How to Cite a Quote From Another Author in MLA

When writing a book, an essay or some type of academic paper, you may come across a quote from another author that you wish to place in your work. You may run into plagiarism laws or your school’s plagiarism policies if you do not provide the correct citation for your quote. No matter what kind of writing you do, your quote needs to proper referencing to avoid plagiarizing the quoted author. One popular referencing style for quotes is the Modern Language Association, or MLA, style.

Step 1

Place the quote in the text of your book or other work. Because it is a quotation, use quotation marks before and after the quote.

Step 2

Give your quote the correct in-text citation. This isdone in one of two ways. You can write the name of the author in the text: According to John Smith, “The world economy is growing.” You could also add the author’s last name and the page number from which the quotation is taken: “The world economy is growing.” (Smith 72)

Step 3

Add a Works Cited page to your book or other work. This is a page that comes after the end of your work and provides information for readers to know where your information came from.

Step 4

Enter your information on the author’s work from which you’ve taken your quote. This entry is positioned alphabetically on the page, by the author’s last name.

Step 5

Format your entry with the title of the book, the city in which the book was published, the city that the publisher resides in and the year of publication. An example of this format is as follows: Smith, John. Book Title. New York: Scribner, 2009.


Allow someone to review your citation formatting before completing your academic paper.

If you improperly format your references, your instructor may take points off your paper.

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