I'm familiar with the basic rules on inline citation, however, recently I've stumbled onto this problem numerous times so I thought I would ask.

When using MLA style inline citations, is it legal to use multiple citations in one sentence?

For example:

This is a sentence clause based on one source (Author 101); this is a related sentence clause based on another source (Author 102).

Is this legal according to the laws of english?

Or would it be something more along the lines of:

This is a sentence clause based on one source; this is a related clause based on another source (Author 101)(Author 102).

Can anyone clarify this for me? Thanks.

  • Hi luckycypher, and welcome to EL&U! I may be overruled on this, but I think that your question is more appropriate for Writers.SE. They tend to handle citation questions like this.
    – simchona
    Aug 2, 2011 at 19:51
  • Thanks, I wasn't even aware that there was a Writers.SE, I'll make sure to keep that in mind for any future writing convention questions I may have.
    – luckycypher
    Aug 2, 2011 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


Different situations have different methods. If the two sources cited has authors with the same surname, then the following is done:

Although some medical ethicists claim that cloning will lead to designer children (R. Miller 12), others note that the advantages for medical research outweigh this consideration (A. Miller 46).

But, normally, multiple citations is done thus:

To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

. . . as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).

Taken from MLA

  • Thanks, I will accept your answer in 6 minutes when I am allowed. I have all these useless MLA guides that never said anything about this. Much appreciated.
    – luckycypher
    Aug 2, 2011 at 20:01
  • For MLA formatting, I use Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL); e.g., owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02 shows how to use multiple authors or multiple citations in one in-text citation. I thought this might help someone since Purdue's OWL wasn't mentioned in answer. cheeeers
    – dylnmc
    Apr 17, 2017 at 5:47

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