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Quick Reference: MLA Citations
How to Use This Guide||In Text Citations||Formatting Entries||MLA Citation Examples: Books|| MLA Citation Examples: Articles||MLA Citation Examples: Web Sites and Digital media||MLA Web Resources


  • The first section lists titles we hold in our library collection.
  • The second section explains the proper way to format In Text Citations using a signal phrase or parenthetical.
  • The third section briefly details how to set up your Works Cited page according to MLA standards.
  • The Formatting Entries section provides examples and explanations for the various elements of a complete citation that goes on a works cited page.
  • The MLA Citation Examples section supplies templates for print, digital and multimedia resources for a paper's works cited page.
  • The final sections contains links to MLA Web Resources that offer supplemental resources.

    Typically, the Arts and Humanities use the MLA (Modern Language Association) style for research papers. The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing is the third edition and provides the updated formats for notes and citations to be used in 2009. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition is also available as a resource. To supplement these there is a copy of Documenting Sources: A Hacker Handbooks Supplement, 2009 MLA Changes available at the Citation Station near the reference desk and as a downloadable PDF.

    MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing

    MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition

    Documenting Sources: A Hacker Handbooks Supplement, 2009 MLA Changes


    In text citations are references to another author's work within the body of a paper. These citations can either be direct quotes or paraphrasing of the author's work. They are often referred to as parenthetical citations. In text citations can be incorporated into papers through two different techniques. The first technique uses the author's name in a signal phrase. A signal phrase informs the reader of an upcoming paraphrase or quote by using the author's or creator's name to segue into the material. The other technique is to use a parenthetical with the author's or creator's name immediately after the paraphrase or quotation. Each parenthetic requires a page number. In the event that there is no pagination, as is the case with most websites, use n.p. in place of page numbers.

    Author's name used in a signal phrase or as a parenthetical.

    Single author signal phrase: According to Jensen, Cage used chance operations initially to organize the pre-composed charts for his composition Music for Changes in 1951 (97).

    Single author parenthetical: Chance operations allowed Cage to introduce random events into a controlled system (Jensen 97).

    Two to three authors used in signal phrase or as a parenthetical. If there are three authors used in a parenthetical citation separate them with commas.

    Two authors in a signal phrase: As Havens and Ghaemi state "the kind of depression...patients experience is not simply recurrent major depressive episodes, separated by periods of euthymia, but...chronic, unremitting depresssion..."(138).

    Two authors parenthetical: "It is our view that many bipolar may not have clinical depression viewed as endogenus disease entity, but rather they may be suffering from clinical "despair," as defined by existential philosophers Soren Kierkegaard and Karl Jaspers" (Havens and Ghaemi 138).

    Multiple authors used in signal phrase or as a parenthetical.

    Multiple authors in a signal phrase: In the course of their research, Lazarinis, et al., have found that the increased demand for non-English web documents is creating major issues for search engines (230).

    Multiple authors parenthtetical: "Search engines crawl the Web and fetch documents which are then indexed and included in their databases" (Lazarinis, et al. 231).

    Government agency or Corporation as an author for an in-text citation.

    Government Agency or Corporation in a signal phrase: Agoraphobia according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is an intense fear of being trapped in inescapable situations that ultimately leads to the avoidance of situations where this may occur (n.p.).

    Government Agency or Corporation parenthetical: The onset of Agoraphobia occurs around the age of twenty and strickens approximately 1.8 million adults (National Institute of Mental Health).

    For an article from a website with an unknown author use the complete title as a signal phrase or use a shortened or abbreviated form of the title for the parenthetical. If there are no page numbers, as is the case with most websites, use n.p. in place of page numbers. Remember book titles are italicized while article titles are placed in quotation marks.

    Article from website with an unknown author in a signal phrase: According to the article, "Lab-Grown Meat a Reality, But Who Will Eat It?," the idea for lab grown meat has been around for centuries and has been used in science fiction novels as well (n.p.).

    Article from a website with an unknown author as a parenthetical: Biologist Vladamir Mironov has been producing "shmeat" in formless sheets for years ( Lab-Grown Meat n.p.).

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    The Works Cited Page(s) should be on a separate page at the end of the project with the label Works Cited centered 1" from the top of the sheet. Diane Hacker provides a helpful example on her website Sample MLA Works Cited List.

    All citation entries should be hanging; first line flush with left margin, each additional line shall be indented 5 spaces from left margin.

    Citation entries should be double spaced.

    Entries should be alphabetized by authors last name. Unauthored entries should be alphabetized by the first significant title word.


    Author's and editor's names are always inverted regardless of source, e.g., book, magazine, newspaper or journal. List the last name first, followed by a comma, then their first name and a period after them. For editor(s), the abbreviation ed(s). should be placed after the editor's name followed by a period.

    Single author: Beckett, Samuel.

    Single editor: Bloom, Harold, ed.

    If there is more than one author or editor, only invert the first.

    Two authors: Beckett, Samuel and James Joyce.

    Two editors: Carmichel, Harold, and Totie Fields, eds.

    If there are more than 3 authors/editors, you can list the first author followed by a comma and add "et al" for the remaining contributors and place a period after "et al." or you can list each individual author as they appear on the title page, inverting only the first author's name.

    Multiple authors: Dewey, John, et al.

    Multiple editiors: Subudnick, Morton, et al., eds.

    Book titles should always be italicized and followed by a period. All nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and subordinating conjunctions (e.g. after, if, that, until and when) should be capitalized. The following are not capitalized: articles (unless they are the first word in the title), prepositions and coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, so) as well as the infinitive to.

    Book title: Szanto, Andras, ed. What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics.

    Additionally, if the book is an edition other than the first, the edition should be listed after the title period and followed by its own period as well.

    Book, edition other than first: Du, Fu. Pound's Kaleidoscopic Vision of Cathay. 13th ed.

    The titles of articles from periodicals should be in quotations and follow the same capitalization rules as books (Book title).

    Article or essay: "John Cage, Chance Operations, and the Chaos Game: Cage and the I Ching."

    Periodical titles should be always italicized and any articles preceding the title should be omitted.

    Periodical title: The New York Times=New York Times

    The Plain Dealer=Plain Dealer

    The Journal of Cognitive Dissonance Theory=Journal of Cognitive Dissonance Theory

    Entries for academic journals should include the volume, issue number, publication year in parentheses followed by a colon and the page numbers for the complete article not just the pages used for the research project.

    Academic journal: Leonardo Music Journal 13.1 (2003): 11-15.

    Magazine entries that are published weekly or bi-weekly should include the complete date (e.g., day, abbreviated month and year). Monthly or bi-monthly publications should include the abbreviated month or months followed by the year. In each instance, a colon should follow the year and conclude with the page numbers.

    Magazine: Time 24, Aug. 2009: 23-29.

                    Utne Reader Sept.-Oct. 2009: 56-59.

    Entries for newspapers should contain the complete date (e.g., day, abbreviated month and year) followed by a comma then the specific edition if there is one. The date or edition (if there is one) should be followed by a colon then the page number. If the article appears on more than one page then the number should be followed by +, e.g. C5+.

    Newspaper: Plain Dealer 21 Aug. 2009: A1+.

    All entries should identify the medium of publication, e.g. print, web, dvd, etc.

    Print resource: Utne Reader Sept.-Oct. 2009: 56-59. Print.

    Entries for resources retrieved from databases should contain the title of database in italics, medium of publication (Web), and finally the date of access (day, month and year).

    Database resource: Tone, Yasunao. "John Cage and Recording." Leonardo

                                   Music Journal 13.1 (2003): 11-15. Academic Search

                                    Complete. Web. 22 Aug. 2009.

    Entries for web based resources should contain the following additions: site publisher, date of publication; if no date is available, use n.d. (no date), and date of access (day, month and year).

    Web resource: "John Cage." Epic Poetry Center at SUNY

                                   Buffalo. EPC@Buffalo, 2009. Web. 22,

                                   Aug. 2007.

    Entries for sources retrieved from blogs should be formatted as follows:

    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.

    Blog: Douthat, Ross. "The Tea Party." The Atlantic Wire.

                                The Atlantic, 16 Apr 2009 08:41 am. Web.

                                29 Jan. 2010.

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    MLA Citation Examples


    Knowlson, James. Damned to Fame: the Life of Samuel Beckett. New

           York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Print.

    Szanto, Andras, ed. What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New

           Face of American Politics. New York: Public Affairs, 2007. Print.

    Ashour, Radwa, Ferial J. Ghazoul and Hasna Reda-Mekdashi, eds. Arab

           Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide, 1873-1999.

           Cairo: American University, 2008. Print.

    Parmitter, Tara K. "The American Journey Narrative in the Muppets

           Movies." Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson's

           Muppets. Eds . Jennifer C. Garlen and Anissa M. Graham.

           Jefferson: McFarland, 2009. 129-141. Print.

    Li, Peter, Marjorie H. Lee, and Steven Mark, eds. Culture and Politics, China:

           An Anatomy of Tiananmen Square. Piscataway: Transaction Publishers,

           2007. Print.

    Gall, Timothy L., ed. Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily

           Life. 4 vols. Detroit: Gale, 1997. Print.

    EBOOKS/Electronic Books

    Armstrong, David. Revolution and World Order: The Revolutionary

           State in International Society. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1993.

           OhioLINK Electronic Book Center. Web. 17 Jan. 2009.

    Hodge, Bob and Louie Kam. The Politics of Chinese Language and

           Culture: The Art of Reading Dragons. London: Routledge, 1998. Ebsco

           E-Books. Web. 23 Feb. 2009.

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    Stein, Joel. "Less Vegas." Time. 24 Aug. 2009: 23-29. Print.

    Gardner, Lisa A. "Wat 2 Do Abt Txt'n & Drv'n (Aka: What To Do About

           The Problem Of Texting While Driving?) ." CPCU Ejournal

           63.11 (2010): 1-13. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 June 2012.

    Opposing Viewpoints

    Davis, Leslie. "Distribution of Wealth and Power in the U.S."

 ,18 Aug. 2009. Rpt. in Are America's Wealthy Too

           Powerful? Ed. Ronald D. Lankford, Jr. Detroit: Greenhaven Press,

           2011. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web.

           9 June 2011.

    *Rpt. in = Reprinted in

    Academic Journal

    Tone, Yasunao. "John Cage and Recording." Leonardo

           Music Journal 13.1 (2003): 11-15. Academic Search

           Complete. Web. 22 Aug. 2009.

    Hirschberger, Gilad, et al. "Attachment, Marital Satisfaction,

           and Divorce During the First Fifteen Years of Parenthood."

           Personal Relationships 16.3 (2009): 401-420. Psychology

           and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 13 Oct. 2009.


    Jarboe, Michelle. "Mortgage Defaults on Rise as Unemployment

           Increases." Plain Dealer 21 Aug. 2009: A1+. Print.

    Schuessler, Jennifer. "Occupy Wall Street: From Streets to Archives."

           New York Times 3 May 2012, Late edition-final: 3.

           Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 June 2012.

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    "John Cage." Epic Poetry Center at SUNY Buffalo. EPC@Buffalo, 2009.

           Web. 21 Aug. 2009.

    National Institute of Mental Health. Bipolar disorder. National Institutes

           of Health, 2009. Web. 21 Aug. 2009.

    Rentas, Khadijah. "In an Instant, Waves Go from Majestic to Monstrous."

  Cable News Network, 25 Aug. 2009. Web. 25 Aug. 2009.


    Capote, Truman. Capote's Non-Fiction Novel (1966). YouTube. CBCtv,

           6 Aug. 2008. Web. 10 Oct. 2009.

    Lennon, John. Jim Ladd Innerviews October 10, 1974. YouTube.

           30 Aug. 2008. Web. 13 Oct. 2009.


    Douthat, Ross. "The Tea Party." The Atlantic Wire.

           The Atlantic, 16 Apr 2009 08:41 am. Web.

           29 Jan. 2010.


    Abdollah, Tami. "A.P. Exclusive: LAX Gunfire Came While Officers Away."

           22 Jan. 2014. Associated Press. APP. 3 Feb. 2014.

    Berlatsky, Noah. "The Intelligent Design Theory That Inspired Darwin." The

           Atlantic, 8 February 2014 07:25 am et. Flipboard. APP. 8 Feb. 2014.


    Films or DVDs

    Off The Map. Screenplay by Joan Ackermann. Dir. Campbell Scott. Perf.

           Joan Allen, Valentina De Angelis, Sam Elliot, J.K. Simmons,

           Jim True-Frost, Amy Brenneman. Sony Pictures Home

           Entertainment, 2005. DVD.

    Hua yang nian hua [In The Mood for Love]. Written and Directed by

           Kar- Wai Wong, Perf. Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Manyu Zhang. Paradis

           Films, 2002. Film.

    Visual Art

    Rothko, Mark. Orange, Red and Red. 1962. Dallas Museum of Art.

           OhioLINK Digital Media Center: The ART Collection. Web.

           21 Oct. 2009.

    Weininger, Andor. Revue: Mechanische Buhne, Phase I-III. 1926.

           Musuem of Modern Art (MOMA). Bauhaus 1919-1939: Workshops

           for Modernity. Web. 29 Oct. 2009.

    Riedel, Charlie. Super Bowl XLIV. 2010. Associated Press. OhioLINK

           Digital Media Center: AP Images. Web. 8 Feb. 2010.

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    MLA Web Resources

    MLA Style and Formatting Guide ( compiled by the Owl at Purdue University.

    MLA Style Guide with 3rd Edition Updates ( from Sacremento State University.

    MLA Flash Tutorial ( from Hunter Library at CUNY is an excellent resource that explains the MLA style including the updates in the 3rd edition.

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    Questions or comments, contact:
    Michael Billings, Reference Librarian

    Lakeland Community College Library
    440.525.7424 (Circulation) | 440.525.7425 (Reference)