Overview of MLA 8 Format
The 8th edition of MLA format provides researchers with guidance on how to document the use of others’ work responsibly. Published in April 2016, the new handbook illustrates examples of citations made in the revised style, and explains how to create two types of citations: full citations that are placed in a works cited list, and in-text citations, which are abbreviated versions of full citations and located in the body of the work.
For a visual guide to MLA 8 citations, see our infographic.
For a PDF guide to general MLA 8 guidelines,click here.
MLA 8th Edition: What’s New?
With the new MLA citation format, a major change was made to how full citations are created and how MLA works cited pages are formatted. Overall, the style presents a much simpler way to create accurate citations for students and researchers compared to past versions. Let’s take a look at the major changes:
1. One standard citation format that applies to every source type
In previous editions of the style, researchers were required to locate the citation format for the source type that they were citing. For instance, if they were trying to cite a scholarly journal article, they would have to find and reference the rules for citing journals. This has become inefficient in modern writing, however, as we are digesting information from a more broad variety of sources than ever before. With information readily available in tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, etc., it has become unrealistic for writers to create citation formats for every source type. To address this, there is now one universal format that can be used to create citations, which is displayed in MLA 8.
To properly use this new format, the researcher is required to locate the “Core Elements” of each source used in their paper. These “core elements” are what make up the information that will populate each citation. These pieces of information can also be found in the forms in the MLA citation generator.
The “Core Elements” of a citation, along with their corresponding punctuation marks, include the following:
- Title of the source.
- Title of container,
- Other contributors,
- Publication date,
The appropriate punctuation mark must follow each core element, unless it is the final piece. In that situation, the punctuation mark should always be a period.
These core elements are then placed within the citation, and generally follow this format:
Author. Title. Title of the container. Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher’s name, Date of publication, Location
Here is an example of how an actual citation (in this case, for a book) looks when written using the 8th edition style:
Goodwin, Doris. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Simon & Schuster, 2012.
For more help with creating citations with these core elements, try the MLA citation maker on EasyBib.com.
2. Inclusion of “containers” in citations
When the source you are referencing is actually a small part of a larger source, such as a chapter within a book, the larger source is called the “container,” as it “contains” the smaller source. Generally, the container is italicized and is followed by a comma. For more details on this, see the examples below. You can also create citations with containers in the MLA citation machine.
MLA citation format for citing a title within a container might look as follows:
Source Author(s) Last Name, First Name. “Title of Source.” Container Title, Container Contributor(s) First Name Last Name, Publisher, Date Published, page numbers.
Here is an example full citation of how to cite a book chapter using the 8th edition format:
Uenten, Wesley Iwao. “Rising Up from a Sea of Discontent: The 1970 Koza Uprising in U.S. Occupied Okinawa.” Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific, edited by Setsu Shigematsu and Keith L. Camacho, University of Minnesota Press, 2010, pp. 91-124.
3. The ability to use pseudonyms for author names
In order to more efficiently create accurate citations for new source types, it is now acceptable to use online handles or screen names in place of authors’ names.
@TwitterHandle. “Content of Tweet.” Twitter, Date, Time, URL (omit http:// or https://).
@realDonaldTrump. “I will be having a general news conference on JANUARY ELEVENTH in N.Y.C. Thank you.” Twitter, 3 Jan. 2017, 6:58 p.m., twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/816433590892429312
4. Adding the abbreviations vol. and no. to magazine and journal article citations
In previous versions of the style, there was no indication that the numbers in periodical citations referred to the volume and issue numbers. This has changed in the 8th edition to be clearer to the reader.
Example in MLA 7:
O’Carol, John. “The Dying of the Epic.” Anthropoetics 30.2 (2011): 48-49. Print.
Example in MLA 8:
O’Carol, John. “The Dying of the Epic.” Anthropoetics, vol. 30, no. 2, 2011, pp. 48-49.
5. Inclusion of URLS
Unlike previous editions, the inclusion of URLs in citations is highly recommended by the 8th edition.
Omit “http://” or “https://” from the URL when including it in a citation.
6. Omitting the city of publication
In previous versions of the citation style, researchers included the city where the publisher was located. Today, this information generally serves little purpose and the city of publication can often be omitted.
It is suggested that you include the city of publication if the version of the source differs when published in a different country (example: British editions of books versus versions printed in the United States).
7. Flexibility in citation formatting
In addition to one universal format for all source types, the 8th edition now allows for more flexibility in citation presentation than previous versions of the style. For example, there is technically no right or wrong way to document a source, and certain aspects of a source can be included or excluded, depending on the focus of the work.
For example, if you are citing the movie, Casablanca, and your research project focuses on the main character, Rick Blaine, it would be beneficial to your reader for you to include the name of the actor, Humphrey Bogart, in your citation. Other writers who instead focus on the whole movie in their paper may elect to just include the name of the director in their works cited page.
To create the best and most effective citations, you always should think about which pieces of information will help readers easily locate the source you referenced themselves, should they wish to do so.
More on MLA 8.
8th Edition: Formatting Guidelines
Your teacher may want you to format your paper using the guidelines specified in the 8th edition. If you were told to create your citations in this format, your the rest of your paper should be formatted using the new MLA guidelines as well.
- Use white 8 ½ x 11” paper.
- Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides
- The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch.
- Indent set-off quotations one inch from the left margin
- Use any type of font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman. Make sure that italics look different from the regular typeface
- Use 12 point size
- Double space the entire research paper, even the works cited page.
- Leave one space after periods and other punctuation marks, unless your instructor tells you to make two spaces.
- You can either create a title page usingEasyBib’s Title Page creator or omit the title page completely and use a header.
To create a MLA header, follow these steps:
- Begin one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin.
- Type your name, your instructor’s name, the course number, and the date on separate lines, using double spaces between each.
- Double space once more and center the title. Do NOT underline, bold, or type the title in all capital letters. Only italicize words that would normally be italicized in the text. Example: Character Development in The Great Gatsby.
- Do not place a period after the title or after any heading.
- Double space between the title and first lines of the text.
- Placed in the upper right-hand corner, one half inch from the top, flush with the right margin.
- Type your last name before the page number. (To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add the last name and page number to each page).
- Do not place p. before the page number.
- Many instructors do not want a page number on the first page. Ask your instructor for their specific preferences.
Tables and Illustrations
- Should be placed as close as possible to the text that they most closely refer to.
- Label tables with: “Table,” an arabic numeral, and create a title for it.
- This information should be located above the table, flush left, on separate lines.
- Format the title the same way as the title of the paper.
- Underneath the table, provide the source and any notes. Notes should be labeled with a letter, rather than a numeral, so the reader is able to differentiate between the notes of the text and the notes of the table.
- Use double spacing throughout.
- Label illustrations with: Fig. (short for figure), assign an arabic number, and provide a caption.
- The label and caption should appear underneath the illustration.
- **If the table or illustration’s caption gives complete information about the source and the source isn’t cited in the text, there is no need to include the citation in the works cited page.
- Label musical scores with: Ex. (short for Example), assign it an Arabic numeral, and provide a caption.
- The label and caption should appear below the musical illustration.
Use of Numerals
The 8th edition recommends that numbers are spelled out if the number can be written with one or two words. For larger numbers, write the number itself.
One, forty four, one hundred, 247, 2 ½, 101
If the project calls for frequent use of numbers (such as a scientific study or statistics), use numerals that precede measurements.
247 milligrams, 5 pounds
Here are some other formatting tips to keep in mind:
- Do not start sentences with a numeral, spell out the number.
- Always use numerals before abbreviations or symbols, ex. 6 lbs.
- In divisions, use numbers, ex: In page 5 of the study
8th Edition: Works Cited Lists
The purpose of an MLA works cited list is to display the sources that were used for a project, and to give credit to the original authors of the works that were consulted for a project. Works Cited lists are typically found at the very end of a project. Citations are what make up a works cited list.
Here are some tips on how to create a works cited list for your citations:
- Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the citation, which is typically the last name of the author.
- Each citation should have a hanging indent.
When there are two or more sources with the same author, only include the author’s name in the first citation. In the second or subsequent citations, use three hyphens in place of the author’s name, followed by a period.
Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution. Oxford UP, 2007.
– – -. Colonial America. Oxford UP, 1999.
If the author is listed along with another author, type out the full name of each author, do not use the hyphens and periods.
Sparks, Nicholas. The Notebook. Warner, 1996.
—. A Walk to Remember. Warner, 1999.
Two or more works by the same author:
Rosenthal, Amy Krouse, and Tom Lichtenheld. Duck! Rabbit! San Francisco: Chronicle, 2009.
—. Exclamation Mark! Scholastic, 2013.
- The Works Cited list typically appears at the end of a paper.
- Make the Works Cited page the next consecutive page number. If the last page of your project is page 12, the Works Cited list will be page 13.
- An annotated bibliography is different than a Works Cited list. An annotated bibliography includes brief summaries and evaluations of the sources.
- Use one-inch margins around the page. Double-space the entire document.
- Place the title of the page (Works Cited) in the center of the page, an inch from the top.
- Create a double space between the title (Works Cited) and the first citation.
- Each citation should start on the left margin (one inch from the side of the paper).
Example of a Works Cited List:
Connell, James. “The Battle of Yorktown: What Don’t We Know?” The American History Journal, vol. 19, no. 6, 2005, pp. 36-43.
Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution. Oxford UP, 2007.
– – -. Colonial America. Oxford UP, 1999.
The Patriot. Directed by Roland Emmerich, performed by Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger. Columbia Pictures, 2002.
8th Edition: Formatting “Core Elements”
The 8th edition also has standardized rules regarding the formatting of titles within citations. Here are some of the rules pertaining to titles in the new MLA format:
How to Format Book Titles:
When citing book titles, always enter the full title, in italics, followed by a period.
See the MLA format citation below:
Last Name, First Name. Italicized Title. Publisher, Publication Year.
Click here for additional information on book titles.
How to Format Periodical Titles:
When citing periodicals, place the title of the article in quotes, with a period at the end of the title. The italicized title of the periodical follows, along with a comma.
An MLA format example is below:
Last Name, First Name. “Title of the Article.” Periodical Title.” Publication Year, Page Numbers.
How to Format Website Titles:
When citing a website, the title of the webpage or article is placed in quotation marks, with a period before the end quotation. The title of the website is written in italics followed by a comma. If the name of the publisher differs from the name of the website, include it after the title. Immediately following the publisher is the date that the page or article was published, or posted. Finally, end with the URL. The URL is the website’s address.
The citation format is as follows:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.
Click here for additional information on website titles.
Giving credit to the author of works that you use in your research paper is not only important for citation accuracy, but will prevent plagiarism. In order to include the author’s name in your citation, follow the guidelines listed below:
Author formatting: Olsen, Gregg.
Olsen, Gregg. If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children. St. Martin’s True Crime, 2015, pp. 18-22.
Place the authors in the order in which they appear on the source. Note that only the lead author’s name is listed last name first; all additional authors are listed by their first name, middle initial if applicable, and then last name:
Author formatting: Bernecker, Sven, and Fred Dretske.
Bernecker, Sven, and Fred Dretske. Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology. Oxford: UP, 2007.
Three or More Authors:
List the author’s last name, first name, and then middle initial if applicable. Follow it with a comma, and then add et al. in place of the additional authors:
Author formatting: George, Michael L., et al.
George, Michael L., et al. The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook. McGraw-Hill, 2005.
Individuals Other Than an Author:
In cases where the person responsible for creating a work is someone other than the author, such as an editor, producer, performer, or artist, always include the individual’s role after the name:
Kansaker, Tej Ratna, and Mark Turin, editors.
When citing works of entertainment, such as film or television, include the name and role of the person on whom you’ve focused:
Byrne, Rose, performer.
*Note: If you are writing about a film or television show that does not focus on an individual’s role, omit the author’s name and start the citation with the title.
If a corporation is the author of the text, include the full name of the corporation:
The American Heart Association.
Treat the translator as the author. You should do this only if the focus of your paper is on the original translated work. Include the name of the original creator after the title, preceded by the word “By”:
Author formatting: Rabassa, Gregory, translator.
Rabassa, Gregory, translator. One Hundred Years of Solitude. By Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Random House, 1995.
When no author is given in a text, omit this section and start the citation with the title.
Sources can be released in different versions, or forms. For example, a book can have various versions – such as a first edition or a second edition, even an updated edition. A movie can have an unrated or an uncut version. It is important to communicate to the reader which version was used to. This will help them locate the exact source themselves.
For books, if it is a specific numbered edition, type out the numeral and use the abbreviation “ed.” for edition.
If no specific version is mentioned or located, omit this information from the citation.
Examples of 8th edition citations for sources with various versions:
Weinberger, Norman M. “The Auditory System and Elements of Music” The Psychology of Music, edited by Diana Deutsch, 2nd ed., Academic Press, 1999, p.61. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=A3jkobk4yMMC&lpg=PP1&dq=psychology&pg=PR6#v=onepage&q=psychology&f=false.
JFK. Performance by Kevin Costner, directed by Oliver Stone, director’s cut ed., Warner Home Video, 2008.
When including the date of publication, there aren’t any set rules to how the date should be input into the citation. For example, you can use May 5, 2016 or 5 May 2016. What does matter is consistency. Whichever way the date is placed in one citation, the same format should be used in the other citations in your project.
Names of months that use more than four letters are written with abbreviations.
Jan., Sept., Nov.
Researchers place brief parenthetical descriptions to acknowledge which parts of their paper reference particular sources. Generally, you want to provide the last name of the author and the specific page numbers of the source. If such information is already given in the body of the sentence, then exclude it from the parenthetical citation.
When citing websites, just include the author’s last name and/or a shortened version of the webpage title.
Place the parenthetical citation where there is a pause in the sentence – normally before the end of a sentence or a comma. The in-text citation will differ depending on how much information you provide within the sentence.
Example in text citation:
(Author Last Page Number[s]).
(Rowling 19). Find out more here.
In-Text Citations with more than one author
If you use sources with the same author surnames, then include a first name initial. If the two sources have authors with the same initials, then include their full names.
(J. Johnson 12-13).
(John Johnson 12-13).
If there are two or three authors of the source, include their last names in the order they appear on the source:
(Smith, Wollensky, and Johnson 45).
If there are more than three authors, you can cite all the authors with their last name, or you can cite the first author followed by “et al.” Follow what is shown the works cited list.
(Smith et al. 45).
In-Text Citations without an author
Some sources do not have authors or contributors—for instance, when you cite some websites. Instead, refer to the name of the source in your parenthetical citation in place of the author. Shorten/abbreviate the name of the source but ensure that your reader can easily identify it in your works cited (abbreviate the title starting with the same word in which it is alphabetized). Punctuate with quotations or italicize as you would in its works cited form (a book is italicized; an article is in quotes).
Double agents are still widely in use (Spies 12-15, 17).
With prices of energy at new highs, bikes have been increasingly used (“Alternative Transportation” 89).
Citing Part of a Work in the text
When citing a specific part of a work, provide the relevant page or section identifier. This can include specific pages, sections, paragraphs or volumes. When the identifier is preceded by an abbreviation or word, place a comma between the identifier and the source reference.
Article in a Periodical in the text
When citing a specific page(s) of a multivolume work, precede the page number by the volume number and a colon. Do not separate by a comma.
It was arguably the most innovative period in history (Webster 4:12-15).
Use “par.” or “pars.” when referring to specific paragraphs.
The marketing dollars of big studio films has overshadowed good indie movies (Anderson, pars. 12-34).
Citing Group or Corporate Authors in the text
In your parenthetical citation, cite a corporate author like you would a normal author. Preferably, incorporate the corporate author in your text instead of the parenthetical citation.
Facial transplants pose significant risk to the autoimmune system (American Medical Association 12-43).
As noted by the American Medical Association, facial transplants pose significant risk to the autoimmune system (12-43).
Citing an Entire Source in the text
When citing an entire work, there are no specific page numbers to refer to. Therefore it is preferable to refer to the source within the text itself with either the author or the title of the source.
Hartford suggests the Internet provides more distractions than it does information.
Citing Indirect Sources in the text
When an original source is unavailable, then cite the secondhand source – for instance, a lecture in a conference proceedings. When quoting or paraphrasing a quote, write “qtd. in” before the author and pages.
John Murray calls Tim Smith “interesting but egotistical” (qtd. in Jesrani 34).
Citing Classical/Religious Sources in the text
For works such as novels, plays and other classic works, it’s helpful to provide further identifying information along with the page information. Do this by adding a semicolon and then the identifying information following the page number.
(Tolstoy 5; pt. 2, ch. 3).
When citing classic poems and plays, replace page numbers with division numbers (part, book, scene, act). The below refers to book 10 line 5. Bear in mind the divisions and the way they are written can vary by source.
Fear plays a role in Homer’s Odyssey (10.5).
The title of books in the Bible and other famous literary works should be abbreviated.
(New Jerusalem Bible, Gen. 2.6-9).<?p>
Where to Place In-Text Citations
Place parenthetical citations at the end of the sentence you are paraphrasing and quoting. For example: The destruction of the argentine is due to many socioeconomic factors (Taylor 33).
Even when quoting, place the parenthetical citations after the quotations.
“Mamma always said stupid is as stupid does” (Gump 89).
Placing In-text Citations After Direct Quotes
When directly quoting a source, place the parenthetical citation after the quote.
Sanders explains that economic woes are due to “the mortgage crisis and poor risk assessment” (20).
When quoting four lines or more, indent every line you are quoting by one inch (or 10 spaces) and do not use quotes.
The use of nuclear weapons in today’s society is strikingly alarming. Though the United States is the only country to employ it in the past, they are at the same time the country that condemns its use the most. While this may seem hypocritical, is it the most proper action for the United States to make as the global leader (Taparia 9).
Why We Use In-Text Citations
Researchers place brief parenthetical descriptions to acknowledge which parts of their paper reference particular sources. Generally, you want to provide the last name of the author and the specific page numbers of the source. If such information is already given in the body of the sentence, then exclude it from the parenthetical citation.
Citing Sources in MLA 8
Ready to start citing? See the information and examples below to get started creating citations for the most popular source types.
*Please note that these are only some of the ways you can cite sources in MLA 8. If you need further assistance, consult the MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition, or ask your teacher or librarian.
How to Cite a Print Book:
Book – A written work or composition that has been published – typically printed on pages bound together.
Much of the information needed to cite a book can be located on the title page:
Author’s Last name, First name. Title of the work, translated by or edited by First Name Last name, vol. number, Publisher, Year the book was published, page number(s).
Roth, Veronica. Divergent. Katherine Tegen Books, 2011.
Olsen, Gregg, and Rebecca Morris. If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children. St. Martin’s True Crime, 2015, pp. 18-22.
Matthews, Graham, et al. Disaster Management in Archives, Libraries, and Museums. Ashgate, 2009.
How to Cite a Book Chapter:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of chapter or section.” Title of the work, translated by or edited by First Name Last name, vol. number, Publisher, Year the book was published, page number(s).
Montrose, Louis. “Elizabeth Through the Looking Glass: Picturing the Queen’s Two Bodies.” The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500-2000, edited by Regina Schulte, Berghahn, 2006, pp. 61-87.
How to Cite an E-book Found Online:
Author’s last name, First name. “Title of the chapter or section.” Title of the e-book, translated by or edited by First name Last name, vol. number, Publisher, Year of publication, page number(s). Title of the web site or database, URL.
Austen, Jane, and Seth Grahame-Smith. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Quirk, 2015. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=x5xPaPeZzmUC&lpg=PP1&dq=zombies&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=zombies&f=false.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Gold Bug.” Short Stories for English Courses, Edited by Rosa M.R. Mikels, 2004. Project Gutenberg, www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5403/pg5403-images.html.
How to Cite an E-book on a Device:
Author’s last name, First name. “Title of the chapter or section.” Title of the e-book, translated by or edited by First name Last name, Name of e-reader device, vol. number, Publisher, Year of publication, page number(s).
Doer, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See. Kindle ed., Scribner, 2014.
For more info click here.
How to Cite a Website:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.
Feinberg, Ashley. “What’s the Safest Seat in an Airplane?.” Gizmodo, Gawker Media, 3 Aug. 2016, www.gizmodo.com/the-safest-seat.
Click here for more on websites.
How to Cite a Website with no author:
“Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.
“Giant Panda.” Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institute, 2004, nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/giantpandas/pandafacts
How to Cite a Website with No Webpage Title:
Webpage Description. Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.
General Information on the New York Mets. NYCData, The Weissman Center for International Business Baruch College/CUNY, www.baruch.cuny.edu/nycdata/sports/nymets.htm.
How to Cite a Journal Article Found on a Database:
Journal – A periodical published by a special group or professional organization. Often focused around a particular area of study or interest. Can be scholarly in nature (featuring peer-reviewed articles), or popular (such as trade publications).
*Note: Online databases provide access to thousands of journal articles. It is important to identify the database name when citing a journal article found through a database.
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the article.” Title of the journal, First name Last name of any other contributors (if applicable), Version (if applicable), Numbers (such as a volume and issue number), Publication date, Page numbers. Title of the database, URL or DOI.
Brian, Real, et al. “Rural Public Libraries and Digital Inclusion: Issues and Challenges.” Information and Technology Libraries, vol. 33, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 6-24. ProQuest, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/docview/1512388143?accountid=35635.
How to Cite a Journal Article Found in Print:
Author’s Last name, First name ” Title of the 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, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.
How to Cite an Essay:
Follow the formula for citing a book. Cite the author of the essay, the name of the essay, the name of the collection, the editor of the collection, the publication information, and the page number(s) of the essay.
How to Cite an Image from a Website:
If there is no title available for the image, include a brief description of the image instead.
Creator’s Last name, First name. “Title of the digital image.” Title of the website, First name Last name of any contributors, Version (if applicable), Number (if applicable), Publisher, Publication date, URL.
Vasquez, Gary A. Photograph of Coach K with Team USA. NBC Olympics, USA Today Sports, 5 Aug. 2016, www.nbcolympics.com/news/rio-olympics-coach-ks-toughest-test-or-lasting-legacy.
Gilpin, Laura. “Terraced Houses, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.” Library of Congress, Reproduction no. LC-USZ62-102170, 1939, www.loc.gov/pictures/item/90716883/.
How to Cite a Photograph in a Book:
Photographer Last, First M. Photograph Title. Circa Date Taken, Location/Museum. Book Title, by Author First Name Last Name, Publisher, Year Published, page number(s).
Bennett, Peter. East Village. Circa 1983, Museum of Modern Art. New York City: A Photogenic Portrait, by Laura Sheppard, Twin Lights, 2004, p. 8.
How to Cite a Photograph from a Database:
Photographer Last, First M. Photograph Title. Circa Year Created, Location/Museum. Database Title, URL.
Freed, Leonard. Holidaymaker Stuck in Traffic Jam. Circa 1965. ARTstor, www.artstor.org.
How to Cite a Newspaper Article in Print:
Last, First M. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title [City], Date Month Year Published, Page(s).
Bowman, Lee. “Redistricting Push Puts a Lot on Line.” Sun-Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale], 7 Mar. 1990, p. A4.
How to Cite a Newspaper Article Found Online:
Last, First M. “Article Title.” Website Title. Website Publisher, Date Month Year Published.
Jensen, Elizabeth. “Sesame Workshop Tackles Literacy With Technology.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 19 Oct. 2014.
How to Cite a Magazine Article in Print:
Last, First M. “Article Title.” Magazine Title, Date Month Year Published, Page(s).
Rothbart, Davy. “How I Caught up with Dad.” Men’s Health, Oct. 2008, pp. 108-13.
How to Cite a Magazine Article Found Online:
Last, First M. “Article Title.” Magazine Title, Date Month Year Published, URL.
Laurent, Olivier. “See What Undocumented Immigrants Carry Across the Border.” TIME Magazine, 30 Jan. 2015, www.time.com/364789/undocumented-immigrants.
How to Cite a Movie:
Film Title. Contributors (these can be directors, producers, performers, etc). Studio/Distributor, year released.
Little Miss Sunshine. Directed by Martin Scorsese, performed by Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel. Warner Brothers, 1973.
How to Cite a TV Show Episode:
“Episode Title.” Contributors (these can be directors, producers, performers, etc.), Show Title, Network/Channel, Air Date.
“Bass Player Wanted.” Narrated by Bob Saget, directed by Pamela Fryman, How I Met Your Mother, CBS, 16 Dec. 2013.
How to Cite Content from a Streaming Service (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime etc.):
Title of the film or video. Role of contributors and their First name Last name, Publication date. Service Name, url.
Kindergarten Cop. Directed by Ivan Reitman, performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Universal Pictures, 21 Dec. 1990. Amazon Prime, www.amazon.com/Kindergarten-Cop-Arnold-Schwarzenegger/dp/B001VLLES4.
How to Cite a YouTube Video:
Last name, First name of the creator. “Title of the film or video.” Title of the website, role of contributors and their First name Last name, Publication date, URL.
RotoBaller. “RotoBaller MLB: Top Fantasy Baseball Catcher Dynasty League Prospects for 2016.” YouTube, commentary by Raphael Rabe, 27 Mar. 2016, youtu.be/gK645_7TA6c.
How to Cite a Blog Post:
Last, First. “Article Title.” Website/Blog Title. Website Publisher, Day Month Year Published, URL.
Shaw, Julia. “The Memory of Illusion.” Mind Guest Blog, Scientific American Blogs, 13 June 2016, blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/the-memory.
How to Cite a Podcast:
Host’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Podcast Episode.” Title of Overall Podcast, Episode Number if Given, Web Site Hosting If Different From Podcast Title, Day Month Year of Episode, URL of episode.
Orton, Tyler, and Patrick Blennerhassett. “Lessons From the Brexit.” BIV Podcast, Episode 18, Business Vancouver, 28 June 2016, www.biv.com/article/2016/6/biv-podcast-episode-18-lessons-brexit/.
How to Cite a Tweet:
Twitter Handle (First Name Last Name if Known). “The entire tweet word-for-word.” Twitter, Day Month Year of Tweet, Time of Tweet, URL.
@jtimberlake (Justin Timberlake). “USA! USA!!.” Twitter, 16 June 2014, 8:05 PM. www.twitter.com/jtimberlake/status/64780730286358528lang=en.
How to Cite a Facebook Post:
Author Last Name, First Name or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook, Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL.
Rick Mercer Report. Spread the Net Challenge Winners 2016. Facebook, 23 Mar. 2016, 9:00 a.m., www.facebook.com/rickmercerreport.
How to Cite an Email:
Email sender’s Last name, First name. “Email subject.” Received by Recipients Name, date sent.
Olsen, Mary. “Re: Statistics from Student Population.” Received by Jonas Conner, 15 Mar. 2015.
How to Cite a Music Album:
Artist/Group Name. Album Title. Studio/Record Label, Year Released.
Foo Fighters. In Your Honor. RCA, 2005
How to Cite a Song:
Artist/Group Name. “Song Title.” Album Title, Studio/Record Label, Year Released.
Presley, Elvis. “Jailhouse Rock.” Essential Elvis Presley, BMG, 2007.
How to Cite Sheet Music/Scores:
Composer Last Name, Composer First Name. Title of score. Date of composition. Publisher, Date of Publication.
Handel, G. F. Trio Sonata No. 1. 1733. Southern Music, 1989.
How to Cite a Lecture or Speech:
Last Name, First Name. “Presentation Title.” Meeting/Event. Venue, City. Date Conducted.
Pausch, Randy. “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” Journeys. Carnegie Mellon University. McConomy Auditorium, Pittsburgh. 18 Sept. 2007.
How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation:
Author’s Last Name, First Name. Paper Title. Dissertation or thesis, Publisher [usually a college or university], Year published.
Wilson, Peggy Lynn. Pedagogical Practices in the Teaching of English Language in Secondary Public Schools in Parker County. Dissertation. University of Maryland, 2011.
How to Cite Unpublished Conference Proceedings:
Include the name of the entire proceedings, and if there is a specific presentation or paper being cited, include this information as well. You also want to include conference information (name of conference, date, and location) if not already stated in the name of the proceedings.
Because the conference proceedings / paper is unpublished, do not include any publication information, but instead a description of the type of document and the year it was published. Additionally, as it is important to describe where the document can be found since there is no formal publisher, you should include the location of the document. Like all citations in a works cited, try to incorporate as much information as you can find.
Contributor name(s). Proceedings of the Conference Name, Location, Date. Name of Publisher, Year.
Balakian, Anna, and James J. Wilhelm, editors. Proceedings of the Xth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, New York, NY, 1982. Garland, 1985.
Your Ultimate MLA Format Guide & Generator
What is MLA?
MLA stands for the Modern Language Association, which is an organization that focuses on language and literature.
Depending on which subject area your class or research focuses on, your professor may ask you to cite your sources in MLA format. This is a specific way to cite, following the Modern Language Association’s guidelines. There are other styles, such as APA format and Chicago, but this citation style is often used for literature, language, liberal arts, and other humanities subjects.
What is Citing?
The Modern Language Association's Handbook is in its 8th edition and standardizes the way scholars document their sources and format their papers. When everyone documents their sources and papers in the same way, it is simple to recognize and understand the types of sources that were used for a project. Readers of your work will not only look at your citations to understand them, but to possibly explore them as well.
When you’re borrowing information from a source and placing it in your research or assignment, it is important to give credit to the original author. This is done by creating a citation. Depending on the type of information you’re including in your work, some citations are placed in the body of your project, and all are included in a “Works Cited” list, at the end of your project.
The handbook explains how to create citations. This page summarizes the information in the handbook, 8th edition.
There is also a section below on a recommended way to create a header. These headers appear at the top of your assignment. Check with your instructor if they prefer a certain MLA format heading.
What is MLA Format?
The 8th edition is the most recent and updated version of MLA citations. Released in April of 2016, this citation format is much different than previous versions.
The biggest difference and most exciting update is the use of one standard format for all source types. In previous versions, scholars were required to locate the citation format for the specific source that they used. There were different formats for books, websites, periodicals, and so on. Now, using one universal MLA citation format allows scholars to spend less time trying to locate the proper format to document their sources and focus more on their research.
Other updates include the addition of “containers.” A container is essentially what a source sits in. Chapters are found in a book, songs are found in an album, and journal articles are found in journals. What the source is found in is its container.
URLs are now encouraged to be added into citations (remove http:// and https:// when including URLs), social media pseudonyms and usernames can replace the real name of the author, volume and issue numbers are now abbreviated as vol. and no., and cities of publication and the source’s medium (such as print or web) are no longer included in citations.
When adding information into your project from another source, you are required to add an MLA citation. There are two types of MLA format citations: in-text citations and full citations.
When using a direct quote or paraphrasing information from a source, add an in-text citation into the body of your work. Direct quotes are word-for-word quotes that are pulled from a source and added into your project. A paraphrase is taking a section of information from a source and placing it in your own words. Both direct quotes and paraphrases require in-text, or parenthetical citations, to follow it.
Format your in-text citation as follows:
“Direct quote” or Paraphrase (Author’s last name and page number)
*See the section below on in-text citations for further clarification and instructions.
All sources used for a project are found on the Works Cited list, which is generally the last item in a project.
MLA Citing Format often includes the following pieces of information, in this order:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, other contributors, version, numbers, publisher, publication date, location.
Don’t forget, BibMe’s MLA citation generator is an MLA formatter that helps you create your citations quickly and easily!
The author is generally the first item in a citation (unless the source does not have an author). The author’s name is followed by a period.
If the source has one author, place the last name first, add a comma, and then the first name.
If your source has two authors, place them in the same order they’re shown on the source. The first author is in reverse order, add a comma and the word "and", then place the second author in standard form. Follow their names with a period.
Monsen, Avery, and Jory John.
For three or more authors, only include the first listed author’s name. Place the first author in reverse order, place a comma afterwards, and then add the Latin phrase, et al.
Borokhovic, Kenneth A., et al.
For social media posts, it’s acceptable to use a screen name or username in place of the author’s name. Start the citation with the user’s handle.
@TheOnion. “Experts Warn Number of Retirees Will Completely Overwhelm Scenic Railway Industry by 2030.” Twitter, 9 Oct. 2017, 9:50 a.m., twitter.com/TheOnion/status/917386689500340225.
No author listed? If there isn’t an author, start the citation with the title and skip the author section completely.
Citations do not need to always start with the name of the author. When your research focuses on a specific individual that is someone other than the author, it is appropriate for readers to see that individual’s name at the beginning of the citation. Directors, actors, translators, editors, and illustrators are common individuals to have at the beginning. Again, only include their name in place of the author if your research focuses on that specific individual.
To include someone other than the author at the beginning of the citation, place their name in reverse order, add a comma afterwards, and then the role of that individual followed by a comma.
Fimmel, Travis, performer. Vikings. Created by Michael Hirst, History Channel, 2013-2016.
Gage, John T., editor. The Promise of Reason: Studies in the New Rhetoric. SIU Press, 2011.
Titles and Containers
Titles follow the name of the author and are written in title capitalization form.
If you’re citing a source in its entirety, such as a full book, a movie, or a music album, then place the title in italics.
Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2001.
Rufus Du Sol. Bloom. Sweat It Out! 2016.
If you’re citing a source, such as a chapter in a book, a song on an album, or an article in a journal or website, then place the title of the piece in quotations and add a period afterwards. Follow it with the title of the full source, in italics, and then add a comma. This second portion is called the container. Containers hold the sources.
MLA formatting example with containers:
Vance, Erik, and Erika Larsen. “Mind Over Matter.” National Geographic Magazine, Dec. 2016, pp. 30-55.
Beyonce. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” I am...Sasha Fierce, Sony, 2008, track 2.
Wondering what to do with subtitles? Place a colon in between the title and subtitle. Both parts are written in title capitalization form.
Nasar, Sylvia. A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash. Simon and Schuster, 2001.
If the source does not have a title, give a brief description and do not use quotation marks or italics.
Israel, Aaron. Brooklyn rooftop acrylic painting. 2012, 12 W 9th Street, New York City.
When citing a tweet, the full text of the tweet is placed where the title sits.
@LOCMaps. “#DYK the first public zoo to open in the US was the #Philadelphia Zoo? #50States.” Twitter, 9 Feb. 2017, 3:14 p.m., twitter.com/LOCMaps/status/829785441549185024.
For email messages, the subject of the email is the title. Place this information in quotation marks.
Rabe, Leor. “Fwd: Japan Itinerary.” Received by Raphael Rabe, 11 Feb 2017.
Citations with Two Containers:
It is possible for a source to sit in a second, or larger container. A journal article sits in its first container, which is the journal itself, but it can also sit in a larger container, such as a database. A song can sit in its first container, which is the album it’s found on. Then it can sit in its next container, which could be Spotify or iTunes.
It is important to include the second container because the content on one container can be different than another container.
Citing with two containers should be formatted like this:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, other contributors, version, numbers, Publisher, publication date, location. Title of Second Container, Other contributors, version, number, Publisher, publication date, location.
In most cases, for the second container, only the title of the second container and the location is needed. Why? In order for readers to locate the source themselves, they’ll most likely use the majority of the information found in the first part of the citation.
Examples of Citations with 2 Containers:
Sallis, James, et al. “Physical Education’s Role in Public Health: Steps Forward and Backward Over 20 Years and Hope for the Future.” Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, vol. 83, no. 2, Jun. 2012, pp. 125-135. ProQuest, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1023317255?accountid=35635.
Baker, Martha. “Fashion: Isaac in Wonderland.” New York Magazine, vol. 24, no. 3, 21 Jan. 1991, pp. 50-54. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=PukCAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=magazine&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=magazine&f=false.
Remember, BibMe creates citations for you quickly and easily!
Format for Other Contributors:
In MLA citing, when there are other individuals (besides the author) who play a significant role in your research, include them in this section of the citation. Other contributors can also be added to help individuals locate the source themselves. You can add as many other contributors as you like.
Start this part of the citation with the individual’s role, followed by the word "by". Notice that if other contributors are added after a period, capitalize the first letter in the individual’s role. If it follows a comma, the role should start with a lowercase letter.
Gaitskill, Mary. “Twilight of the Superheroes.” The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970, edited by Lex Williford and Michael Martone, Simon and Schuster, 2012, pp. 228-238.
The Incredibles. Directed by Brad Bird, produced by John Walker, Pixar, 2004.
Gospodinov, Georgi. The Physics of Sorrow. Translated by Angela Rodel, Open Letter, 2015.
Format for Versions:
Sources can come in different versions. There are numerous bible versions, books can come in versions (such as numbered editions), even movies and songs can have special versions.
When a source indicates that it is different than other versions, include this information in the citation. This will help readers locate the exact source that you used for your project.
The Bible. Lexham English Version, Logos, 2011, lexhamenglishbible.com.
Crank, J. The Mathematics of Diffusion. 2nd ed., Clarendon, 1979.
Afrojack. “Take Over Control.” Beatport, performance by Eva Simons, extended version, 2011, www.beatport.com/track/take-over-control-feat-eva-simons-extended/1621534.
MLA Formatting for Numbers:
Any numbers related to a source that isn’t the publication date, page range, or version number should be placed in the numbers position of the citation. This includes volume and issue numbers for journal articles, volume or series numbers for books, comic book numbers, and television episode numbers, to name a few.
When including volume and issue numbers, use the abbreviation vol. for volume and no. for number.
Zhai, Xiaojuan, and Jingjing Wang. “Improving Relations Between Users and and Libraries: A Survey of Chinese Academic Libraries.” The Electronic Library, vol. 34, no. 4, 2016, pp. 597-616. ProQuest Research Library, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/docview/1841764839?accountid=35635.
“Chestnut.” Westworld, directed by Richard J. Lewis, season 1, episode 2, Warner Bros., 2016.
The production of the source is done by the publisher. The publisher is placed in the citation before the date of publication. Include the publisher for any source type except for websites when the name of the publisher is the same as the name of the website. It is also not necessary to include the name of publishers for newspapers, magazines, or journal articles, since the name of the publisher is generally insignificant.
When sources have more than one publisher that share responsibility for the production of the source, place a slash between the names of the publishers.
Use the abbreviation UP when the name of the publisher includes the words University Press.
When including the date that the source was published, display the amount of information that is found on the source, whether it’s the full date, the month and year, or just the year.
In terms of display, it does not matter if the date is written in a specific order. Make sure to use the same format for all citations.
2 Nov. 2016 or Nov. 2, 2016
When multiple dates are shown on the source, include the date that is most relevant to your work and research.
The location refers to the place where the source can be found. This can be in the form of a URL, page number, disc number, or physical place.
When MLA citing websites, include URLs. Remove the beginning of the web address as it is not necessary to include http:// or https://. If a DOI number is present, use it in place of a URL.
For page numbers, use the abbreviation p. when only referring to one page, and pp. for a range of pages.
Citations for Books:
The basic entry for a book consists of the author’s name, the book title, the publisher, and the year published.
Author’s Last name, First name. Book Title. Publisher, Year published.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears on the title page.
For a book written by two authors, list them in order as they appear on the title page. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the second author’s name is written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the second author’s name.
Smith, John, and Bob Anderson. The Sample Book. Books For Us, 2017.
For books with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by a comma and the abbreviation “et al.”
Campbell, Megan, et al. The Best Book. Books For Us, 2017.
The full title of the book, including any subtitles, should be italicized and followed by a period. If the book has a subtitle, the main title should be followed by a colon (unless the main title ends with a question mark or exclamation point).
The publication information can generally be found on the title page of the book. If it is not available there, it may also be found on the copyright page. State the name of the publisher.
If you are citing a specific page range from the book, include the page(s) at the end of the citation.
Smith, John, and Bob Anderson. The Sample Book. Books For Us, 2017, pp. 5-12.
When a book has no edition number/name present, it is generally a first edition. If you have to cite a specific edition of a book later than the first, see the section below on citing edited books.
Citations for E-Books:
Author’s Last name, First name. Title of E-Book. Publisher, Year published. Title of Website, URL.
Rodgers, Tara. Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound. Duke UP, 2010. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=syqTarqO5XEC&lpg=PP1&dq=electronic%20music&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=electronic%20music&f=false.
Citations for Edited Books:
If your book is an edition later than the first, you should note this in the citation. If the book is a revised edition or an edition that includes substantial new content, include the number, name, or year of the edition and the abbreviation “ed.” after the book title. “Revised edition” should be abbreviated as “revised ed.” and “Abridged edition” should be “abridged ed.” The edition can usually be found on the title page, as well as on the copyright page, along with the edition’s date.
Author’s Last name, First name, editor. Title of Book. Numbered ed., Publisher, Year published.
Ferraro, Gary, and Susan Andreatta, editors. Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. 10th ed., Cengage Learning, 2014.
Smith, John. The Sample Book. Revised ed., Books For Us, 2017.
If your edited book has more than one author, refer to the directions above under the heading “Authors.”
Also, BibMe helps you create your citations with more than one author quickly and easily!
Citations for Websites:
The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), page title, website title, sponsoring institution/publisher, date published, and the URL.
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Individual Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, Date, URL.
Fosslien, Liz, and Mollie West. “3 Ways to Hack Your Environment to Help You Create.” Huffpost Endeavor, Huffington Post, Dec. 7, 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/3-ways-to-hack-your-environment-to-help-you-createus580f758be4b02444efa569bc.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears on the website.
For a page with two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the website. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the last author’s name. For pages with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by the abbreviation “et al.”
If the article was written by a news service or an organization, include it in the author position.
If no author is available, begin the citation with the page title.
The page title should be placed within quotation marks. Place a period after the page title within the quotation marks. The page title is followed by the name of the website, which is italicized, followed by a comma.
Include the sponsoring institution or publisher, along with a comma, after the website title. The sponsoring institution/publisher can usually be found at the bottom of the website in the footer. If the name of the publisher is the same as the name as the website, do not include the publisher information in your citation.
Next, state the publication date of the page. In some cases, a specific date might not be available, and the date published may only be specific to a month or even year. Provide whatever date information is available.
End the citation with the URL. Remove http:// and https:// from the beginning of the citation. End the entire citation with a period.
Looking for an MLA formatter to create your website citations quickly and easily? Check out BibMe!
Citations for Online Journal Articles:
The most basic entry for a journal consists of the author name(s), article title, journal name, volume number, issue number, year published, page numbers, name of website or database, and URL or Direct Object Identifier (DOI).
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Journal Article.” Title of Journal, vol. number, issue no., date, page range. Database or Website Name, URL or DOI.
Snyder, Vivian. “The Effect Course-Based Reading Strategy Training on the Reading Comprehension Skills of Developmental College Students.” Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, vol. 18, no. 2, Spring 2002, pp. 37-41. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42802532.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears in the journal.
For an article written by two authors, list them in order as they appear in the journal. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the second is written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the second author’s name.
Krispeth, Klein, and Stewart Jacobs.
For articles with three or more authors, include the name of the first author in the citation, followed by a comma and the abbreviation “et al.”
The article title should be placed within quotation marks. Unless the article title ends with a punctuation mark, place a period after the article title within the quotation marks. The article title is followed by the name of the journal, which is italicized.
Include the volume number of the journal, but use the abbreviation “vol.” You may also need to include the issue number, depending on the journal. Use the abbreviation “no.” before the journal’s issue number.
Jones, Robert, et al. “Librarianship in the Future.” Libraries Today, vol. 5, no. 2, Mar. 2017, pp. 89-103. Database Life, www.dbl.com/6854.
When including the URL, make sure to exclude http:// and https:// from the citation.
Citations for Lectures:
The most basic entry for a lecture consists of the speaker’s name, presentation title, date conducted, and the name and location of the venue.
Speaker’s Last name, First name. Title of Lecture. Date conducted, Venue, Location.
Pausch, Randy. Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. 18 Sept. 2007, McConomy Auditorium, Pittsburgh.
Begin the citation with the name of the speaker. This person’s name should be reversed. If the lecture has a title, place it, along with a period, in italics after the speaker’s name. State the date on which the lecture was conducted, followed by a comma. Conclude your citation with the location/venue name and the city in which it occurred, separated by a comma.
Citations for Newspapers:
The most basic entry for a newspaper consists of the author name(s), article title, newspaper name, publication date, page numbers, and sometimes a URL, if found online. Volume numbers, issue numbers, and the names of publishers are omitted from newspaper citations.
Format if found on a website:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper’s Website, publication date, page range, URL.
Format if found on a database:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper, publication date, page range. Title of Database (if applicable), URL.
MLA format example:
This example is for a print newspaper:
Hageman, William. “Program Brings Together Veterans, Neglected Dogs.” Chicago Tribune, 4 Jan. 2015, p. 10.
The full article title should be placed within quotations. Next, state the name of the newspaper in italics.
Towards the end of the citation, include the page numbers on which the article appears, along with a period. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.
Don’t forget, BibMe’s MLA cite generator creates citations for you quickly and easily!
Citations for Encyclopedias
The most basic entry for an encyclopedia consists of the author name(s), article title, encyclopedia name, publisher, and year published.
Last Name, First Name. “Article title.” Encyclopedia Name, Publisher, Year published.
Smith, John. “Internet.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012.
Notice that the name of the publisher was not included in the example above. Only include the name of the publisher if it differs from the name of the encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica is the name of the encyclopedia AND the name of the publisher. It is not necessary to include Encyclopedia Britannica twice in the citation.
If there are no authors for the article, begin the citation with the article title instead.
“Media.” World Book Encyclopedia, 2010.
If the encyclopedia arranges articles alphabetically, do not cite the page number(s) or number of volumes. If articles are not arranged alphabetically, you may want to include page number(s) and/or volume number, which is preceded by the abbreviation “vol.” The volume should be cited after the encyclopedia name (or any edition), and before any publication information. After the publication year, include the page numbers on which the article appears, along with a period. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.
Saunders, Bill. “Treasure.” Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 18, 2012, p. 56.
If the encyclopedia entry is found on a website, use the following structure:
Last name, First name. “Encyclopedia Entry.” Title of Encyclopedia Website, Publisher, Year published, URL.
Citations for Films:
The most basic entry for a film consists of the title, director, distributor, and year of release. You may also choose to include the names of the writer(s), performer(s), and the producer(s), depending on who your research project may focus on. You can also include certain individuals to help readers locate the exact source themselves. Include as many individuals as you’d like.
Example of a common way to cite a film:
Film Title. Directed by First name Last name, performance by First Name Last Name, Distributor, Year.
BibMe: The Movie. Directed by John Smith, performance by Jane Doe, New York Stories, 2017.
If your research focuses on a specific individual, you can begin the citation with that individual’s name (in reverse order) and their role. Format it the same way as you would an author’s name.
Doe, Jane, performer. BibMe: The Movie. Directed by John Smith, New York Stories, 2017.
If the film is dubbed in English or does not have an English title, use the foreign language title in the citation, followed by a square bracket that includes the translated title.
Citas gobiernan el mundo [Citations Rule the World]. Directed by Sara Paul, Showcase Films, 2017.
If the film was found online, include the name of the website and the URL.
“Film Title.” Website Title, directed by First Name Last Name, performance by First Name Last Name, Distributor, Year Published, URL.
Since the citation has two titles included in it (the title of the film and the title of the website), the title of the film is placed in quotation marks and the title of the website is in italics.
Citations for Magazines:
The most basic entry for a magazine consists of the author name(s), article title, magazine name, the volume and issue numbers if available, publication date, page numbers, and URL if found online.
Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name, vol. number, issue no., publication date, page numbers or URL.
Pratt, Sybil. “A Feast of Tradition.” BookPage, Oct. 2017, p. 8.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears in the magazine.
For an article written by two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the title page. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the last author’s name. For articles with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by the abbreviation “et al.”
The full article title should be placed within quotations. Unless there is punctuation that ends the article title, place a period after the title within the quotations. Next, state the name of the magazine in italics.
If volume and issue numbers are available, include them in the citation. Use the abbreviations vol. and no. before the volume number and issue number.
Example: vol. 6, no. 1
The date the magazine was published comes directly after the volume and issue number. Use whichever date the magazine includes, whether it’s a complete date, a period spanning two months, a season, or just a month and year. Follow this information with a comma.
Include the page number(s) on which the article appears. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.
If the magazine article was found online, include the URL. Remove http:// or https:// from the beginning of the citation. End the citation with a period.
Citations for Interviews:
Begin your citation with the name of the person interviewed. This person’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name).
For an interview that has been broadcast or published, if there is a title, include it after the name of the person interviewed. If the interview is from a publication, program, or recording, place the title, along with a period, in quotation marks. If it was published independently, italicize it, followed by a period.
Jolie, Angelina. “Being a Mother.” Interview by Steve Kroft, 60 Minutes, CBS, 3 Feb. 2009.
While names of other individuals are generally found after the title, for interviews, include the name of the interviewee directly after the title if you feel it is important to include their name.
If there is no title, use the word “Interview” in place of a title and do not use quotation marks or italics. If the interviewer’s name is known, add it, preceded by “by”, after the word “Interview”. Do not reverse the interviewer’s name.
Jenkins, Lila. Interview. By Jessica Grossman. 5 Mar. 2017.
For published interviews found online, include the title of the website after the title of the interview. In addition, add the URL at the end of the citation.
Michaels, Jamye. “Fighting to Survive.” Women’s Magazine of Life, 2 Nov. 2016, www.womensmagazine.com/fightingtosurvive.com.
Citations for Photographs:
The most basic entry for a photograph consists of the photographer’s name, the title of photograph, the title of the book, website, or collection where the photograph can be located, the publisher of the photograph or publication where the image was located, the date the photograph was posted or taken, and the page number, location of the museum (such as a city and state) or URL if found online.
Photographer’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Photograph.” Title of the Book, Website, Collection, or other type of publication where the photograph was found, Date photograph was taken, page number, location (such as a city and state if necessary) where the photograph can be found, or URL.
Begin with the name of the photographer or main contributor (if available). This person’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (and any middle name).
For a photograph taken from a publication or website, include the title of the photograph in quotation marks followed by a period. If the photograph does not have a formal title, create a description. If you make your own description, only include a capital at the beginning of the description and at the beginning of any proper nouns. Do not place the description in italics or quotation marks.
Place the title of the publication in italics immediately following it, followed by a comma.
Digital image/photograph found online:
Photograph of the Hudson Area Public Library. JMS Collective, 19 Apr. 2016, www.jmscollective.com/hudson-ny-3/historic-hudson-armory-now-public-library/.
*Note that the above photograph does not have a formal title, so the photograph was given a description.
Photograph or Image viewed in a museum:
Vishniac, Roman. “Red Spotted Purple.” Roman Vishniac’s Science Work, early 1950s - late 1960s, International Center of Photography at Mana, New Jersey.
Photograph or Image found in a book:
Barnard, Edwin. Photograph of Murray Street, Hobart. Exiled: The Port Arthur Convict Photographs, National Library of Australia, 2010, p. 20.
Citations for TV/Radio:
The most basic citation for a radio/TV program consists of the individuals responsible for the creation of the episode (if they’re important to your research), the episode title, program/series name, broadcasting network or publisher, the original broadcast date, and the URL.
“The Highlights of 100.” Seinfeld, NBC, 2 Feb. 1995.
If your research focuses on a specific individual from the tv or radio broadcast, include their name at the beginning of the citation, in the author position. Or, begin the citation with the episode name or number, along with a period, inside quotation marks. Follow it with the name of the program or series, which is italicized, followed by a comma.
If relevant, you may also choose to include the names of personnel involved with the program. Depending if the personnel are relevant to the specific episode or the series as a whole, place the personnel names after the program/series name. You may cite narrator(s) preceded by narrated by, writer(s) preceded by written by, directors preceded by directed by, performer(s) preceded by performance by, and/or producer(s) preceded by produced by and then the individual names. Include as many individuals as you like. Write these personnel names in normal order – do not reverse the first and last names.
“The Highlights of 100.” Seinfeld, directed by Andy Ackerman, written by Peter Mehlman, NBC, 2 Feb. 1995.
Also include the name of the network on which the program was broadcasted, followed by a comma.
State the date which your program was originally broadcasted, along with a period. If including the URL, follow the date with a comma and place the URL at the end, followed by a period to end the citation. Remove http:// or https:// from the URL.
In-Text Citations and Parenthetical Citations
What is an In-Text Citation or Parenthetical Citation?
The purpose of the in-text citation is to give the reader a brief idea as to where you found your information. If the reader plans to investigate the original source further, they can find the full citation in the Works Cited list.
Format your MLA in-text citation as follows:
“Direct quote” or Paraphrase (Author’s last name and page number)
In-text citation MLA formatting example:
He goes on to say, “Jim never got back with a bucket of water under an hour - and even then somebody generally had to go after him” (Twain 8).
For sources without an author, use the main word of the title in place of the author’s name.
If your in-text citation comes from a website or another source that does not have page numbers, use the following abbreviations:
If the source has designated: - paragraph numbers, use par. or pars. - sections, use sec. or secs. - chapters, use ch. or chs.
Gregor’s sister is quite persuasive, especially when she states to her parents, "It'll be the death of both of you, I can see it coming. We can't all work as hard as we have to and then come home to be tortured like this, we can't endure it” (Kafka, chap. III).
If there aren’t page, paragraph, section, or chapter numbers, only include the author’s name in parentheses for your in-text citation.
If the original source is an audio or video recording, after the author’s name or title, place a time stamp.
To learn more about parenthetical citations, click here.
Need help creating your in-text or parenthetical citations? After creating your full citation for a source, there is an option to create a parenthetical citation.
Your Works Cited Page
An MLA Works Cited page contains all of the citations for a project and is usually found at the very end.
Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the first letter found in the citation.
If there are multiple sources by the same author, only include the author’s name in the first citation. For each citation afterwards, MLA formatting requires you to include three dashes and a period.
Example of a Works Cited List with Multiple Works by Same Author:
Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Quirk, 2011.
---. Tales of the Peculiar. Dutton, 2016.
When alphabetizing by titles, ignore A, An, and The, and use the next part of the title. In addition, if the title starts with a number, place the title where it would belong if the number was spelled out.
1492 The Year Our World Began would be alphabetized under F (for fourteen)
Formatting Your Header:
The Handbook does not include a required way to format the heading of your paper. Check with your instructor to see if there is a recommended way to format your header. BibMe recommends creating your header in the following format:
In the top left corner of your paper, place the following pieces of information in this order:
Your full name
Your instructor’s name
The course or class number
Double space this information.
In the top right corners, place a running head for your MLA header. The heading should include your last name and the page number. Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4…). Your word processing program should allow you to automatically set up the running head so that it appears at the top of every page of your project.
Using BibMe to Create Citations for your MLA Works Cited List or MLA Bibliography
Looking for an MLA Formatter? BibMe’s automatic citation generator formats your citations in MLA format. Enter a title, web address, ISBN number, or other identifying information into the MLA format template to automatically cite your sources. If you need help with BibMe, or MLA format citing, see more across the site here.
For more information on the current handbook, check out this page. There is further good information here, including MLA format examples and examples of MLA in-text citations.
In the News:
Check out this article, which shares information on helpful sites including an MLA citation machine.
Background Information and History:
The Modern Language Association was developed in 1883 and was created to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. With over 25,000 current members worldwide, the Modern Language Association continuously strives to keep its members up-to-date on the best practices, methods, and trends related to language and literature. The Modern Language Association boasts an annual conference, journal, an online communication platform, numerous area-focused committees, and one of its most popular publications, the MLA Handbook, now in its 8th edition.
Helpful Tips for Your Citation
Our citation guides provide detailed information about all types of sources in MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian styles.
If required by your instructor, you can add annotations to your citations. Just select Add Annotation while finalizing your citation. You can always edit a citation as well.
Remember to evaluate your sources for accuracy and credibility. Questionable sources could result in a poor grade!