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MLA Citation Guide: Quoting, Paraphrasing and Abbreviating

This guide shows you how to cite references in current (9th edition) MLA style

Abbreviations

MLA citation style regularly uses abbreviations in the list of works cited and in parenthetical citations, but rarely in academic prose. If you use abbreviations in your writing, always choose accepted forms, often found in the dictionary. While saving space is important, clarity is more so. Spell out a term if the abbreviation might confuse your reader.

 

Measurements of time

Examples: a.m.; Apr.(April); Sat.(Saturday); yr.(year); min.(minute)

 

University Press - UP (New York UP)

Months of more than 4 letters are abbreviated. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

 

Please refer to Appendix 1 (pp. 293-301) of the MLA Handbook (9th ed.) for the complete information on how to abbreviate.

Quoting Directly

When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number, like this:

"Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8).

"Here's a direct quote" ("Trouble" 22).

 Note: The period goes outside the brackets, at the end of your in-text citation.

Example:

Mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (Hunt 358).

Paraphrasing

When you write information or ideas from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion, like this:

‚ÄčThis is a paraphrase (Smith 8).

This is a paraphrase ("Trouble" 22).

Note: The period goes outside the brackets, at the end of your in-text citation.

Example:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 65).

 Note: If the paraphrased information/idea is from several pages, include all of the page numbers.

Example:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 50, 55, 65-71).