Skip to main content


TBT Ideas for Languages, Literature, and Philopsophy: Using MLA citation style

Resources about Armstrong history and tips for researching materal for Throwback Thursday blog posts.

MLA Quick Guide, 8th ed.

Citing a source within a source

You may encounter an article in which the author (let's say John Jones) cites another author's work (let's say George Smith) within the text. You want to Smith's words in your paper, so what do you do?? How do you cite that since it appeared in Jones' article??

According to the MLA Handbook, seventh edition, section 6.4.7, page 226:

Whenever you can, take material from the original source, not a secondhand one. Sometimes, however, only an indirect source is available--for example, someone's pubished account of another's spoken remarks. If what you quote or paraphrase is itself a quotation, put the abbreviation qtd. in [which means "quoted in"] before the indirect source you cite in your parenthetical reference.


     Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 2: 450).

Your Works Cited Page contains the citation of the source where you found the information.


Boswell, James. The Life of Johnson.

     Ed. George Birkbeck Hill and L.F.

     Powell. 6 vols. Oxford: Clarendon,

     1934-50. Print.

Citation Generator Websites

Knight Cite

KnightCite is an online citation generator service provided by the Hekman Library of Calvin College.

Easy Bib

Free (for MLA) Automatic Bibliography and Citation Generator

Son of Citation Machine

Citation machine helps students and professional researchers to properly credit the information that they use.

Find the book--the MLA Handbook

Available at the Lane Library Reference Desk.

Need Help?

Purdue OWL MLA

 Click on the links to access Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL). It's an excellent source for formatting and citation help.

Examples of in-text citations

When the author's name is used in the text of the sentence, with a direct quote:
   Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).


When the author's name is not used in the text of sentence:
   Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).



When the author's name is used in the text of a sentence, without a direct quote:
   Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

Help with in-text citations

The handout below provides quick reference for using in-text citations in MLA style.

Purdue OWL