**Please note the below examples are from the MLA Handbook 7th edition. There is now an 8th edition in which some things have changed. We are working on updating this webpage. For more help, come in and make an appointment with us.
The best advice for documenting sources is to find the correct model for the type of source you have. So, for example, if you are documenting a newspaper article, look up the model for newspaper articles and follow the model exactly, paying close attention to what is capitalized and what isn’t and how the model is punctuated.
In addition, it is important to understand that where you located the source determines the model you must use. If you accessed a newspaper article from an actual printed newspaper, then you would follow one model. If you accessed a newspaper article from the newspaper’s online site, you would follow a different citation model. If you accessed a newspaper from an online subscription service like Lexis-Nexis, you would follow yet another model.
If the publication omits any information usually included in the works cited entry, skip that item and move on to the next piece of information. If there is no author, for example, start with the title. The same is true for any piece you can’t find, but be sure you’ve made a good faith effort to track the information down.
Some common models appear below. For the models you don’t see here, come to the UCA Writing Center to use one of our copies of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, or make an appointment with one of our tutors.
Paper Based Sources
Book by One Author
Author’s Last Name, First Name. Title of the Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Publication Date. Medium.
Riggs, Random. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2011. Print.
Book by Two or More Authors
Celce-Murcia, Marianne, and Diane Larsen-Freeman. The Grammar Book. Boston: Heinle, 1999. Print.
Notice that you need a comma even between just two authors. Also, list the authors according to the order they appear on the copyright page. Don’t alphabetize them. The second author’s name is listed in order of first then last name.
More than Three Authors
Crawford, Lacy, et al. Flying with Pigs. New York: Vintage-Random House, 1996. Print.
Two or More Works by the Same Author
Different works by the same author will be arranged alphabetically by the title of the publication, regardless of whether it is a book, journal article, etc.
Derrida, Jacques. The Post Card. From Socrates to Freud and Beyond. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987.
—. The Secret of Antonin Artaud. Cambridge, MA: U of Chicago P, 1998.
Work by a Corporate Author
A corporate author is a group of people who have written a document as a council, committee, organization. Universities and reference work publishers are NOT corporate authors.
Modern Language Association. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009.
NOTE: We usually refer to “the Modern Language Association.” Omit the articles in the Works Cited list. Cite the association even if it is also the publisher.
A Translated Book
Larsson, Stieg. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Trans. Reg Keeland. New York: Vintage-Random House, 2008. Print.
Scholarly Edition of a Literary Work
For scholarly editions, include the original year of publication after the title.
James, Henry. Washington Square. 1880. Ed. Mark Le Fanu. New York: Oxford UP, 1982. Print.
The Committee on Bible Translation. The New International Version. New York: Biblica, 2011. Print.
Anthology When You Have Quoted the Editor and Not an Author
Bizzell, Patricia, and Bruce Herzberg, eds. The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present. New York: Bedford, 1990. Print.
NOTE: The abbreviation “ed.” (or “eds.” if there are two or more) stands for “editor” and is not capitalized when it comes after the editor’s name.
Work Within an Anthology When You’ve Quoted the Author of a Chapter or Section
If you’re referring to a specific author published in an anthology, start with the author of the original article.
Also remember to include the page numbers of the chapter or section before the medium. In this example, the chapter can be found on pages 1168-1184 of the larger work.
Derrida, Jaques. “Signature Event Context.” The Rhetorical Tradition. Eds. Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg. New York: Bedford, 1990. 1168-84. Print.
NOTE: Titles of short works that appear within larger works are enclosed with quotation marks.
Book in an Edition Other Than the First
NOTE: The edition number is included after the title with the abbreviation “ed.”
Trimbur, John. The Call to Write. 5th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011. Print.
Always cite the name of the government that sponsored the document. For example, you might cite the State of Arkansas or the City of Conway.
United States. Dept. of Education. A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education. Washington: GPO, 2006. Print.
Preface, Introduction, or Forward from a book written by a different author
Comer, Todd A., and Sommers, Joseph M. Introduction. Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore: Critical Essays on the Graphic Novels. By Comer and Sommers. 2012. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012. 5-13. Print.
Pamphlets and Reports
University of Central Arkansas Parent Guide. Boulder, CO: University Parent Magazines, 2011. Pamphlet.
NOTE: For reports, substitute the word “Pamphlet” with “Report.”
Article in a Scholarly Journal
Risden, E.L. “The Cinematic Sexualizing of Beowulf.” Essays in Medieval Studies 26.1 (2010): 109-15. Print.
NOTE: The title of the journal is written in italics, followed by the volume and issue numbers with a period between them.
Wallraff, Barbara. “What Global Language?” Atlantic Monthly Nov. 2000: 52-56. Print.
Interview Conducted by Someone Else
Notice that the title of the program on which the interview aired is followed by the network name. Then, the station name is placed before the city where the interview occurred, separated by a comma.
Mailer, Norman. Interview by Dick Cavett. The Dick Cavett Show. ABC. KATV, New York. 15 Dec. 1971. Television.
Sparks, Nicholas. Personal interview. 15 March 2011.
McGrath, Charles. “Papa’s Damn Good Pictures.” New York Times 16 Sept. 2011: C23+. Print.
NOTE: Following the date is a colon before the section (letter) and page number (numerals). The plus sign indicates that the article continues on other pages.
“The War Over the Internet.” The Guardian 11 May 2011: 15. Print.
Parks, Tim. “The Moralist”. Rev. of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larsson. New York Review of Books 9 Jun. 2011: 8-12. Print.
NOTE: Review is abbreviated “Rev.”
Dissertation or Thesis
Reynolds, Rebecca Kaye. “Academic effects of after-school programs”. Diss. Nebraska University, 1996. Print.
Entry in a Reference Work
The citation begins with the subject, in quotation marks, rather than an author.
“Anabasis.” Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. 7th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam, 1971. Print.
It is important to understand the different online locations through which sources can be located. Each online location necessitates a different citation model. There are three main categories:
1. Web sites
2. Research databases
3. Other online and digital sources
MLA distinguishes between Web sites for which the publication information for print counterparts (if they exist) is not known and Web sites for which the information of the original print document may be known. For instance, articles from the New York Times Online do not include the page numbers of the articles as they appear in the printed newspaper. MLA suggests that if an online source you’ve cited also appears in print, you may want to include relevant print information along with the online information. For example, you will probably want to include the original publication date of an online book. If you know the city of publication, you might include that information as well, if you feel it’s important. The online information then comes after the print information and usually includes three important parts:
1. The title of the Web site where you accessed the document
2. The medium, “Web”
3. The date of access (this is the date you found the information on the site)
As with print, if the publication omits any information usually included in the works cited entry, skip that item and move on to the next piece of information. If there is no author, for example, just move on to the title to construct your bibliographic entry. The same is true for any piece you can’t find.
In the newest edition of MLA, URLs are no longer required in web citations. URLs can easily change, and MLA recognizes that most sources can be located via search engine. However, if your professor does request a URL, include it at the very end of the citation in angle brackets (i.e. <http://www.uca.edu/writingcenter>).
James, Henry. Washington Square. 1880. The Literature Network. Jalic, 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.
NOTE: The title of the website is written in italics after the date of the book’s original publication. Following this is the name of the publishing company (“Jalic” in this example). The medium (“Web” for an online book) is followed by the date you accessed the book at that website.
An Article from an Online-Only Journal
Trupe, Alice L. “Academic Literacy in a Wired World: Redefining Genres for College Writing Courses.” Kairos 7.2 (2002): n. pag. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.
NOTE: The volume and edition numbers follow the title of the publication and are separated by a period. The date of publication follows in parentheses, and a colon separates the date from the page numbers. When the journal is not paginated, abbreviate “no page” as seen above.
Online Newspaper Article
McGrath, Charles. “Papa’s Damn Good Pictures.” New York Times Online. New York Times. 16 Sept. 2011: Web. 19 Sept. 2011.
NOTE: The website name is written in italics after the title of the article. Following that is the publisher’s name. Also, the medium is followed by the date of access.
Online Magazine Article
Wallraff, Barbara. “What Global Language?” The Atlantic.com. Atlantic Monthly Group, Nov. 2000. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.
NOTE: The title of a website is written in italics with spaces between the words. Following that is the publishing company. Also, the medium is followed by the date of access.
Online Book Review
Parks, Tim. “The Moralist.” Rev. of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. New York Review of Books. NYREV, 9 Jun. 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.
Online Reference Work
“Anabasis.” Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.
Periodical Publication in an Online Database
Students access these sites through their university library’s Web site, and they include Lexis-Nexis, Academic Search Elite, and Proquest for example. A complete list of the UCA library databases can be found at this URL: http://www.uca.edu/library/researchdatabases.php.
When you access a source through a library subscription service, you must follow the model for sources found through that location. Essentially, an article from an online database is cited the same way as the corresponding print source. Many of these articles come from periodicals, so they use the format for an article from a print periodical with the addition of the database title in italics, the publication medium, and the date the article was accessed. We recommend you choose the PDF versions of full- text articles, which will include the page numbers of the publication as it appeared in print.
Journal Article Located Through a Library Database, PDF Version
Wright, Erika. “Prevention as Narrative in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.” Studies in the Novel 42.4 (2010): 377-394. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.
NOTE: The name of the database comes before the medium.
If only the HTML version is available, the works cited entry will be written as below.
Journal Article Located Through a Library Database, HTML Version
Thompson, Marie-Anne C. “An Action-Oriented Lesson for Second-Year College French Students.” Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama & Sociometry, 43.2 (1990): n. pag. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.
Other Online and Digital Sources
Except for the model of an e-mail correspondence, MLA does not have an official model for the digital sources listed below. Instead, the organization suggests that researchers improvise by comparing sources with similar information. The models given below are our recommendations.
Online Government Document
United States. Dept. of Education. A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education. 2006. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.
Scarry, Elaine. The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. Kindle file.
NOTE: If an eBook is accessed via computer over the internet, the medium should be listed as “Web.” If an eReader was used, the type (Nook, Kindle, etc.) should be listed instead.
Miller, Margaret R. A Comparison of the Defining Characteristics of College-level Course Work Between and Among English and Mathematics Faculty at a Community College and a University. Diss. Virginia Tech U, 1996. Digital Library and Archives, 2011. Web. 9 September 2011.
NOTE: Since this dissertation appears online, it’s considered published; hence, the title will be italicized. Unpublished dissertations are in quotation marks.
School Course/Department Website
Cite the instructor who teaches the course and the course title in italics.
Walker, Graham , et al. Introductory Biology. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jan. 2005. Web. 25 July 2012.
A Page from a Website
“How to Clean Your Coffee Maker Using White Vinegar.” eHow Home. Demand Media, Inc. 27 Sept. 2011. Web. 25 July 25, 2012.
Cite these using the poster’s name followed by the subject line or title of the post, the discussion group’s name if applicable, and the title of the forum site.
Toomer, Jeannette. “Self-Selected Reading and Assessment.” 21st Century Literacies Group. NCTE Connected Community Forum, 2 Feb. 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.
Beard, Robert. “On the Origins of ‘Snob.” Dr. Goodword’s Blog. 21 July 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.
For podcasts, cite the narrator.
Arguelles, Alexander. “Paradigms of Language Learning.” YouTube.com. 4 Nov. 2008. Podcast. 20 Sept. 2011.
Videos and Clips
“Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal Feud on The Dick Cavett Show.” (1971). YouTube.com. 26 June 2009. Web. 20 Sept. 2011.
NOTE: If the video is a clip of a television broadcast, the original air date appears between the title of the video and the website on which it was viewed.
Cite the Email’s author, the subject line in quotation marks, the recipient’s name (if the recipient was you, refer to yourself as “the author”), and the date the Email was composed.
Albright, Daniel. “RE: Question on Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.” Message to the author. 18 Sept. 2011. E-mail.
Other Common Sources
Films are cited beginning with the title. Then, the director is cited (“director” is abbreviated “Dir.”) Performers (abbreviated “Perf.”) only need to be cited if the information is relevant. The film distributor is also cited similarly to the publisher of a book.
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Dir. Peter Jackson. Perf. Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, and Orlando Bloom.New Line Cinema, 2001. Film.
Television Broadcast (If You Actually Watched It on TV)
“The Greatest Invention.” The Writing Code. Dirs. Gene Searchinger, Suzanne\Bauman, and Norman C. Berns. PBS. 5 Sept. 2007. Television.
NOTE: Multiple directors are cited with the abbreviation “Dirs.”
Lecture or Speech That You Attended
Citations for speeches or lectures include the speaker’s name, the title of the speech or lecture, the event at which the speech was given, the name of the venue at which the event was held, the city where the event was held, the date of the speech, and the word “Lecture” or “Speech” to indicate which was being given.
Kronovet, Jennifer. “Found in Translation: Translators on Translating.” MLA Annual Convention. Commonwealth Hall. Philadelphia. 27 December 2009. Lecture.
A Map or Chart
Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Map. 3rd ed. Paris: UNESCO, 2010. Print.
NOTE: For a chart, replace “Map” with “Chart.”
After you’ve created your works cited page, you’re ready to move on to creating your in-text citations. Click here for a guide on how to create MLA in-text citations.
Information for this page was taken from MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.