How to Cite a Quote From a Book in MLA

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Providing the proper citation is an important part of writing scholarly papers. Proper citations help protect you from committing plagiarism when you write a paper and use the ideas from another source that you have researched. The idea that you put into your paper could be paraphrasing the original information or it could be a direct quotation. There are two elements to keep in mind when you’re writing your paper. One element is to provide an attribution in the text of your paper, and the second element is to properly format your reference. The MLA style is one way of formatting your reference.

Write your paper or essay, and when you get to the place where you want to place the quote, provide an attribution and then insert the quote. For example, you could write: According to John Doe, “The data was found to be completely accurate.”

Place the last name of the quoted author in parenthesis following the end of the quotation if you do not provide a name in the text as a citation. For example, instead of writing John Doe's name, you might write the following: The data was found to be accurate. (Doe)

Include the book’s page number from which you took the quote. For example, if you are using the John Doe quote with the name in the text, your entry would appear as the following: According to John Doe, "The data was found to be completely accurate.” (76) If you do not have the name in the text, your quote would look like the following: The data was found to be accurate. (Doe 76)

Add a page to the end of your paper and add a title to the page. The title can be either Bibliography or Works Cited.

Write your reference in MLA style for a book. The proper way to list your reference is as follows: Last name, First name. Title of book. City book was published in: Publisher name, year published. An example would be as follows: Doe, John. The Book of Data. New York: Knopf, 2010. The book title should be italicized.

Alphabetize your entry in your bibliography by the book author’s last name.

Things Needed

  • Paper


About the Author

Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."

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