library has noted that the formal MLA style does not have a format for Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers so we have developed this citation style in the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation. 

Unlike most other personal communications, Elders and Knowledge Keepers should be cited in-text and in the reference list. The in-text citation format should be formatted as:

Delores Cardinal described the nature of the...


The nature of the place was... (Cardinal).

The citation format for the reference list can be found under the Audiovisual Media tab at the top of the page.


Note: If you would like to approach an Elder or Knowledge Keeper for teachings, remember to follow protocol or if you are unsure what their protocol is, please ask them ahead of time.

Additional Resources