Methods of Citation in Brief

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There are two widely used general methods of citation: footnotes and the author-date method. Other forms, including endnotes instead of footnotes or parenthetical documentation instead of author-date, are variations on these basic methods. The below examples illustrate the forms of footnote and parenthetical notation described by the MLA Handbook (5th ed.).



First appearance of footnotes (or endnotes) are indented with the following details and punctuation:

1 A.J. Duffield, The Prospects of Peru (London: Newman, 1881) 78.

2 Helen Hunt Jackson, A Century of Dishonor, a Sketch of the United States Government's Dealings with Some of the Indian Tribes (New York: Harper, 1881) 178.

Subsequent references would include only the author's name and page number:

3 Duffield 86.

Or the author's name, short title (if you cite two or more works by the same author), and page number:

6 Duffield, The Prospects of Peru 86.

Parenthetical Documentation

Whether paraphrasing of directly quoting a source with a parenthetical reference that includes author's last name and page number contatined in parentheses and not separated by a comma: (Gibaldi 204). Such a reference indicates that a quotation or paraphrase comes from page 204 of a work by Gibaldi. Given the author's last name, readers can find full publication details for any given cited source in the Works Cited page that follows the body of a paper and that is arranged alphabetically.

Gibaldi, Joseph.   MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.   5th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association, 1999.