A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

How to Write Parenthetical Documentation
in MLA Style 7th Edition

To: How to Write Parenthetical Documentation in MLA Style 6th Edition
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1. How to Format a Research Paper in MLA Style, 7th ed
2. How to Format a Research Paper in MLA Style, 6th ed
3. Quoting Passages Using MLA Style, 7th ed.
4. Quoting Passages Using MLA Style, 6th ed.
5. Content Notes and Bibliographic Notes in MLA Style, 7th ed
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7. Footnotes and Endnotes - Examples in MLA Style, 6th ed.
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10. How to Write Parenthetical Documentation in MLA Style, 7th ed.
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17. Guidelines on Writing a Bibliography or Works Cited Page in MLA Style, 6th ed.
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For greater details on how to write parenthetical references or parenthetical documentation using MLA style 7th ed., please see Chapter 6 in the official MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition:

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition

To Parenthetical Documentation in MLA Style, 7th Edition - Sample Page

The simplest way to cite sources is to use parenthetical references or parenthetical documentation.

The author's last name (or last name of editor, translator, compiler, narrator) and page number(s) are placed in parentheses in the text to give credit to sources. Exactly the same name must also be used in your Bibliography or list of Works Cited to clearly direct readers to the source you have cited in your text.

Where the author's name is unavailable or not listed, the first word of the title is used to begin the citation instead of the author's last name. In order not to confuse your readers, always use exactly the same title (including the quotation marks or italics) for both your parenthetical reference and your list of Works Cited. If the first word is italicized in your list of Works Cited, you will italicize the first word of the title in your text for the parenthetical reference, e.g. (Sony 12). If the title of the work in the list of Works Cited is in quotation marks, then you will add the quotations marks in your parenthetical reference, e.g. ("Li Chao"). The identical matching citations will help readers immensely to connect the references you have quoted.

Work with one author:

For example, in your paper you write:

            Prestipino advises that you should "Consider your Web host a partner . . . and you'll never be disappointed in what is one of the most important components to your Web success" (29).

In your Bibliography or list of Works Cited, your entry would read:

Prestipino, Peter. "Web Hosting: The Silent Partner of 'Net Success." Website Magazine July 2009: 26-29. Print.

Work with two one authors:

For example, in your paper you write:

            In their Preface, the authors point out that "Learning Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) is like learning any new language, computer or human" (Musciano and Kennedy xi).

In your Bibliography or list of Works Cited, your entry would read:

Musciano, Chuck, and Bill Kennedy. HTML and XHTML: The Definitive Guide.
            4th ed. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 2000. Print.

Citing from the same work:

If you cite another paragraph from the same work, or if the author or authors are clearly indicated in your text, common sense dictates that you only need to add page number(s) for the citation. For example:

            Musciano and Kennedy suggest that we should avoid breaking tags across lines in our source document whenever possible to promote readability and reduce potential errors in HTML documents (41).

Work with three or more authors:

To indicate a work with more than three authors or editors, use et al. (Latin meaning "and others") e.g. (Bowers et al. 218). If you do not wish to use et al., you may list the names of all the authors or editors in your parenthetical documentation and in your corresponding list of Works Cited.

For example:

            In the unit on genetic continuity, we learned that Dr. Peter St. George-Hyslop, whose research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that cause neurodegeneration in certain diseases,"has personally discovered two of the four genes that have been linked to Alzheimer's [Disease] at his laboratories at the University of Toronto" (Bowers et al. 218).

Note: The word "Disease" is enclosed in square brackets because it is not found in the original but is added here as supplementary information to clarify "Alzheimer's". See MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition (ch. 3.7.6).

In your Bibliography or list of Works Cited, your entry would read:

Bowers, Ray, et al. Biology 11. Toronto: Wesley, 2002. Print.

If in your text, you write:

            In the unit on genetic continuity, we learned that Dr. Peter St. George-Hyslop, one of the world's top neurological researchers,"has personally discovered two of the four genes that have been linked to Alzheimer's [Disease] at his laboratories at the University of Toronto" (Bowers, Eichorn, Silverman, de Souza, Young, and Hedges 218).

Your matching entry in your Bibliography or list of Works Cited would read:

Bowers, Ray, Dean Eichorn, Len Silverman, Gail de Souza, Rob Young, and Robert Hedges. Biology 11.
            Toronto: Wesley, 2002. Print.

Two or more articles by the same author:

If you are citing two or more articles by the same author, distinguish the articles by adding a date after the author's last name, e.g. (Roche 2008 45), (Roche 2009 62-64); or by adding the short title after the last name, e.g. (Mayberry Business Leaders 21), (Mayberry Leaders Who Changed 35-40).

Two or more authors with the same last name:

If you are citing two or more authors with the same last name, add first names or initials to distinguish them, e.g. (John Smith 52), (Jane Smith 90), (M. Smith 115).

Work with no author stated:

When citing from a pamphlet or a brochure, treat it the same as a book. For example, to cite information obtained from a pamphlet with no author stated, in your text you write:

            We counted on the Ring Light with its bright white LED lighting to "Capture impeccably lit macro shots every time" (Sony 12).

In your Bibliography or list of Works Cited, your entry would read:

Sony Cyber-shot Accessories. N.p.: Sony Canada, 2007. Print.

N.p. = No place of publication.

Citing from the Internet:

If you are quoting from a Web site, your citation for a parenthetical reference follows the same format as any regular citations for author, editor, title, etc. with one exception. Where no page reference is available on a Web page, indicate the author's last name, or the short title if no author is stated, without any page reference, such as author: (Meyer) or title: (Patron Saints Index). A corresponding entry must be made in your Bibliography or list of Works Cited.

Unless the paragraphs or screens are clearly numbered on the Web page by the author or Webmaster (such as in a PDF), paragraphs or screen numbers should not be arbitrarily assigned when citing sources.

Example of a citation from the Internet with no author stated, in your text you write:

          Beginning on January 1, 2009, the Chinese table tennis coach Li Chao will begin his new job as the full-time national coach for Table Tennis Scotland. It is hoped that Li Chao will take Scotland into the top eight in the Commonwealth Table Tennis Tournaments ("Li Chao").

In your Bibliography or list of Works Cited, your entry for this parenthetical reference would read:

"Li Chao Named National Coach." Table Tennis News. In the Winning Zone. Jan. 2009. Web. 26 June 2009.

Citation from the Internet with three or more authors:

If your citation refers to a Web site or Web page (eBook) by three or more authors, e.g. Stephen Phillips, Laurence Binyon, Manmohan Ghose, and Arthur Shearly, entitled: Primavera: Poems by Four Authors found at <http://infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/1/9/1/7/19170/19170.htm>, in your essay you write:

          Manmohan Ghose was one of the poets who had his work published in Primavera: Poems by Four Authors (Phillips et al.) in 1890.

On your Works Cited page, you will list the following alphabetically by the first word:

Phillips, Stephen, et al. Primavera: Poems by Four Authors. 4 Sept. 2006. Project Gutenberg. Web. 26 June 2009.

Meaning of dates: Web site or Web page was created, released or last updated on September 4, 2006 by Project Gutenberg. The site or page was accessed on June 26, 2009 by you.

For further details on citations from the Web, see Item #23. Internet in Bibliography - Examples in MLA Style 7th ed.

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