Professional Guide to Citing Quotes in an Essay in the MLA Format

Citing quotes in the Modern Language Association (MLA) format is pretty standard and therefore easy to comprehend. MLA is often used to cite quotes in essays within the liberal arts and humanities. Here is a professional guide to help students in any level:

How to Cite Short Quotations

Short quotations are direct quotes that are three typed lines or fewer. These are placed within your text and are enclosed within quotation marks. You should always indicate the author’s name as well as the page number in which the quote can be found in the referenced text. The complete citation information should appear in the Works Cited page at the end of your essay.

How to Cite Long Quotations

The standard rule of citing quotes in an essay for MLA is that anything that is more than four typed lines should be placed in a free-standing block of text indented one inch from the left margin. This quotation block does not need quotation marks and should be introduced with a trigger phrase in the last sentence of your text. The end of the quotation block should include the author’s name and page number within parentheses. Maintain double-spacing throughout.

Quotes with Added/Omitted Words

When you add or remove words from a quotation, you are required to put brackets around the added words or brackets around ellipses marks to indicate that the material contained is not a part of the original quotation. Take note that in longer quotations (four type lines or more) that have longer pieces of deleted words – phrases or sentences – need a full line of ellipses. These, however, do not be surrounded with brackets, as the reader should know that a long portion of the text has been removed.

Adding Info in the Works Cited Page

Citing quotations in MLA is the same as citing facts, figures, or ideas that aren’t originally yours. The complete citation information from which you borrowed the quotation should be listed in the Works Cited page, which comes after the essay. It should include the author’s last name, first name, title of the work, the journal it appears in (if any), and publication information. If you did in fact borrow the quotation from a journal the citation must be followed by the volume and issue number.