The sources that you use should be cited in the text of your paper, either in a parentheses or as part of the text itself:
- During the turbulent 1960s, science fiction programs on television reflected the public's attitudes toward the older generation (Hodges 179).
- Hodges discussed how, during the turbulent 1960s, science fiction programs on television reflected the public's attitudes toward the older generation (179).
Put the parentheses before a period, semicolon, or comma in order to avoid disrupting the flow of the sentence. If you are referring to the entire source in a general way, you may leave out the page numbers.
- (Devine and Sherman 156-57)
- (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy 1701)
- Include up to three authors. If there are more, you have a choice: you can list all of the authors, or you can list the first name followed by "et al." (Kirk et al. 1701). Whichever you choose, do the same thing in the reference list (ex: Kirk, James, et al.).
- Include the first initial only if two authors have identical last names (F. Hodges 179).
- (US, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory) [Document with a corporate author and no page numbers]
- Shorten names by using the abbreviations for common words shown in section 7.4, geographic locations in section 7.3, and well-known acronyms.
- The divisions of a government agency's name are separated by commas in the parenthetical references and by periods in the reference list.
- MLA prefers that you incorporate lengthy names into the text (without abbreviations) and place only the page numbers (if any) in parentheses.
- (Vulcan Reflections 63-66) [Book with no author]
- ("Roddenberry Legacy") [Article or web page with no author and with no page numbers]
- For sources with no author, use the title. Longer titles should be shortened to the first word or two. Follow the rules for quotation marks and italics just as in the reference list.