In-text or parenthetical citations are used within your paper to signal to the reader that you are using an outside source of information. They also act as a guide for your reader to find the full citation on your works cited page.
MLA uses the Author/Page format for in-text citations. Include the last name of the author and the page number where the information comes from. If the source has no author, use the first element of the full citation (usually the title) instead. If there is no page number do not include one.
You can put the in-text citation in parentheses at the end of the quotation or paraphrase or you can use the author's name in the sentence to introduce the quote or paraphrase and then put the page number in parentheses at the end. Both are correct.
Example of an In-Text Citation
Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).
Human beings have been described by Kenneth Burke as "symbol-using animals" (3).
Both of these examples would lead the reader to the citation on the works cited page:
Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. University of California Press, 1966.