Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Image of Lincoln logoLincoln High School

Home of the Cardinals

1600 SW Salmon St | Portland, OR 97205
Phone: (503) 916-5200 | Fax: (503) 916-2700

When Do I Need to use Citations?

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers suggests giving credit for sources of information in the body of your research paper. There are two ways to do this:
  1. You can identify the author within the text (see the first entry below.)
  2. You give credit by inserting the appropriate information, usually author and page number, in parentheses after the words or ideas taken from another source. This is called a parenthetical citation (see the second entry below.)
Citing a Complete Work

With Author in Text (The preferred method of citation)
In No Need for Hunger, Robert Spitzer recommends that the U.S. government develop a new foreign policy to help Third World countries overcome poverty and hunger.

Without Author in Text
No Need for Hunger recommends that the U.S. government develop a new foreign policy to help Third World countries overcome poverty and hunger (Spitzer).

Citing Part of a Work
List the necessary page numbers in parentheses if you borrow words or ideas from a particular work. Leave a space between the author's last name and the page reference. No punctuation is needed.

With Author in Text (The preferred method of citation)
Bullough writes that genetic engineering was dubbed "eugenics" by a cousin of Darwin's, Sir Francis Galton, in 1885 (5).

Without Author in Text
Genetic engineering was dubbed "eugenics" by a cousin of Darwin's, Sir Francis Galton, in 1885 (Bullough 5).

For more detailed information on parenthetical citation, please visit the Duke University citation information page.