Algunas indicaciones útiles…
MLA Formatting and Style Guide
- Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white paper (or, preferably, on recycled paper. Consult your instructor) .
- Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font like Times New Roman or Arial.
- Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.
- Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides. Indent the first line of a paragraph one half-inch (five spaces or press tab once) from the left margin.
- Number all pages consecutively.
- Use either italics or underlining throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis.
- If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page.
Formatting the First Page of Your Paper
- Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested.
- In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date.
- Center the title of your essay. Don’t underline your title or put it in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case, not in all capital letters.
- Use quotation marks and underlining or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text, e.g.,
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play
- Human Weariness in “After Apple Picking”
- Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
In-Text Citations: The Basics
Guidelines for referring to the works of others in your text using MLA style is covered in chapter six of the MLA Handbook and in chapter seven of the MLA Style Manual. Both books provide extensive examples, so it’s a good idea to consult them if you want to become even more familiar with MLA guidelines or if you have a particular reference question.
Basic In-Text Citation Rules
In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by using what’s known as parenthetical citation. Immediately following a quotation from a source or a paraphrase of a source’s ideas, you place the authors name followed by a space and the relevant page number(s).
Human beings have been described as “symbol-using animals” (Burke 3).
When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it’s a short work, or italicize or underline it if it’s a longer work.
Your in-text citation will correspond with an entry in your Works Cited page, which, for the Burke citation above, will look something like this:
Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: U of California P, 1966.
We’ll learn how to make a Works Cited page in a bit, but right now it’s important to know that parenthetical citations and Works Cited pages allow readers to know which sources you consulted in writing your essay, so that they can either verify your interpretation of the sources or use them in their own scholarly work.
To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:
…as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).
When Citation is not Needed
Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations or common knowledge. Remember, this is a rhetorical choice, based on audience. If you’re writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, they’ll have different expectations of what constitutes common knowledge.
In-Text Citations: Author-Page Style
MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author’s last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author’s name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:
Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (263).
Romantic poetry is characterized by the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (Wordsworth 263).
Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).
The citation, both (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tells readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information:
Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. London: Oxford U.P., 1967.
Author-Page Citation for Classic and Literary Works with Multiple Editions
Page numbers are always required, but additional citation information can help literary scholars, who may have a different edition of a classic work like Marx and Engels’s The Communist Manifesto. In such cases, give the page number of your edition (making sure the edition is listed in your Works Cited page, of course) follwed by a semicolon, and then the appropriate abbreviations for volume (vol.), book (bk.), part (pt.), chapter (ch.), section (sec.), paragraph (par.) as available. For example:
Marx and Engels described human history as marked by class struggles (79; ch. 1).
Anonymous Work/Author Unknown
If the work you are citing to has no author, use an abbreviated version of the work’s title. (For non-print sources, such as films, TV series, pictures, or other media, or electronic sources, include the name that begins the entry in the Works Cited page). For example:
An anonymous Wordsworth critic once argued that his poems were too emotional (“Wordsworth Is a Loser” 100).
Citing Authors with Same Last Names
Sometimes more information is necessary to identify the source from which a quotation is taken. For instance, if two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors’ first initials (or even the authors’ full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. For example:
Although some medical ethicists claim that cloning will lead to designer children (R. Miller 12), others note that the advantages for medical research outweigh this consideration (A. Miller 46).
Citing Multiple Works by the Same Author
If you cite more than one work by a particular author, include a shortened title for the particular work from which you are quoting to distinguish it from the others.
Lightenor has argued that computers are not useful tools for small children (“Too Soon” 38), though he has acknowledged elsewhere that early exposure to computer games does lead to better small motor skill development in a child’s second and third year (“Hand-Eye Development” 17).
Additionally, if the author’s name is not mentioned in the sentence, you would format your citation with the author’s name followed by a comma, follwed by a shortened title of the work, followed, when appropriate, by page numbers:
Visual studies, because it is such a new discipline, may be “too easy” (Elkins, “Visual Studies” 63).
Citing Indirect Sources
Sometimes you may have to use an indirect source. An indirect source is a source cited in another source. For such indirect quotations, use “qtd. in” to indicate the source you actually consulted. For example:
Ravitch argues that high schools are pressured to act as “social service centers, and they don’t do that well” (qtd. in Weisman 259).
Note that, in most cases, a responsible researcher will attempt to find the original source, rather than citing an indirect source.
Citing the Bible
In your first parenthetical citation, you want to make clear which Bible you’re using (and italicize or underline the title), as each version varies in its translation, followed by book (do not italicize or underline), chapter and verse. For example:
Ezekiel saw “what seemed to be four living creatures,” each with faces of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle (New Jerusalem Bible, Ezek. 1.5-10).
All future references can then just cite book, chapter, and verse, since you’ve established which edition of the Bible you will be using.
When you directly quote the works of others in your paper, you will format quotations differently depending on their length. Formatting quotations using MLA style is covered in section 2.7 of the of the MLA Handbook and in section 3.9 of the MLA Style Manual. Below are some basic guidelines for incorporating quotations into your paper.
To indicate short quotations (fewer than four typed lines of prose or three lines of verse) in your text, enclose the quotation within double quotation marks. Provide the author and specific page citation (in the case of verse, provide line numbers) in the text, and include a complete reference on the Works Cited page. Punctuation marks such as periods, commas, and semicolons should appear after the parenthetical citation. Question marks and exclamation points should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quoted passage but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text. For example:
According to some, dreams express “profound aspects of personality” (Foulkes 184), though others disagree.
According to Foulkes’s study, dreams may express “profound aspects of personality” (184).
Is it possible that dreams may express “profound aspects of personality” (Foulkes 184)?
Mark breaks in short quotations of verse with a slash, /, at the end of each line of verse:
Cullen concludes, “Of all the things that happened there/ That’s all I remember” (11-12).
Place quotations longer than four typed lines in a free-standing block of text, and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, with the entire quote indented one inch from the left margin; maintain double-spacing. Only indent the first line of the quotation by a half inch if you are citing multiple paragraphs. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark. When quoting verse, maintain original line breaks. (You should maintain double-spacing throughout your essay.) For example:
Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration:
They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw’s door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte 78)
Poetry will be handled something like this:
In her poem “Sources,” Adrienne Rich explores the roles of women in shaping their world:
The faithful drudging child
the child at the oak desk whose penmanship,
hard work, style will win her prizes
becomes the woman with a mission, not to win prizes
but to change the laws of history. (23)
Adding or Omitting Words In Quotations
If you add a word or words in a quotation, you should put brackets around the words to indicate that they are not part of the original text.
Jan Harold Brunvand, in an essay on urban legends, states: “some individuals [who retell urban legends] make a point of learning every rumor or tale” (78).
If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or word by using ellipsis marks, which are three periods (…) preceded and followed by a space. For example:
In an essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand notes that “some individuals make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale … and in a short time a lively exchange of details occurs” (78).
NOTE: According to the 6th Edition of the MLA Handbook, brackets are no longer needed around ellipses unless adding brackets would clarify your use of ellipses. For example, if there are ellipsis marks in the quoted author’s work, do not put brackets around them; but do use brackets around ellipsis marks you add, so as to distinguish them from ellipsis marks in the quoted author’s work. Also note that the MLA Style Guide still requires brackets, so it’s probably best practice to follow the MLA manual appropriate to your assignment or publication.
Footnotes and Endnotes
Because long explanatory notes can be distracting to readers, most academic style guidelines (including MLA and APA) recommend limited use of footnotes/endnotes; however, certain publishers encourage or require note references in lieu of parenthetical references (see the MLA Handbook, Appendix B, and the MLA Style Manual, Appendix A, for other systems of MLA citation).
MLA discourages extensive use of explanatory or digressive notes. MLA style does, however, allow you to use endnotes or footnotes for evaluative bibliographic comments, for example:
1 See Blackmur, especially chapters three and four, for an insightful analysis of this trend.
2 On the problems related to repressed memory recovery, see Wollens pp. 120- 35; for a contrasting view, see Pyle.
You can also use endnotes or footnotes for occasional explanatory notes or other brief additional helpful information that might be too digressive for the main text:
3 In a 1998 interview, she reiterated this point even more strongly: “I am an artist, not a politician!” (Weller 124).
Numbering Endnotes and Footnotes
Footnotes in MLA format are indicated by consecutively-numbered superscript arabic numbers in the main text after the punctuation of the phrase or clause the note refers to:
Some have argued that such an investigation would be fruitless.6
Scholars have argued for years that this claim has no basis,7 so we would do well to ignore it.
However, note references appear before dashes:
For years, scholars have failed to address this point8—a fact that suggests their cowardice more than their carelessness.
Do not use asterisks, daggers, or other symbols for note references. The list of endnotes and footnotes (either of which, for papers submitted for publication, should be listed on a separate page, as indicated below) should correspond to the note references in the text.
Formatting Endnotes and Footnotes
The MLA recommends that all notes be listed on a separate page titled Notes (no quotation marks or italics), which should appear before the Works Cited page. This is especially important for papers being submitted for publication. The notes themselves are listed by consecutive superscript arabic numbers and appear double-spaced in regular paragraph format (a new paragraph for each note) on a separate page under the word Notes (centered, in plain text without quotation marks).
In the case that you need to format footnotes on the same page as the main text, footnotes should begin four lines (two double-spaced lines) below the main text. Single-space notes formatted as footnotes on the page, but double-space between individual notes.
Works Cited Page: Basic Format
According to MLA style, you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. Works Cited page preparation and formatting is covered in chapter 5 of the MLA Handbook, and chapter 6 of the MLA Style Manual. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text.
- Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
- Label the page Works Cited (do not underline the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center the words Works Cited at the top of the page.
- Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.
- List page numbers of sources efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 225-50.
- If you’re citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should provide enough information so that the reader can locate the article either in its original print form or retrieve it from the online database (if they have access).
Capitalization and Punctuation
- Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles, short prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle: Gone with the Wind, The Art of War, There Is Nothing Left to Lose
- Use italics or underlining for titles of larger works (books, magazines) and quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles)
Listing Author Names
Entries are listed by author name (or, for entire edited collections, editor names). Author names are written last name first; middle names or middle initials follow the first name:
Levy, David M.
Wallace, David Foster
Do not list titles (Dr., Sir, Saint, etc.) or degrees (PhD, MA, DDS, etc.) with names. A book listing an author named “John Bigbrain, PhD” appears simply as “Bigbrain, John”; do, however, include suffixes like “Jr.” or “II.” Putting it all together, a work by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be cited as “King, Martin Luther, Jr.,” with the suffix following the first or middle name and a comma. For additional information on handling names, consult section 3.8 of The MLA Handbook and sections 6.6.1 and 3.6 of the MLA Style Manual.
More than One Work by an Author
If you have cited more than one work by a particular author, order the entries alphabetically by title, and use three hyphens in place of the author’s name for every entry after the first:
Burke, Kenneth. A Rhetoric of Motives.
—. A Grammar of Motives.
When an author or collection editor appears both as the sole author of a text and as the first author of a group, list solo-author entries first:
Heller, Steven, ed. The Education of an E-Designer.
Heller, Steven and Karen Pomeroy. Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design.
Work with No Known Author
Alphabetize works with no known author by their title; use a shortened version of the title in the parenthetical citations in your paper. In this case, Boring Postcards USA has no known author:
Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulations.
Boring Postcards USA.
Burke, Kenneth. A Rhetoric of Motives.
Works Cited: Periodicals
MLA style is slightly different for popular periodicals, like newspapers, and scholarly journals, as you’ll learn below.
An Article in a Newspaper or Magazine
Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages.
When writing the date, list day before month; use a three-letter abbreviation of the month (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.).
Poniewozik, James. “TV Makes a Too-Close Call.” Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71.
Trembacki, Paul. “Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team.” Purdue Exponent 5 Dec. 2000: 20.
An Article in a Scholarly Journal
Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): pages.
Bagchi, Alaknanda. “Conflicting Nationalisms: The voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi’s Bashai Tudu.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 15.1 (1996): 41-50.
If the journal uses continuous pagination throughout a particular volume, only volume and year are needed, e.g. Modern Fiction Studies 40 (1998): 251-81. If each issue of the journal begins on page 1, however, you must also provide the issue number following the volume, e.g. Mosaic 19.3 (1986): 33-49.
Journal with Continuous Pagination
Allen, Emily. “Staging Identity: Frances Burney’s Allegory of Genre.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 31 (1998): 433-51.
Journal with Non-Continuous Pagination
Duvall, John N. “The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo’s White Noise.” Arizona Quarterly 50.3 (1994): 127-53.
Works Cited: Electronic Sources
The MLA Style Manual provides some examples of electronic source citations in chapter six; however, the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers covers a wider variety of electronic sources in chapter six. If your particular source is not covered here, use the basic forms to determine the correct format, consult the MLA Handbook
Tips on Handling Electronic Sources
It is always a good idea to maintain personal copies of electronic information, when possible. It is good practice to print or save Web pages or, better, using a program like Adobe Acrobat, to keep your own copies for future reference. Most Web browsers will include URL/electronic address information when you print, which makes later reference easy.
Special Warning for Researchers Writing/Publishing Electronically
MLA style requires electronic addresses to be listed between carets (<, >). This is a dangerous practice for anyone writing or publishing electronically, as carets are also used to set off HTML, XHTML, XML and other markup language tags (e.g., HTML’s paragraph tag, <p>). When writing in electronic formats, be sure to properly encode your carets.
Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources
Here are some common features you should try and find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Always include as much information as is available/applicable:
- Author and/or editor names
- Name of the database, or title of project, book, article
- Any version numbers available
- Date of version, revision, or posting
- Publisher information
- Date you accessed the material
- Electronic address, printed between carets (<, >).
Web sites (in MLA style, the “W” in Web is capitalized, and “Web site” or “Web sites” are written as two words) and pages are arguably the most popular form of electronic resource today. Below are a variety of Web sites and pages you might need to cite.
An Entire Web Site
Name of Site. Date of Posting/Revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sometimes found in copyright statements). Date you accessed the site. <electronic address>.
It is necessary to list your date of access because web postings are often updated, and information available on one date may no longer be available later. Be sure to include the complete address for the site. Here are some examples:
The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. 26 Aug. 2005. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. 23 April 2006. <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/>.
Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. 28 Nov. 2003. Purdue University. 10 May 2006 <http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/>.
Treat entire Weblogs or “blogs” just as you would a Web site. For single-author blogs, include the author name (or screen name or alias, as a last resort); blogs with many authors, or an anonymous author, should be listed by the title of the blog itself:
Design Observer. 25 Apr. 2006. 10 May 2006. <http://www.designobserver.com/>.
Ratliff, Clancy. CultureCat: Rhetoric and Feminism. 7 May 2006. 11 May 2006. <http://culturecat.net>.
URLs that won’t fit on one line of your Works Cited list should be broken at slashes, when possible.
Some Web sites have unusually long URLs that would be virtually impossible to retype; others use frames, so the URL appears the same for each page. To address this problem, either refer to a site’s search URL, or provide the path to the resource from an entry page with an easier URL. Begin the path with the word Path followed by a colon, followed by the name of each link, separated by a semicolon. For example, the Amazon.com URL for customer privacy and security information is <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/
tg/browse/-/551434/104-0801289-6225502>, so we’d need to simplify the citation:
Amazon.com. “Privacy and Security.” 22 May 2006. <http://www.amazon.com/>. Path: Help; Privacy & Security.
A Page on a Web Site
For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by the information covered above for entire Web sites. Make sure the URL points to the exact page you are referring to, or the entry or home page for a collection of pages you’re referring to:
“Caret.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 28 April 2006. 10 May 2006. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caret>.
“How to Make Vegetarian Chili.” eHow.com. 10 May 2006. <http://www.ehow.com/
Stolley, Karl. “MLA Formatting and Style Guide.” The OWL at Purdue. 10 May 2006. Purdue University Writing Lab. 12 May 2006 <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/>.
An Image, Including a Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph
For works housed outside of an online home, include the artist’s name, the year the work was created, and the institution (e.g., a gallery or museum) that houses it (if applicable), follwed by the city where it is located. Include the complete information for the site where you found the image, including the date of access. In this first example, the image was found on the Web site belonging to the work’s home museum:
Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo del Prado, Madrid. 22 May 2006 <http://museoprado.mcu.es/i64a.html>.
In this next example, the owner of the online site for the image is different than the image’s home museum:
Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive. “Klee: Twittering Machine.” 22 May 2006 <http://artchive.com/artchive/K/
For other images, cite as you would any other Web page, but make sure you’re crediting the original creator of the image. Here’s an example from Webshots.com, an online photo-sharing site (“brandychloe” is a username):
brandychloe. Great Horned Owl Family. 22 May 2006 <http://image46.webshots.com/
The above example links directly to the image; but we could also provide the user’s profile URL, and give the path for reaching the image, e.g.
brandychloe. Great Horned Owl Family. 22 May 2006 <http://community.webshots.com/user/brandychloe>. Path: Albums; birds; great horned owl family.
Doing so helps others verify information about the images creator, where as linking directly to an image file, like a JPEG (.jpg) may make verification difficult or impossible.
An Article in a Web Magazine
Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Online Publication Date of Publication. Date of Access <electronic address>.
Bernstein, Mark. “10 Tips on Writing The Living Web.” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites. No. 149 (16 Aug. 2002). 4 May 2006. <http://alistapart.com/articles/writeliving>.
An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal
Online scholarly journals are treated different from online magazines. First, you must include volume and issue information, when available. Also, some electronic journals and magazines provide paragraph or page numbers; again, include them if available.
Wheelis, Mark. “Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 6.6 (2000): 33 pars. 8 May 2006 <http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol6no6/wheelis.htm>.
An Article from an Electronic Subscription Service
When citing material accessed via an electronic subscription service (e.g., a database or online collection your library subscribes to), cite the relevant publication information as you would for a periodical (author, article title, periodical title, and volume, date, and page number information) followed by the name of the database or subscription collection, the name of the library through which you accessed the content, including the library’s city and state, plus date of access. If a URL is available for the home page of the service, include it. Do not include a URL to the article itself, because it is not openly accessible. For example:
Grabe, Mark. “Voluntary Use of Online Lecture Notes: Correlates of Note Use and Note Use as an Alternative to Class Attendance.” Computers and Education 44 (2005): 409-21. ScienceDirect. Purdue U Lib., West Lafayette, IN. 28 May 2006 <http://www.sciencedirect.com/>.
E-mail or Other Personal Communication
Author. “Title of the message (if any)” E-mail to person’s name. Date of the message.
This same format may be used for personal interviews or personal letters. These do not have titles, and the description should be appropriate. Instead of “Email to John Smith,” you would have “Personal interview.”
E-mail to You
Kunka, Andrew. “Re: Modernist Literature.” E-mail to the author. 15 Nov. 2000.
MLA style capitalizes the E in E-mail, and separates E and mail with a hyphen.
E-mail Communication Between Two Parties, Not Including the Author
Neyhart, David. “Re: Online Tutoring.” E-mail to Joe Barbato. 1 Dec. 2000.
A Listserv or E-mail Discussion List Posting
Author. “Title of Posting.” Online posting. Date when material was posted (for example: 18 Mar. 1998). Name of listserv. Date of access <electronic address for retrieval>.
If the listserv does not have an open archive, or an archive that is open to subscribers only (e.g., a password-protected list archive), give the URL for the membership or subscription page of the listserv.
Discussion Board/Forum Posting
If an author name is not available, use the username for the post.
An Article or Publication in Print and Electronic Form
If you’re citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database that your library subscribes to, you should provide enough information so that the reader can locate the article either in its original print form or retrieve it from the online database (if they have access).
Provide the following information in your citation:
- Author’s name (if not available, use the article title as the first part of the citation)
- Article Title
- Periodical Name
- Publication Date
- Page Number/Range
- Database Name
- Service Name
- Name of the library where or through which the service was accessed
- Name of the town/city where service was accessed
- Date of Access
- URL of the service (but not the whole URL for the article, since those are usually very long and won’t be easily re-used by someone trying to retrieve the information)
The generic citation form would look like this:
Author. “Title of Article.” Periodical Name Volume Number (if necessary) Publication Date: page number-page number. Database name. Service name. Library Name, City, State. Date of access <electronic address of the database>.
Here’s an example:
Smith, Martin. “World Domination for Dummies.” Journal of Despotry Feb. 2000: 66-72. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale Group Databases. Purdue University Libraries, West Lafayette, IN. 19 February 2003 <http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com>.
Article in a Database on CD-ROM
“World War II.” Encarta. CD-ROM. Seattle: Microsoft, 1999.
Article From a Periodically Published CD-ROM
Reed, William. “Whites and the Entertainment Industry.” Tennessee Tribune 25 Dec. 1996: 28. Ethnic NewsWatch. CD-ROM. Data Technologies, Feb. 1997.
Works Cited: Other Non-Print Sources
Below you will find MLA style guidance for other non-print sources.
A Personal Interview
Listed by the name of the person you have interviewed.
Purdue, Pete. Personal Interview. 1 Dec. 2000.
A Lecture or Speech
Include speaker name, title of the speech (if any) in quotes, details about the meeting or event where the speech was given, including its location and date of delivery. In lieu of a title, label the speech according to its type, e.g., Guest Lecture, Keynote Address, State of the Union Address.
Stein, Bob. Keynote Address. Computers and Writing Conference. Union Club Hotel, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. 23 May 2003.
List the company, business, or organization; the publication, broadcast network, or Web address where the advertisement appeared:
Lufthansa. Advertisement. Time 20 Nov. 2000: 151.
Staples. Advertisement. CBS. 3 Dec. 2000.
A Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph
Include the artist’s name, the year the work was created, and the institution (e.g., a gallery or museum) that houses it, follwed by the city where it is located.
Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo del Prado, Madrid.
If you’re referring to a photographic reproduction, include the information as above, but also include the bibliographic information for the source in which the photograph appears, including a page or other reference number (plate, figure, etc.). For example:
Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo del Prado, Madrid. Gardener’s Art Through the Ages. 10th ed. By Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace. 939.
Broadcast Television or Radio Program
Put the name of the episode in quotation marks, and the name of the series or single program underlined or in italics. Include the network, follwed by the station, city, and date of broadcast.
“The Blessing Way.” The X-Files. Fox. WXIA, Atlanta. 19 Jul. 1998.
Recorded Television Shows
Include information about original broadcast, plus medium of recording. When the title of the collection of recordings is different than the original series (e.g., the show Friends is in DVD release under the title Friends: The Complete Sixth Season), list the title that would be help researchers located the recording.
“The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry.” Friends: The Complete Sixth Season. Writ. Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen. Dir. Kevin Bright. NBC. 10 Feb. 2000. DVD. Warner Brothers, 2004.
Sound recordings list album title, label and year of release (for re-releases, it’s good to offer either the original recording date, or original release date, when known). You only need to indicate the medium if you are not referring to a compact disc (CD), e.g., Audiocasette or LP (for long-playing record). See section about online music below.
List by name of group or artist (individual artists are listed last name first). Label underlined or in italics, followed by label and year.
Foo Fighters. In Your Honor. RCA, 2005.
Waits, Tom. Blue Valentines. 1978. Elektra/Wea, 1990.
Place the names of individual songs in quotation marks.
Nirvana. “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Nevermind. Geffen, 1991.
Spoken Word Albums
Treat spoken-word albums the same as musical albums.
Hedberg, Mitch. Strategic Grill Locations. Comedy Central, 2003.
Films and Movies
List films by their title, and include the name of the director, the film studio or distributor and its release year. If other information, like names of performers, is relevant to how the film is referred to in your paper, include that as well.
Movies in Theaters
The Usual Suspects. Dir. Bryan Singer. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, and Benecio del Toro. Polygram, 1995.
If you refer to the film in terms of the role or contribution of a director, writer, or performer, begin the entry with that person’s name, last name first, follwed by role.
Lucas, George, dir. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. 1977. Twentieth Century Fox, 1997.
Include format names; “Videocassette” for VHS or Betamax, DVD for Digital Video Disc. Also list original release year after director, performers, etc.
Ed Wood. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette. 1994. DVD. Touchstone, 2004.
Works Cited Page: Books
The MLA Style Manual provides extensive examples of print source citations in chapter six; the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers provides extensive examples covering a wide variety of potential sources in chapter six. If your particular case is not covered here, use the basic forms to determine the correct format, consult one of the MLA books
First or single author’s name is written last name, first name. The basic form for a book citation is:
Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
Book with One Author
Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.
Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999.
Book with More Than One Author
First author name is written last name first; subsequent author names are written first name, last name.
Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston: Allyn, 2000.
If there are more than three authors, you may list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “and others”; no period after “et”) in place of the other authors’ names, or you may list all the authors in the order in which their names appear on the title page.
Wysocki, Anne Francis, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2004.
Wysocki, Anne Francis, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Cynthia L. Selfe, and Geoffrey Sirc. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2004.
Two or More Books by the Same Author
After the first listing of the author’s name, use three hyphens and a period instead of the author’s name. List books alphabetically by title.
Palmer, William J. Dickens and New Historicism. New York: St. Martin’s, 1997.
—. The Films of the Eighties: A Social History. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1993.
Book by a Corporate Author
A corporate author may be a comission, a committee, or any group whose individual members are not identified on the title page:
American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. New York: Random, 1998.
Book with No Author
List and alphabetize by the title of the book.
Encyclopedia of Indiana. New York: Somerset, 1993.
For parenthetical citations of sources with no author named, use a shortened version of the title instead of an author’s name. Use quotation marks and underlining as appropriate. For example, parenthetical citations of the source above would appear as follows: (Encyclopedia 235).
Anthology or Collection
List by editor or editors, follwed by a comma and “ed.” or, for mulitple editors, “eds.”
Hill, Charles A. and Marguerite Helmers, eds. Defining Visual Rhetorics. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
Peterson, Nancy J., ed. Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.
A Part of a Book
Book parts include an essay in an edited collection or anthology, or a chapter of a book. The basic form is:
Lastname, First name. “Title of Essay.” Title of Collection. Ed. Editor’s Name(s). Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Pages.
Some actual examples:
Harris, Muriel. “Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers.” A Tutor’s Guide: Helping Writers One to One. Ed. Ben Rafoth. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000. 24-34.
Swanson, Gunnar. “Graphic Design Education as a Liberal Art: Design and Knowledge in the University and The ‘Real World.'” The Education of a Graphic Designer. Ed. Steven Heller. New York: Allworth Press, 1998. 13-24.
Cross-referencing: If you cite more than one essay from the same edited collection, you should cross-reference within your works cited list in order to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay. To do so, include a separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor’s name. For individual essays from that collection, simply list the author’s name, the title of the essay, the editor’s last name, and the page numbers. For example:
L’Eplattenier, Barbara. “Finding Ourselves in the Past: An Argument for Historical Work on WPAs.” Rose and Weiser 131-40.
Peeples, Tim. “‘Seeing’ the WPA With/Through Postmodern Mapping.” Rose and Weiser 153-167.
Rose, Shirley K, and Irwin Weiser, eds. The Writing Program Administrator as Researcher. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999.
A Multivolume Work
When citing only one volume of a multivolume work, include the volume number after the work’s title, or after the work’s editor or translator.
Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria. Trans. H. E. Butler. Vol. 2. Cambridge: Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980.
When citing more than one volume of a multivolume work, cite the total number of volumes in the work.
Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria. Trans. H. E. Butler. 4 vols. Cambridge: Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980.
When citing multivolume works in your text, always include the volume number followed by a colon, then the page number(s):
…as Quintilian wrote in Institutio Oratoria (1:14-17).
An Introduction, a Preface, a Forward, or an Afterword
When citing an introduction, a preface, a forward, or an afterword, write the name of the authors and then give the name of the part being cited, which should not be italicized, underlined or enclosed in quotation marks.
Farrell, Thomas B. Introduction. Norms of Rhetorical Culture. By Farrell. New Haven: Yale UP, 1993. 1-13.
If the writer of the piece is different from the author of the complete work, then write the full name of after the word “By.” For example:
Duncan, Hugh Dalziel. Introduction. Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose. By Kenneth Burke. 1935. 3rd ed. Berkeley: U of California P, 1984. xiii-xliv.
Other Print/Book Sources
Certain book sources are handled in a special way by MLA style.
The Bible (specific editions)
Give the name of the specific edition, any editor(s) associated with it, followed by the publication information
The New Jerusalem Bible. Susan Jones, gen. ed. New York: Doubleday, 1985.
Your parenthetical citation will include the name of the specific edition of the Bible, followed by an abbreviation of the book and chapter:verse(s), e.g., (The New Jerusalem Bible Gen. 1:2-6).
A Government Publication
Cite the author of the publication if the author is identified. Otherwise start with the name of the government, followed by the the agency and any subdivision.