How To Cite Two Authors MLA

This is one of the most asked questions – How to cite two authors MLA? Properly citing sources is crucial for academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism. When dealing with texts by two authors, MLA style requires specific formatting to ensure clarity and accuracy in your reference list. This article will guide you through the process of citing two authors in MLA style, offering clear instructions and helpful examples.

Step 1: Invert the First Author’s Name

Start by listing the last name of the first author, followed by a comma, then their first name. Next, add a comma and space before including the second author’s name in normal order (first name followed by last name).


Smith, John, and Jane Doe.

Step 2: Include the Title and Publication Information

After the authors’ names, italicize the title of the work you’re referencing. For books, this includes the title of the book. For articles, it includes the title of the article and the name of the journal in which it was published. Finally, conclude with the publication information, including the publisher and year of publication.


  • Book: Smith, John, and Jane Doe. The History of the World. Penguin Books, 2023.
  • Article: Smith, John, and Jane Doe. “The Impact of Climate Change.” Journal of Environmental Science, vol. 10, no. 2, 2023, pp. 1-10.

Step 3: Parenthetical Citations (In-Text)

When mentioning the source within your writing, use the following format:

  • (Smith & Doe, 2023)

Include the first author’s last name and the phrase “et al.” if the work has more than two authors.

  • (Smith et al., 2023)

Additional Tips:

  • Ensure consistency throughout your paper. Apply the same formatting for all citations involving two authors.
  • Consult the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers for comprehensive guidelines and specific examples.
  • Online resources like Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) offer valuable assistance with MLA formatting and citation.

Remember, clear and accurate citations demonstrate your academic integrity and add credibility to your work. By following these simple steps and utilizing helpful resources, you can confidently cite sources with two authors in MLA style.