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Citation Guides

MLA Overview

It gives step-by-step advice on every aspect of writing papers, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper. It provides an authoritative presentation of MLA documentation style for use in student writing.

Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing

In-Text Citations

After a quote, add the author's last name and a page reference. This is usually enough to identify the source and the specific location from which you borrowed the material.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 102-103).

If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.

Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (102-103).

If you use more than one work by the same author, include the title or a shorted form of the title.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss, Fox in Socks 102-103).

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

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss 102-103).

If two or more authors wrote the work, list them all.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss and Johnson 102-103).

If citing a multivolume work, include the volume number before the page numbers.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 2: 102).

If no pagination information is available, but paragraphs are numbered, include that information.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss par. 5).

If no pagination information is available and paragraphs are not numbered, the work must be cited only in its entirety, but you can include words in your text that indicate about where to find the quote.

Example: In the first third of his article, Seuss mentioned that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog."

Note: When paraphrasing or mentioning another work, it is helpful to still provide pagination information if the source text is long or difficult, or if it would help the reader find the text being paraphrased.

Books

Book: General AuthorLastname, AuthorFirstname. Title. Edition. Publisher, Year.  

Book:
Single Author

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

Book: Two or more works by Same Author

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

---. Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music. U of Chicago P, 1968. 

Book:
Two or Three Authors

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

Book:
Four or More Authors

Davidson, William, et al. Retailing Management. 6th ed., Wiley, 1988.  

Note: You may also include full names of all the authors in the order listed on the title page.

Book:
No Author

Begin citation with title. For example:

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

Book: Multivolume

If using two or more volumes of a multivolume work, cite the total number of volumes after the title (or editor). If published over several years, give the range of years.

Wright, Sewell. Evolution and the Genetics of Populations. 4 vols. U of Chicago P, 1968-78. 

When citing only one volume:

Wright, Sewell. Evolution and the Genetics of Populations. Vol. 2. U of Chicago P, 1969. 

If the one volume you are using has its own individual title, you may cite the book without reference to the other volumes.

Wright, Sewell. Theory of Gene Frequencies. U of Chicago P, 1969. 

Chapter in a Book

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

For additional examples and explanations, see the MLA Handbook (2016).

Print Articles

Journal: General Author Lastname, Author Firstname. "Article Title." Journal Title, vol., no., date, pages. 

Journal with Volume Numbers

Graham, Sarah. “Impossible to Hold: Women and Culture in the 1960s.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 40, no. 2, 2006, pp. 418-19.

Journal with only Issue Numbers

Simmons, Carolyn, and Karen Becker-Olsen. “Achieving Marketing Objectives through Social Sponsorships.” Journal of Marketing, vol. 70, 2006, pp.154-69. 

Magazine (published weekly or every two weeks)

Reed, Stanley. “Seeing Past the War.” Business Week, vol. 21, Aug. 2006, pp. 35-36. 

Newspaper

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

For additional examples and explanations, see the MLA Handbook (2016).

Online Articles

For scholarly journals that only exist in electronic form on the Web, cite the work like you would for a print article, only conclude the entry with the permalink to the article's URL. If the publication does not include page numbers, use "n. pag." in place of the page numbers.

Example:

Johnson, Eric J., and Elizabeth A. Brandt. “Targeting Diversity: A Critical Account of Language Policy and Public Education.” Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, vol. 21, June 2009, pp. 59–68. EBSCOhost, lib.rockhurst.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,url&db=a9h&AN=47507486&site=ehost-live.

For additional examples and explanations, see the MLA Handbook (2016).

Format a Word Document in MLA

Non-Periodical Works Cited Only Online

An entry for a nonperiodical publication on the Web usually contains most of the following components, in sequence:

  1. Name of the author, compiler, director, editor, narrator, performer, or translator of the work
  2. Title of the work (italicized if the work is independent; in roman type and quotation marks if the work is part of a larger work
  3. Title of the overall Web site (italicized), if distinct from item 2
  4. Version or edition used
  5. Publisher or sponsor of the site; if not available, use N.p.
  6. Date of publication (day, month, and year, as available); if nothing is available, use n.d.
  7. Website URL

Each item is followed by a period except the publisher or sponsor, which is followed by a comma. Untitled works may be identified by a genre label (e.g., Home page, Introduction, Online posting), neither italicized nor enclosed in quotation marks, in the place where the title goes.

Example:

Quade, Alex. "Elite Team Rescues Troops behind Enemy Lines." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 19 Mar. 2007, http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/03/15/search.rescue/index.html

Example with no author:

"Hourly News Summary." National Public Radio. Natl. Public Radio, 04 Jan. 2019, https://www.npr.org/sections/news/

Website Home Page:

Liu, Alan, ed. Home page. Voice of the Shuttle. Dept. of English, U of California, Santa Barbara, n.d. 04 Jan. 2019, http://vos.ucsb.edu/.

YouTube video:

Citing a YouTube Video in MLA. YouTube, uploaded by AnnieALaney, 05 April 2017, https://youtu.be/QjGyJ8HiOS4.

For additional examples and explanations, see the MLA Handbook (2016).

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