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DANC 100 (Susan Koper)

Intended to provide guidance for finding the sources you need for your final research project.

MLA citation style

Types of citations: In-Text versus Works Cited

There are two kinds of citations in MLA style: in-text and works cited.

In-text citations (sometimes called parenthetical) are short and succint; they are used in the body of your paper (or PowerPoint), to let your readers know which source a certain point of information came from.  They typically include:

  • A source's author
  • A page number (or specific time in the video, if referencing a video)

For specific help with in-text citations, consult these sites:

Works cited citations contain the complete publication information for all of the sources you mention in the body of your work.  They are generally at the very end of your work on the last page, or the last slide.  

For specific help with works cited citations, consult these sites, which can help you verify what a citation generator gives you:

Note that regardless of whether you're writing a paper or creating a PowerPoint presentation, you still need to cite your sources using both citation types.

Be careful with citation generators

As you incorporate outside writings into your final project, you will need to be sure to properly attribute the sources that you used. 

Library databases very often provide you with an easy way to get a citation for a work you're using.  It's as simple as a few clicks of a button.

  • Quotation marks circled -- the icon for the citation optionIn OneSearch you'll click on the quotation marks icon, and then choose MLA in the "Choose a citation format" menu.

  • Top bar in Dance in Video, showing the CITE optionIn Dance Online: Dance in Video, you'll choose the "Cite" option in the top bar when looking at your video, and then choose MLA.
  • Note that the citations generated are the type used on your Works Cited page/slide.

HOWEVER, while these citation generators get much of the citation correct, they are not guaranteed to be perfect; it's a 'bot,' not a human expert that puts the citation together.  You will likely need to fix/add to the generated citation to get it right!

For articles, follow this example:


  • Typically the names and titles are correct in the generated citation.
  • Watch for formatting, and capitalization. Author names and articles titles should never be in ALL-CAPS, for example.
  • Full URLs are required for online material. Look for a stable/permanent link to the article within the database. 
    • In OneSearch, click on the "Permanent link" icon to get a stable link you can use.undefined‚Äč
  • However, if your article includes a DOI (digital object identifier), that information should be provided instead of the URL.
    • In OneSearch, click on the "Preview" link to see if your article has been assigned a DOI.

OneSearch record with preview, highlighting where the DOI is shown

For videos, follow this structure:

shows the format of a citation in MLA format for a video

When you use the citation generator in Dance Online, there are two fairly consistent problems:

  • There are extra periods and commas.  The difficulty is knowing which you need to get rid of -- the comma or the period
  • The URL should not include http://.  The current MLA edition recommends we leave that off.

For example, this citation has both extra commas and extra periods, and includes the http:// in the URL

Example of an MLA citation for a video in Dance in Video

This citation would be closer to following MLA citation style, though it needs a hanging-indent:

"Anna Sokolow: Speaking of Dance."  Directed by Douglas Rosenberg, Charles L. Reinhart, and Stephanie Reinhart, American Dance Festival, 1992.  Alexander Street, video-alexanderstreet-com.proxy.bsu/edu/watch/anna-sokolow-speaking-of-dance.

So the citation generator still makes the process quicker, by providing you with all the names and titles and dates that are important.  You just need to make a few adjustments!

The MLA citation style resources are helpful for verifying the correct format.