I'm writing a paper for a Political Science class. We are allowed to use "any standard citation format", so I've decided to use MLA.

My university, the University of Florida, encourages students to use Purdue OWL as a source to find guidelines on MLA.

My question regards in-text parenthetical citations. There's a paragraph in my essay where I'm summarizing the history of country to provide historical context for the essay's debate topic, and I'm mainly using the CIA's World Handbook as my source for the information.

While I'm not directly quoting the site (rewording it to make it a more condensed summary), I realize I need to cite the website in multiple sentences in a single paragraph.

In APA, I've been taught that when you source paraphrased information for multiple sentences in a paragraph, once you have one sentence with the () part for a source, you can omit the "()" part at the end of the sentence from all sentences written in the same paragraph that use the same citation.

Is there an equivalent rule for MLA? It seems a bit redundant to have the same () part after nearly every sentence in a given paragraph.


2 Answers 2


This (pdf guide by Austin Peay State University) states the following about citing the same source multiple time in the same paragraph:

When citing a source the first time, use the author’s name(s) unless the name is used as part of the sentence that introduces the source’s text.

Example: The expert of writing claims, “MLA Style of formatting is the easiest style to use” (Modern 45).

When citing same source again, cite only by page number (if hardcopy source) for subsequent citations unless you switch sources (i.e., use another source).

Example: The expert adds, “MLA Style does not require a title page like APA and Chicago Style do” (48).

This (pdf guide by Ithaca College Library) states the following:

If you write a paragraph that quotes more than once from the same page of the same source—and no other source is quoted—you may use a single parenthesis after the last quotation.

I am not too sure about citing websites multiple times (have not found anything concrete in such a case) but you might consider introducing the source in the beginning and then at the end of the paragraph including the details of the website?


That would be a nice scenario to use ibid., but sadly that's discouraged in MLA.

I'm surprised that you can omit them in APA, but so what. Be aware why marking the citations is needed: to distinguish your ideas from the ones you borrowed.

So if the paragraph includes your sentences embedded with in-text citations, you should mark each sentence individually. Even if it seems redundant, it makes it clear and precise.

But if your whole paragraph is more or less a summary of your source, you do not need to use the parentheses () at all. You can just mention your source at the beginning of the paragraph:

According to the CIA World Handbook ...

Maybe you like that better.

Here a short summary of MLA in-text citations.

  • I may have misunderstood, but you cannot omit source indications in APA. If you have a second quote from the same source, you must give a second reference to this source.
    – user5645
    May 22, 2014 at 10:48

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