Brandel Library

SPAN 2130/SOC 2130

Citing Sources

How to Cite Sources in MLA Style

There are two steps involved in citing your sources correctly:

  1. Include a short version of the citation in the text of the paper when you use the source. In MLA style this short citation includes the author's last name and the page number. 
  2. Include the full version of the citation in a list of works cited at the end of your paper.

You only need to include each source in the list of works cited once. But you must include an in-text citation every time you use a quote, idea, opinion, or fact from a source, even if you are paraphrasing or summarizing the source in your own words.

Illustration of source citations in MLA style

Example of a paper using MLA citations. Access this example as a Word document.


When to Cite a Source

You must cite a source in all of the following situations:

  • Using a direct quote from another author
  • Paraphrasing the words of another author
  • Including another author's ideas, even if you disagree with them
  • Whenever you're not sure whether or not you need to cite a source

Guides to MLA Style