How do I format in-text citations?


Go to the How Do I Cite? section of the MLA Citation Guide. It has examples of in-text citations for books, tweets, encyclopedias, web sites, and more.

Rules of thumb

In-text citations (or parenthetical citations) give the reader just enough information to identify the correct source on the Works Cited page. Do not interrupt the flow of the text with URLs or long titles or too many words.

  • For single authors, use the last name. (Cleary)
  • For two authors, use both last names separated by "and". (Cleary and Venturini)
  • For 3 or more authors, use the last name of the first author plus "et al." (Cleary et al.)
  • For corporate authors, use the name of the group. (Millard Sheets Library)
  • When there are no named authors, use a shortened title. ("Citation Guide")
  • Add page numbers and time codes when they are available. (Cleary 2)



  • Last Updated Jul 07, 2020
  • Views 53
  • Answered By Heather Cleary

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