MLA Style: Print and Multimedia Sources: Parenthetical References

Note: These examples follow the format described in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers  (7th edition).

In addition to producing a "list of works cited" for your paper you must provide details about the information you derived from each of your sources and where in the source you located this information.  The best way to do this is to insert a brief parenthetical acknowledgement whenever you use another person’s ideas or words. This allows the reader to refer to the "list of works cited" for complete information on the source.


In the example below, the name of the author is referenced in the body of the paper with the page number enclosed in parentheses (the author's ideas or exact words appeared on this page).

Townsend, Robert M. The Medieval Village Economy. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993.

Townsend referred to Medieval Europe as a place of "raids, pillages, slavery, and extortion." (10).


If you are not referencing the name of the author in the body of the paper, put the author's last name and the page number in parentheses after a direct quote or a statement summarizing the author's ideas. (See examples below.)

Single author

Wilson, Frank R. The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human

   Culture. New York: Pantheon, 1998. Print.

(Wilson 77)

Two authors

Eggins, Suzanne, and Diane Slade. Analyzing Casual Conversation. London: Cassell,
   1997. Print.

(Eggins and Slade 49-50)

Three or more authors

Three authors

Marquart, James W., Sheldon Ekland Olson, and Jonathan R. Sorensen. The Rope,

    The Chair, and the Needle: Capital Punishment in Texas, 1923-1990. Austin:

    U of Texas P, 1994. Print.

(Marquart, Olson, and Sorensen 101-103)

Four or more authors
Gilman, Sander, et. al. Hysteria Beyond Freud. Berkeley: U of California P, 1993. Print.

(Gilman et. al. 445)

Two or more titles by the same author

Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice,

    1963. Print.

---. The Double Vision: Language and Meaning in Religion. Toronto: U of Toronto P,

    1991. Print.

(Frye, Anatomy 237)

(Frye, Double Vision 85)

Corporate author

American Medical Association. The American Medical Association Encyclopedia.

    New York: Random, 1989. Print.

(American Medical Assn. 37)

Author Unknown

"The Decade of the Spy." Newsweek 7 Mar. 1994: 26-27. Print.

("Decade" 26)

Authors with the same last name

Jones, Adam. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2006.


(A. Jones 25)

Jones, Charisse. Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America. New York:

   HarperCollins, 2003. Print.

(C. Jones 47)

Multivolume work (one volume of set)

Wellek, Rene. A History of Modern Criticism, 1750-1950. 8 vols. New Haven: Yale UP,

    1955-92. Print.

(Wellek 2: 1-10)