Citations

Additional Resources

Online guides are helpful, but remember to always follow your instructor's directions when formatting your paper and creating citations.

In Text Citations

Basic Format for in text citations

(Author's last name page#).

(Miller 241).

(Miller and Roe 35-38).

(Merrion et al. 85).   Use et al. for more than 2 authors


If you cite the author’s name in your paper, cite only page numbers in
parentheses:

Miller has compared these authors (203-05).


No Author

Use the complete title in a single phrase or use a short form
of the title in parentheses.

-Titles of books and films are italicized
-Titles of articles are put in quotation marks.

Heart disease is the leading cause of
death for both men and women ("Heart Disease").


Citing Different Pages from the Same Source:

If you write a sentence that quotes from several places in the same source and you wish to cite them in a single parenthesis, list the appropriate page numbers in the order they are quoted, separated by commas. 

For example:

Getting a tattoo may be an act of “identity formation,” but as such it can be interpreted as a symptom of “profound self-doubt” (Friedman 27, 33).                        example from: Ithacalibrary.com


Citing Different sources from the Same Author:

King, Stephen. Carrie. Doubleday, 1974.
---. The Green Mile. Viking Press, 1996. 

Examples in text:

(King, Carrie 135).
(King, The Green Mile 23). 


Multiple unsigned articles with the same title but from different sources

("Article title," Abbreviated title of source in italics).

Examples: 

("Alternative Energy," Discover 164). 

("Alternative Energy," Wind).


Multiple Sources

To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon (Miller 26; Rogers 456).


Web Sources (no page#)

When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage in an online source
with or without page numbers, no page numbers are needed:

According to Miller, drug use is a serious problem.


Indirect Sources (your source quotes another source) MLA Handbook, sec. 3.4

  • Whenever you can, take material from the original source, not a secondhand (indirect) one.
  • If only an indirect source is available:
    • put the abbreviation qtd. in (“quoted in”) before the indirect source in the in-text citation.
    • include the indirect source in the Works Cited.

Example: 

Roth states that "no police department should tolerate excessive use of force" (qtd. in Miller 358).

General formatting Rules for MLA 8th edition

  • Your end of paper list of references should be titled: Works Cited and centered on the page
  • Citations should be in alphabetical order by authors' last name, if no author, then by the title of the article
    • The "A, An, The" Rule, when an unsigned article or title begins with the word "A, An, The", alphabetize according to the word after; example "A Shot to the Heart" would be alphabetized under "S" for "Shot"
  • Your paper should be typed and double-spaced, with 1" margins on all sides. MLA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
  • Use italics for titles of larger works including books, magazines, web sites, music albums, and films and "quotation marks" for titles of shorter works such as poems, articles, and songs.
  • Page numbers in the works-cited list (but not in in-text citations) are preceded by p. or pp.
  • The months with four or fewer letters, e.g. May, June, and July are not abbreviated, the remaining months Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. are abbreviated.
  • Placeholders for unknown information like n.d. (“no date”) are not used.
  • View this video on how to format your paper in MLA style using Microsoft Word.
  • To see a sample paper in MLA format, visit the Purdue OWL's MLA page.

Core Elements

MLA 8th edition uses Core Elements to cite all types of sources.

  • Use the punctuation shown after each element unless it is the final element, which should always end with a period.
  • If an element does not apply to your source, leave it out.

Author. Title of source. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.
    Image source, MLA.org

Notable Changes from previous edition:

Authors/Contributors

  • If there are more than two authors, list the first author, followed by a comma and et al.  
  • Additional roles like editor or translator are no longer abbreviated.

Date of Access 

  • Including the date you accessed the resource is no longer required.
  • MLA recommends you add the date of access if the source provides no date specifying when it was published or produced (see page 53 of the MLA handbook).

Location

  • No longer a geographic marker (i.e. city) but rather a locator within a container.
  • Page numbers are locations inside the container and now require p. or pp. followed by number(s) on Works Cited list only.
  • Use DOIs, when available.
  • While it is optional, MLA recommends adding URLs for web pages, be sure to remove the http:// or https://.
  • For sources found in databases, the database name can be used instead of a URL (e.g. Academic Search Premier).

Publishers/Sponsors

  • No need to repeat. If organization is author and sponsor or publisher, identifying it once is enough. Opt for publisher element, omitting in author element.
  • For websites, a publisher's name may be omitted when the name of the website is essentially the same as the name of its publisher (see MLA handbook p 42).

Recordings

  • Reference to recordings with time-based markers available should include the relevant time, specifically hours, minutes, and seconds separated by colons including a hyphen to indicate range of time. Think of time segments as page numbers or paragraph numbers.

Citation Examples

Material Type In Text Citation Works Cited
Book

(Lewis and Hill 23-24)

 

(Tallett and Trim 112)

Lewis, Jon, and Joe Hill.  American Film: A History. W.W. Norton, 2008.

Book with no author, only editors

Tallett, Frank, and David Trim, editors.  European Warfare, 1350-1750. Cambridge

         UP, 2010.

eBook

(Nathanson)  
do not use page numbers for web sources

‚ÄčNathanson, Mitchell. A People's History Of Baseball. 7th ed.,

              University Illinois Press, 2012. eBook Academic Collection,

              ebscohost.net. 

 

*[In this example, eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost) is the database and second container so it is italicized.]

Chapter/essay from a book

 

 

 

Chapter/essay from an eBook

(Judd 56)

 

(Williams 28)     

 

 

(McElroy)       

Judd, Sandra. "Heart Attack." Cardiovascular Disorders Sourcebook,

             Omigraphics, 2016, pp. 56-59.

Williams, Bill. "History of Tamales."  Encyclopedia of Food, edited by

         Sherry Miller, Random House Press, 2014, pp. 24-38.

 

McElroy, Mary. "Health Care Systems in the United States."  The 1950s in America,

         edited by John C. Super, Salem, 2005.

         Salem Online, online.salempress.com.

Webpage 

("Aplastic Anemia")

 

(Brooks)            

"Aplastic Anemia." MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine,

           2016, medlineplus.gov/aplasticanemia.html#cat95.

Brooks, Bucky. "Super Bowl LI: Five-Part Plan for Atlanta Falcons

           to Win It All." NFL, 24 Jan. 2017, 

           www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000778578.

[The MLA handbook recommends adding the URL for websites, however you should omit http:// or https:// from the URL]

[you can omit the name of the publisher when the title of the website is the same or similar to the name of its publisher (MLA p. 42)]

Periodicals

(magazines, newspapers, and journals)

(Kane et al.)                                                   

 

 

 

(Breznican 21-22)

Kane, Kevin, et al. "Beyond Fragmentation at the Fringe: An 

                Analysis of Urban Land Cover in Phoenix."  Applied

                Geography, vol. 52, no. 2,  Aug. 2014, pp. 123-134.

               ScienceDirect, sciencedirect.com.


Breznican, Anthony. "Hidden Secrets of Star Wars."

           Entertainment Weekly, 12 Dec. 2015, pp. 20-23.

Motion Picture (Captain America: Civil War)

Captain America: Civil War. Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe

             Russo, performances by Chris Evans and Robert

             Downey Jr., Marvel Studios, 2016.

TV Show Episode ("Winds of Winter")

"Winds of Winter." Game of Thrones, created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss,

               season 6, episode 10, HBO Productions, 2014.

YouTube Video ("Real History")

"Real History Behind Game of Thrones." YouTube, uploaded by Alp, 14

            July 2016, youtu.be/Odw3Nxdqq4o.

Image, online (Souza) Souza, Pete. President Barack Obama Views the Hoover Dam.
               2 Oct. 2012, photograph. Obama White House Archives,
               7 July 2015, obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2015/07/07/day-
               history-construction-began-hoover-dam.

When in doubt, check with your instructor with specific questions about formatting your paper and creating citations.

Sample MLA Paper with Works Cited List

MLA citation for print book

sample mla citation for a print book

MLA Citation for chapter or section of a print book

MLA citation for article from a webpage