5 MLA Dissertation Citation Rules For University Students

When writing an essay in the MLA-formatting style there are a number of rules university students must know about making citations within the text. It’s generally a good idea to pick up a good quality style guide – either purchase one or check one out from the library – to use as for reference throughout the composition of your work. But we’ve come up with this quick guide to help you with the 5 MLA dissertation citation rules every university student should know by heart:

  1. In-Text Citations: Using the Author-Page Style
  2. The most common and frequently used citation style in MLA works is the author-page style. This requires you to include the author’s name followed by the page number of the material being referenced in parentheses placed at the end of the sentence. The variation to this is to place the author’s name within the text and the referenced page number in parentheses at the end of the same sentence.

  3. In-Text Citations: Unknown Author-Page Style
  4. When you need to provide an MLA dissertation citation for a work of which there is no known author you must include the title of the work followed by the referenced page number in parentheses at that end of the sentence. Full citation information including all publication details should be listed as usual in the works cited page.

  5. Author-Page Citation for Classic Literary Works
  6. Page numbers should be included in all in-text citations. But there is some additional information you can provide to help the reader understand that you are using a specific work that may have a number of editions or translations. Classical literary works are a typical type of text that may require items like volume, book, chapter, or section detail to help the reader find the exact citation within the same work you have referenced.

  7. Citation for Works with Multiple Authors
  8. When you need to cite a work with multiple authors you can do so in two ways: for a work with three or fewer authors list each author’s name in the text with the page number citation in parentheses; or for a work with four or more authors include the first author’s name within the text followed by “et al.” to indicating to the reader there are more author’s credited to the work.

  9. Citation for Multiple Works by One Author
  10. Depending on your dissertation topic you may need to cite several works by a single author. In these cases it’s suggested the name of the author be included within the text (e.g., “Langley stated that the fall of man is ongoing…”) and to include the work’s title followed by the page number in parenthesis at the end of the sentence.


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Tricks and tutorials for students getting their doctoral level degree.