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MLA Citation Style

MLA Citation Style

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition

For Literature, Art and the Humanities

Citation Styles Handbook: MLA - Illinois Writer's Workshop

Author Date Book Title Article Title Periodical Title
Volume Pages Place of Publication Publisher Other

Blog

Begin the entry with the author's name, followed by the title or subject of the posting in quotation marks"; the name of the blog in italics (if the blog doesn't have a name, use the generic label Online Posting); the publisher or sponsor of the website (if not available use n.p.); date of post; medium of publication (Web); and your date of access. Then give the <URL> for the blog.

Format: Author(s). "Title of article." Title of blog . Publisher, Date of post. Medium of publication. Date accessed.

Example: Supak, Susan. "Pesticides linked to frog mutations."  Organic Gardening News and Advice Blogspot2 Mar. 2006Web. 13 Mar. 2008.

Book

Format: Author(s). Title of book . Place of publication: Publisher, Date. Medium of publication.

Example: Berger, Sharon Allotment gardening: an organic guide for beginners DevonGreen Books, Ltd.2005Print.

Book Article or Chapter

Begin with the name of the author of the chapter or selection, not with the name of the author of the book. Then give the title of the selection in quotes; the title of the book in italics; the name of the author or editor (preceded by "Ed." for "Edited by"); publication information; the pages on which the selection appears, and the medium you consulted (print or electronic).

Format: Author(s). "Title of Selection." Title of book . Ed. name of editor Place of publication: Publisher, Date. Pages. Medium.

Example: Coleman, Eliot. "The new organic grower."  Gardening When It Counts . Ed. Anna KrugerWestportGreenwood, 1995219-223Print.

Book with an Editor

In place of the author, instead begin with the name of the editor followed by a comma and the abbreviation ed.

Format: Editor(s). (Ed.). Title of book . Place of publication: Publisher, Date. Medium.

Example: Kruger, Anna. (Ed.). Gardening When It Counts WestportGreenwood2001Print.

Doctoral Dissertations and Masters Theses

If the dissertation was published, include information as you would for a book, italicizing the title . After the title include the descriptive label Diss. and publication information. If you have the University Microfilms International (UMI) order number, you may also choose to include it. 

Format: Author(s). Title of dissertation or theses . Diss. Publisher, Date, Place of publication: UMI order number, medium.

Example: Bishop, Karen Lynn Documenting Institutional Identity: Strategic Writing in the IUPUI Comprehensive Campaign Purdue University2002Ann Arbor: UMI, 2004, Print.

If the dissertation was not published, put the title in quotation marks, followed by the descriptive label, the name of the granting university, and the year. To site a Masters Thesis, substitute Diss. with appropriate label (MA thesis or MS thesis). If the dissertation is found using an online database, instead of concluding with medium (i.e. Print), include the title of the database (italicized), medium of publication (Web), and the date of access.

Format: Author(s). "Title of dissertation or theses." Diss. Publisher, Date, Database, Medium. Date accessed.

Example: Feasel, Karen Elaine. "Profiles of personal agency: Ethnocultural variations in self-efficacy beliefsDiss. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign1999Proquest Digital Dissertations, Web29 Apr. 2010.

Format: Author(s). "Title of dissertation or theses." MA thesis. Publisher, Date, Medium.

Example: Stolley, Karl. "Toward a Conception of Religion as a Discursive Formation: Implications for Postmodern Composition Theory." MA thesis. Purdue University2002Print.

eBook

If the electronic book also appears in print, include the name of the database in italics, the place of access, and the date of access.

Format: Author(s). Title of ebook . Place of publication: Publisher, Date. Database . Medium. Date accessed.

Example: Berger, Sharon Allotment gardening: an organic guide for beginners DevonGreen Books, Ltd.2005. NetLibrary . Web18 Apr. 2009.

If the electronic book is being cited from an electronic device like the Kindle, Nook, or iPad, instead of the above, cite the medium of the publication. The medium is the specific type of electronic file used such as a Kindle file, Nook file, EPUB file, or PDF file.

Format: Author(s). Title of ebook . Place of publication: Publisher, Date. File used.

Example: Rowley, Hazel Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage New YorkFarrar2010Kindle file

Encyclopedia Article

When an encyclopedia or a dictionary is well known, simply list the author of the entry (if there is one), the title of the entry in quotes, the title of the reference work , the edition number (if any), and the date of the edition. If a reference work is not well known, provide full publication information as for other books.

Format: Author(s). "Title of article." Title of Encyclopedia . Edition. Date. Medium.

Example: Smith, Jessica. "Organic Gardening."  The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: Macropaedia 15th ed1987Print.

Encyclopedia Article (Online)

If you access the article through an online database , include the regular publication information as you would for a print resource. After the date, include the name of the database in italics, the medium (Web), date of access and the <URL>.

Format: "Title of article." Title of Encyclopedia. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. Database . Medium. Date accessed.

Example: "The Roman Empire, 14-284 C.E.The Encyclopedia of World HistoryBostonHoughton Mifflin2001 Credo Reference . Web12 Apr. 2010.

Journal Article

Found in print: Begin with the author, then the title of the article in quotation marks, the journal name in italics followed by the volume, issue if there is one, year, followed by a colon and inclusive page numbers and medium (Print). If pagination is not continuous, give the first page and a plus sign (54+).

Format: Author(s). "Title of article." Title of periodical . Volume (Date): Pages. Medium.

Example: Kliman, Bernice W. "Isabella in Measure for Measure."  Shakespeare Studies 15 (1982): 137-148Print.

Found online (not using a database): Begin by following the guidelines for a print journal. Most often, online journals will include volume and issue numbers like print publications, and oftentimes, there will be nopage numbers in a web-only journal, in which case, replace page numbers with n. pag. Follow with date of publication, Web as medium of publication, and date of access.

Format: Author(s). "Title of article." Title of periodical . Publisher. Volume (Date): Pages. Medium. Date accessed.

Example: Geier, Bryan. "Organic agriculture worldwide--a fast growing reality for 100% pesticide risk reduction."  Acta-horticulturae International Society of Horticultural Science525.1 (2000): 31-37Web13 Apr. 2009.

Found using an online database: Cite online journal articles from an online database as you would a print one. Provide the database name in italics. Library information is no longer required. List the medium of publication as Web and end with the date of access.

Format: Author(s). "Title of article." Title of periodical. Publisher. Volume (Date): Pages. Database . Medium. Date accessed.

Example: Shelke, Karen. "How to say it organically: consumers are buying into organic foods; are you buying organic ingredients?" Food Processing66.4 (2005): 49-54 Academic OneFile . Web13 Mar. 2008.

Magazine Article

For the date, if the magazine is published every one or two weeks, include the full date. If it is published every month, include the month and year. Do not include the volume and issue numbers, even if they are given.

Format: Author(s). "Title of article." Title of periodical Date: Pages. Medium.

Example: Donaldson, Doug. "When to buy organic."  Better Homes and Gardens  Jun. 2007288Print.

Movie

Begin with the title of the film in italics. For a film, cite the director and the lead actors or narrator ("Perf." or "Narr."), followed by the year of the film's release and the name of the distributor Followed by the medium (Film). For a videotape or DVD, after the distributor include the year the film was released in this medium and instead of concluding with Film as the medium add "Videocassette" or "DVD."

Format: Title of Film . Director. Lead actor or narrator. Date released. Film Distributor, Date released on film. Medium.

Example: High Fidelity . Dir. Stephen Frears. Perf. John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, and Todd Louiso2000Walt Disney Video2001DVD.

Newspaper Article

In the publication title, omit introductory articles (a, an, the). If the title is in a language other than English, keep introductory articles. If the paper is nationally published, do not include a city of publication. If it is published locally, include city. If sections are paginated separately, include the section letter with the page numbers.

Found in Print:

Format: Author(s). "Title of article." Title of periodical Date: Pages. Medium.

Example: Dillon, Sam. "Education standards likely to see toughening."  New York Times  14 Apr. 2009A3Print.

Found through the online version:

Format: Author(s). "Title of article." Title of periodical Date. Medium. Date accessed.

Example: Dillon, Sam. "Education standards likely to see toughening."  New York Times  14 Apr. 2009Web18 Apr. 2009.

Website

Begin with the name of the author or corporate author (if known) and the title of the site, italicized if it is an independent work, or in quotation marks if part of a larger work. The title of the entire website if different than the page title. Next, the publisher or sponsor (if not available use n.p.).e. Then give the date of publication or last update, the name of any sponsoring organization, the date you accessed the source. If your instructor requires a <URL> or if you think a reader will need the <URL> to find the site again, include and the <URL> in <angle brackets>. Provide as much of this information as is available.

Format: Author or corporate author. " Title of page " Title of website. Publisher or sponsor, Date. Medium. Date accessed.

Example: Mayo Clinic Staff. " Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious? Nutrition and Healthy EatingMayo Clinic, 20 Dec. 2006Web13 Mar. 2008.

YouTube video

For videos, provide the author only if you are sure that person created the video. Do not list the person posting the video online as the author. If you are unsure, treat the citation as having no author. Follow the same standards for a regular web source with author, title of post, Online Posting, sponsor (YouTube), date of access, medium, and date of access. Note that the <URL> is not required by the MLA standards, but if you feel it is necessary to locate the page again, include the <URL> in <angle brackets>. 

Has an author:

Format: Author, "Video titleMediumWebsiteDate accessedWeb. Date published.

Example: Takayma-Ogawa, J., & Willette, J. "What is information literacyOnline PostingYouTube14 Mar. 2007Web. 30 Apr. 2010.

Has no author:

Format: "Video title." Online PostingWebsiteDate accessedWebDate published

Example: "Slingshot fun." Online PostingYouTube29 January 2007Web30 Apr. 2010

Works of Art

Start with the artist's name (if known) then give the title of the artwork in italics. Provide the date of composition; if the date of composition is unknown, place the abbreviation n.d. in place of the date. Finally, provide the name of the institution that houses the artwork followed by the location of the institution.

Format: Creator Title DateName of institutionLocation.

Example: Goya, Francisco The Family of Charles IV 1800Museo del PradoMadrid.

For photographic reproductions of artwork (e.g. images of artwork in a book), cite the bibliographic information as above followed by the information for the source in which the photograph appears, including page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc.).

Format: Creator Title DateName of institutionLocationTitle of book. Edition. By AuthorPlace of publicationPublisherPageMedium.

Example: Goya, Francisco The Family of Charles IV 1800Museo del PradoMadridGardener's Art Through the Ages.10th ed. By Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. KleinerFort WorthHarcourt Brace939Print.

General Rules

  • The list of sources that you used should be titled "Works Cited."
  • Arrange the items on your reference list alphabetically by author .
  • Double space all lines
  • Indent the second and following lines 5 spaces or one half inch. (In Word, use "Hanging Indent.")
  • If no author is given, start with the title.
  • Abbreviate the names of all months except May, June, and July.
  • The 7th edition of MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers became available in spring 2009. This webpage reflects the update found in the 7th edition.