Integrating Quotations in MLA Format
1. Is the author’s name already part of your sentence? If it is, just use the page number in your parenthetical citation. If not, use the author’s name in the parenthetical citation.
Hitchens complains that George Orwell has become “an object of sickly veneration and sentimental overpraise, employed to stultify schoolchildren with his insufferable rightness and purity” (3).
One critic characterizes the schoolteachers’ image of George Orwell as “an object of sickly veneration and sentimental overpraise” (Hitchens 3).
2. Have you used an online source that lacks page numbers? If so, no parenthetical citation is needed if the author’s name is in your sentence. However, if you have not mentioned the author’s name, put the name alone in a parenthetical citation.
Orwell says, “Good prose is like a windowpane.”
“Good prose is like a windowpane” (Orwell).
3. Have you quoted a whole sentence or part of a sentence? If you have used only part of a sentence, integrate it smoothly into your sentence. If you have quoted a whole sentence, it can stand alone.
Examples:In #1 parts of Hitchens’s sentence are used. In #2 a whole sentence is quoted.
4. Have you left out some of the wording of the original? Use ellipsis (3 periods in a row) to indicate omitted wording.
Example: “However, the image of the drudge in the garret . . . is an over-familiar one, which Orwell lampooned . . .” (Hitchens 5).
[Original text: “However, the image of the drudge in the garret, who takes his failure as a sign of his high principle, is an over-familiar one, which Orwell lampooned with some thoroughness in his novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying” (Hitchens 5).]
5. Do you need to add or change wording in the quotation to clarify it for the reader? Place added or changed wording in square brackets.
According to Hitchens, “There seems no doubt that [Orwell’s] insight into the colonial mentality informed Orwell’s dislike of the class system at home and also of fascism, which he regarded as an extreme form of class rule (albeit expressed paradoxically through a socialistic ideology)” (20).