MLA Style is a set of citation and formatting rules developed by the Modern Language Association. MLA is most often used in the Humanities, especially languages and literature, when documenting sources in research papers and projects. Information presented in this guide is based on the MLA Handbook, 8th edition, 2016.
MLA Style includes rules for:
The core elements of any entry, regardless of the medium, in the works-cited list are given below in the order in which they should appear. Each element is followed by the punctuation mark shown unless it is the final element, which should end with a period.
|1. Author. Personal author(s), editor (s), corporate author, director|
|2. Title of Source. Book title, article title, chapter title, title of TV episode, film title|
|3. Title of Container, Book title, journal title, title of TV series.|
|4. Other contributors, Translators, performers|
|5. Version, Edition, abridged/unabridged, director's cut|
|6. Number, Volume and issue numbers, season and episode numbers|
|7. Publisher, Publishers, university presses, organizations, governments, production companies|
|8. Publication date, Use the date most pertinent to you, full dates given in this format: 24 Aug. 2016|
|9. Location. Page number(s), web address, DOI, stable URL, time on a recording, DVD disc number|
Major changes to MLA 8th edition:
The list of works cited appears at the end of a research paper and includes full bibliographic entries for sources referred to within the paper. The works cited list should appear in alphabetical order and be double-spaced with the heading Works Cited centered at the top of the page. Indent the second and subsequent lines of references by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.
Book, Single Author
Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. Love in the Time of Cholera. Vintage, 1988.
Book, 2 Authors
Casell, Kay Ann and Uma Hiremath. Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century: An Introduction. Neal-Schuman, 2004.
Book, 3+ Authors
Robbins, Chandler S., et al. Birds of North America: A guide to Field Identification. Golden, 1966.
Atkins, Peter. Animal Cities: Beastly Urban Histories. Routledge, 2016. ebrary, http://bit.ly/ebrarybook.
Article in an Online Database
Hannah, Daniel K. "The Private Life, the Public Stage: Henry James in Recent Fiction." Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 30, no. 3, 2007 pp. 70-94. JSTOR, www.jstor.org.ezproxy.lib.uwf.edu/stable/30053134.
Article in Print Journal
Hannah, Daniel K. "The Private Life, the Public Stage: Henry James in Recent Fiction." Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 30, no. 3, 2007, pp. 70-94.
Article in an electronic journal
Chan, Evans. "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema." Postmodern Culture, vol. 10, no. 3, May 2000. Project Muse, doi: 10.1353/pmc.2000.0021.
Article on a Website
Farkas, Meredith. "Tips for Being a Great Blogger (and a Good Person)." Information Wants to Be Free.19 July 2011, meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2011/07/19/tips-for-being-a-great-blogger-and-good-person/.
Website (Whole site)
Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/.
Website with no author
"What's New in the Eighth Edition." The MLA Style Center. 2016, style.mla.org/whats-new/.
Website with author
Pinsker, Joe. "Why So Many Smart People Aren't Happy." The Atlantic. 26 Apr. 2016, bit.ly/atlantic.
Russell, Tony, et al. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 2 Aug. 2016.
In-text citations provide a means for you to give credit when using others' words, facts, or ideas. MLA style uses parenthetical notations to identify the source (author's surname) and the specific location (page number) from which you borrowed material.
Place the parenthetical reference where a natural pause would occur, as near as possible to the material documented. In-text citations are typically placed at the end of a quote, sentence, or paragraph.
|Material Type||In-Text Citation|
|Author's name in text||According to Naomi Baron, reading is "just half of literacy. The other half is writing" (194). One might suggest that reading is never complete without writing.|
|Author's name in reference||Reading is "just half of literacy. The other half is writing" (Baron 194).|
|Two authors' names in reference||The dataset includes information on the entire population of children who have dropped out of North Carolina's public schools (Sterns and Glennie 37).|
|Quotation found in indirect or "secondhand" source||Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 2: 450).|
*Citation examples from Duquesne University (2016) http://guides.library.duq.edu/mla
Upper portion of the first page of a sample research paper.
Upper portion of the first page of a sample works cited list.
More details can be found at the link listed below.
*Examples from MLS Style Center (2016) https://style.mla.org/formatting-papers/
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Check out the MLA Style Center. You can view sample papers, download practice templates and keep up to date with MLA changes.
The OWL (Purdue Online Writing Lab) is another great source for writing and citation help.