Embedded citations (used in MLA style) are nice and simple (as compared to footnotes or endnotes). For an embedded citation, you simply put a paranthetical reference to the work from where you got your information. This information may have been paraphrased or directly quoted; either way, the information is still NOT your original work, therefore it MUST be attributed to its author. Use whatever you began your bibliographic reference with as the reference for the citation. If you have an author's name, use the last name for the embedded citation. If the author is unknown and you used the title as the first part of your bibliography entry, use a shortened form of that for the citation.

The idea of parenthetical references is to keep the flow of the paper as smooth as possible. If you have mentioned the author and referenced work in your writing, you do not need a citation unless you are referring to a specific section. For example, "Mill's utilitarian philosophy was well known." would not need a citation to Mill's Utilitarianism. If you have mentioned the author in the quote or paraphrase, you need only make reference to the page to which you are referring. Sometimes there is no specific page reference; for instance, if you are summarizing and therefore referring to a whole document or section. In that case, you need only put the author's name.

Some examples:

Lomax explains that only thirty such organiztions exist (30). (Page number listed only as the author's name is in the paraphrased sentence.)

These materials must be requested one piece at a time, used in the open reading rooms, and returned at the end of the day (Dalrymple and Goodrum 19). (Again, paraphrased material in which the author was not mentioned. Therefore, the authors' last names are mentioned in the embedded citation as well as the page number where the information was located.)

While this may be true, Kierkegaard felt that this would never be proved (39). (Author mentioned, so just put the page number in the embedded citation.)

While this may be true, some felt that it would never be proved (Kierkegaard 39). (Author not mentioned, so author's last name and page number in the embedded citation.)

If the reference is a direct quotation, place the citation ourside the quotation marks, with punctuation afterwards. If the reference is a long quotation (block quote) that is set in from the text, place the citation after the quotation marks, before any other punctuation.

Stern believes that rare books can be "a link with the past, yet... marvelously current and contemporary" (427). (The author is mentioned in this sentence, so in the embedded citation, you simply mention the page number, then place the punctuation.)

If the reference is a multivolume work, cite the volume number, followed by a colon and a page number. For example:

The reason Bradley felt it was true was clear to all around him (6:456). (The author is mentioned in this sentence, so in the embedded citation, you simply mention the volume number and the page number, then place the punctuation.)

After all his hard work was finished, Kissinger went into private practice (Phelps 5:67). (The author is not mentioned in this sentence, so in the embedded citation, you mention the author's last name, volume number, page number, then place the punctuation.)