MLA Parenthetical Citation

Hi everybody. Today we’re going to talk about MLA parenthetical citation. And what this means is when you’re writing a paper, you have to put in parentheses after a statement showing where you got that statement from, or what’s the verification for that statement. And that does a couple things.

It protects you from getting in trouble for plagiarism if you cite where your ideas come from. And also, if someone were to question some of your data you could go immediately back to the page number of the article or book that you used. So I’ll show you here.

It’s something that scares a lot of people. It’s really not that hard. We’ll just jump right into this. So I’m gonna start typing. I’m typing my paper here.

Okay so I’ve made the statement, that this the statement does not come from me. This came from a book that I used O.K. and notice I didn’t put the period in. The period’s gonna come after the parentheses. So this term “rationalistic supernaturalism,” this came from a book that I used, and what I’m gonna be doing, I have in a separate Word document where I have my works cited.

Now your works cited would actually be in the same document but because, so to just to keep things simple I’ve put it in a separate one so we could look at this. So I got that idea from this book by Peter Watson. OK “Ideas: A History of the Invention from Fire to Freud.” So what I’m gonna do now in my regular page here is I’m gonna put a parenthesis, Watson 519 and another parenthis and a period.

Now what that means is that this idea rationalistic super naturalism I didn’t come up with that myself. This author, Peter Watson, that’s written in his book and it’s on page 519 of that book. And from this we can go to your works cited and say oh okay he’s referring to this book by Peter Watson, it must be page 519 of this book and you or your instructor could go to page 519 of this book immediately to verify this idea. So that’s the most basic way. There are some other ways you can cite as well.

Let’s say you want to make a little more eloquent. Within the text of the document, you could, you could also say it like this. So here I put Watson in the text of my sentence so I don’t need to put it at the end again, but I do need to show the page number and and then a period again after the parenthis. There, so I put Watson in the text of the sentence so I don’t need to put Watson again at the end.

This maybe makes it a little more flowing language-wise. I would recommend using both. Don’t just use one exclusively.

That’s my own recommendation, but you can do whatever you want with that. Let’s, there’s another way you could do it. You could say “While Watson …” put the page numbers I’ll put some different page numbers this time ” … clearly differs with this assumption.” So here I’ve put the, put the author in the text of the sentence and put the page numbers right there, and then a comma and then it can just be finished like a normal sentence.

so those are three basic ways to do parenthetical citation. Let’s talk, let’s talk about, and these all keep referring back to different sections of this book by Peter Watson. Okay let’s talk about some exceptions. You might run into in some some different kinds of things. Let’s say there’s more than one author in the article. How we can cite that, so I’ll do a sentence here.

We’re gonna cite back to one of these other ones. Parenthetical citation can be difficult to understand. O.K. now this let’s say it came from this article here.

Now the, this book down here, Peter Watson, that’s a real book. These two articles up here are not real, I just made this up for the purpose of this video. So don’t go try to look them up, but this is a theoretical article by these three authors here. O.K. and I’ve already got it cited in my works cited and so I’m gonna say back to this.

How I do that in parenthetical citation is like this. So at the end of my sentence again do my parentheses, and then the period. So this is saying this statement here. I got this from this article by Smith, Jones, and Brown, and I got it from page 25 of that article. Then that would refer the reader back to this article by Smith, Jones, and Brown, and they could look at page 25 of this article you see page 23 28 so on page 25, of that article they would find a reference to that statement.

Let’s go back and show something else. What if the article has more than three authors? Parenthetical citation follows strict rules. OK now this one comes from this article here by Lawrence, David B., and there’s more than three authors. So in in MLA, for the works cited, we just say Lawrence David B et al. So in my MLA citation then go back here at the end here I’m just going to put …

Hang on a second, every once a while I need to check this. Actually I think there’s no comma in there. et al. And then the page number and hang on just one second.

Okay and that’s actually correct I just double checked to see if there was a comma like there like there is in the works cited but there isn’t when you’re doing parenthetical in text citation, all these little rules, all these rules we gotta check. So then at the at the end we’re gonna put a period here. Hang on just a second. There we go. So okay so that one is set up now. Let’s talk about direct quotes.

Let’s say we’re going to use some direct quotes here. If the quote is less than four lines, you can put it into the text of one sentence with quotation marks like this. “Argued that the advent of doubt could not but have a major effect on ethical thinking.” End of the quotation mark.

This is gonna come from the book by Watson. So let’s say Watson, page number 525 parenthesis and then period. Okay so I kind of introduce the quote here it’s been argued that here’s the quote in quotation marks within the same sentence end quote and then parenthesis, the author’s name, the page number end parenthesis and then period.

Let’s say you’re using a larger quote. Say the quote has more than four lines. So I’m going to, first I’m going to introduce the quote.

And again just a remind you, this Watson then points us back to this book by Peter Watson and then we’ll go to the page number I left listed there and we would find that direct quote. Okay so let’s say we’re using a larger quote. I’m going to introduce the quote. “clearly that Voltaire took a great deal of inspiration from the life of Sir Isaac Newton. So I’ve introduced my quote that’s going to be more than four lines here, and then I put a colon. Alright?

So I’m introducing that quote with a sentence that ends in a colon. And then I’m going to return down and I’m gonna type in the the whole quote. Okay so I cheated a little bit I paused the video and typed this long more than four line quote in here so that you didn’t have to watch me make all the typos and spend all that time So here we go, here’s this long quote that I typed in, this is a quote that’s longer than four lines.

Okay, now one thing that were gonna do here at the end which is kinda different we’re gonna do a couple things to this. So I introduced the quote here. Here’s the big quote, you’re probably noticing it looks a little strange. We’re not gonna put quotation marks around it OK?

What we are gonna do is indent the whole thing. So I’m going to tab that over go to the next line, tab that over, tab, tab tab and tab, we’re tabbing this whole quote over. Now your your Microsoft Word program might when you hit a couple lines it might tab the whole thing over for you automatically. But mine, I had to tab it each line over individually, however you do it, the whole thing has to be tabbed over, no quotation marks. At the very end of the sentence now, to make things a little more complicated, what’s going to happen, is this time, unlike all the other times where the period goes after the final parenthesis, this time the period goes at the end of the actual sentence, and then we get our parenthetical reference.

(Watson 527) So this is saying, this long quote that we introduced here came from page 527 of this book by Watson that we keep referring back to. Okay. So this was a really quick introduction to this.

Now again let’s just make sure you’re introducing the quote here at the end of that introductory sentence, you’re putting in a colon, not a period. Then you’re giving us this whole quote that’s more than four lines long. Then you indent all of the lines over of that quote, put a period at the end of the sentence like you normally would, and then give us the parenthetical reference with no period at the end.

So that’s a quick introduction to some of the basic types of citations parenthetical in text citations you would use in a paper. And this paper obviously we’re just kind of throwing this together. That’s not how your actual paper would probably look like, but this gives you a good idea. In a college-level paper, you should be putting lots of parenthetical citations in there to verify your ideas and to protect you from plagiarism, and this is the way you do it.

And it keeps referring back to our works cited page; it’s kind of a guide to our Works Cited, to show us that’s why you have this works cited. We have these all listed at the end and then in your paper you’re gonna tell us where what pages, what sections of these books or these articles that you used. So, like I said, that’s a quick introduction to MLA parenthetical citation.

Let me know if you have any questions.