If you have read through my post on MLA citation for one Author, you can skip the intro and head over to example of in-text citation for multiple authors
MLA which is an acronym for The Modern Language Association of America. MLA citation style is one of many different citation styles in academic writing, especially in humanities. MLA Citation styles are standardized systems for mentioning and acknowledging sources you have used for your research paper or assignment.
Since there are many different citation styles, your program or degree will require you to use a specific citation style. There are over 100 citation style and It is essential to follow the required style and not be tempted to follow another style to avoid inconsistency. On this post, I will tell you everything you need to know about MLA in-text citation of a book. with multiple authors.
What is MLA in-text citation?
MLA In-text citation, usually parenthetical or in brackets, is an act of mentioning another source within the body of research work or paper while providing a full reference (Work cited) at the end of the page of the research work. It is called “in-text” because another source had been cited within the body of research work.
What usually follows after MLA in-text citation is the Works Cited List. While the In-text citation is used to cite a text or resources from another source by including only the authors’ name and page number, the former provides full information about the source cited by including the book title, edition, date, page, version, container, edition etc…
What is the purpose of MLA In-text citation?
If you understand what outbound links are to SEO, you would understand the purpose of In-text citation in research work or assignment to the reader.

  • The main purpose of MLA In-text citation is to indicate within your assignment the sources of the information you have used to write your research work or assignment and in turn, demonstrates support for your ideas, arguments and views.
  • Another main purpose of MLA In-text citation is plagiarism. If you make use someone else’s words or work and fail to acknowledge them, you may be accused of plagiarism and infringing copyright if noticed.
  • Another main purpose of MLA In-text citation is to direct your readers to your sources through your Works Cited list at the end of your academic work.
  • Professionally, In-text citation is a required parameter for any research work or assignment. For any research work to be fully approved, MLA In-text citation is a requirement. A research work without citation is more or less literature.

Before I show you various examples of in MLA In-text citation for books with multiple author. Let’s consider what must be included In-text citation.
The following must be included when citing a book with two Author using MLA style

  • The author’s surname (last name) of each author appears in the in-text citation.
  • If a source has no author or editor, use a few words of the title or publisher name.
  • The page number (if available or pagination format), and must appear in parentheses (parenthetical citation) after the authors last name. (If the name is not included in your sentence.)

One last thing to note before I show you MLA In-text citation format examples for books with multiple authors, let me tell the things you must remember. When creating MLIA in-text citation, the following are fundamental to help you create a great Work Cited List at the end of your research work.

  • Who – wrote /edited it – author or editor
  • When was it written – that is, the date
  • What is it – the title of the book, the title of the article & serial/journal, title of the web document etc
  • Where was it published (Books) – the place of publication– usually city & country and publisher’s name
  • Where was the article located (Serial/journal) – volume number, issue number and page numbers of the article.
  • Where you located it (Internet sources) – URL – web address.

When you remember all these points above, usually called the Ws, you will not have a problem with MLA In-text citation format for books.
MLA In-text citation format for books with two authors.
Citing a book is the easiest and doesn’t require much knowledge work except you are not familiar with MLA itself or you haven’t read this article from the beginning. Book is one of those resources whose classification and catalogue is straight forward and as such, citing won’t be difficult.
The information you need to cite a book using MLA format is usually found on the title page and the back of the title page of a book. For serials/journals, you will find the information included in the article plus the front cover or inside pages of a print serial. You can also access this information from the library catalogue.
Examples of MLA In-text citation format for books with two authors:
Let’s assume you are working on a religious paper and you would love to cite “Waging War with Knowledge” written by Onyechi Daniel and Okpala Azuka.
When mentioning a book with two author’s name for the first time and also subsequently, use the two author’s last names in your sentence.)
Short Quotation (Author’s name in a sentence)
Onyechi and Okpala state that “Spiritual Geography looks more at the natural environment” (29).
Short Quotation (Author’s name in a parenthetical citation)
“Spiritual Geography looks more at the natural environment” (Onyechi and Okpala 29).
Long Quotation (Author’s name in a parenthetical citation)
In “Where the World Began,” Margaret Laurence reflects on the influence that her hometown has on how she sees the world: A strange place it was, that place where the world began. A place of incredible happenings, splendours and revelations, despairs like multitudinous pits of isolated hells. A place of shadow-spookiness, inhabited by the unknown dead. A place of jubilation and of mourning, horrible and beautiful. It was, in fact, a small prairie town. Because that settlement and that land were my first and for many years my only real knowledge of this planet, in some profound way they remain my world, my way of viewing. (Onyechi and Okpala, 164)
Paraphrase (Author’s name in a sentence)
Onyechi and Okpala lay emphasis on the fact that Spiritual Geography focuses more on the natural environment (29).
Paraphrase (Author’s name in a parenthetical citation)
Moreover, the emphasis was laid on the fact that Spiritual Geography focuses more on the natural environment (Onyechi and Okpala 29).
Indirect Source or Secondary Source:
Professor C. Peter Wagner says “An important assumption behind Spiritual mapping is that realty is more than it appears on the surface. …” (qtd. in Onyechi and Okpala 45).
 Things you should take note from the citing multiple authors in MLA in-text citation format for book above:

  • The basic format for MLA In-text citation for a book with two authors is (Authors last name and the page number in parentheses). However, if Author’s name appears within a text cited, include only the (page number in parentheses) and end the citation with a full stop.
  • Citing Short Quotations (fewer in your text or less than four lines). When you incorporate a direct short quotation into a sentence, you must surround it with quotation marks and cite its source.
  • Citing Long Quotations (more than four typed lines in your text requires a block quote). Format it as follows: Use a block format in which all lines of the quotation are indented a half inch from the left margin, do not use quotation marks around the long quotation. Learn how to create MLA block quote here
  • For Paraphrase, do not include any quotation.
  • Indirect Source or Secondary Source: An indirect source MLA is a source cited in your primary source. For such indirect quotations, use “qtd. in” to indicate the source you actually consulted.
  • Unlike APA citation format, MLA citation format does not include Author’s first names in the in-text citation.
  • Use “and” instead of “&” when listing multiple authors of a source.
  • To leave out part of a quotation, insert ellipses (…three periods with space before and after each period) where the omission occurs. This may be necessary for grammar or removal of unnecessary information. In the example above, the first period is a full stop while the others are ellipses

 Guides for In-Text citation format for books with more than two authors

  • For three or more authors, give only the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” (Onyechi et al. 29).

Example using a Paraphrase (three or more Author’s names in a parenthetical citation)
Moreover, the emphasis was laid on the fact that Spiritual Geography focus more on the natural environment (Onyechi et al. 29) 
MLA Works Cited List entry format for two authors
Remember Reference encompasses citation. While citation only points to a building and landlord, Reference points to the building, rooms, landlord and possibly the children. In essence, the reference (Works Cited List) includes details of the sources cited in your paper.  It starts on a separate page at the end of your assignment paper and is titled Works Cited. Each item cited in the Works Cited list must have been cited in your paper.
All sources appearing in the Works Cited list must be ordered alphabetically by surname because the Works Cited list provides all the details necessary for the person reading and/or marking the assignment to locate and retrieve any information source cited.  An accurate and properly constructed Works Cited list provides credibility to the written work it accompanies and helps readers find the particular sources you have used.
The following are the core element of MLA Work Cited List (however, you should ignore any element not found on the source you cited)

  • Author: Enter the author’s name as Last, First. Write initials and middle names as they appear in the source. Do not reduce a spelt-out middle name to its initial. If there is no author, leave this field blank and begin the entry with the title.
  • Title of Source: Capitalize each major word of the title, and end with a period. If there is a subtitle, use this format: Title: Subtitle. Italicize the title if the source is self-contained, such as a book, a web site, a journal, or an album. Example
  • Title of Container: The title of the container is normally italicized because most containers are self-contained. Follow it with a comma. Containers are the larger whole that a smaller source is a part of. Examples of containers: journals, newspapers, books with individually authored chapters, web sites etc.
  • Other contributors: Precede each name (or names) with “by” and a description of their role. Give the first name followed by the last name. If there are three or more contributors give only the first name, followed by “et al.,” Example: edited by Fatherprada et al.,
  • Version: If the source has a version or edition statement, identify it using the language given in the source. Examples of versions: edition (ed.), revised (rev.), director’s cut. Write ordinal numbers with Arabic numerals.  Example: 2nd ed.,
  • Number: If the source is part of a numbered sequence, indicate the type of number, followed by the number. Examples of numbered sequences: volume (vol.), issue (no.), season, episode, year.
  • Publisher: The publisher produces the work or makes it available to the public
  • Publication date: Give the publication date (and time if available) using as much information as listed in the source. For multiple publication dates: give the date that corresponds with the specific source you have access to.
  • Location: This does not refer to the city of publication. Location can be a location within a source (page numbers, disc number), a web address (URL), a digital object identifier (DOI), or a physical location (building, venue, city).
  • Optional Elements (e.g. access date for online sources): If a source has been republished, it can be useful to provide the date of original publication. Place this date after the title of the source. For online sources without a listed publication date or with content that may change or be removed, give the date you accessed the source. Example: Accessed 3 June 2019.

Work Cited List

  1. Onyechi, Daniel, and Okpala Azuka. Waging War with Knowledge: Doing Strategic Spiritual Warfare and Bold Intercession. Outreach Christian View Centers, 2003, pp 29, 37

(Last Name, First Name) and (First Name Last Name)
Things you should take note from the MLA in-text Work Cited above:

  • I only cited the core component available on the book. Don’t improvise core component that are not available. Country of publication is omitted in the 8th edition of MLA.
  • A book with two authors in MLA citation must be written in full using this format (Last Name, First Name) and (First Name Last Name). Onyechi, Daniel, and Okpala Azuka. The first author’s last name and first name are separated by a comma.
  • In MLA citation format, when citing multiple pages from a single source with two or more authors, you should not list them multiple times in your Works Cited List. Only include one entry and use “pp” to indicate multiple pages (portion) from a single source. Example (Onyechi et al. pp 29, 99), or (Onyechi et al. pp 29-34) for close range.
  • Use “p” for a single page and “pp” for multiple pages.


  • When different sources with the same author(s), list them alphabetically by title and use three hyphens — instead of repeating the author(s) after the first entry.
  • The MLA Work Cited List must be arranged in alphabetical order of the authors’ last names.
  • Textbooks and books generally do not have title container except if the book is part of a larger publication
  • The date (year) follows the publisher name preceded by a comma. If the year does not appear, use the latest copyright date.
  • If there is no author the title moves to that position and the entry is alphabetised by the first significant word, excluding words such as “A” or “The”.  If the title is long, it may be shortened when citing in text.
  • Capitalise only the first word of the title and of the subtitle, if there is one, plus any proper names – i. e. only those words that would normally be capitalised.
  • Since you are dealing with a book, Italicise the title of the book and subtitle. Sources such as books, plays, films, databases, periodicals and websites are italicized.
  • Do not create separate lists for each type of information source.  Books, articles, web documents, brochures, etc. are all arranged alphabetically in one list.

How to Format the Works Cited List in MLA

  • Start the Works Cited list on a new page at the end of your assignment, including only sources cited within your writing.
  • The title Works Cited, or Work Cited if there is only one source, should be centred and at the top of the page.
  • Double-space the entire Works Cited list, including the title line. Do not add an extra blank line after the title.
  • Put the first line of each new entry to the left margin (left justified). Use a hanging indent (standard half-inch tab) for all subsequent lines of the entry. Tip: In MS Word, highlight all lines of the entry and press Ctrl + t
  • Organize the list alphabetically according to the first letter of each entry. Ignore “A,” “An,” and “The” when alphabetizing.
  • If you have more than one entry by the same author, use the author’s name in the first entry and use three hyphens (—) in place of the author’s name in subsequent entries.
  • Active links (clickable, underlined hyperlinks) can be a useful way to point readers directly to online sources

How to evaluate a source to be used for MLA in-text citation of a book

  • Is the author well known and frequently published?
  • Are there any reviews available for the author’s work?
  • How easy is it to find contact information for the author?
  • When the source was originally published?
  • When was it last updated?
  • Are you citing the latest version? If not, how does that affect your argument?
  • Does it appeal more to an academic reader, or is it more casual?
  • Would someone not familiar with the subject be able to understand the source’s topic after reading it?
  • What is the intended audience of the source?
  • Is it similar or different from your intended audience?
  • What is the purpose of the source? Is it to persuade or argue?
  • To entertain or inform?
  • What is the author’s tone of voice?
  • Do they seem to only present one side of the argument?
  • How do they address the counter-argument, if at all?
  • How much information can be learned from the source on a particular topic?
  • Does it talk about a broad topic or a specific element of a topic?
  • Are there larger, more popular sources on the topic than this one?

When citing familiar or popular proverbs, well-known quotations or common knowledge, you do not need to give sources. Remember that citing sources is a rhetorical task, and, as such, can vary based on your audience r readers.
Dorglas university library

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