How can I avoid redundancy in my in-text citations?
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, “The in-text citation should direct the reader unambiguously to the entry in your works-cited list for the source—and, if possible, to a passage in the source—while creating the least possible interruption in your text” (54). Thus information provided in your prose directing readers to your works-cited-list entry for the source should not be repeated in parentheses and vice versa.
According to Naomi Baron, reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (Baron 194).
According to Naomi Baron, reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (194).
One scholar has argued that reading is “just half of literacy. The other half is writing” (Baron 194).
Similarly, if you provide information in your prose that directs readers to partial information for locating a passage you are citing—for example, act and scene numbers for a play—do not repeat the information in parentheses. If a line number is needed, you may provide that information by itself in parentheses:
In act 1, scene 2, of Julius Caesar, the soothsayer warns Caesar to “[b]eware the ides of March” (18).
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.