Citing Modern Texts

First off, a simple rule--whenever in doubt, cite. By adhering to this simple rule you are guaranteed to avoid a nefarious and shameful charge of plagiarism.

Students are often confused by the different systems for citing the modern texts they are paraphrasing or quoting. In my classes, use the Modern Language Association's (MLA) style of parenthetical citation.

MLA guidelines require that you cite the quotations, summaries, paraphrases, and other material used from sources within parentheses typically placed at the end of the sentence in which the quoted or paraphrased material appears. These in-text parenthetical citations correspond to the full bibliographic entries found in a list of works cited at the end of your paper. Please note, however, that there are different standards for citing classical texts.


For more examples, see this Duke University Libraries website.