MLA Tutorial


Quoting a Full Sentence

Statistics are dry and you can often leave out the signal phrase, as long as you include the parenthetical citation that tells the reader where you found the statistic.

Stalin killed 20 million people (Ivankin).

But signal phrases are imperative (necessary) when you quote the words of your source. Consider the following example:

According to author Dennis Bernstein, “Saudi Arabia is supported by the United States and other western democracies because of the enormous oil wealth that lies below the country’s desert sands” (Bernstein).

Here, my “evidence” is the opinion of Dennis Bernstein, who presumably knows something about the topic. Since I am using his exact words, I must put his words in quotation marks, and I must (with very few exceptions) precede the quote with a signal phrase.

Also, pay special attention to the punctuation.

Check Your Understanding

  1. What are two things that you MUST do whenever you quote a full sentence? (Hint: What comes before the quote, and what comes after it?)

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.