Skip to Main Content

MLA Style Guide: Secondary sources

This guide covers how in-text citations and references should be formatted in the MLA Style, 9th Edition.

Secondary sources (indirect sources)

MLA recommends taking material from an original source. Where this is not possible you may use a secondary source; a source that refers to the work of someone else.

List the full details of the secondary source in the reference listing. In your in-text citation if what you are quoting, or paraphrasing is a direct quote use the abbreviation qtd. in (“quoted in”) before the secondary source and provide page numbers where the secondary source quoted the original work. In the reference list, format the secondary reference as you would any reference of that type. For example, a journal article is shown below:

Reference: Indirect source Author Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. Volume, no., Year, pp. page range.

Example: Mann, Susan. "Myths of Asian Womanhood." Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 59, 2000, pp. 835-62. 


  • Original Author Last name (qtd. in secondary source Author Last name Page no)


  • According to Rushdie myths are "the waking dreams our societies permit" (qtd. in Mann 835) 

Still unsure what in-text citation and referencing mean? Check here

Still unsure why you need to reference all this information? Check here