- Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text, must be the first thing that appears in the corresponding entry in the Works Cited List.
For example if your bibliography entry looks like this:
Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow, www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html.*
You are required to state the last name of the author, "Lundman," in your reference, since the name of the author is what comes first in your bib. entry. The last name of the author is then your "signal word."
If there is no author last name in your bibliography, then you will refer to the first thing provided in your correctly formatted MLA bib. entry. In order of preference, these would typically be:
- If no author: use the title of the source. (Title of article or web page or abbreviated title)
- If no title of source: use the title of the "container" (Title of web site or abbreviated title. Note this is NOT a URL)
In-text citations for sources with no known author
When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites).
We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change" ("Impact of Global Warming").
In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title of the article appears in the parenthetical citation which corresponds to the full name of the article which appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes the title in quotation marks as the signal phrase in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader directly to the source on the Works Cited page. The Works Cited entry appears as follows:
"The Impact of Global Warming in North America." Global Warming: Early Signs. 1999. Web. 23 Mar. 2009.