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10/19/12
Purdue OWL
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue
(http://owl.english.purdue.edu/). When printing this page, you must
include the entire legal notice at bottom.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Formatting and Style Guide
Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in MLA.
To see a side-by-side comparison of the three most widely used citation styles, including a chart
of all MLA citation guidelines, see the Citation Style Chart.
You can also watch our MLA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel.
General Format
MLA style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in
writing. MLA style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through
parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages.
Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to
their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from
accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material
by other writers.
If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of
Research Papers (7th edition). Publishing scholars and graduate students should also consult
the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition). The MLA
Handbook is available in most writing centers and reference libraries; it is also widely available
in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. See the Additional Resources section of this
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handout for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA style.
Paper Format
The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA style is covered in chapter four of the MLA
Handbook, and chapter four of the MLA Style Manual. Below are some basic guidelines for
formatting a paper in MLA style.
General Guidelines
Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman).
Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles
contrast enough that they are recognizable one from another. The font size should be 12
pt.
Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise
instructed by your instructor).
Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. MLA recommends
that you use the Tab key as opposed to pushing the Space Bar five times.
Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, onehalf inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that
you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.)
Use italics 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. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).
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. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in
quotation marks; write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital
letters.
Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you
would in your text: 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.
Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by
a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2,
3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your
instructor or other readers may ask that you omit last name/page number header on your
first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)
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Here is a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA style:
Image Caption: The First Page of an MLA Paper
Section Headings
Writers sometimes use Section Headings to improve a document’s readability. These sections
may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.
Essays
MLA recommends that when you divide an essay into sections that you number those sections
with an arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.
1. Early Writings
2. The London Years
3. Traveling the Continent
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4. Final Years
Books
MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books (for more information on
headings, please see page 146 in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing,
3rd edition). If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are
distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that
these sections resemble one another grammatically. For instance, if your headings are typically
short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases (and not, for example, full sentences).
Otherwise, the formatting is up to you. It should, however, be consistent throughout the
document.
If you employ multiple levels of headings (some of your sections have sections within sections),
you may want to provide a key of your chosen level headings and their formatting to your
instructor or editor.
Sample Section Headings
The following sample headings are meant to be used only as a reference. You may employ
whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent
throughout the document.
Numbered:
1. Soil Conservation
1.1 Erosion
1.2 Terracing
2. Water Conservation
3. Energy Conservation
Formatted, unnumbered:
Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left
Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left
Level 3 Heading: centered, bold
Level 4 Heading: centered, italics
Level 5 Heading: underlined, flush left
How to Cite the Purdue OWL in MLA
Entire Website
The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 2010. Web. Date of access.
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Individual Resources
Contributors' names and the last edited date can be found in the orange boxes at the top of
every page on the OWL.
Contributors' names. "Title of Resource." The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, Last
edited date. Web. Date of access.
Russell, Tony, Allen Brizee, and Elizabeth Angeli. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The
Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 4 Apr. 2010. Web. 20 July 2010.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics
Guidelines for referring to the works of others in your text using MLA style are 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 is known as
parenthetical citation. This method involves placing relevant source information in parentheses
after a quote or a paraphrase.
General Guidelines
The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends (1.) upon the source
medium (e.g. Print, Web, DVD) and (2.) upon the source’s entry on the Works Cited
(bibliography) page.
Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source
information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase
you provide to your readers in the text, must be the first thing that appears on the lefthand margin of the corresponding entry in the Works Cited List.
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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).
Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell 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. Print.
In-Text Citations for Print Sources with Known Author
For Print sources like books, magazines, scholarly journal articles, and newspapers, provide a
signal word or phrase (usually the author’s last name) and a page number. If you provide the
signal word/phrase in the sentence, you do not need to include it in the parenthetical citation.
Human beings have been described by Kenneth Burke as "symbol-using animals" (3). Human
beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).
These examples must correspond to an entry that begins with Burke, which will be the first thing
that appears on the left-hand margin of an entry in the Works Cited:
Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method.
Berkeley: U of California P, 1966. Print.
In-Text Citations for Print Sources with No Known Author
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 (e.g. articles) or italicize it if it's a
longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire websites) and provide a page number.
We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more
readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study
environmental change . . ." ("Impact of Global Warming" 6).
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environmental change . . ." ("Impact of Global Warming" 6).
In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title of
the article appears in the parenthetical citation which corresponds to the full name of the article
which appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry in the Works Cited. Thus, the
writer includes the title in quotation marks as the signal phrase in the parenthetical citation in
order to lead the reader directly to the source on the Works Cited page. The Works Cited
entry appears as follows:
"The Impact of Global Warming in North America." GLOBAL WARMING: Early Signs.
1999. Web. 23 Mar. 2009.
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.
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) followed by a semicolon, and then the appropriate
abbreviations for volume (vol.), book (bk.), part (pt.), chapter (ch.), section (sec.), or
paragraph (par.). For example:
Marx and Engels described human history as marked by class struggles (79; ch. 1).
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 a Work by Multiple Authors
For a source with three or fewer authors, list the authors' last names in the text or in the
parenthetical citation:
Smith, Yang, and Moore argue that tougher gun control is not needed in the United States (76).
The authors state "Tighter gun control in the United States erodes Second Amendment rights"
(Smith, Yang, and Moore 76).
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For a source with more than three authors, use the work's bibliographic information as a guide
for your citation. Provide the first author's last name followed by et al. or list all the last names.
Jones et al. counter Smith, Yang, and Moore's argument by noting that the current spike in gun
violence in America compels law makers to adjust gun laws (4).
Or
Legal experts counter Smith, Yang, and Moore's argument by noting that the current spike in
gun violence in America compels law makers to adjust gun laws (Jones et al. 4).
Or
Jones, Driscoll, Ackerson, and Bell counter Smith, Yang, and Moore's argument by noting that
the current spike in gun violence in America compels law makers to adjust gun laws (4).
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. Put short titles of books in
italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks.
Citing two articles by the same author:
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).
Citing two books by the same author:
Murray states that writing is "a process" that "varies with our thinking style" (Write to Learn 6).
Additionally, Murray argues that the purpose of writing is to "carry ideas and information from
the mind of one person into the mind of another" (A Writer Teaches Writing 3).
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, followed 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 Multivolume Works
If you cite from different volumes of a multivolume work, always include the volume number
followed by a colon. Put a space after the colon, then provide the page number(s). (If you only
cite from one volume, provide only the page number in parentheses.)
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. . . as Quintilian wrote in Institutio Oratoria (1: 14-17).
Citing the Bible
In your first parenthetical citation, you want to make clear which Bible you're using (and
underline or italicize 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).
If future references employ the same edition of the Bible you’re using, list only the book,
chapter, and verse in the parenthetical citation.
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 Non-Print or Sources from the Internet
With more and more scholarly work being posted on the Internet, you may have to cite research
you have completed in virtual environments. While many sources on the Internet should not be
used for scholarly work (reference the OWL's Evaluating Sources of Information resource),
some Web sources are perfectly acceptable for research. When creating in-text citations for
electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source in
your Works Cited.
Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources
because of the absence of page numbers, but often, these sorts of entries do not require any sort
of parenthetical citation at all. For electronic and Internet sources, follow the following
guidelines:
Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to
the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
You do not need to give paragraph numbers or page numbers based on your Web
browser’s print preview function.
Unless you must list the website name in the signal phrase in order to get the reader to the
appropriate entry, do not include URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs such as when
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the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name, like CNN.com or
Forbes.com as opposed to writing out http://www.cnn.com or http://www.forbes.com.
Miscellaneous Non-Print Sources
Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo stars Herzog's long-time film partner, Klaus Kinski. During the
shooting of Fitzcarraldo, Herzog and Kinski were often at odds, but their explosive relationship
fostered a memorable and influential film.
During the presentation, Jane Yates stated that invention and pre-writing are areas of rhetoric
that need more attention.
In the two examples above “Herzog” from the first entry and “Yates” from the second lead the
reader to the first item each citation’s respective entry on the Works Cited page:
Herzog, Werner, dir. Fitzcarraldo. Perf. Klaus Kinski. Filmverlag der Autoren, 1982. Film.
Yates, Jane. "Invention in Rhetoric and Composition." Gaps Addressed: Future Work in
Rhetoric and Composition, CCCC, Palmer House Hilton, 2002. Presentation.
Electronic Sources
One online film critic stated that Fitzcarraldo is "...a beautiful and terrifying critique of obsession
and colonialism" (Garcia, “Herzog: a Life”).
The Purdue OWL is accessed by millions of users every year. Its "MLA Formatting and Style
Guide" is one of the most popular resources (Stolley et al.).
In the first example, the writer has chosen not to include the author name in-text; however, two
entries from the same author appear in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes both the
author’s last name and the article title in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader to
the appropriate entry on the Works Cited page (see below). In the second example, “Stolley et
al.” in the parenthetical citation gives the reader an author name followed by the abbreviation “et
al.,” meaning, “and others,” for the article “MLA Formatting and Style Guide.” Both
corresponding Works Cited entries are as follows:
Garcia, Elizabeth. "Herzog: a Life." Online Film Critics Corner. The Film School of New
Hampshire, 2 May 2002. Web. 8 Jan. 2009.
Stolley, Karl, et al. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The OWL at Purdue. 10 May 2006.
Purdue University Writing Lab. 12 May 2006 .
Multiple Citations
To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semicolon:
. . . as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).
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When a 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, for example, they'll have different expectations of what
constitutes common knowledge.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Formatting Quotations
When you directly quote the works of others in your paper, you will format quotations
differently depending on their length. Below are some basic guidelines for incorporating
quotations into your paper. Please note that all pages in MLA should be double-spaced.
Short Quotations
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, when quoting short passages of prose, use the following examples:
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)?
When short (fewer than three lines of verse) quotations from poetry, mark breaks in short
quotations of verse with a slash, /, at the end of each line of verse (a space should precede and
follow the slash).
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Cullen concludes, "Of all the things that happened there / That's all I remember" (11-12).
Long Quotations
For quotations that extend to more than four lines of verse or prose, place quotations in a freestanding 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 an additional quarter 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, when citing more than four lines of prose, use the following examples:
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)
When citing long sections (more than three lines) of poetry, keep formatting as close to the
original as possible.
In his poem "My Papa's Waltz," Theodore Roethke explores his childhood with his father:
The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.
We Romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself. (quoted in Shrodes, Finestone, Shugrue 202)
When citing two or more paragraphs, use block quotation format, even if the passage from the
paragraphs is less than four lines. Indent the first line of each quoted paragraph an extra quarter
inch.
In "American Origins of the Writing-across-the-Curriculum Movement," David Russell argues:
Writing has been an issue in American secondary and higher education since
papers and examinations came into wide use in the 1870s, eventually driving out
formal recitation and oral examination. . . .
From its birth in the late nineteenth century, progressive education has wrestled
with the conflict within industrail society between pressure to increase
specialization of knowledge and of professional work (upholding disciplinary
standards) and pressure to integrate more fully an ever-widerning number of
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citizes into intellectually meaningful activity within mass society (promoting social
equity). . . . (3)
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 words
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).
Please note that brackets are not needed around ellipses unless adding brackets would clarify
your use of ellipses.
When omitting words from poetry quotations, use a standard three-period ellipses; however,
when omitting one or more full lines of poetry, space several periods to about the length of a
complete line in the poem:
These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
....................
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration . . . (22-24, 28-30)
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Endnotes and Footnotes
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Because long explanatory notes can be distracting to readers, most academic style guidelines
(including MLA and APA) recommend limited use of endnotes/footnotes; however, certain
publishers encourage or require note references in lieu of parenthetical references.
MLA discourages extensive use of explanatory or digressive notes. MLA style does, however,
allow you to use endnotes or footnotes for bibliographic notes, which refer to other
publications your readers may consult:
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 120-35; for a
contrasting view, see Pyle 43; Johnson, Hull, Snyder 21-35; Krieg 78-91.
3. Several other studies point to this same conclusion. See Johnson and Hull 45-79, Kather
23-31, Krieg 50-57.
Or, you can also use endnotes/footnotes for occasional explanatory notes (also known as
content notes), which refers to brief additional information that might be too digressive for the
main text:
4. In a 1998 interview, she reiterated this point even more strongly: "I am an artist, not a
politician!" (Weller 124).
Numbering Endnotes and Footnotes in the Document Body
Endnotes and footnotes in MLA format are indicated in-text by superscript Arabic numbers
after the punctuation of the phrase or clause to which the note refers:
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.
Note that when a long dash appears in the text, the footnote/endnote number appears before
the dash:
For years, scholars have failed to address this point8—a fact that suggests their cowardice more
than their carelessness.
Do not use asterisks (*), angle brackets (>), 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
Endnotes Page
MLA recommends that all notes be listed on a separate page entitled Notes (centered, no
formatting). (Use Note if there is only one note.) The Notes page should appear before the
Works Cited page. This is especially important for papers being submitted for publication.
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The notes themselves should be listed by consecutive arabic numbers that correspond to the
notation in the text. Notes are double-spaced. Each endnote is indented five spaces; subsequent
lines are flush with the left margin. Place a period and a space after each endnote number.
Provide the appropriate note after the space.
Footnotes (below the text body)
Please note that the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook does not specify how to format
footnotes. Consult your instructor to see what his or her preference is when formatting footnotes
in MLA style.
The 6th edition of the MLA Handbook contains information on how to format footnotes,
however. Begin footnotes four lines (two double-spaced lines) below the main text. Footnotes
are single-space with a first-line indent. (Each footnote is indented five spaces; subsequent lines
are flush with the left margin.) Place a period and a space after each footnote number. Provide
the appropriate note after the space.
For more information on using endnotes and footnotes, consult “Using Notes with Parenthetical
Documentation” in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition (sec. 6.5,
230-32), or the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition (sec. 7.5,
259-60).
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format
According to MLA style, you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper.
All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text.
Basic Rules
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 italicize 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.
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Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations five spaces so that you create a
hanging indent.
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.
Additional Basic Rules New to MLA 2009
For every entry, you must determine the Medium of Publication. Most entries will likely
be listed as Print or Web sources, but other possibilities may include Film, CD-ROM, or
DVD.
Writers are no longer required to provide URLs for Web entries. However, if your
instructor or publisher insists on them, include them in angle brackets after the entry and
end with a period. For long URLs, break lines only at slashes.
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 type the online database name in
italics. You do not need to provide subscription information in addition to the database
name.
Capitalization and Punctuation
Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles (the,
an), 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.
New to MLA 2009: Use italics (instead of underlining) for titles of larger works (books,
magazines) and quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles)
Listing Author Names
Entries are listed alphabetically by the author's last name (or, for entire edited collections, editor
names). Author names are written last name first; middle names or middle initials follow the first
name:
Burke, Kenneth
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.
More than One Work by an Author
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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 Grammar of Motives. [...]
---. A Rhetoric 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. [...]
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Works Cited Page: Books
When you are gathering book sources, be sure to make note of the following bibliographic
items: author name(s), book title, publication date, publisher, place of publication. The medium
of publication for all “hard copy” books is Print.
For more information, consult “Citing Nonperiodical Print Publications” in the MLA Handbook
for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition (sec. 5.5, 148-81), or the MLA Style Manual
and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition (sec. 6.6, 185-211).
Basic Format
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The author’s name or a book with a single author's name appears in last name, first name
format. The basic form for a book citation is:
Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
Medium of Publication.
Book with One Author
Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin, 1987. Print.
Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999. Print.
Book with More Than One Author
The first given name appears in last name, first name format; subsequent author names appear in
first name last name format.
Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston:
Allyn, 2000. Print.
If there are more than three authors, you may choose to list only the first author followed by the
phrase et al. (Latin for "and others") in place of the subsequent authors' names, or you may list
all the authors in the order in which their names appear on the title page. (Note that there is a
period after “al” in “et al.” Also note that there is never a period after the “et” in “et al.”).
Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding
the Teaching of Composition. Logan: Utah State UP, 2004. Print.
or
Wysocki, Anne Frances, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Cynthia L. Selfe, and Geoffrey Sirc. Writing
New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of
Composition. Logan: Utah State UP, 2004. Print.
Two or More Books by the Same Author
List works alphabetically by title. (Remember to ignore articles like A, An, and The.) Provide
the author’s name in last name, first name format for the first entry only. For each subsequent
entry by the same author, use three hyphens and a period.
Palmer, William J. Dickens and New Historicism. New York: St. Martin's, 1997. Print.
---. The Films of the Eighties: A Social History. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1993.
Print.
Book by a Corporate Author or Organization
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A corporate author may include a commission, a committee, or a group that does not identify
individual members on the title page. List the names of corporate authors in the place where an
author’s name typically appears at the beginning of the entry.
American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. New York: Random, 1998. Print.
Book with No Author
List by title of the book. Incorporate these entries alphabetically just as you would with works
that include an author name. For example, the following entry might appear between entries of
works written by Dean, Shaun and Forsythe, Jonathan.
Encyclopedia of Indiana. New York: Somerset, 1993. Print.
Remember that for an in-text (parenthetical) citation of a book with no author, provide the name
of the work in the signal phrase and the page number in parentheses. You may also use a
shortened version of the title of the book accompanied by the page number. For more
information see In-text Citations for Print Sources with No Known Author section of In-text
Citations: The Basics, which you can link to at the bottom of this page.
A Translated Book
Cite as you would any other book. Add "Trans."—the abbreviation for translated by—and
follow with the name(s) of the translator(s).
Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.
Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Vintage-Random House, 1988. Print.
Republished Book
Books may be republished due to popularity without becoming a new edition. New editions are
typically revisions of the original work. For books that originally appeared at an earlier date and
that have been republished at a later one, insert the original publication date before the
publication information. For books that are new editions (i.e. different from the first or other
editions of the book), see An Edition of a Book below.
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. 1990. New York: Routledge, 1999. Print.
Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine. 1984. New York: Perennial-Harper, 1993. Print.
An Edition of a Book
There are two types of editions in book publishing: a book that has been published more than
once in different editions and a book that is prepared by someone other than the author
(typically an editor).
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A Subsequent Edition
Cite the book as you normally would, but add the number of the edition after the title.
Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. 3rd
ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2004. Print.
A Work Prepared by an Editor
Cite the book as you normally would, but add the editor after the title.
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Ed. Margaret Smith. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. Print.
Anthology or Collection (e.g. Collection of Essays)
To cite the entire anthology or collection, list by editor(s) followed by a comma and "ed." or, for
multiple editors, "eds" (for edited by). This sort of entry is somewhat rare. If you are citing a
particular piece within an anthology or collection (more common), see A Work in an Anthology,
Reference, or Collection below.
Hill, Charles A., and Marguerite Helmers, eds. Defining Visual Rhetorics. Mahwah: Lawrence
Erlbaum Associates, 2004. Print.
Peterson, Nancy J., ed. Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches. Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins UP, 1997. Print.
A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection
Works may include an essay in an edited collection or anthology, or a chapter of a book. The
basic form is for this sort of citation is as follows:
Lastname, First name. "Title of Essay." Title of Collection. Ed. Editor's Name(s). City of
Publication: Publisher, Year. Page range of entry. Medium of Publication.
Some examples:
Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers." A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers
One to One. Ed. Ben Rafoth. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2000. 24-34. Print.
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. Print.
Note on Cross-referencing Several Items from One Anthology: If you cite more than one essay
from the same edited collection, MLA indicates you may cross-reference within your works
cited list in order to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay. You
should consider this option if you have several references from a single text. To do so, include a
separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor's name as below:
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separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor's name as below:
Rose, Shirley K., and Irwin Weiser, eds. The Writing Program Administrator as
Researcher. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1999. Print.
Then, for each individual essay from the collection, list the author's name in last name, first name
format, the title of the essay, the editor's last name, and the page range:
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 15367.
Poem or Short Story Examples:
Burns, Robert. "Red, Red Rose." 100 Best-Loved Poems. Ed. Philip Smith. New York:
Dover, 1995. 26. Print.
Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. Ed.
Tobias Wolff. New York: Vintage, 1994. 306-07. Print.
If the specific literary work is part of the an author's own collection (all of the works have the
same author), then there will be no editor to reference:
Whitman, Walt. "I Sing the Body Electric." Selected Poems. New York: Dover, 1991. 12-19.
Print.
Carter, Angela. "The Tiger's Bride." Burning Your Boats: The Collected Stories. New York:
Penguin, 1995. 154-69. Print.
Article in a Reference Book (e.g. Encyclopedias, Dictionaries)
For entries in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works, cite the piece as you
would any other work in a collection but do not include the publisher information. Also, if the
reference book is organized alphabetically, as most are, do not list the volume or the page
number of the article or item.
"Ideology." The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed. 1997. Print.
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. Print.
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When citing more than one volume of a multivolume work, cite the total number of volumes in
the work. Also, be sure in your in-text citation to provide both the volume number and page
number(s). (See Citing Multivolume Works on the In-Text Citations – The Basics page, which
you can access by following the appropriate link at the bottom of this page.)
Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria. Trans. H. E. Butler. 4 vols. Cambridge: Loeb-Harvard UP,
1980. Print.
If the volume you are using has its own title, cite the book without referring to the other volumes
as if it were an independent publication.
Churchill, Winston S. The Age of Revolution. New York: Dodd, 1957. Print.
An Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword
When citing an introduction, a preface, a foreword, or an afterword, write the name of the
author(s) of the piece you are citing. Then give the name of the part being cited, which should
not be italicized or enclosed in quotation marks.
Farrell, Thomas B. Introduction. Norms of Rhetorical Culture. By Farrell. New Haven: Yale
UP, 1993. 1-13. Print.
If the writer of the piece is different from the author of the complete work, then write the
full name of the principal work's author after the word "By." For example, if you were to cite
Hugh Dalziel Duncan’s introduction of Kenneth Burke’s book Permanence and Change, you
would write the entry as follows:
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. Print.
Other Print/Book Sources
Certain book sources are handled in a special way by MLA style.
The Bible
Give the name of the specific edition you are using, any editor(s) associated with it, followed by
the publication information. Remember that your in-text (parenthetical citation) should include
the name of the specific edition of the Bible, followed by an abbreviation of the book, the
chapter and verse(s). (See Citing the Bible on In-Text Citations: The Basics.)
The New Jerusalem Bible. Ed. Susan Jones. New York: Doubleday, 1985. Print.
A Government Publication
Cite the author of the publication if the author is identified. Otherwise, start with the name of the
national government, followed by the agency (including any subdivisions or agencies) that serves
as the organizational author. For congressional documents, be sure to include the number of the
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as the organizational author. For congressional documents, be sure to include the number of the
Congress and the session when the hearing was held or resolution passed. US government
documents are typically published by the Government Printing Office, which MLA abbreviates
as GPO.
United States. Cong. Senate. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on the
Geopolitics of Oil. 110th Cong., 1st sess. Washington: GPO, 2007. Print.
United States. Government Accountability Office. Climate Change: EPA and DOE Should
Do More to Encourage Progress Under Two Voluntary Programs. Washington:
GPO, 2006. Print.
A Pamphlet
Cite the title and publication information for the pamphlet just as you would a book without an
author. Pamphlets and promotional materials commonly feature corporate authors
(commissions, committees, or other groups that does not provide individual group member
names). If the pamphlet you are citing has no author, cite as directed below. If your pamphlet
has an author or a corporate author, put the name of the author (last name, first name format) or
corporate author in the place where the author name typically appears at the beginning of the
entry. (See also Books by a Corporate Author or Organization above.)
Women's Health: Problems of the Digestive System. Washington: American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2006. Print.
Your Rights Under California Welfare Programs. Sacramento: California Dept. of Social
Services, 2007. Print.
Dissertations and Master's Theses
Dissertations and master's theses may be used as sources whether published or not. Cite the
work as you would a book, but include the designation Diss. (or MA/MS thesis) followed by
the degree-granting school and the year the degree was awarded.
If the dissertation is published, italicize the title and include the publication date. You may also
include the University Microfilms International (UMI) order number if you choose:
Bishop, Karen Lynn. Documenting Institutional Identity: Strategic Writing in the IUPUI
Comprehensive Campaign. Diss. Purdue University, 2002. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2004.
Print.
Bile, Jeffrey. Ecology, Feminism, and a Revised Critical Rhetoric: Toward a Dialectical
Partnership. Diss. Ohio University, 2005. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2006. AAT 3191701.
Print.
If the work is not published, put the title in quotation marks and end with the date the degree
was awarded:
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Graban, Tarez Samra. "Towards a Feminine Ironic: Understanding Irony in the Oppositional
Discourse of Women from the Early Modern and Modern Periods." Diss. Purdue
University, 2006. Print.
Stolley, Karl. "Toward a Conception of Religion as a Discursive Formation: Implications for
Postmodern Composition Theory." MA thesis. Purdue University, 2002. Print.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Works Cited: Periodicals
Periodicals (e.g. magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals) that appear in print require the
same medium of publication designator—Print—as books, but the MLA Style method for citing
these materials and the items required for these entries are quite different from MLA book
citations.
For more information on citing periodicals, consult “Citing Periodical Print Publications” in the
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition (sec. 5.4, 136-48), or the MLA
Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition (sec. 6.5, 174-85).
Article in a Magazine
Cite by listing the article's author, putting the title of the article in quotations marks, and italicizing
the periodical title. Follow with the date of publication. Remember to abbreviate the month. The
basic format is as follows:
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages. Medium of
publication.
Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71. Print.
Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping Mar. 2006: 143-48. Print.
Article in a Newspaper
Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article, but note the different pagination in a
newspaper. If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late
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edition of a newspaper), identify the edition following the date (e.g., 17 May 1987, late ed.).
Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post
24 May 2007: LZ01. Print.
Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times 21 May 2007 late ed.: A1. Print.
If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name and state in
brackets after the title of the newspaper.
Behre, Robert. "Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats." Post and
Courier [Charleston, SC] 29 Apr. 2007: A11. Print.
Trembacki, Paul. "Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team." Purdue Exponent [West
Lafayette, IN] 5 Dec. 2000: 20. Print.
A Review
To cite a review, include the title of the review (if available), then the abbreviation "Rev. of" for
Review of and provide the title of the work (in italics for books, plays, and films; in quotation
marks for articles, poems, and short stories). Finally, provide performance and/or publication
information.
Review Author. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Rev. of Performance Title, by
Author/Director/Artist. Title of Periodical day month year: page. Medium of
publication.
Seitz, Matt Zoller. "Life in the Sprawling Suburbs, If You Can Really Call It Living." Rev. of
Radiant City, dir. Gary Burns and Jim Brown. New York Times 30 May 2007 late
ed.: E1. Print.
Weiller, K. H. Rev. of Sport, Rhetoric, and Gender: Historical Perspectives and Media
Representations, ed. Linda K. Fuller. Choice Apr. 2007: 1377. Print.
An Editorial & Letter to the Editor
Cite as you would any article in a periodical, but include the designators "Editorial" or "Letter" to
identify the type of work it is.
"Of Mines and Men." Editorial. Wall Street Journal east. ed. 24 Oct. 2003: A14. Print.
Hamer, John. Letter. American Journalism Review Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007: 7. Print.
Anonymous Articles
Cite the article title first, and finish the citation as you would any other for that kind of periodical.
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"Business: Global Warming's Boom Town; Tourism in Greenland." The Economist 26 May
2007: 82. Print.
"Aging; Women Expect to Care for Aging Parents but Seldom Prepare." Women's Health
Weekly 10 May 2007: 18. Print.
An Article in a Scholarly Journal
In previous years, MLA required that researchers determine whether or not a scholarly journal
employed continuous pagination (page numbers began at page one in the first issue of the years
and page numbers took up where they left off in subsequent ones) or non-continuous pagination
(page numbers begin at page one in every subsequent issue) in order to determine whether or
not to include issue numbers in bibliographic entries. The MLA Handbook for Writers of
Research Papers 7th edition (2009) eliminates this step. Always provide issue numbers, when
available.
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): pages. Medium of
publication.
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. Print.
Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation in
DeLillo's White Noise." Arizona Quarterly 50.3 (1994): 127-53. Print.
An Article in a Special Issue of a Scholarly Journal
When an article appears in a special issue of a journal, cite the name of the special issue in the
entry’s title space, in italics, and end with a period. Add the descriptor “Spec. issue of” and
include the name of the journal, also in italics, followed by the rest of the information required for
a standard scholarly journal citation.
Web entries should follow a similar format.
Burgess, Anthony. “Politics in the Novels of Graham Greene.” Literature and Society. Spec.
issue of Journal of Contemporary History 2.2 (1967): 93-99. Print.
Case, Sue-Ellen. “Eve's Apple, or Women's Narrative Bytes.” Technocriticism and
Hypernarrative. Spec. issue of Modern Fiction Studies 43.3 (1997): 631-650. Web.
10 Feb. 2010.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
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sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources
(Web Publications)
MLA lists electronic sources as Web Publications. Thus, when including the medium of
publication for electronic sources, list the medium as Web.
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. Also, you might use the
Bookmark function in your Web browser in order to return to documents more easily.
Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA
MLA no longer requires the use of URLs in MLA citations. Because Web addresses are not
static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on
the Web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA explains that most readers can find electronic
sources via title or author searches in Internet Search Engines.
For instructors or editors who still wish to require the use of URLs, MLA suggests that the
URL appear in angle brackets after the date of access. Break URLs only after slashes.
Aristotle. Poetics. Trans. S. H. Butcher. The Internet Classics Archive. Web Atomic and
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 13 Sept. 2007. Web. 4 Nov. 2008.
‹http://classics.mit.edu/›.
Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources
If publishing information is unavailable for entries that require publication information such as
publisher (or sponsor) names and publishing dates, MLA requires the use of special
abbreviations to indicate that this information is not available. Use n.p. to indicate that neither a
publisher nor a sponsor name has been provided. Use n.d. when the Web page does not
provide a publication date.
When an entry requires that you provide a page but no pages are provided in the source (as in
the case of an online-only scholarly journal or a work that appears in an online-only anthology),
use the abbreviation n. pag.
Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)
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Here are some common features you should try and find before citing electronic sources in
MLA style. Not every Web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect
as much of the following information as possible both for your citations and for your research
notes:
Author and/or editor names (if available)
Article name in quotation marks (if applicable)
Title of the Website, project, or book in italics. (Remember that some Print publications
have Web publications with slightly different names. They may, for example, include the
additional information or otherwise modified information, like domain names [e.g. .com or
.net].)
Any version numbers available, including revisions, posting dates, volumes, or issue
numbers.
Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
Take note of any page numbers (if available).
Medium of publication.
Date you accessed the material.
URL (if required, or for your own personal reference; MLA does not require a URL).
Citing an Entire Web Site
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. If a URL is required or you
chose to include one, be sure to include the complete address for the site. (Note: The following
examples do not include a URL because MLA no longer requires a URL to be included.)
Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if no publishing date is given.
Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of
institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource
creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access.
The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U,
2008. Web. 23 Apr. 2008.
Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003. Web. 10
May 2006.
Course or Department Websites
Give the instructor name. Then list the title of the course (or the school catalog designation for
the course) in italics. Give appropriate department and school names as well, following the
course title. Remember to use n.d. if no publishing date is given.
Felluga, Dino. Survey of the Literature of England. Purdue U, Aug. 2006. Web. 31 May
2007.
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English Department. Purdue U, 20 Apr. 2009. Web. 14 May 2009.
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. Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is
available and n.d. if no publishing date is given.
"How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow. Demand Media, Inc., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2009.
An Image (Including a Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph)
Provide the artist's name, the work of art italicized, the date of creation, the institution and city
where the work is housed. Follow this initial entry with the name of the Website in italics, the
medium of publication, and the date of access.
Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.
Museo National del Prado. Web. 22 May 2006.
Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive.
Web. 22 May 2006.
If the work is cited on the web only, then provide the name of the artist, the title of the work, the
medium of the work, and then follow the citation format for a website. If the work is posted via
a username, use that username for the author.
brandychloe. "Great Horned Owl Family." Photograph. Webshots. American Greetings, 22
May 2006. Web. 5 Nov. 2009.
An Article in a Web Magazine
Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the Web magazine in italics,
publisher name, publication date, medium of publication, and the date of access. Remember to
use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if no publishing date is given.
Bernstein, Mark. "10 Tips on Writing the Living Web." A List Apart: For People Who Make
Websites. A List Apart Mag., 16 Aug. 2002. Web. 4 May 2009.
An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal
For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in
quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year
of publication.
Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal
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MLA requires a page range for articles that appear in Scholarly Journals. If the journal you are
citing appears exclusively in an online format (i.e. there is no corresponding print publication)
that does not make use of page numbers, use the abbreviation n. pag. to denote that there is no
pagination for the publication.
Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future
Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal 6.2
(2008): n. pag. Web. 20 May 2009.
Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print
Cite articles in online scholarly journals that also appear in print as you would a scholarly journal
in print, including the page range of the article. Provide the medium of publication that you used
(in this case, Web) and the date of access.
Wheelis, Mark. "Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin
Weapons Convention." Emerging Infectious Diseases 6.6 (2000): 595-600. Web. 8
Feb. 2009.
An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service)
Cite articles from online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and
other subscription services just as you would print sources. Since these articles usually come
from periodicals, be sure to consult the appropriate sections of the Works Cited: Periodicals
page, which you can access via its link at the bottom of this page. In addition to this information,
provide the title of the database italicized, the medium of publication, and the date of access.
Note: Previous editions of the MLA Style Manual required information about the subscribing
institution (name and location). This information is no longer required by MLA.
Junge, Wolfgang, and Nathan Nelson. “Nature's Rotary Electromotors.” Science 29 Apr. 2005:
642-44. Science Online. Web. 5 Mar. 2009.
Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical
Journal 50.1 (2007): 173-96. ProQuest. Web. 27 May 2009.
E-mail (including E-mail Interviews)
Give the author of the message, followed by the subject line in quotation marks. State to whom
to message was sent, the date the message was sent, and the medium of publication.
Kunka, Andrew. "Re: Modernist Literature." Message to the author. 15 Nov. 2000. E-mail.
Neyhart, David. "Re: Online Tutoring." Message to Joe Barbato. 1 Dec. 2000. E-mail.
A Listserv, Discussion Group, or Blog Posting
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Cite Web postings as you would a standard Web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title
of the posting in quotation marks, the Web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting
date. Follow with the medium of publication and the date of access. Include screen names as
author names when author name is not known. If both names are known, place the author’s
name in brackets. Remember if the publisher of the site is unknown, use the abbreviation n.p.
Editor, screen name, author, or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site.
Version number (if available). Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site
(sponsor or publisher). Medium of publication. Date of access.
Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of
Rooms?” BoardGameGeek. BoardGameGeek, 29 Sept. 2008. Web. 5 Apr. 2009.
A Tweet
MLA posted guidelines on their website for how to cite a tweet on a Works Cited page. Begin
with the user's name (Last Name, First Name) followed by his/her Twitter user name in
parentheses. Insert a period outside the parentheses. Next, place the tweet in its entirety in
quotations, inserting a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of
posting, using the reader's time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a
period. Include the word "Tweet" afterwards and end with a period.
Brokaw, Tom (tombrokaw). "SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this
campaign." 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m. Tweet.
Purdue Writing Lab (PurdueWLab). "Spring break is around the corner, and all our locations
will be open next week." 5 Mar. 2012, 12:58 p.m. Tweet.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Works Cited: Other Common
Sources
Several sources have multiple means for citation, especially those that appear in varied formats:
films, DVDs, videocassettes; published and unpublished interviews, interviews over e-mail;
published and unpublished conference proceedings. The following section groups these sorts of
citations as well as others not covered in the print, periodical, and electronic sources sections.
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citations as well as others not covered in the print, periodical, and electronic sources sections.
An Interview
Interviews typically fall into two categories: print or broadcast published and unpublished
(personal) interviews, although interviews may also appear in other, similar formats such as in email format or as a Web document.
Personal Interviews
Personal interviews refer to those interviews that you conduct yourself. List the interview by the
name of the interviewee. Include the descriptor Personal interview and the date of the interview.
Purdue, Pete. Personal interview. 1 Dec. 2000.
Published Interviews (Print or Broadcast)
List the interview by the name of the interviewee. If the name of the interview is part of a larger
work like a book, a television program, or a film series, place the title of the interview in
quotation marks. Place the title of the larger work in italics. If the interview appears as an
independent title, italicize it. Determine the medium of publication (e.g., print, Web, DVD) and
fill in the rest of the entry with the information required by that medium. For books, include the
author or editor name after the book title.
Note: If the interview from which you quote does not feature a title, add the descriptor
Interview (unformatted) after the interviewee’s name. You may also use the descriptor
Interview by to add the name of the interview to the entry if it is relevant to your paper.
Gaitskill, Mary. Interview with Charles Bock. Mississippi Review 27.3 (1999): 129-50. Print.
Amis, Kingsley. “Mimic and Moralist.” Interviews with Britain’s Angry Young Men. By Dale
Salwak. San Bernardino: Borgo, 1984. Print.
Online-only Published Interviews
List the interview by the name of the interviewee. If the interview has a title, place it in quotation
marks. Cite the remainder of the entry as you would other exclusive Web content. Place the
name of the Website in italics, give the publisher name (or sponsor), the publication date, the
medium of publication (Web), and the date of access. Remember that if no publisher name is
give, insert the abbreviation n.p.
Note: If the interview from which you quote does not feature a title, add the descriptor
Interview (unformatted) after the interviewee’s name. You may also use the descriptor
Interview by to add the name of the interview to the entry if it is relevant to your paper.
Zinkievich, Craig. Interview by Gareth Von Kallenbach. Skewed & Reviewed. Skewed &
Reviewed, 2009. Web. 15 Mar. 2009.
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Speeches, Lectures, or Other Oral Presentations (including Conference Presentations)
Provide the speaker’s name. Then, give the title of the speech (if any) in quotation marks.
Follow with the name of the meeting and organization, the location of the occasion, and the date.
Use the descriptor that appropriately expresses the type of presentation (e.g., Address, Lecture,
Reading, Keynote Speech, Guest Lecture, Conference Presentation). Remember to use the
abbreviation n.p. if the publisher is not known; use n.d. if the date is not known.
Stein, Bob. "Computers and Writing Conference Presentation." Purdue University. Union Club
Hotel, West Lafayette, IN. 23 May 2003. Keynote Address.
Published Conference Proceedings
Cite published conference proceedings like a book. If the date and location of the conference
are not part of the published title, add this information after the published proceedings title. The
medium of publication is Print. Remember to use the abbreviation n.p. if the publisher is not
known; use n.d. if the date is not known.
LastName, FirstName, ed. Conference Title that Includes Conference Date and Location.
City of Publication: Publisher, Date of Publication. Print.
LastName, FirstName, ed. Conference Title that Does Not Include Conference Date and
Location. Conference Date, Conference Location. City of Publication: Publisher, Date
of Publication. Print.
To cite a presentation from a published conference proceedings, begin with the presenter’s
name. Place the name of the presentation in quotation marks. Follow with publication
information for the conference proceedings.
LastName, FirstName. “Conference Paper Title.” Conference Title that Includes Conference
Date and Location. Ed. Conference Editor(s). City of Publication: Publisher, Date of
Publication. Print.
A Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph
Include the artist's name. Give the title of the artwork in italics. Provide the date of composition.
If the date of composition is unknown, place the abbreviation n.d. in place of the date. Finally,
provide the name of the institution that houses the artwork followed by the location of the
institution.
Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo del Prado, Madrid.
For photographic reproductions of artwork (e.g. images of artwork in a book), cite the
bibliographic information as above followed by the information for the source in which the
photograph appears, including page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc.).
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
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Art Through the Ages. 10th ed. By Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner. Fort
Worth: Harcourt Brace. 939. Print.
For artwork in an online format, consult “An Image (Including a Painting, Sculpture, or
Photograph)” by following the link Works Cited: Electronic Sources at the bottom of this page.
Films or Movies
List films (in theaters or not yet on DVD or video) by their title. Include the name of the director,
the film studio or distributor, and the release year. If relevant, list performer names after the
director’s name. Use the abbreviation perf. to head the list. List film as the medium of
publication. To cite a DVD or other video recording, see “Recorded Films and Movies” below.
The Usual Suspects. Dir. Bryan Singer. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri,
Stephen Baldwin, and Benecio del Toro. Polygram, 1995. Film.
To emphasize specific performers (perf.) or directors (dir.), begin the citation with the name of
the desired performer or director, followed by the appropriate abbreviation.
Lucas, George, dir. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Twentieth Century Fox, 1977. Film.
Recorded Films or Movies
List films by their title. Include the name of the director, the distributor, and the release year. If
relevant, list performer names after the director’s name. Use the abbreviation perf. to head the
list. End the entry with the appropriate medium of publication (e.g. DVD, VHS, Laser disc).
Ed Wood. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia
Arquette. Touchstone, 1994. DVD.
Broadcast Television or Radio Program
Begin with the title of the episode in quotation marks. Provide the name of the series or program
in italics. Also include the network name, call letters of the station followed by the city, and the
date of broadcast. End with the publication medium (e.g. Television, Radio). For television
episodes on Videocassette or DVD refer to the “Recorded Television Episodes” section below.
"The Blessing Way." The X-Files. Fox. WXIA, Atlanta. 19 Jul. 1998. Television.
Recorded Television Episodes (e.g. DVD, Videocassette)
Cite recorded television episodes like films (see above). Begin with the episode name in
quotation marks. Follow with the series name in italics. 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 locate the
recording. Give the distributor name followed by the date of distribution. End with the medium
of publication (e.g. DVD, Videocassette, Laser disc).
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of publication (e.g. DVD, Videocassette, Laser disc).
Note: The writer may choose to include information about directors, writers, performers,
producers between the title and the distributor name. Use appropriate abbreviations for these
contributors (e.g. dir., writ., perf., prod.).
"The One Where Chandler Can't Cry." Friends: The Complete Sixth Season. Writ. Andrew
Reich and Ted Cohen. Dir. Kevin Bright. Warner Brothers, 2004. DVD.
Sound Recordings
List sound recordings in such a way that they can easily be found by readers. Generally,
citations begin with the artist name. They might also be listed by composers (comp.) or
performers (perf.). Otherwise, list composer and performer information after the album title.
Use the appropriate abbreviation after the person’s name and a comma, when needed. Put
individual song titles in quotation marks. Album names are italicized. Provide the name of the
recording manufacturer followed by the publication date (or n.d., if date is unknown). List the
appropriate medium at the end of the entry (e.g. CD, LP, Audiocassette). For MP3 recordings,
see the “Digital Files” section below.
Note: If you know and desire to list the recording date, include this information before the
manufacturer name. Use the abbreviation for “recorded” (Rec.) and list the recording date (dd
mm year format) before the manufacturer name.
Foo Fighters. In Your Honor. RCA, 2005. CD.
Nirvana. "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Nevermind. Geffen, 1991. Audiocassette.
Beethoven, Ludwig van. The 9 Symphonies. Perf. NBC Symphony Orchestra. Cond. Arturo
Toscanini. RCA, 2003. CD.
Spoken-Word Albums
Treat spoken-word albums the same as musical albums.
Hedberg, Mitch. Strategic Grill Locations. Comedy Central, 2003. CD.
Digital Files (PDFs, MP3s, JPEGs)
Determine the type of work to cite (e.g., article, image, sound recording) and cite appropriately.
End the entry with the name of the digital format (e.g., PDF, JPEG file, Microsoft Word file,
MP3). If the work does not follow traditional parameters for citation, give the author’s name,
the name of the work, the date of creation, and the medium of publication. Use Digital file
when the medium cannot be determined.
Beethoven, Ludwig van. Moonlight Sonata. Crownstar, 2006. MP3.
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Smith, George. “Pax Americana: Strife in a Time of Peace.” 2005. Microsoft Word file.
Council of Writing Program Administrators, National Council of Teachers of English, and
National Writing Project. Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing.
CWPA, NCTE, and NWP, 2011. PDF file.
Bentley, Phyllis. “Yorkshire and the Novelist.” The Kenyon Review 30.4 (1968): 509-22.
JSTOR. PDF file.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Additional Resources
It's always best to consult the current MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers for any
MLA question. If you are using MLA style for a class assignment, it's also a good idea to
consult your professor, advisor, TA, or other campus resources for help. They're the ones who
can tell you how the style should apply in your particular case.
For extraordinary questions that aren't covered clearly in the style manual or haven't been
answered by your teacher or advisor, contact the Writing Lab for help at (765) 494-3723 or
email us at this form.
Print Resources from the Modern Language Association
MLA Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd Edition (ISBN-13: 978-0-87352297-7)
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th Edition (ISBN-13: 978-1-60329-0241)
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Abbreviations
There are a few common trends in abbreviating that you should follow when using MLA, though
there are always exceptions to these rules. For a complete list of common abbreviations used in
academic writing, see Chapter 7 of the MLA Handbooks for Writers of Research Papers, 7th
edition, and Chapter 8 of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd
edition.
This guide provides only a very small portion of the abbreviations suggested by MLA. Each
section cross-references the appropriate sections and page numbers of the MLA Handbooks
for Writers of Research Papers and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly
Publishing.
Uppercase Letter Abbreviations
Do not use periods or spaces in abbreviations composed solely of capital letters, except in the
case of proper names:
US, MA, CD, HTML
P. D. James, J. R. R. Tolkien, E. B. White
Lowercase Letter Abbreviations
Use a period if the abbreviation ends in a lower case letter, unless referring to an internet suffix,
where the period should come before the abbreviation:
assn., conf., Eng., esp.
.com, .edu, .gov (URL suffixes)
Note: Degree names are a notable exception to the lowercase abbreviation rule.
PhD, EdD, PsyD
Use periods between letters without spacing if each letter represents a word in common lower
case abbreviations:
a.m., e.g., i.e.
Other notable exceptions:
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mph, os, rpm, ns
For more on upper- and lowercase letter abbreviation designations, see Section 7.1.
Introduction (234) of the MLA Handbooks for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, or
Section 8.1. Introduction (261-62) of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly
Publishing, 3rd edition.
Abbreviations in Citations
Condense citations as much as possible using abbreviations.
Time Designations
Remember to follow common trends in abbreviating time and location within citations. Month
names longer than four letters used in journal and magazine citations:
Jan., Sept., Nov.
For more information on time designations, see Section 7.2. Time Designations (235) of the
MLA Handbooks for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, or Section 8.2. Time
Designations (262-63) of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd
edition.
Geographic Names
Geographic names of states and countries in book citations when the publisher's city is not well
known or could be confused with another city. Abbreviate country, province, and state names.
Logan, UT; Manchester, Eng.; Sherbrooke, QC
For more information on time designations, see Section 7.3. Geographic Names (236-40) of the
MLA Handbooks for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, or Section 8.3. Geographic
Names (264-69) of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition.
Scholarly Abbreviations
List common scholarly abbreviations as they appear below:
Anon. for anonymous
C. or ca. for circa
Comp. for compiler
Fwd. for foreword
Jour. for journal
Lib. for library
Sec. or sect. for section
Ser. for series
Var. for variant
Writ. for written by or writer
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For more information on scholarly abbreviations, see Section 7.4. Common Scholarly
Abbreviations and Reference Words (240-47) of the MLA Handbooks for Writers of
Research Papers, 7th edition, or Section 8.3. Common Scholarly Abbreviations and Reference
Words (269-82) of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition.
Publisher Names
Shorten publisher's names as much as possible in book citations. You only need to provide your
readers with enough information for them to identify the publisher. Many publishers can be
identified by only acronyms or a shortened version of their names.
MLA suggests a few rules for you to follow when abbreviating publishers:
Omit articles, business abbreviations (like Corp. or Inc.), and descriptive words (e.g.
Press, Publishers, House)
Cite only the last name of a publisher with the name of one person (e.g. Norton for W.
W. Norton) and only the last name of the first listed for a publisher with multiple names
(e.g. McGraw for McGraw-Hill)
Use standard abbreviations when possible (e.g. Assn. or Soc.)
Use the acronym of the publisher if the company is commonly know by that abbreviation
(e.g. MLA, ERIC, GPO)
Use only U and P when referring to university presses (e.g. Cambridge UP or U of
Chicago P)
Here is a short list of publisher abbreviations that you might use. Consult Chapter 7 of the MLA
Handbook for a more complete list.
Acad. for Educ. Dev. (Academy for Educational Development, Inc.)
Gale (Gale Research, Inc.)
Harper (Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc. & HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.)
Little (Little, Brown and Company, Inc.)
MIT P (The MIT Press)
NCTE (The National Council of Teachers of English)
SIRS (Social Issues Resources Series)
UMI (University Microfilms International)
For more information on publisher names, see Section 7.4. Publishers’ Names (247-49) of the
MLA Handbooks for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, or Section 8.3. Publishers’
Names (282-85) of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
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Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Sample Works Cited Page
This handout provides an example of a Works Cited page in MLA 2009 format.
Works Cited
"Blueprint Lays Out Clear Path for Climate Action." Environmental Defense Fund.
Environmental Defense Fund, 8 May 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.
Clinton, Bill. Interview by Andrew C. Revkin. “Clinton on Climate Change.” New York Times.
New York Times, May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.
Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet." New York Times. New York
Times, 22 May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.
Ebert, Roger. "An Inconvenient Truth." Rev. of An Inconvenient Truth, dir. Davis
Guggenheim. rogerebert.com. Sun-Times News Group, 2 June 2006. Web. 24 May
2009.
GlobalWarming.org. Cooler Heads Coalition, 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.
Gowdy, John. "Avoiding Self-organized Extinction: Toward a Co-evolutionary Economics of
Sustainability." International Journal of Sustainable Development and World
Ecology 14.1 (2007): 27-36. Print.
An Inconvenient Truth. Dir. Davis Guggenheim. Perf. Al Gore, Billy West. Paramount, 2006.
DVD.
Leroux, Marcel. Global Warming: Myth Or Reality?: The Erring Ways of Climatology.
New York: Springer, 2005. Print.
Milken, Michael, Gary Becker, Myron Scholes, and Daniel Kahneman. "On Global Warming
and Financial Imbalances." New Perspectives Quarterly 23.4 (2006): 63. Print.
Nordhaus, William D. "After Kyoto: Alternative Mechanisms to Control Global Warming."
American Economic Review 96.2 (2006): 31-34. Print.
---. "Global Warming Economics." Science 9 Nov. 2001: 1283-84. Science Online. Web. 24
May 2009.
Shulte, Bret. "Putting a Price on Pollution." Usnews.com. US News & World Rept., 6 May
2007. Web. 24 May 2009.
Uzawa, Hirofumi. Economic Theory and Global Warming. Cambridge: Cambridge UP,
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2003. Print.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Sample Paper
This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2009 updates. To download
the MLA sample paper, select the MLA 2009 Sample Paper PDF file in the Media box above.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Tables, Figures, and Examples
The purpose of visual materials or other illustrations is to enhance the audience's understanding
of information in the document and/or awareness of a topic. Writers can embed several types of
visuals using the most basic word processing software: diagrams, musical scores, photographs,
or, for documents that will be read electronically, audio/video applications.
General Guidelines
Collect sources. Gather the source information required for MLA Documentation for
the source medium of the illustration (e.g. print, web, podcast).
Determine what types of illustrations best suit your purpose. Consider the purpose
of each illustration, how it contributes to the purpose of the document and the reader's
understanding, and whether or not the audience will be able to view and/or understand
the illustration easily.
Use illustrations of the best quality. Avoid blurry, pixilated, or distorted images for
both print and electronic documents. Often pixilation and distortion occurs when writers
manipulate image sizes. Keep images in their original sizes or use photo editing software
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manipulate image sizes. Keep images in their original sizes or use photo editing software
to modify them. Reproduce distorted graphs, tables, or diagrams with spreadsheet or
publishing software, but be sure to include all source information. Always represent the
original source information faithfully and avoid unethical practices of false representation
or manipulation.
Use illustrations sparingly. Decide what items can best improve the document's ability
to augment readers' understanding of the information, appreciation for the subject, and/or
illustration of the main points. Do not provide illustrations for illustrations' sake. Scrutinize
illustrations for how potentially informative or persuasive they can be.
Do not use illustrations to boost page length. In the case of student papers,
instructors often do not count the space taken up by visual aids toward the required page
length of the document. Remember that texts explain, while illustrations enhance.
Illustrations cannot carry the entire weight of the document.
Labels, Captions, and Source Information
Illustrations appear directly embedded in the document, except in the case of manuscripts that
being prepared for publication. (For preparing manuscripts with visual materials for publication,
see Note on Manuscripts below.) Each illustration must include, a label, a number, a caption
and/or source information.
The illustration label and number should always appear in two places: the
document main text (e.g. see fig. 1) and near the illustration itself (Fig. 1).
Captions provide titles or explanatory notes.
Source information documentation will always depend upon the medium of the source
illustration. If you provide source information with all of your illustrations, you do not need
to provide this information on the Works Cited page.
Source Information and Note Form
For source information, MLA lists sources in note form. These entries appear much like
standard MLA bibliographic entries with a few exceptions:
Author names are in First_Name Last_Name format.
Commas are substituted for periods (except in the case of the period that ends the entry).
Publication information for books (location: publisher, year) appears in parentheses.
Relevant page numbers follow the publication information.
Note: Use semicolons to denote entry sections when long series of commas make these
sections difficult to ascertain as being like or separate. (See examples below.) The MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th edition states that if the table or illustration
caption provides complete citation information about the source and the source is not cited in
the text, authors do not need to list the source in the Works Cited list.
Examples - Documenting Source Information in "Note Form"
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Book
Tom Shachtman, Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999)
35. Print.
Website (using semicolons to group like information together)
United States; Dept. of Commerce; Census Bureau; Manufacturing, Mining, and Construction
Statistics; Housing Units Authorized by Building Permits; US Dept. of Commerce, 5
Feb. 2008; Web; 23 Dec. 2008; table 1a.
In this example, the commas in Manufacturing, Mining, and Construction Statistics prompt
the need for semicolons in order for the series information to be read easily. Even if
Manufacturing, Mining, and Construction Statistics had not appeared in the entry, the
multiple "author names" of United States, Dept. of Commerce, and Census Bureau would
have necessitated the use of a semicolon before and after the title and between ensuing sections
to the end of the entry.
Furthermore, the publisher and date in a standard entry are separated by a comma and belong
together; thus, their inclusion here (US Dept. of Commerce, 5 Feb. 2008) also necessitates the
semicolons.
MLA Documentation for Tables, Figures, and Examples
MLA provides three designations for document illustrations: tables, figures, and examples (see
specific sections below).
Tables
Refer to the table and its corresponding numeral in-text. Do not capitalize the word table.
This is typically done in parentheses (e.g. "(see table 2)").
Situate the table near the text to which it relates.
Align the table flush-left to the margin.
Label the table Table and provide its corresponding Arabic numeral. No punctuation is
necessary after the label and number (see example below).
On the next line, provide a caption for the table, most often the table title. Use standard
capitalization rules.
Place the table below the caption, flush-left, making sure to maintain basic MLA style
formatting (e.g. one-inch margins).
Below the title, signal the source information with the descriptor Source, followed by a
colon, then provide the correct MLA bibliographic information for the source in note
form (see instructions and examples above). Use a hanging indent for lines after the first.
If you provide source information with your illustrations, you do not need to provide this
information on the Works Cited page.
If additional caption information or explanatory notes is necessary, use lowercase letters
formatted in superscript in the caption information or table. Below the source information,
indent, provide a corresponding lowercase letter (not in superscript), a space, and the
note.
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note.
Labels, captions, and notes are double-spaced.
Table Example
In-text reference:
In 1985, women aged 65 and older were 59% more likely than men of the same age to reside in
a nursing home, and though 11,700 less women of that age group were enrolled in 1999, men
over the same time period ranged from 30,000 to 39,000 persons while women accounted for
49,000 to 61,500 (see table 1).
Table reference:
Table 1 Rate of Nursing Home Residence Among People Age 65 or Older, By Sex and Age
Group, 1985, 1995, 1997, 1999a
Image Caption: Example Table
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Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, Older Americans 2008: Key
Indicators of Well-Being, Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, Mar. 2008,
Web, table 35A.
a. Note: Rates for 65 and over category are age-adjusted using the 2000 standard population.
Beginning in 1997, population figures are adjusted for net underenumeration using the 1990
National Population Adjustment Matrix from the U.S. Census Bureau. People residing in
personal care or domiciliary care homes are excluded from the numerator.
Figures
All visuals/illustrations that are not tables or musical score examples (e.g. maps, diagrams,
charts, videos, podcasts, etc.) are labeled Figure or Fig.
Refer to the figure in-text and provide an Arabic numeral that corresponds to the figure.
Do not capitalize figure or fig.
MLA does not specify alignment requirements for figures; thus, these images may be
embedded as the reader sees fit. However, continue to follow basic MLA Style
formatting (e.g. one-inch margins).
Below the figure, provide a label name and its corresponding arabic numeral (no bold or
italics), followed by a period (e.g. Fig. 1.). Here, Figure and Fig. are capitalized.
Beginning with the same line as the label and number, provide a title and/or caption as
well as relevant source information in note form (see instructions and examples above). If
you provide source information with your illustrations, you do not need to provide this
information on the Works Cited page.
Figures Example
In-text reference:
Some readers found Harry’s final battle with Voldemort a disappointment, and recently, the
podcast, MuggleCast debated the subject (see fig. 2).
Figure caption (below an embedded podcast file for a document to be viewed electronically):
Fig. 2. Harry Potter and Voldemort final battle debate from Andrew Sims et al.; “Show 166”;
MuggleCast; MuggleNet.com, 19 Dec. 2008; Web; 27 Dec. 2008.
Examples
The descriptor Example only refers to musical illustrations (e.g. portions of a musical
score). Example is often abbreviated Ex.
Refer to the example in-text and provide an Arabic numeral that corresponds to the
example. Do not capitalize example or ex.
Supply the illustration, making sure to maintain basic MLA Style formatting (e.g. one-inch
margins).
Below the example, provide the label (capitalized Example or Ex.) and number and a
caption or title. The caption or title will often take the form of source information along
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with an explanation, for example, of what part of the score is being illustrated. If you
provide source information with your illustrations, you do not need to provide this
information on the Works Cited page.
Note on Manuscripts
Do not embed illustrations (tables, figures, or examples) in manuscripts for publication. Put
placeholders in the text to show where the illustrations will go. Type these placeholders on their
own line, flush left, and bracketed (e.g. [table 1]). At the end of the document, provide label,
number, caption, and source information in an organized list. Send files for illustrations in the
appropriate format to your editor separately. If you provide source information with your
illustrations, you do not need to provide this information on the Works Cited page.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA PowerPoint Presentation
Select the MLA PowerPoint Presentation link in the Media box above to download slides that
provide a detailed review of the MLA citation style.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Undergraduate Sample Paper
This resource contains an undergraduate sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2009 updates.
Select the Undergraduate MLA 2009 Sample Paper PDF file in the Media box above.
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
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Purdue OWL Staff.
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Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
MLA Classroom Poster
The MLA poster at the link below is a printable jpg file you may download and print out at
different sizes for use in classrooms, writing centers, or as a pocket reference. Please keep in
mind that the file size, as a print-quality resource (120 dpi), is large, so it may take a while to
download. You may adjust the print size of the poster from your print menu. As is, the poster is
27 x 36 inches.
Because the poster is quite large, standard printers cannot print the poster. If you do not have
access to a printer that can print large documents, contact a local print shop to print the poster.
The Purdue OWL cannot grant requests to print and mail posters.
If you do not have access to a print shop to print the poster, please use the resources we have
available here for printing on standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Go to resource you would like to
print, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click "Full Resource for Printing."
Also please note that the poster only contains basic MLA guidelines. For detailed instructions,
please see the complete OWL MLA resources here.
The Purdue OWL MLA Classroom Poster was developed by Kate Bouwens for the Purdue
Professional Writing - Purdue OWL Internship class, English 490, in spring 2009.
Purdue OWL MLA Classroom Poster (Please note: The poster is best viewed in Firefox.)
Contributors:Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz,
Purdue OWL Staff.
Summary:
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite
sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to
Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers,
in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
OWL Mail MLA FAQs
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The follow FAQs address issues in MLA citation and/or formatting. The entries in this section
are based on frequently asked questions received by our OWL Mail Tutors. We encourage you
to scan through these before you send your MLA related questions into OWL Mail. If you're
question is not answered in our main MLA resource, nor it is found in this FAQ, you may
contact the OWL Mail Tutors by clicking here. Also, further information on MLA style and
citation can be found at the Purdue OWL’s MLA Style and Formatting resource.
I have to write a paper in MLA format. Where can I learn more about
writing in MLA?
The Purdue OWL maintains a rather extensive resource that deals with writing in MLA style.
You can access our MLA resources by clicking here.
How do I use MLA citations and works cited in a PowerPoint
presentation?
Unfortunately, the MLA does not directly address this issue. You could follow the guidelines for
in-text citation in a document in your PowerPoint presentation. You could then provide a
separate Works Cited slide at the end of the PowerPoint deck. However, if you feel that the
audience would not gain as much from a separate Works Cited slide, you could always provide
the full Works Cited entry at the bottom of the relevant slides.
How do I cite letters, or email, (Personal Communication) in MLA?
Letters fall under the MLA’s guidelines for personal communication, which are as follows:
Author’s LastName, Author’s FirstName. Letter to the author. Date of Letter.
The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research papers requires that you put “TS.” After the
date of the letter if it is a typed letter.
In text, you should differentiate between the letters, if you have numerous untitled letters from
the same author. Although the MLA has no guidelines for this, we suggest including the date in
the sentence referring to the letter. For example:
In the letter dated 14 December 2010, he writers, “…it is cold outside” (Smith).
How do I cite an unpublished manuscript/document in MLA?
The following is from page 203 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th
edition:
Author. Title of Manuscript/Document. date of composition (at least year; if unknown, write
N.d.). form of material (MS for manuscript or work written by hand; TS for a typescript or
work prepared by machine) along with "the name and location of the library, research institution,
or personal collection housing the material."
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Here’s an example they provide:
Henderson George Wylie. Baby Lou and the Angel Bud. N.d. TS. Collection of Roslyn
Kirkland Allen, New York.
I have been reading books on my Kindle (or Kindle enabled device),
how do I cite Kindle books in MLA?
This is a very interesting question, and one that is receiving a great deal of attention in blogs and
online forums. The most recent version of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Papers does not directly address the citation of Kindle books. However, it does cover citing
digital files that exist separate from the web (see section 5.7.18). This section explains that to
cite such sources in the Works Cited page you should first "determine the kind of work you are
citing...and follow the relevant guidelines" for that format (211). Then, in the place for
the publication medium, you should insert the file format followed by the word "file."
In the case of the Kindle, I would suggest using the following: “Kindle file” or “Kindle AZW
file.” Use the latter if you know the more specific file type. For an example, see the book
citation sample below:
Author Lastname, Author Firstname. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of
Publication. Kindle AZW file.
Because the Kindle does not employ page numbers, you should refer to section 6.4.2 of the
MLA manual, which addresses in-text citations for a part of a work with no pagination. MLA
suggests that you cite the section format explicitly used by the work. Thus, in the case of a
Kindle, you might use chapter, paragraph, or section numbers depending on the way that the
work is explicitly divided. Although a Kindle version of a book may use "location numbers,"
these would not be useful to anyone without a
Kindle. Therefore, some other section designation seems more appropriate to the purposes of
making the cited material accessible to those reading your text. See example below for a sample
citation using section numbers or paragraph numbers.
How do I cite a book that I accessed online in MLA?
The following information comes from page 187 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of
Research Papers. If you are citing a work on the Web that has a previous or concurrent
publication in print, your citation should include the following:
1. Begin the entry as you would any book cited: Author Last Name, First
name. Title of Book. Location of publisher: Name of publisher, year of
publication.
For more information on this from the Purdue OWL, please click here.
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2.Follow the above with the title of the database or Web site (in italics)
where the book is hosted.
3. Include the medium of the publication consulted (Web)
4. Include the dates of access (DD Mth. YYYY)
The following is an example from the MLA Handbook:
Cascardi, Anthony J. Ideologies of History in the Spanish Golden Age.
University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997. Pennsylvania State Romance
Studies. Web. 12 Mar. 2007.
How do I cite a YouTube video in MLA?
The MLA does not specifically address how to cite a YouTube video. This has, it appears, led
to some confusion as to the best method of for citing YouTube videos in MLA.
Based on MLA standards for other media formats, we feel that the following format is the most
acceptable for citing YouTube videos:
Author’s Name or Poster’s Username. “Title of Image or Video.” Media Type
Text. Name of Website. Name of Website’s Publisher, date of posting. Medium. date
retrieved.
Here is an example of what that looks like:
Shimabukuro, Jake. "Ukulele Weeps by Jake Shimabukuro." Online video clip.
YouTube. YouTube, 22 Apr. 2006. Web. 9. Sept. 2010.
How do I cite a definition from an online dictionary, like
Dictionary.com, in MLA?
The correct citation for a definition from an online dictionary, Dictionary.com, should include
both the original source the definition comes from and the information for the web access.
For instance, a proper citation should look like this:
"Perchloric acid." The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. Dictionary.com. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.
How do I cite something that appeared as a footnote in one of my
source texts in MLA?
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To cite a footnote from a work in your text, according to the 7th edition of the MLA
Handbook, you would use the following format:
(Author Page#nNote#)
For example:
(Smith 123n6)
The page number is followed—with no space in between—by an “n” to indicate “note,” which
is followed—again, with no space in between—by the note number. To cite multiple notes, use
“nn” rather than “n.”
How do I cite the US Constitution in MLA?
The 7th edition of the MLA handbook has this to say about citing the U.S. Constitution:
"In general, do not italicize or enclose in quotation marks the title of laws, acts, and similar
documents in either the text or the list of works cited (Declaration of Independence, Constitution
of the United States, Taft-Hartley Act). Such titles are usually abbreviated, and the works are
cited by sections. The years are added if relevant" (205).
Because these directives aren’t very specific, you can use the following example as a guide for
the Works Cited entry:
U.S. Constitution. Art./Amend. XII, Sec. 3.
You need only provide either the article number or the amendment number as appropriate.
The complementary parenthetical citation is written as (US Const. amend. XII, sec. 3). You
might also reference the U.S. Constitution in the sentence itself and only provide the amendment
and section number in the parentheses at the end of the sentence.
How do I cite genealogies and birth/death certificates in MLA?
This is a very particular, and a very peculiar, case. MLA does not offer any guidelines on how
to handle genealogies and birth certificates. However, after searching through web, we have
found the following resources that might be useful to you:
Genealogy.com offers a method of citing birth/death certificates. Click here and scroll down
to “Official Records.”
We also found the following information published by Archive.gov, which you can access by
clicking here.
How do I cite information from nutrition Labels? Can I just use the
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label on the food item? Or, should I try to find the information
elsewhere?
Part of the reason for citing things in research papers is 1) to help build our credibility—our
ethos—as writers, and 2) give the reader the so-called “key features” of the sources that we are
using. To that end, it would be best to try and find the nutrition information somewhere more
stable than the actual item that is sitting in your cupboard. For example, don't cite the nutrition
information for a cheeseburger off of the wrapper the cheeseburger came in. Rather, go to the
website of the company that sold the cheeseburger and try to find the information there.
However, if this cannot be done, it may be possible to cite the nutrition label in the following
way:
Corporate Author. “Nutrition Label of name of product.” City, State of Manufacture. Year.
For example:
Kraftfoods. “Nutrition Label of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.” Banbury, UK.
How do I cite an informational plaque or an information card in MLA?
The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition specifies a kind of standard
template, which we will use as the basis from which we can extrapolate your citation. You
should include as much of the following information as possible about the information card:
Name of the Museum/Building/Location (as a Corporate Author). "Title of the Information
Card." Location of the Museum/Building/Location: Name of the Museum/Building/Location
(now as publisher), Year (when the exhibit, building, or artifact was put up). Medium (in this
case, something like pamphlet, plaque, or information brochure).
Copyright ©1995-2012 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without
permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
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