How to Quote in MLA

Posted by Splice, Essay Tips Chief Writer

How to Quote in MLA. In using the MLA format, quoting requires two important things: the surname of the author of the source and the page number. Put these two items inside parentheses. For example, (Clark, p. 54). Place the parentheses after the quoted passage. For example,

According to one literary scholar, "the literary genius of Hemingway cannot be easily understood without an understanding of where he is coming from" (Clark, p. 54).

That is the general rule. However, there are several exceptions. If, for instance, the full name of the author is already introduced in the sentence where the same quote appears, there is no need to include the author's surname in the parentheses. Also, include the page number of the source in parentheses at the end of the quote. For example:

According to Herbert Clark, "the literary genius of Hemingway cannot be easily understood without an understanding of where he is coming from" (Clark, p. 54).

Another exception is when the source of your quoted passage does not have an author. In this case, place the title of the source in place of the author's surname. For example:

In fact, "Hemingway has proven that literary artistry does not have to come from happy experiences in life" (The Writings of Hemingway, p. 86).

If the title of the source is already mentioned in the same sentence where the quoted passage is placed, place the page number in parentheses at the end of the quote. For example:

According to The Writings of Hemingway, "Hemingway has proven that literary artistry does not have to come from happy experiences in life" (p. 86).

A few important reminders. Always put the in-text citation in parentheses before the period and after the quotation marks or after the name of the author or the title of the source. Now that you know the basic principles on how to quote in MLA, you may also want to read how to quote in APA, or how to quote in an essay, or how to quote, or know more about direct quotes.

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