When citing a direct quote in an essay using the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, the correct format is as follows:
The authors name should be mentioned in the sentence leading up to the quote, and the page number should be included in the parenthetical citation directly after the quote. For example:
John Smith wrote that This is an important quote (23).
When introducing a quote that is more than four lines in length, writers should use an introductory line or phrase, followed by a colon. The quote should then be indented five spaces from the left margin. For example:
John Smith wrote that This is an important quote, and it should be placed in its own indented block:
This is the quote that is more than four lines. It is important to note that it should be indented five spaces and have a line break between it and the introduction (23).
When citing a quote from a secondary source, the authors name of the secondary source should be mentioned in the sentence before the quote. For example:
According to John Smith, This is an important quote (Jones 23).
Finally, when citing multiple authors for a single source, only include the first authors name followed by et al. For example:
John Smith et al. wrote that This is an important quote (23).
Following these guidelines will ensure that all quotes are cited correctly in an essay using MLA format.