In essay citation using MLA style is an important part of ensuring that your work is accurate and properly credited. Citations give credit to the original sources of information used in your essay. When you cite a source, you provide readers with the necessary details to locate the material you used and determine whether or not it is reliable.
MLA style requires that writers include parenthetical citations in their essays. This includes the authors last name and the page number where the information appears in the source. For example, if you are citing a quote from Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, you would write (Shakespeare, 2.2.45). If the authors last name is already included in your text, then only the page number is needed: (2.2.45).
When citing a source with more than one author, use the first authors last name followed by et al. This stands for and others and indicates that there are additional authors who were not named in the citation. For example, if you are citing a book with three authors, you would write (Smith et al., 42).
When citing a source in your essay that does not have page numbers, such as an article published on a website, use the authors last name and the year of publication instead: (Smith, 2020). If you are citing multiple sources with the same author, include a brief title or description of each work in order to differentiate them: (Smith, The Cat, 2020).
Finally, make sure to include an entry for any sources cited in your essay in the Works Cited page at the end of your paper. This list should include full publication details for each source, including publisher, year of publication, and any other relevant information. Following these guidelines will help you maintain accuracy and avoid plagiarism in your academic writing.