The Writing Center

MLA Citation Style Quick-Guide

This quick-guide is for the new, 8th edition of MLA issued in June 2016.

MLA Works Cited Page Sources contain the following core elements:

 

Element

Description

Example

Author.

The writer(s) or creator(s) of the source.

Poe, Edgar Allen.

Title of Source.

The title of the source. Titles of sources that can stand alone as independent works (e.g. books, movies) are put in italics. Titles of sources that are shorter and contained within a larger work (e.g. articles, episodes, short stories, essays) are put in quotation marks.

“The Masque of the Red Death.”

Title of container,

The larger work the source appears in, such as a book that is a collection of short works, a television series, or a Web site.

The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe,

Other contributors,

Some sources may include names of people who contributed to the work significantly, such as editors, directors, translators, and so on.

edited by James A. Harrison,

Version,

The version of the source, if multiple versions exist, such a book with multiple editions.

 

Number,

Some sources, such as journal articles, are part of a numbered sequence. Some sources have an issue number, a volume number, or both.

vol. 4,

Publisher,

The organization responsible for producing the source or making it available to the public.

Thomas Y. Crowell,

Publication date,

The date the source was published. You may include either the full date or just the year depending on the source.

1902,

Location.

The location of a source in a container. For print, the location is the page numbers the text appears on. For online, the preferred location is the DOI (Document Object Identifier).
If DOI is unavailable, use the URL without http://. Some online sources have both page numbers and a DOI or URL.

pp. 250-258.

2nd Title of container

Some sources have a 2nd container, the service or database the source appears in. For example, the second container of a journal article would be the database the article appears in. If your source uses a 2nd container, include the DOI (preferably) or the URL after the 2nd container.

HathiTrust Digital Library,

babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo .31924079574368;view=1up;seq =266.

The following are examples of entries for some sources you may use in your research:

PRINT SOURCES PRINT BOOK:

Author Last name, First. Title of Book. Version, Publisher, Publication date.

One author:

Toffler, Alvin. The Third Wave. Bantam, 1981.

Two authors:

Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination. Yale UP, 1979.

Three or more authors:

Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah State UP, 2004.

Edited PRINT BOOK:

Last name, First name, editor. Title. Publisher, Publication date.

Nunberg, Geoffrey, editor. The Future of the Book. U of California P, 1996.

ESSAY IN EDITED PRINT BOOK:

Author Last name, First. “Essay title.” Book Title, edited by First name, Last name, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

Twain, Mark. “Corn-Pone Opinions.” The Best American Essays of the Century, edited by Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Atwan, Houghton Mifflin, 2000, pp. 1-5.

ARTICLE IN A PRINT SCHOLARLY JOURNAL (OR MAGAZINE) (not obtained from a database):

Mizejeweski, Linda. “Feminism, Post-feminism, Liz Lemonism: Comedy and Gender Politics on 30 Rock.” Genders, vol. 55, no. 3, 2012, pp. 13-20.

ARTICLE IN A PRINT NEWSPAPER:

Author Last Name, First. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title, Publication date, Location.

Jeromack, Paul. “This Once, a David of the Art World Does Goliath a Favor.” New York Times, 13 July 2002, pp. 30-39.

ONLINE SOURCES

ARTICLE IN AN ONLINE NEWSPAPER OR NEWS SERVICE:

Author Last Name, First. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title, Publication date, Location.

Samuelson, Robert J. “Are You a ‘Work Martyr’?’” Washington Post. 19 June 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/are-you-a-work-martyr/2016/06/19/d4cb30e8-34a2-11e6-8758- d58e76e11b12_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-d%3Ahomepage%2Fstory.

ARTICLE IN A SCHOLARLY JOURNAL, ACCESSED FROM AN ONLINE DATABASE:

Author Last name, First. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, Volume number, Issue number, Publication date, Location. Database, DOI (preferred) or URL (without http://)

Hensley, Jeffrey. “Trinity and freedom: A response to Molnar.” Scottish Journal of Theology, vol. 61, no. 1, 2008, pp. 83-95. ProQuest, doi: dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0036930607003857

WEB PAGE, BLOG, ETC:

Author Last name, First. “Title of Page.” Title of Site, Publication Date, URL (without http://), Date accessed.

Hollmichel, Stefanie. “The Reading Brain: Differences between Digital and Print.” So Many Books, 2003-13, www.somanybooksblog.com/2013.04/25/the-reading-brain-differences-between-digital-and-print/. Accessed 17 June 2016.

ENTIRE WEB SITE:

Last Name, First name, editors [if given]. Title of Site. Name of sponsoring institution or organization, URL (without http://). Date accessed.

Disney Channel. The Walt Disney Company, www.disneychannel.disney.com. Accessed 20 June 2016.

GOVERNMENT, CORPORATE, OR ORGANIZATION WEB SITE:

Largest entity, smaller entity, smallest entity. Title of Website, Organization or Agency, URL (without http://). Date Accessed.

United States, Congress, House of Representatives. The United States House of Representatives, www.house.gov. Accessed 20 June 2016.

PERSONAL EMAIL:

Author Last name, First. “Subject line of e-mail.” Received by First name Last name, Date.

Brown, Barry. “Virtual Reality.” Received by Mitch Bernstein, 25 Jan. 2006.

TELEVISION SHOW

Author Last name, First name, role. Title of Television Show, Production Company, Year TV show began.

Kuzui, Fran Rubel, director. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twentieth Century Fox, 1992.

TELEVISION EPISODE

Episode Title. Television Show, created by, performance by, Season #, Episode #, Production company, Year aired.

“Hush.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, season 4, episode 10, Mutant Enemy, 1999.

Note: If generally referencing a television episode, you do not need to put creator or performer in the citation. On the other hand, if you’re focusing specifically on a director or performer throughout a television show, include name of director or performer at beginning of citation.

TELEVISION EPISODE OBTAINED FROM STREAMING SITE

Episode Title. Television Show, Season #, Episode #, Publisher, Date originally aired. Streaming site, URL (without http://).

“Under the Gun.” Pretty Little Liars, season 4, episode 6, ABC Family, 16 July 2013. Hulu, www.hulu.com/watch/511318.

ARTWORK

Author Last name, First. Title of Artwork. Year, Museum Name (if applicable), Location.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie. Chair of Stained Oak. 1897-1900, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

SONG/AUDIO FILE

Author Last name, First. "Title of Song." Title of Album, Production Company, Publication date, URL (without http://).

Beyoncé. “Pretty Hurts.” Beyoncé, Parkwood Entertainment, 2013, www.beyonce.com/album/beyonce/?media_view=songs

MLA In-Text Citations

Below are examples of how to write your in-text citations when you present an idea in your paper that is not your own. You should include in-text citations for summaries, paraphrases, and quotations. All in-text citations should correspond to a citation on your Works Cited page.

A “signal phrase” introduces a quotation in order to help the reader understand why it is important and how it fits into the rest of the paper. In the first example below, “Robertson maintains that...” is the signal phrase.

IF THE AUTHOR IS NAMED IN A SIGNAL PHRASE:

If the author is named while introducing the quotation, or if the author can be easily assumed from surrounding material (as is often the case in literature papers), then only a page number is necessary in your citation:

Quotation:

Robertson maintains that “in the appreciation of medieval art the attitude of the observer is of primary importance...” (136).

Paraphrase:

According to Alvin Toffler, there have been two periods of revolutionary change in history: the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution (10).

IF THE AUTHOR IS NOT NAMED IN A SIGNAL PHRASE:

Quote:

It may be true that “in the appreciation of medieval art the attitude of the observer is of primary importance...” (Robertson 136).

Paraphrase:

There have been two periods of revolutionary change in history: the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution (Toffler 10).

IF USING TWO OR MORE WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR:

In Double Vision, Northrop Frye claims that one’s death is not a unique experience, for “every moment we have lived through, we have also died out of into another order” (85).

The above example includes the article title in the signal phrase, and therefore only a page number is necessary in the citation. In the example below, the title of the article is not used, and so a recognizable abbreviation of the title belongs within the citation.

For Northrop Frye, one’s death is not a unique experience, for “every moment we have lived through, we have also died out of into another order (Double Vision 85).

IF USING AN INTERNET OR ELECTRONIC SOURCE WITH NO AUTHOR OR PAGE NUMBER:

Author Unknown:

Use the complete title in the signal phrase or an abbreviated title in the citation: (“Trinity and freedom” 2).

Page Number Unknown:

If the page number is unknown, omit it from your in-text citation: (Smith).

 

The following source was referenced: Modern Language Association of America. MLA Handbook. 8th ed. MLA, 2016.

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