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Citation Guides: original MLA Style

Describes and demonstrates MLA style citations and formatting

About this guide

This guide is based on the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. For more details and examples, consult the MLA Handbook. This is a print reference volume which is available in the Ely Library Reference Collection (REF LB 2369 .M53 2016).

Additional MLA Style Guide Websites

Format Rules

  • Place the list of works cited at the end of the paper.
  • Center the title, "Works Cited", one inch from the top of the page.
  • Double space between the title and the first entry.
  • Double space both within and between entries.
  • Begin each entry flush with the left margin.
  • Indent subsequent lines one-half inch (five spaces).
  • Alphabetize by the author's (or editor's) last name.
  • Entries without an author are alphabetized by title.

 

Books

Basic Format

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of the Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Medium of Publication.

 

Books by a Single Author

Fukuyama, Francis. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. New York: Farrar, 2002. Print.

 

Books by Two or More Authors

If the book has two or three authors, list all of the authors. If the book has more than three authors, list the first one, followed by et al. The same rule applies when listing editors of a book.

Block, Holly, et al. Art Cuba: The New Generation. New York: Abrams, 2001. Print.
Salzman, Jack, David Lionel Smith, and Cornel West, eds. Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and  History. 5 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1996. Print.

A work in an anthology or collection

Basic Format

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of the Work." Title of the Anthology or Collection. Ed. Editor First Name Last Name. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Page Number Range. Medium of Publication.

 

Example

Walker, Timothy. "Sign of the Times." The Transcendentalists: an Anthology. Ed. Perry Miller. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1950. 560-563. Print.

An Article or Entry in a Reference Book

Basic Format

Author's Last Name, First Name (if available). "Title of the Article or Entry." Title of the Reference Book. Vol. Volume Number. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

 

Signed Examples (have an author)

Bolz, Frank A., Jr. "Lindbergh Law." Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. Vol. 2. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005. Print.

Piccarella, John. "Hendrix, Jimi." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd ed. Vol. 11. New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 2001. Print.

 

Unsigned Example (no author)

"Northern Right Whale." Beacham's Guide to the Endangered Species of North America. Ed. Walton Beacham, et al. Vol. 6. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Print.

Gale Series Literary Criticism

Articles featured in the Gale series of literary criticism come from two different kinds of sources, books and periodicals, and the citations will differ depending on which type of source the article was originally published in. Citations must include information for the original book or periodical and the Gale series volume in which it is found.

Originally published in a book

Freibert, Lucy M. "Control and Creativity: The Politics of Risk in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale." Critical Essays on Margaret Atwood. Ed. Judith McCombs and G.K. Hall, 1988. 280-91. Print. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter, et al. Vol. 135. Detroit: Gale, 2001. 13-18. Print.

 

Originally published in a journal

Malmgren, Carl D. "On the Road Reconsidered: Kerouac and the Modernist Tradition." Ball State University Forum 30 (1989): 59-67. Print. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Linda Pavloski and Scott Darga. Vol. 117. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 204-9. Print.

Journal, Magazine, Newspaper Articles- From a Library Database

Basic Format

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Periodical Title Volume number.Issue number (Date of publication): Page number range. Database Name. Medium of Publication. Date of Access. <URL>.

Examples

Journal Article

Cummings, Scott T. "Interactive Shakespeare." Theatre Topics 8.1 (1998): 93-112. Project Muse. Web. 14 Aug. 2003. <http://www.press.jhu.edu>.

Magazine or Newspaper Article

Danto, Arthur C. "Paint It Black." Nation 18-25 Aug. 2003: 46-48. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Aug. 2003. <http://www.ebsco.com>.

Note: The URL is an optional element in the latest edition of the MLA Handbook and may or may not be required by your instructor.

Journal, Magazine, Newspaper Articles- Print Versions

Basic Format

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Periodical Title Volume number.Issue number (Date of publication): Page number range. Medium of Publication.

Article in a Journal
Carter, Nancy Carol. "The Special Case of Alaska: Native Law and Research." Legal Reference Services Quarterly 22.4 (2003): 11-46. Print.

Note: if page numbers are continuous throughout a volume, the issue number is not necessary.

Dusinberre, Juliet. "Pancakes and a Date for As You Like It." Shakespeare Quarterly 54 (2003): 371-405. Print.

Article in a Magazine

For most magazine articles, you only need to cite the magazine's date of publication (no volume or issue number).

Goodell, Jeff. "The Plunder of Wyoming." Rolling Stone 21 Aug. 2003: 64-69. Print.

Article in a Newspaper

Gladstone, Valerie. "Shiva Meets Martha Graham, at a Very High Speed." New York Times 10 Aug. 2003, New England ed., sec. 2: 3. Print.

Web pages

Basic Format

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Page/Document." Title of the Web Site. Sponsoring Organization, Publication/Updated Date. Medium of Publication. Date of Access. <URL>.

Examples

"Argonne Researchers Create Powerful Stem Cells From Blood." Argonne National Laboratory, 24 Feb. 2003. Web. 10 Jan. 2004. <http://www.anl.gov/ Media_Center/News/2003/news030224.htm>.

Bromwich, Michael R. "Criminal Calls: A Review of the Bureau of Prisons' Management of Inmate Telephone Privileges." United States Department of Justice, Aug. 1999. Web. 10 Jan. 2004. <http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/9908/exec.htm>.

Weart, Spencer. "Aerosols: Effects of Haze and Cloud." American Institute of Physics. Web. 3 Jun. 2005. <http://www.aip.org/history/climate/aerosol.htm>.

Citing Web Pages in Text

You should cite your use of "another's words, facts, or ideas." Citations in the text must clearly point to specific sources in the list of works cited.

  • Citations include the author's name and the page numbers if available.
  • If an author isn't available, use the first one or two words of the title enclosed in quotation marks.
  • When a web page lacks numbering, omit page numbers from your parenthetical citations. Do not use page numbers generated on a printout of a web document. PDF documents found on the web will have page numbers that can be used.

Basic Format
(Author's Last Name Page Number) or ("Partial Title")

Web Page with an Author
(Bromwich)

Web Page without an Author
("Argonne Researchers")

Parenthetical Citations in Text

You should cite your use of "another's words, facts, or ideas." Citations in the text must clearly point to specific sources in the list of works cited.

  • Citations include the author's name and the page numbers if available.
  • If an author isn't available, use the first one or two words of the title enclosed in quotation marks.
  • When a web page lacks numbering, omit page numbers from your parenthetical citations. Do not use page numbers generated on a printout of a web document. PDF documents found on the web will have page numbers that can be used.

 

Basic Format

(Author's Last Name Page Number) or (Page Number Only)

 

Work by One Author

(Dodge 114)

 

Work by Three or Fewer Authors

(Jackson, Follers, and Bettancourt 203)

 

Work by Four or More Authors

(Fitzwilly, et al. 26)

 

Citing Volume and Page Numbers of a Multivolume Work

"In the year 1824, some 13,000 black Americans emigrated to Haiti..." (Salzman, Smith, and West 3: 1348).

 

Citing a Work Listed by Title (no author)

This led to a rule requiring avoidance measures within 500 yards of the whales ("Northern Right Whale" 105).

 

Two or More Works by the Same Author

... an article about W.P.A. writers (Brinkley, "Unmasking" A15).

"From 1897 to 1917, Storyville...became the world's most famous red-light district" (Brinkley, "American Heritage" 382).

Note: if the author's name is included in a sentence, only the page number need be cited.

 

Direct Quotes

The author's analysis of occupations reveals that "virtually all female convicts were poor or working-class" (Dodge 114).

Watts and Bahill conclude that "outlawing aluminum bats would produce faster batted-ball speeds" (144).

 

Paraphrasing or reference to a source

The themes and context of the novel draw on French feminist theory (Freibert 16).

...in his painting of Fidel Castro greet the Pope (Block, et al. 140).

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