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MLA Style Guide

Number and Type of Author(s)

 

The guidelines for in-text citations change depending on a series of factors; for example, works written by one author and works written by 3 authors require different in-text citation formats.

Select a tab below for more in-depth detail regarding in-text citation examples.

When a work has 1 author, list the author's last name in every in-text citation.

Examples:

  1. The extent to which students feel involved with their learning and academic environment is known as engagement (Caruth 17).
  2. According to Caruth, “Student engagement is a concept that is approximately three-quarters of a century old and refers to how engrossed or attentive students seem to be in their learning or how integrated they are with their classes, colleagues, and colleges” (17).

When a resource has 2 authors, cite both names in your text. Use 'and' to combine the names. List the authors in the order they appear in on the work.

Examples:

  1. According to the authors, "If you can write a well-constructed, well-developed essay, you can write almost any type of academic discourse" (Harris and Moseley 55).
  2. Harris and Moseley state, "If you can write a well-constructed, well-developed essay, you can write almost any type of academic discourse" (55).

If you are referring to a resource with 3 or more authors, include the first author's name, and replace all other author's names with 'et al.' if using a parenthetic citation. If you are referring to the authors in your sentence, include the first author's name and the phrase 'and others'.

Examples:

  1. A recent study showed that "Participants who more frequently reported playing games, using social media, or texting after bed were more likely to report sleep interruptions by their devices" (Whipps et al. 53).
  2. In a recent study, Whipps and others found that "Participants who more frequently reported playing games, using social media, or texting after bed were more likely to report sleep interruptions by their devices" (53).

If you are referring to a source that has no author, the in-text citation will refer to the first element in the works cited entry, often the title. Treat the title as it is treated in the works cited (eg. titles of books should be in italics, while titles of articles should be in quotations).  If a group or organization responsible for the content, follow the instructions found under the "Group, Organization, or Corporate Author(s)" tab.

Examples:

  1. "Massive clouds of choking smoke from the wildfires has prompted air quality advisories for much of Western Canada and also forced the cancelations of two triathlons in B.C.'s Okanagan region on Sunday" ("Wildfire" par. 3).
  2. According to "Wildfire smoke blanketing Western Canada," poor conditions mandated the cancelation of multiple triathlons (par. 3).

If you are referring to a resource with a group, organization, or corporate author, spell out the name of the organization however, you may choose to abbreviate terms that are commonly abbreviated such as Company (Co.) or Department (Dept.).

Examples:

  1. "An effective personal income tax system depends on taxpayers reporting and paying the right amount of tax at the right time" (Canada Revenue Agency 3).
  2. According to the Canada Revenue Agency, "An effective personal income tax system depends on taxpayers reporting and paying the right amount of tax at the right time" (3).

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