The MLA citation style is generally used in the humanities (English, Philosophy, Music etc.). While the 8th edition provides detailed guidelines on how to create in-text and reference citations, it does not include instructions on how to format your research paper. For proper MLA paper formatting guidelines, refer to the & the
MLA has updated its rules for creating works-cited lists to reflect the recent changes in how works are published and consulted in the age of digital publication. Below, we have listed examples in the new MLA style for some of the most common formats. To find out more about the changes and to view a more extensive list of examples, please see the excellent , published by Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL).
In-text citations should include the title and the page number(s) of the text you are quoting or referring to, with the titles of articles in quotations, and the titles of books or Web sites italicized. In cases where the title contains a colon, use only the text before the colon in the in-text citation.
Note on Cross-referencing Several Items from One Anthology: If you cite more than one essay from the same edited collection, MLA indicates you may cross-reference within your works cited list in order to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay. You should consider this option if you have several references from a single text. To do so, include a separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor's name as below:
Works may include an essay in an edited collection or anthology, or a chapter of a book. The basic form is for this sort of citation is as follows:
For more information, consult “Citing Nonperiodical Print Publications” in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition (sec. 5.5, 148-81), or the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition (sec. 6.6, 185-211).
Once you understand the basic principles of citation, you can apply them to any source type, without concern to the actual format or medium of publication. While the MLA guidelines reflects this approach, we have developed specific examples for commonly used source types for you.
The Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is widely used for identifying research sources. It identifies each source you consulted in preparing your paper, the specific information you used, and where in the source that the information was found. The following examples are based on the 7th ed. (Ref LB2369 .G53 2009) The numbers in [ ] refer to the appropriate chapters in the handbook.
These guidelines provide a basic model for citations: writers create citations, not by looking for specific formulas for individual source types, but rather consulting MLA's list of core elements, and assembling them in the standard order.
Author(s). Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of
A part of a book (such as an essay in a collection)
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Collection. Ed. Editor's
Name(s). Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Pages.
An article in a periodical (such as a newspaper or magazine)
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Source Day Month Year:
N.B. When citing the date, list day before month; use a three-letter abbreviation of themonth (e.g. Jan., Mar., Aug.). If there is more than one edition available for that date(as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition following the date(e.g. 17 May 1987, late ed.).
An article in a scholarly journal
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal Vol (Year): pages.
N.B. "Vol" indicates the volume number of the journal. If the journal usescontinuous pagination throughout a particular volume, only volume and year are needed,e.g. Modern Fiction Studies 39 (1993).: 156-174. If each issue of the journal begins onpage 1, however, you must also provide the issue number following the volume, e.g. Mosaic19.3 (1986): 33-49.
According to some, dreams express "profound aspects of personality"(Foulkes 184), though
According to Foulkes's study, dreams may express "profound aspects ofpersonality" (184).
Is it possible that dreams may express "profound aspects of personality"(Foulkes 184)?
Cullen concludes, "Of all the things that happened there / That's all Iremember" (11-12).
Place quotations longer than four typed lines in a free-standing block oftypewritten lines, and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indentedone inch from the left margin, and maintain double-spacing. Your parenthetical citationshould come after the closing punctuation mark. When quoting verse, maintain original linebreaks. (You should maintain double-spacing throughout your essay.)
Ralph and the other boys finally realize the horror of their actions:
The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for
the first time on the island; great shuddering spasms of grief that seemed
to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the
burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little
boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding 186)
Elizabeth Bishop's "In the Waiting Room" is rich in evocative detail:
It was winter. It got dark
early. The waiting room
was full of grown-up people,
arctics and overcoats,
lamps and magazines. (6-10)
If you cite multiple works by the same author, place a comma after the author's last name in the parenthetical (in-text) citation and add the title (in full or a shortened version if it is long) and the relevant page reference, e.g., (p. 55; pp. 117-118, 3.2.1).