If I cite a work that has no page numbers and I give the author’s name at the beginning of my sentence, how does the reader know where the author’s idea ends, since there is no parenthetical citation?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
As the MLA Handbook notes, when you borrow an idea from a source, “it is important to signal at the end . . . that you are switching to another source or to your own ideas” (126). A parenthetical citation is just one way to indicate this switch. You may also use prose, as in the following example:
Terry Eagleton argues that The Communist Manifesto is more relevant today than it was in 1848, when it was published. The language of class warfare permeates twenty-first-century discourse.
Terry Eagleton argues that The Communist Manifesto is more relevant today than it was in 1848, when it was published. I think the way the language of class warfare permeates twenty-first-century discourse proves his point.
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.