Any time you refer to, comment on, paraphrase, or quote another writer’s information, you must document this in your essay through the use of a citation. The purpose of an MLA in-text citation, sometimes called a parenthetical reference, is to help readers easily find the sources in the Works Cited page that correspond to your referenced passage. You will want to make this process as easy as possible for the reader, so the citations are always placed at the end of the sentence and should always correspond with the first word of the matching Works Cited page entry. Let’s suppose that this is a sentence from your essay:
Format for entries: A single space is used after any punctuation mark. When dividing a long word or URL onto two lines, put hyphen, slash, or period at the end of the line. Do not add a hyphen to a URL that was not originally there. Never begin a new line with a punctuation mark. Double-space all lines in a bibliography entry. Do not indent the first line of a bibliography entry, indent second and subsequent lines 5 spaces, or 1/2″ ( cm) from the left margin. Please see Chapter 11. Guidelines on How to Write a Bibliography for details.
The reason for not citing, for example, (screen 12) is that it may be quite inaccurate to indicate such a screen number for a document printed from the Internet. A screen of displayed text is not equivalent to a printed page from a book or a magazine. Unlike printed material where page numbers are clearly indicated, page and screen numbers on a Web page may vary considerably from one user to another depending on numerous variables such as the size of the monitor used, the user’s choice of font size and font type, setting of pixels, printing using portrait or horizontal/landscape format, choice of paper size, user’s option to suppress graphics or images, selection of number of lines per page, setting of top and bottom as well as left and right margins, the particular browser used as well as the version of the browser used, and other variables, may all have an impact on the outcome of the printout.