Montgomery College Germantown Campus

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Citations: MLA & APA

Citations: MLA & APA
A Germantown Writing Center Workshop

            You’ve written your paper and now it’s time to insert in-text citations and create the Works Cited or Reference page. You may be asking yourself, “Why should I cite my sources?” Here are a few major reasons:
  • Avoid plagiarism. This is the biggest reason to cite your work. Academic dishonesty is taken seriously at all colleges, and violating this policy can result in various consequences, such as a grade of F on the assignment.
  • Show your professor you can follow directions.
  • Allow readers to verify your research.

In-text Citations
·         Appear in parentheses after a direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary.


  1. "The source is introduced by a signal phrase that names its author.
  2. The material being cited is followed by a page number in parentheses” (Hacker and Somners 416).

  1. The source is introduced by a signal phrase that includes the last names of the authors followed by the date of publication in parentheses.
  2. The material being cited is followed by a page number in parentheses” (Hacker & Somners, 2009, p. 480).

·         Generally contain the author’s last name and page number or year of publication if a page number is unavailable (such as with an internet source).
o   Direct quotation: Taking the author’s original words and enclosing them in double quotation marks. This is to differentiate your words from the author’s words.
o   NOTE: If you do not use quotation marks around the author’s original words, YOU ARE PLAGIARIZING!
o   When using direct quotations, make sure you introduce the author and his/her work to the audience first. This is called the signal phrase. Also, make sure you’ve written a complete sentence, including the direct quotation.
§  Incomplete sentence: When Dr. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream.”
§  Complete sentence: Dr. Martin Luther King announced to the audience in his famous 1963 speech, “I have a dream.”

·         Handouts for MLA and APA citations are available near the front double doors of the Writing Center. You are more than welcome to take the handouts which apply to you. You can also find these handouts by visiting the library’s website. Click on either MLA or APA Guidelines.

Works Cited/Reference Page
·         After quoting, paraphrasing, and/or summarizing other authors in your essay, you will need to include a full works cited or reference page. Think of this page as the specific details about your sources.
o   Example: Garment tags are a works cited of sorts for a piece of clothing. The garment tag on the neckline or waistline includes the brand name and size of the clothing, for example EXPRESS  M. The tag on the seam has all the specific details, such as where the garment was made, what materials were used, and how to wash the garment.

·         General rules for the Works Cited/Reference page:
1)      Who,         When,             What,              Where
↓                ↓                      ↓                      ↓
Author,     Publish date,   Title,                Publisher’s location (city, state)
2)      Alphabetize list by authors’ last names
3)      Double space the list and use a hanging indent
4)      Refer to handouts for specific differences between MLA and APA formatting

Works Cited (MLA format)

“Blueprint Lays Out Clear Path for Climate Action.” Environmental Defense Fund. Environmental Defense Fund, 8 May 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.
Clinton, Bill. Interview by Andrew C. Revkin. “Clinton on Climate Change.” New York Times. New York Times, May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.

References (APA format)

Clinton, B. (2007, May). Clinton on climate change (Interview by A. C. Revkin) [Video]. Retrieved May 25, 2009, from New York Times website:
Coalition defines clear path for climate action. (2007, May 8). Retrieved September 16, 2013, from Environmental Defense Fund website: 
A helpful resource website for MLA and APA citations is The Purdue OWL.  

To view the Prezi that accompanies this workshop, click here.

In addition, you can view this video tutorial on MLA in-text citations created by Jenny Hatleberg, one of Montgomery College's librarians. 

For additional help with MLA and APA citations, go to the library's website. From this page, you can create an account for either Noodle Tools or RefWorks, two wonderful citation generators.

The following video explains how to format a Works Cited (MLA) or Reference (APA) page: