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Literary Criticism : MLA Citation and Parenthetical Citations

Worksheet for citing

MLA - Citation and Parenthetical Citation Examples for a BOOK

Each citation in your Works Cited page should contain the following information and punctuation:

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

  • Example: 
    • Smith, James. The Brave Ones. Penguin, 2017.
  • Example of parenthetical citation
    • There are many examples of how unorthodox thinking led to change (Smith 30)

Cite a Film

Each citation in your Works Cited page should contain the following information and punctuation:

  • Title of film/video. Director (abreviated as Dir.) The film studio or distributor, year of release.
    • Example:
      • Ready  Player One. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Warner Brother Pictures, 2018. 
  • Example of parenthetical citation:
    • Director Spielberg demonstrates the chaos among the Turks and British (Ready Player One
  • For a specific segment include the hours, minutes and seconds using colons.
    • (Ready Player One 00:34:20:21-29)
  • If parenthetically citing a screen shot - look at how to cite an image.
    • Ex: Fig. 1 Ready Player One 00:34:20:21-29

MLA - Citation and Parenthetical Citation for Graphic Novel with more than one volume

  • Follow the same format as if citing a book but include the volume number
    • Example
      • Fialkov, Joshua H. The Bunker,  vol. 2, Oni Press, 2015.
  • Parenthetical citation:
    • The Bunker  resembles other novels in which characters are trapped (Fialkov  23).​​​​​​​

Example - MLA Works Cited Page


Short Quotations
When using short (fewer than three lines of verse) quotations from poetry, mark breaks in verse with a slash, ( / ), at the end of each line of verse (a space should precede and follow the slash). If a stanza break occurs during the quotation, use a double slash ( // ).
Include quotes and a parenthetical citation. Cite the line numbers but not the page numbers in the first parenthetical citation if the lines are numbered. For future parenthetical citations, just put in the line numbers – you do not need to write the word “lines”
EX: Cullen concludes, "Of all the things that happened there / That's all I remember" (Jones lines 11-12).
For quotations that are more than four lines of prose or three lines of verse, place quotations in a free-standing block of text and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, with the entire quote indented 1/2 inch from the left margin while maintaining double-spacing. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark. When quoting verse, maintain original line breaks. (You should maintain double-spacing throughout your essay.)

Cite a Podcast

Each citation in your Works Cited page should contain the following information and punctuation:

Narrator Last Name, First name. "Title of the Podcast Episode." Title of the Podcast, season #, episode #, the publisher (if applicable), date (if there is a date), URL.

  • Example:
    •   Gladwell, Malcolm, narrator. “The Lady Vanishes.” Revisionist History, season 1, episode 1, Slate Group, 2016,
  • Example of Parenthetical citation:
    • Every episode examines something from the past (Gladwell).

MLA - Images and link to other sources

According to the MLA guidelines, the use of tables/images/visual material in the body of your paper should be used sparingly. Consider that an image is not a substitute for an explanation, but rather something that may enhance the reading of your paper. 

-  All images are referred to as Fig. and given a number. Place the caption under the image.  *** If you have a complete citation under the image, you do NOT need to include it in your Works Cited page.

1. Format for an image found on the internet:

Creator’s Last name, First name. “Title of the digital image.”  Date Created , Title of website, Publisher, Date of publication (Day Month Year). URL Date of Access (Day Month Year).


 Fig. 1 Mars, Mary. "1950 Costumes." News and Events, Seton Hall University, 30 Jan. 2016. Accessed 1 June 2020.

1A. If there is no title for the image, describe the image. Do not use quotation marks or italics.

 Fig. 1 Students Performing You Can’t Take it with You. News and Events,  Seton Hall University, 30 Jan. 2016. Accessed 21 May 2019.


2. Format for an original piece of artwork found on the Internet:

Creator’s Last name, First name. Title of the artwork.  Creation Date , Name of the institution that houses the artwork. Title of website, Publisher, URL. Accessed date (Day Month Year).


Fig. 1 Scholten, J.A. “Kate O'Flaherty (Kate Chopin, at the Time of Her Marriage)." 1870, Museum of Art ,  Accessed 8 August 2019.

Cite Song Lyrics and Videos

General online Format:

Group Name or Performer’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of the Song.” Title of the Album, edition if applicable, Publisher, Year of publication. URL or App Name app.


Morris, Rae. “Skin.” Cold, Atlantic Records, 2014. Spotify,

Online Album

Beyoncé. “Pray You Catch Me.” Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment, 2016,

If you cite lyrics from a website, provide a description in place of the title. Then provide the name of the website, publication information for the site, and the URL:

Beatles.  Lyrics to “Revolution 1.” Genius, 2017,



Last Name, First Name of video creator or Username of Creator. "Title of Video." Title of the Hosting Website, uploaded by Username, Day Month Year of Publication, URL of video. Accessed Day Month Year video was viewed.

* If the creator of the video is unknown, start with the "Title of the Video."


Gordon, Mick. "Cat Man Do." YouTube, uploaded by Simon's Cat, 4 Mar. 2008,

Parenthetical citation: 

(Last Name of Video Creator Start Time of Revelant Section-End Time of Section)

(Gordon 00:03:30-00:04:16)

 Note: Cite the relevant hour, minute and seconds as displayed in your media player. If the video is less than hour cite minutes and seconds only.


Parenthetical Citations

Parenthetical citations appear immediately after the source is referenced in your paper. You will need to use parenthetical citations when you summarize, paraphrase or quote a source.  MLA parenthetical citations include the Author Page number format. If your source does not have an author, use the title of the article. Parenthetical references must match the entry on your Works Cited page. Whatever word or phrase begins your Works Cited entry must also be the first word or phrase in your parenthetical reference.

  • A parenthetical citation using MLA format must include the author and the page number placed after you referenced your source. 
    • Example:
      • Relativity's theoretical foundations can be traced to earlier work by Faraday and Maxwell (Einstein 782).
  • If you refer to the author in the body of the sentence, you do not need to include the author's name in the parenthetical citation - just the page number.
    • Example:
      • Einstein says Relativity's theoretical foundations can be traced to earlier work by Faraday and Maxwell (782).
  • Finally, if you cite more than one page from the same author in a paragraph, give a full parenthetical citation after the first borrowing, and give only the page number in parenthesis after the second borrowing.
    • Example:
      • Romeo and Juliet presents an opposition between two worlds: "the world of the everyday," associated with the adults in the play, and "the world of romance," associated with the two lovers (Zender 138).  Romeo and Juliette's language of love nevertheless becomes "fully responsive to the tang of actuality" (141).