MLA Guide to Quotations: In-text citations and paraphrase

In-Text Citations in MLA Format:

When you are inserting any kind of example or quote from a secondary source (journal, website, book, etc.), it is called an “in-text citation.”

 

An in-text citation can be inserted into the essay in two ways:

1. A direct quote
2. A Paraphrase

A direct quote means you are taking the words exactly as they appear in the text. For example, take the following text:

Reality television has become the wave of the future. 70% of the shows on television
are now reality TV shows or have some kind of reality theme in them. It is estimated that by 2019, 80% of TV shows will be reality television.

If you wanted to use an exact phrase from this text, you would insert the text like this:

 

TV shows are changing, and with reality TV becoming so popular, that “it is estimated that by 2019, 80% of TV shows will be reality television” (Arnold 66).

Notice that the exact piece of text has quotation marks around it. The author’s name is also mentioned in brackets, followed immediately by the page number.

 

NOTE: If you mention the author’s name in your text, you only need the page number, not the author’s name again. Example:

TV shows are changing, and with reality TV becoming so popular, Daniel Arnold states that “by 2019, 80% of TV shows will be reality television” (66)

Remember that sometimes you will have to change the context of your quote. In these cases, use the square brackets to change a capital letter to a lower case or verb tense if you have to.

Example:

Original quote from a book: One thing I know there is none of in Omelas is guilt.

Changed quote: Ursula Leguin illustrates her utopia by claiming the citizens do not even feel guilt about the child, as “[o]ne thing[…] there is none of in Omelas is guilt” (4).

The word “one” has been changed to a lower case so it has brackets around it. The words “I know” have been deleted because they are not needed, yet their absence is replaced with an ellipsis, which is a bracket, three dots, and another bracket to inform the reader that some information is missing.

Online sources for in-text citations should have the same format as a book or journal: the author’s name in brackets. If there isn’t an author, put the webpage’s name in there instead.

Paraphrase:

 

Paraphrasing is different than using a direct quote. Whereas a direct quote takes the exact words from a source, a paraphrase uses the same IDEAS but is written in your words. However, you still MUST cite the source, because the ideas are not your own.

Original Text:

Business communication is increasingly taking place internationally – in all countries, among all peoples, and across all cultures. An awareness of other cultures – of their languages, customs, experiences, and perceptions – as well as an awareness of the way in which other people conduct their business, are now essential ingredients of business communication.

Acceptable Paraphrase:

The importance of understanding the traditions, language, perceptions and the manner in which people of other cultures conduct their business should never be underestimated and is a crucial component of business communication (Paul 22).

Be VERY cautious when paraphrasing: it is easy to PLAGIARIZE. If your words are too close to the original words, it is plagiarism. Please be prudent when paraphrasing.