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11th Grade U.S. History Research Paper: MLA 8

Purdue OWL

MLA Format



  • All visuals/illustrations that are not tables or musical score examples (e.g. maps, diagrams, charts, videos, podcasts, etc.) are labeled Figure or Fig.
  • Refer to the figure in-text and provide an Arabic numeral that corresponds to the figure. Do not capitalize figure or fig.
  • MLA does not specify alignment requirements for figures; thus, these images may be embedded as the reader sees fit. However, continue to follow basic MLA Style formatting (e.g. one-inch margins).
  • Below the figure, provide a label name and its corresponding arabic numeral (no bold or italics), followed by a period (e.g. Fig. 1.). Here, Figure and Fig. are capitalized.
  • Beginning with the same line as the label and number, provide a title and/or caption as well as relevant source information in note form (see instructions and examples above). If you provide source information with your illustrations, you do not need to provide this information on the Works Cited page.

Figure Example

In-text reference:

Some readers found Harry’s final battle with Voldemort a disappointment, and recently, the podcast, MuggleCast debated the subject (see fig. 2).

Figure caption (below an embedded podcast file for a document to be viewed electronically):

Fig. 2. Harry Potter and Voldemort final battle debate from Andrew Sims et al.; “Show 166”; MuggleCast;, 19 Dec. 2008,

Indirect Quote

An indirect quote is when you quote a source that is cited and/or quoted in another source. MLA calls these ‘indirect sources.’ As a general rule, you should try to avoid using indirect sources. If there is a quote in a source from another book or article that you want to use, find the original source of that quote and cite it. Only quote an indirect source when absolutely necessary, for instance, when the original work is out of print or unavailable, or not available in English or a language you speak.

If you do use an indirect source in your paper, name the original source in your text and include the indirect source in your parenthetical citation. If what you quote or paraphrase from the indirect source is itself a quotation, put the abbreviation ‘qtd. in’ (“quoted in”) before the indirect source in the parenthetical citation.

In the following example, Jane Austen is the original source, and Segal is the indirect source, given in the reference page:

In her article, Segal discusses how Jane Austen introduces many of her characters in terms of their financial situation. For instance, in the beginning of Sense and Sensibility Austen introduces us to the Dashwoods by saying, “The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex. Their estate was large…” (qtd. in Segal  252).

In-Text Citations for Same Author, Different Articles or Books

MLA Style

For in-text citations (Per the MLA Handbook (8th edition), p. 55: Including only the author name and page number in a parenthetical citation is insufficient if more than one work appears under that author's name in the work cited list.  In that case, include a shortened version of the source's title.

For example:

In-text citations:

(Haynes, Noah's Curse 84)

(Haynes, The Last Segregated Hour  57)