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Citation Guides: MLA

This library guide provides assistance in citing sources for papers

MLA

MLA Style

This page contains general information about MLA style based on the 2016 8th Edition of the MLA Handbook.  For specific examples of how to format materials, click on the tab for the type of material.

Works Cited Page

MLA Style requires a Works Cited page at the end of research papers. It must be titled Works Cited and entries are double spaced, with only one line between entries.  Entries are ordered alphabetically by the last name of the author.

If you have more than one item by the same author, they are listed as follows, alphabetized by title:

Twain, Mark. Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World. Harper & Brothers, 1899.

---. Tom Sawyer Abroad. Harper & Brothers, 1896.

In-Text Citations

MLA Style uses parenthetical citations. After a quote or paraphrase from a source, add parentheses containing the author's name, a space, and the page number of the work.

Example: "Thankfully, the poet rings alarm bells" (Gross 80).

If you use more than one work by the same author, use a shortened form of the title in addition to the author's name.

Example: "Thankfully, the poet rings alarm bells" (Gross, "Tangled Web" 80).

If more than one author has the same last name, add their first initial.

Example: "Thankfully, the poet rings alarm bells" (J. Gross 80).

If you refer to the author in the sentence, leave their name out of the parentheses.

Example: Gross says that "the poet rings alarm bells" (80).

If the source does not have an author, use a shortened version of the title in the parentheses.

Example: "Thankfully, the poet rings alarm bells" ("Tangled Web" 80).

If you paraphrase the source, then you do not need to use quotation marks.

Example: In this book, Gross discusses the response of the poet (Gross 80).

If you use a quotation from a source that is not the original source of the quotation (an indirect source), use qtd. in.

Example: Glowinski describes a scene from his boyhood: "I could also hear the most horrible sentence again: 'We must call the police'" (qtd. in Gross 85).

The above quotes are from: Gross, Jan T. "A Tangled Web: Confronting Stereotypes Concerning Relations between Poles, Germans, Jews, and Communists." The Politics of Retribution in Europe. Edited by István Deák, Jan T. Gross, and Tony Judt, Princeton University Press, 2000, 74-129.

In MLA 8 Style, all entries in a bibliography include these elements, as available, followed by the punctuation mark shown:

Author.
Title of Source.
     A title is italicized if it is self-contained (book, etc.), and put into quotation marks if it is part of a larger work (article, book chapter, etc.).
Title of Container,
     If you have a title in quotation marks, then it has a larger container (book title, periodical, web site, etc.)
Other contributors,
     Includes directors, editors, illustrators, translators and more
Version,
     Edition
Number,
     Volumes
Publisher,
Publication date,
Location.
     Page numbers or URLs

For additional examples and explanations, see pages 20-53 in the MLA Handbook.

Type of Source:   Format & General Example:

Single Author

   Author's name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication.

   Gutman, Robert W. Mozart: A Cultural Biography. Harcourt Brace, 1999.

Anthology

  Editor's name, editor. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Rosenblum, Joseph, editor. The Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare: A Comprehensive Guide for Students. Greenwood, 2005.

Two Authors

  Author's names. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Hock, Randolph, and Gary Price. The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook: A Guide for the Serious Searcher. CyberAge, 2004.

Three or More Authors

  Author's name(s). Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Davidson, William, et al. Retailing Management. Wiley, 1988.

Corporate Author

  Author's name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The Fourth Yearbook. Little, 1929.

No Author

  Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  NAICS Desk Reference: The North American Industry Classification System Desk Reference. JIST Works, 2000.

Scholarly Edition

  Author's name. Title of the Book. Editor(s). Editor(s) of the book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey. Editors. Barbara M. Benedict and Deirdre Le Faye. Cambridge UP, 2006.

Translated

  Author's name. Title of the Book. Translated by Translator's name. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Calvino, Italo. Why Read the Classics? Translated by Martin McLaughlin. New York: Vintage, 2000.

Introduction, Preface, Foreward, or Afterword

  Author of the cited part. Part being cited. Title of the Book, Author/Editor of the book, Publisher, Year of publication, Pages of the cited part.

  Rizvi, Gowher, and Guido Bertucci. Foreword. Decentralizing Governance: Emerging Concepts and
     Practices
. Editors G. Shabbir Cheema and Dennis A. Rondinelli, Brookings
     Institution, 2007, pp. ix-x. 

Second or Subsequent Edition

  Author's name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Walker, Douglas. The Geoscience Handbook. 4th ed. American Geological Institute, 2006.

Multi-Volume Work

  Author's name. Title of the Book. Volume number(s) of the book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Smith, Drew E. History of Poland. Vol. 2. Dover, 1958.

  Smith, Drew E. History of Poland. Dover, 1958. 3 vols.

Republished Book

  Author's name. Title of the Book. Original publication year. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Austen, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. 1811. Cambridge UP, 2006.

Part of an Anthology

  Author's name. "Part of the Anthology." Title of the Book, Editor of the anthology, Publisher, Year of publication. Pages of the cited piece.

  Willson, Jr., Robert F. "William Shakespeare's Theater." The Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare: A Comprehensive Guide for Students, edited by Joseph Rosenblum, Greenwood, 2005, pp. 47-64.

Multiple Parts of an Anthology

  Author's name. "Title of the Cited part." Editor's name, Page numbers of the cited part.

  Editor's name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication.

  Barrett, Rachel. "Shakespeare's Women." Rosenblum, pp. 41-44.

  Rosenblum, Joseph, editor. The Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare: A Comprehensive Guide for Students. Greenwood, 2005.

  Willson, Jr., Robert F. "William Shakespeare's Theater." Rosenblum, pp. 47-64.

For additional examples and explanations, see pp. 20-53 and pp. 102-110 in the MLA Handbook.

Type of Source:   Format & General Example:

Journal Article

  Author(s) name. "Title of the Article." Journal Title, Volume, Issue, Date of publication, Page numbers.

  Simmons, Carolyn, and Karen Becker-Olsen. “Achieving Marketing Objectives Through Social Sponsorships.” Journal of Marketing, vol. 70, no. 4, Oct. 2006, pp. 154-169.

Newspaper Article

  Author's name. "Title of the Article." Newspaper Title, Date of publication, Page numbers.

  Seward, Zachary. “Colleges Expand Early Admissions.” Wall Street Journal, 14 Dec. 2006, pp. D1-D2.

Magazine Article

  Author's name. "Title of the Article." Magazine Title, Date of publication, Page numbers.

  Reed, Stanley. “Seeing Past the War.” Business Week, 21 Aug. 2006, 35.

For additional examples and explanations, see pp. 20-53 and pp. 102-110 in the MLA Handbook.

Type of Source:   Format & General Example:
Website Page

  Author of page. "Title of Page." Title of Website, Date content posted, URL.

  Watson, Shawn. "What Causes a Toothache?" verywell, 29 July 2016, 
     www.verywell.com/what-causes-a-toothache-1059325.

Entire Website

  Title of Website. Group responsible for publishing website, Date(s) content posted. URL.

  American Memory. Library of Congress, 1994-2017, memory.loc.gov.

Online Book

  Author's name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of publication. Title of
     website
, URL.

  Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1918. Google Book
     Search
, books.google.com/books?id=s1gVAAAAYAAJ.

Online Article from Website

  Article author. "Article Title." Magazine or Journal title, Date published, URL

  Kluger, Jeffrey. “Searching for Life on the Newly Discovered Earthlike Planets.” TIME, 2 Mar. 2017, time.com/4688217/planets-science-space-exploration.

Online Image

  Artist's name. "Name of Image." Year created. Name of website, Date image created, URL.

  Monet, Claude. "Garden at Sainte-Adresse." TheMet, 1867, www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/437133.

Article from a Library Database

  Article author. "Article title." Journal title, Volume, Issue, Date published, Page numbers. Database name.

  Schaafsma, Polly. "The Cave in the Kiva: The Kiva Niche and Painted Walls in the Rio Grande Valley." American Antiquity, vol. 74, no.4, 2009, pp. 664-690. Academic Search Premier, doi.org/10.1017/S0002731600049003.

NBER Working Paper

  Author's name. "Article Title." NBER Working Paper Number. Date published, URL

  Henderson, J. Vernon, Adam Storeygard, and David N. Weil. “Measuring Economic Growth From Outer Space.” NBER Working Paper 15199. Jul. 2009, www.nber.org/papers/w15199.

E-mail

  Writer's name. "Title of the e-mail." Received by "insert recipient's name," Date of e-mail.

  Smith, Robert. “Re: Shakespeare’s plays.” Received by Joe Mills, 7 Jan. 2007.

Tweet

  Twitter username. "Full text of the tweet." Twitter, Date and time of tweet, URL of tweet.

  @BarackObama. “4 more years.” Twitter,

For additional examples and explanations, see pp. 20-53 and pp. 102-110 in the MLA Handbook.

Type of Source:   Format & General Example:

TV Program

  "Title of the Episode or Segment." Title of the Program/Series, Relevant contributors, season, episode, Distributor, Date broadcasted.

  “The Soup Nazi.” Seinfeld, Directed by Andy Ackerman, performance by Larry Thomas, season 7, episode 6, Columbia TriStar Television, 1995.

Entire Music Albums

  Artist/Performer. Title of Recording, Manufacturer, Year of issue.

  The Beatles. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club’s Band, Capitol Records, 1967.

Individual Songs

  Artist/Performer. "Title of Song." Title of Recording, Manufacturer, Year of issue.

  Glenn Miller Orchestra. “In The Mood.” Swing Time, Ranwood, 2006.

Audio Book

  Author. Title of Book. Narrator, Manufacturer, Date recording published.

  Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Narrated by Sally Darling, Recorded Books, 1988.

Film

  Film Title. Film Director. Distributor, Year of release.

  E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Universal Pictures, 1982.

Performance

  Title of Performance. Performers, Date performed, Location of Performance, City.

  The Nutcracker. Butler Ballet, 2 Dec. 2006, Clowes Memorial Hall, Indianapolis.

Painting

  Artist's name. Name of Image. Year created, Medium of composition, Collection or museum that houses the work, city. 

  Monet, Claude. Coquelicots (Poppies, Near Argenteuil). 1873, oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay, Paris.

Sculpture

  Artist's name. Name of Image. Year created. Medium of composition. Collection or museum that houses the work, city.

  di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Michelangelo. David. 1501-04, marble, Galleria dell'Accademia,
     Florence.

For additional examples and explanations, see pp. 20-53 and pp. 102-110 in the MLA Handbook.

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Librarian Info

Ruth Szpunar's picture
Ruth Szpunar
I'm at the Reference Desk on Tuesday nights from 7-10 PM, on Thursday from 3-5 PM, and on Friday from 2-5 PM. Feel free to stop by, or to send me an e-mail with a question.