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English 201A: English Composition: In-Text Citations

This guide connects English 201A students with resources that will be useful for succeeding in this class.

Signal Phrases

SIGNAL PHRASES IN MLA STYLE

Readers should be able to move from your own words to the words you quote without feeling an abrupt shift. Signal phrases provide clear signals to prepare the readers for the quotation.

Choose a verb that is appropriate in the context. Here are some example signal phrases:

  • argues
  • asserts
  • believes
  • claims
  • comments
  • disputes
  • illustrates
  • implies
  • points out
  • reports
  • suggests
  • thinks
  • writes

Ease the Reader Out of a Quotation

When you use a quotation, help the reader make a smooth transition back into your own words. To do this, follow up the quotation with a sentence or two of your own that reinforces or expands upon it

Signal Phrases in MLA Style courtesy of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2020. 

Chart of In-text Examples

Type of Citation

In-Text Parenthetical Format

1 work by 1 author

(Harris 23)

1 work by 2 authors

(Harris and Ramirez 23)

1 work by 3 or more authors

(Peet et al.198)

Corporate author

(American Dental Association 42)

Unknown author (use the title)

("A New Deal" 121)

 

Chart courtesy of Indian River State College, 2020

MLA Style 8th Edition: Citing Sources in the Text: (Parenthetical Citations)

MLA Style 8th Edition: Citing Sources in the Text: (Parenthetical Citations)

 

One Author

 Author named in a signal phrase:

 According to John Speka, Mt. Whitney in California is “one of the easier mountains to   climb in the Sierra Nevada” (136).

 Author not named in a signal phrase:

 In the Sierra Nevada, Mt. Whitney is “one of the easier mountains to climb” (Speka 136).

 The corresponding citation in the Works Cited page at the end of your   paper would look like this:

 Speka, John. Mountain Climbing in the Sierras. W.W. Norton, 2016.

Two Authors: List authors individually up to a total of two.

 Author named in a signal phrase:

 According to Harris and Hamu, “Surfing’s golden age was the 1970s on the North Shore   of Oahu in Hawaii” (47).

 Author not named in a signal phrase:

 “Surfing’s golden age was the 1970s on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii” (Harris and   Hamu 47).

 The corresponding citation in the Works Cited page at the end of your   paper would look like this:

 Harris, Kelly, and Alan Hamu. “Surfing and the Cult of Big Waves.” Surfer, Mar. 2016, pp.   45-51, Academic Search Premier, search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=   a9h&AN= 100668766.

Three or More Authors: Use the last name of the first author listed followed by et al.

 Author named in a signal phrase:

 Feeney et al. reiterate “…” (456-57).

 Author not named in a signal phrase:

  “…” (Feeney et al. 456-57).

 

No Author: Use the title listed on the Works Cited page.

 Title named in a signal phrase:

 According to the article “Shipping Rules Change,” the harbormaster of Humboldt Bay has   decided that ships over 150 feet in length will have to be guided by a tugboat or   harbor   pilot (A2).

 Title not named in a signal phrase:

 The harbormaster of Humboldt Bay has decided that ships over 150 feet in length will   have to be guided by a tugboat or harbor pilot (“Shipping Rules Change” A2).

 The corresponding citation in the Works Cited page at the end of your   paper would look like this:

 “Shipping Rules Change.” The Eureka Times-Standard, 30 June 2016, p. A2. Newspaper   Source Plus, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct= true&db= a9h&AN=   J0E362043733312&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

No Page Number

 Many resources found on the Web, for example, do not have page   numbers, so do not include one if one is not present:

 The Monterey Bay Aquarium has several research and conservation programs that cover   many aspects of ocean research, including the global tagging of Pacific predators, the   recovery of sea otter populations, and the very popular Seafood Watch Program   (“Conservation and Science”).

 The corresponding citation in the Works Cited page at the end of your   paper would look like this:

 “Conservation and Science.” Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium   Foundation, 2016, www.montereybayaquarium.org/conservation-and-science.

 

 

Courtesy of Monterey Peninsula College, 2020. Also available in PDF format