There are two ways to integrate sources into your assignment: quoting directly or paraphrasing.
Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation.
Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation.
There are two basic formats that can be used when quoting a source:
Note: If there are no page numbers, as in a website, cite the author name only.
A long or block quotation is a quotation which is 4 lines or more.
Rules for Long Quotations
There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:
Example of a Long Quotation
At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behavior:
The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding 186)
Sometimes you may want to make some modifications to the quote to fit your writing. Here are some MLA rules when changing quotes:
Omitting parts of a quotation
Adding words to a quote
When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows:
If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the page number if there is one:
Homeless individuals commonly come from families who are riddled with problems and marital disharmony, and are alienated from their parents. They have often been physically and even sexually abused, have relocated frequently, and many of them may be asked to leave home or are actually thrown out, or alternatively are placed in group homes or in foster care. They often have no one to care for them and no one knows them intimately.
Rokach, Ami. "The Causes of Loneliness in Homeless Youth." The Journal of Psychology, 139, 2005, pp. 469-480. Academic Search Premier.
Example: Incorrect Paraphrasing
Example: Correct Paraphrasing
If you paraphrase a source more than once in a single paragraph and no other sources are mentioned in between, provide an in-text citation for the source at the end of each paraphrase. In the examples, the second in-text citation only includes the page number since it is clear that the same source is still being paraphrased.
If your paraphrase continues to another paragraph and/or you include paraphrases from other sources within the same paragraph, repeat the in-text citations for each.
If you are using information from a single source more than once in succession (i.e., no other sources referred to in between), you can use a simplified in-text citation.
Note: If using this simplified in-text citation creates ambiguity regarding the source being referred to, use the full in-text citation format.
When you are citing two different sources that share the same author, for the Works Cited List list the first title only, and for any subsequent titles by the same author list three dashes (---) in place of the author name.
For in-text citations, include a shortened version of the source title following the author name.
If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon (;).