MLA in-text citations are brief references in the body of a paper to a full citation in the Works Cited list.
MLA guidelines for in-text citations are explored in detail in Chapter 6 of the MLA Guide, 9th edition.
For online help with MLA in-text citations, see In-Text Citations: An Overview, by the editors.
if mentioning both authors in the text, use first and last names.
ex: Fruzsina Pittner and Iain Donald compare the character of Kurtz to the character of Jackal... (2).
In a parenthetical citation, connect last names with and.
ex: Kurtz can be compared to the Jackal character in the game Far Cry 2 (Pittner and Donald 12).
You may list all of the names.
ex: Konrad Czernichowski, Dominik Kopiński and Andrzej Polus summarized the history of African Studies in Poland.
Or list the first author's surname followed by and others or and colleagues.
ex: Konrad Czernichowski and colleagues summarized the history of African Studies in Poland.
List the first author's last name followed by et al.
ex: In Conrad’s native Poland, scholarly interest in Africa grew in the early 19th century... (Czernichowski et al. 170).
Abbreviate the name to the shortest noun phrase.
ex: The American Association for the Advancement of Science > American Association
if there is no author, use a shortened title for in-text citation.
if the title is longer than a noun phrase (adjective+noun) shorten the title.
When possible use the first noun and any preceding adjectives.
ex: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight > Sir Gawain
May be used as an alternative to a shortened title.
Titles with standard abbreviations. (MLA Guide, Appendix 1)
ex: Works by Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet > Rom.
Much Ado about Nothing > Ado
Julius Caesar > JC
Referring to multiple works by the same author.
ex: Jane Austen Novels
Pride and Prejudice > Pride
Sense and Sensibility > Sense
Mansfield Park > Mansfield
Introduce the full title in prose first, followed by the abbreviated title in parentheses. Then continue to use the abbreviated title in parenthetical citations.