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MLA Guide

The examples provided in this guide are meant to introduce you to the basics of citing sources using the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (seventh edition). For types of resources not included in this guide (e.g., government documents, manuscript collections, video recordings) and for further information about the examples included below, please consult the MLA Handbook itself (Ref Desk LB 2369 .G53 2009) and/or a Reference Librarian. For help with layout, margins, spacing and page numbering, see the MLA Handbook (Fig. 12, page 131). Consider using RefWorks to help you track your research and automatically create a bibliography in MLA style.

Table of Contents:

Parenthetical Documentation
Preparing the List of Works Cited
A Brief Note on Footnotes and Endnotes
For More Help

PARENTHETICAL DOCUMENTATION

When using MLA documentation style, you need to reference your sources by using a combination of a list of works cited (see below) and parenthetical notation. Whenever you refer to or use another's words, facts or ideas in your paper, you are required to cite the source. Generally, brief parenthetical notations consisting of the author's last name and a page reference are sufficient. For example: (Drucker 30).

 

Note: If you mention the author in your sentence, then you need only cite the page number. And if you cite more than one work by the same author, include the title of the work in your notation. For example: (Drucker, Management Cases 30).

 

Examples:

1. ONE AUTHOR

The character Folly denies satirizing Christianity when she says, "it is no part of my present plan to rummage through the lives of popes and priests," yet she spends much of her encomium doing just that (Erasmus 115).

2. TWO OR MORE AUTHORS

Max Weber purported that value systems could be studied "without the social scientist's own values distorting such studies" (Keat and Urry 196).

According to Russell Keat and John Urry in Social Science as Theory, Max Weber believed that value systems could be studied "without the social scientist's own values distorting such studies" (196).

Max Weber believed that individuals can objectively study values without their own values interfering with their judgment (Keat and Urry 196).

3. CORPORATE AUTHOR

Children of Central and Eastern Europe have not escaped the nutritional ramifications of iron deficiency, a worldwide problem (UNICEF 44).

4. NO AUTHOR

Marketers of health services and products will find the National Center for Health Statistics' site useful, particularly its statistics on mortality rates.  Discovering a population's leading causes of death "tells the researcher a lot about its underlying health problems" ("Information to Die For" 40).

5. WORK IN AN ANTHOLOGY

Cite the author of the essay or story and not the editor of the anthology unless they are the same.

Although some critics disliked Mel Brook's 1993 parody of Robin Hood, it is actually "in the mainstream of the Robin Hood tradition" (Knight 461).

6. INDIRECT QUOTATION

Chief Joseph concluded his surrender by stating eloquently:  "[.. .] I will fight no more forever" (qtd. in Safire 108).

7. ONLINE RESOURCE

If the work is not paginated, include the name of the author or editor within the context of your sentence (for example, from a discussion list).

Posting on the VICTORIA listserv, Karen O'Connell mentioned a relevant novel by Wilkie Collins that deals with the 19th-century use of arsenic as a complexion improver.

 

If the work is paginated, cite it as you would a print resource.

Marketers of health services and products will find the National Center for Health Statistics' site useful, particularly its statistics on mortality rates.  Discovering a population's leading causes of death "tells the researcher a lot about its underlying health problems" ("Information to Die For" 40).

Imagine that the sentences above could somehow be synthesized and used in a single paper.  The works cited page would look like this:

WORKS CITED

Erasmus, Desiderius.  The Praise of Folly.  Trans. Clarence H. Miller.  New Haven:

        Yale University Press, 1979. Print.

"Information to Die For."  Marketing Health Services 22.1 (2002): 40-42.  ABI/Inform.

        Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

Keat, Russell, and John Urry.  Social Theory as Science.  2nd ed.  London: Routledge

        and K. Paul, 1982.  Print.

Knight, Stephen.  "Robin Hood: Men in Tights: Fitting the Tradition Snugly."

        Robin Hood: An Anthology of Scholarship and Criticism.  Ed. Stephen

        Knight.  Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 1999.  461-467.  Print.

O'Connell, Karen.  "Re: Poisoning."  VICTORIA.  Indiana U.  3 Nov. 2000.  Web.

        14 Aug. 2009.

Safire, William.  Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History.  New York: W. W.

         Norton and Company, 1992.  Print.

UNICEF.  Generation in Jeopardy: Children in Central and Eastern Europe and the

         Former Soviet Union.  Ed. Alexander Zouev.  Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1999.

         Print.

 

PREPARING THE LIST OF WORKS CITED

 

 As demonstrated above, a works cited page consists of an alphabetical listing of the books, articles and other sources that you parenthetically noted in your paper.  The works cited page occurs at the end of your paper; however, it is useful to create a draft of it before you begin writing.  Following are typical examples of the types of references you will use in your research. 

A. Books

Include some or all of the following elements in your book citation:
  1. Author or editor
  2. Title (italicized)
  3. Translator or compiler
  4. Edition
  5. Volume(s) used
  6. Name of series
  7. Place of publication, publisher, and date of publication
  8. Page numbers

  9. Name of vendor, database, or provider (italicized)

10. Medium of publication consulted (e.g., Print)

11. Date of access (Web only; day, month, year)
12. Supplementary information and annotation

Examples:

1. ONE AUTHOR OR EDITOR

 

Cather, Willa.  The Professor's House.  New York: A. A. Knopf, 1925.  Print.

UNICEF.  Generation in Jeopardy: Children in Central and Eastern Europe

         and the Former Soviet Union.  Ed. Alexander Zouev.  Armonk: M. E.

         Sharpe, 1999.  Print.

Hudson, Valerie N., ed.  Culture and Foreign Policy.  Boulder: L. Rienner

         Publishers, 1997.  Print.

 

2. TWO OR MORE AUTHORS OR EDITORS

 

    Names should be given in the order in which they appear on the title page.

 

Keat, Russell, and John Urry.  Social Theory as Science.  2nd ed.  London: Routledge

         and K. Paul, 1982.  Print.

Kennedy, Mary, Kathy Lubelska, and Val Walsh, eds.  Making Connections: Women's

         Studies, Women's Movements, Women's Lives. London: Taylor and Francis,

        1993. Print.

 

3. ELECTRONIC BOOK

 

    Include the vendor, database, or provider's name (italicized) and date of access (day, month, year).

 

Turam, Berna.  Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement. Stanford,

         CA: Stanford UP, 2007.  NetLibrary.  Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

 

    If the book is accessed from a SCHOLARLY PROJECT, also include the project
    name, place of publication, and the date of the electronic publication if available.

 

Child, Lydia Maria. An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans.

        Boston: Allen and Ticknor, 1833.  Women Writers Online.  Brown U.  Web.  14

        Aug. 2009.

 

4. ANTHOLOGY

 

Knight, Stephen.  "Robin Hood: Men in Tights: Fitting the Tradition Snugly."            

        Robin Hood: An Anthology of Scholarship and Criticism.  Ed. Stephen

        Knight.  Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 1999.  461-467.  Print.

Barrick, Richard, John Sullivan, and Alexander White.  "The American Bloody Register."

       Pillars of Salt: An Anthology of Early American Criminal Narratives.  Comp. 

       Daniel E. Williams.  Madison: Madison House, 1993.  233-258.  Print.

 

5. INTRODUCTION, PREFACE, FOREWORD, OR AFTERWORD

 

Ritterson, Michael.  Introduction.  The Odin Field: A Story. By Wilhem Raabe.

      Trans. Michael Ritterson.  Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture.

      Rochester: Camden House, 2001.  xi-xxvii.  Print.

 

6. MULTIVOLUME WORK

 

Tomkins, Silvan S.  Affect, Imagery, Consciousness.  4 vols.  New York: Springer,

         1962-1992. Print.

 

7. EDITION

 

Anthony, Robert N., and James S. Reece.  Accounting Principles.  7th ed.  Chicago:

        Irwin, 1995.  Print.

 

8. TRANSLATION

 

Erasmus, Desiderius.  The Praise of Folly.  Trans.  Clarence H. Miller.  New Haven:

        Yale, 1979. Print.

 

9. ARTICLE IN A REFERENCE BOOK

 

"Audubon, John James."  The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: Micropaedia.  15th

        ed.  2002.  Print.

"Audubon, John James."  Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.  Encyclopaedia

        Britannica, 2009.  Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

 

 

10. SERIES

 

Ebeling, Richard, ed.  Global Free Trade: Rhetoric or Reality?  Hillsdale, MI: Hillsdale

        College Press, 1993.  Print.  Champions of Freedom 20.

 

B. Articles in Periodicals

 

Include some or all of the following in your article citation:
  1. Author
  2. Article title (usually in quotation marks)
  3. Periodical title (italicized)
  4. Series/Issue number or name
  5. Volume number

  6. Issue number (if available)
  7. Publication date (year for scholarly journals; day, month, year for others, as

      available)
  8. Page numbers

  9. Medium of publication

10. Name of database (italicized and placed before medium of publication) (Web only)

11. Date of access (day, month, year) (Web only)

 

Examples:

 

1. SCHOLARLY JOURNAL

 

Freedman, L.  "The Changing Forms of Military Conflict."  Survival 40.4 (1998): 39-56.

        Print.

 

Kirby, John T.  "Aristotle on Metaphor."  American Journal of Philology 118.4

        (1997): 517-554.  Print.

    

Online Journal -- Use n. pag. to indicate the absence of inclusive page numbers.

 

Ketabgian, Tamara.  Rev. of The Body Economic: Life, Death, and Sensation in

        Political Economy and the Victorian Novel, by Catherine Gallagher.  Bryn Mawr

        Review of Comparative Literature 6.2 (2007): n. pag.  Web.  19 Aug. 2009.

Chan, Winnie.  "Curry on the Divide in Rudyard Kipling's Kim and Gurinder Chadha's

        Bend it Like Beckham."  ARIEL: A Review of International English

        Literature 36.3-4 (2005): 1-23. Web.  14. Aug. 2009.

 

     Full text of an article from a Database -- Include the name of the
     database, the name of the database provider and the date of access.
    
Use n. pag. to indicate the absence of inclusive page numbers.  

 

Freedman, Lawrence. "The Changing Forms of Military Conflict." Survival 40.4 (1998):

        39-56. ProQuest Research Library.  Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

 Kirby, John T.  "Aristotle on Metaphor."  American Journal of Philology 118.4 (1997):

       517-554.  JSTOR.  Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

 

2. MAGAZINE

 

     Monthly or Bimonthly

 

Goldberger, Paul. "Machines for Living: Architectonic Allure of the Automobile."

        Architectural Digest Oct. 1996: 82.

 

 

     Weekly

 

Levy, Steven, and Brad Stone.  "Silicon Valley Reboots."  Newsweek 25 Mar.

        2002: 42-50.  Print.

Levy, Steven, and Brad Stone.  "Silicon Valley Reboots."  Newsweek 25 Mar.

        2002: 42-50.  Academic Search Premier.  Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

 

 

3. ANONYMOUS ARTICLE

 

"Information to Die For."  Marketing Health Services 22.1 (2002): 40-42.  Print.

 

"Information to Die For."  Marketing Health Services 22.1 (2002): 40-42.  ABI/Inform.
       14 Aug. 2009.

 

4. NEWSPAPER

 

Pianin, Eric.  "Use of Arsenic in Wood Products to End."  The Washington Post 13

 

       Feb. 2002, final ed.: A2.  Print.

 

Pianin, Eric.  "Use of Arsenic in Wood Products to End."  The Washington Post 13 Feb.

 

       2002, final ed.: A2.  LexisNexis Academic.  Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

 

 

5. REVIEW

 

Nash, Alanna.  "Hit 'em with a lizard!"  Rev. of  Basket Case, by Carl Hiaasen.  New

 

        York Times 3 Feb. 2002, late ed., sec. 7: 24.  Print.

 

Nash, Alanna.  "Hit 'em with a lizard!"  Rev. of  Basket Case, by Carl Hiaasen.  New

 

        York Times 3 Feb.  2002, late ed., sec. 7: 24.  LexisNexis Academic.  Web.  14

 

        Aug. 2009. 

 

 

C. Web Sites

 

Following are elements to include when citing entire Web sites.  Keep in mind that

if you cannot find all of the elements, you should include whatever is available on
the site
.  The URL is no longer required unless locating the site requires it or your professor requires it.

 

1. Author or editor
2. Title of Web site (italicized)

3. Site publisher/sponsor

3. Date of site's publication (if none, use n.d.)
4. Medium of publication
5. Date of access (day, month, year)

 

Examples:

 

1. SCHOLARLY PROJECT

 

Crane, Gregory, ed.  Perseus Digital Library.  Dept. of the Classics, Tufts U.

 

      n.d.  Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

 

2. PROFESSIONAL SITE

 

Financial Accounting Standards Board.  Feb. 2002.  Web.  14 Aug. 2009.

 

3. PERSONAL SITE

 

Lewis, Paul.  The Wilkie Collins Pages.  n.d.  Web. 14 Aug. 2009. 

 

       <http://www.paullewis.co.uk/>.

 

See also Electronic Book and Periodicals above.

 

D. Online Postings

 

To cite a posting from a discussion list, include the following elements if available:

1. Author of posting
2. Title of posting (from subject line of posting, in quotes)
3. Name of discussion list
4. Date of posting

5. Medium of publication
5. Date of access

 

Example:

 

O'Connell, Karen.  "Re: Poisoning."  VICTORIA.  Indiana U.  3 Nov. 2000.  Web.

 

        14 Aug. 2009.

 

A BRIEF NOTE ON FOOTNOTES AND ENDNOTES

Long explanatory footnotes or endnotes can distract the reader.  Nevertheless, you may occasionally need to clarify a citation with a bibliographic note.  Or you may wish to incorporate information that might interest your reader but which would seem tangential if included within the text of your paper.  In this case, you would use a content note.  Notes are indicated with consecutive superscript numbers within the text of your paper.  The actual note is indented and can occur either as a footnote at the bottom of the page or as an endnote at the end of the paper.

 

Examples:

 

1. BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE

 

Text

Nineteenth-century critics of cheap, mass-produced fiction feared that the gory subject matter of stories like Sweeney Todd would lead a generation of youth into depravity.1

 

Note

         1For a selection of penny fiction as well as 19th-century criticism of it, see

 

Haining's The Penny Dreadful.

 

2. CONTENT NOTE

 

Text

Charles Knight did not rely solely on the cheaply printed word in publications like the Penny Magazine to educate people; he also mass-produced images to diffuse knowledge visually.2

 

Note

          2Patricia Anderson's The Printed Image and the Transformation of Popular

 

Culture, 1790-1860 provides examples of Penny Magazine images, such as depictions

 

of flamingos, reproduced portraits of people like Benjamin Franklin, and engravings of

 

famous artworks like "The Dying Gladiator" and "Laocoon" (50-83).

 

FOR MORE HELP

 

Following are links to sites that have additional information and further examples:

 

RefWorks
Once you have created an account, go to Tools/Preview Output Style to see examples of MLA style.

 

Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Excellent source for research, writing and citation tips.

 

Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgment
Dartmouth College's guide explains why and when to cite sources.

 

Citing Sources
Duke University's guide to citing sources.  The site offers comparison citation tables with examples from APA, Chicago, MLA and Turabian for both print and electronic works.

 

Citing Electronic Primary Sources
From the Library of Congress. Provides MLA and Turabian examples of citing formats such as films, photographs, maps and recorded sound that are accessed electronically.