MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition.
Before you get started:
1) MLA requires a hanging indent for its citations.
2) PLEASE BE SURE TO DOUBLE SPACE CITATIONS. (For space saving reasons, the citations below are single spaced.)
3) Entitle your reference sheet "Works Cited"
4) Alphabetize the works.
Note: The 7th edition of MLA does not require writers to list a URL when citing online materials unless required by an instructor (see example below Article from a Journal on the Web (With Optional URL).) But the new edition does require authors to list the medium or format of materials (e.g. Print, Web, CD, Radio, Television). It still requires the writer to include the title of databases (if applicable) and the date that Web materials were accessed.
Book by a Single Author
Citing More than One Work by Same Author
In a Works Cited page, if an author or authors have their names on more than one text, check to see if the authorship of both texts is identical. If, and only if, the authors are in fact identical, then the author listing for the second entry should be replaced with three hyphens and a period. In the example below, Stuart Hall is the single author of the first and second article but he writes the third article with others. So his name is replaced by hyphens for the second article but not the third.
Book by Two or Three Authors
Book by More than Three Authors/Editors
If there are more than three authors/eds., you may name the first and add "et al." or give all names in full in the order in which they appear.
A corporate author can be a commission, association, committee, etc. If the corporate author and the publisher are the same, the corporate author's name should still appear in the author position of a bibliographic entry as well as in the publisher position.
No Author identified
When creating the Works Cited page, alphabetize all entries by author’s last name. If no author can be identified, then a text is alphabetized by the first word of its title, excluding definite or indefinite articles (note in example below that "The Shepherd's Consort" precedes Tesh, Sylvia Noble).
Short Work in a Book (Anthologies/Book Parts/Translations)
If you refer to an article (book chapter, short stories, poem introduction, etc.) within an edited collection, then the bibliographic entry should begin with the author of the referenced text. The name(s) of the editor(s), compiler(s), translator(s) in first name/last name order should follow the title of the publication preceded by "Ed." "Trans." "Comp." *see Exception below.* Also note that the page numbers of the article are included at the end of the citation before the medium.
*Exception*If you mainly reference the specific comments and work of the translator, then the translator's name (reversed) should appear first, followed by a comma, "trans.", and a period. The author's name (in normal order), preceded by "By", should appear after the text's title.
Treat an encyclopedia or dictionary entry like a short work in a collection. If the entry lists an author, give the author’s name first. If it is unsigned, give the title of the entry first. When citing widely used reference books, all publication information is not necessary – simply follow the entry title with the book title, edition, year of publication and medium.
Book in a Series
Include the series name, neither italicized nor enclosed in quotation marks, and the series number (if any) followed by a period, at the end of the listing after the medium.
Make reference to specific volumes and page numbers within the text of your paper. When using only one volume in a multivolume work, insert the number of the volume you are using between the title and the publication information for that volume. If the volume has a different title from the entire work, you may cite the volume without reference to the other volumes in the work.
Brochure, Pamphlet or Press Release
Treat these as you would a book. If no date is given, use n.d.
The typical citation for a government document begins with the author. If no author is given, begin by identifying the government (United States, Mississippi, Mexico, etc.) and the agency that issued the document. Include the title of the publication, place, publisher and date. Well known historical documents (such as the United States Constitution) need only be documented in parenthetical citations. Legislative bills and acts must still be included in the Works Cited list.
For congressional documents, include number and session of Congress and the type and number of the publication before the publishing information.
Italicize Congressional Records and include only the date and page numbers.
Legal Sources - General
The MLA Handbook, 7th ed. suggests that you use The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Cambridge: Harvard Law Rev. Assn.), if you are going to frequently cite legal sources in your paper.
To cite an act, state the name of the act, the Public Law (Pub. L.) number, its Statutes at Large (Stat.) volume number and page numbers, the date it was enacted, and its medium of publication. Nothing is italicized.
The first important word of each party’s name is always spelled out – the rest can be abbreviated. Names of cases are italicized in the text but not in the Works Cited page. Include the volume, name, and inclusive page or reference numbers of the law report cited; the name of the court that decided the case; the year of the decision; and appropriate publication information for the medium consulted (including date of access).
Conference proceedings are cited the same way as a book or a book part with the addition of all pertinent conference information.
Dissertation - Unpublished
Enclose the title of an unpublished dissertation in quotes. Write the descriptive label Diss. for Dissertation followed by the degree-granting university and year. Dissertations accessed online should provide the access date as well.
Dissertation - Published
ERIC Document - Materials Accessed Through a Computer Service
Articles - General Notes
In journals that have a volume and issue, note that the volume number is followed by a period and then by the issue number - no space. If no volume number is given, use only the issue number. If no page number is given (such as on a web article), use n. pag. Italicize the name of the subscription database as well as the name of the journal. If you need to include the URL (i.e., if an instructor requests it), place it after the access date in angled brackets followed by a period.
Article from a Printed Source
Article from a Subscription Database
Article from a Journal on the Web (With Optional URL)
Article from a Magazine or Newspaper
Note that volume numbers are not listed for magazines. Use a plus sign after page numbers that are non-consecutive.
Note: If the article was accessed from a Web page, list the Web page publisher after the magazine or newspaper title and before the publication date.
Films and Videotapes
Begin with the title, italicized, followed by the director's name. Then, include any additional information that you find relevant, such as the names of lead actors. End with the distributor, year, and medium. For DVD, videos, etc., include the original and new release date.
Note: If you are citing the contribution of a particular individual, begin with that person’s name.
Television or Radio Broadcast
Begin with the title of the episode or segment in quotation marks then the title of the program/series (in italics), name of the network, station call letters and city (if any), broadcast date, and medium. Inclusion of other pertinent info (e.g. narrator, performers, director) should follow either episode or program/series title, whichever one it relates to.
With commercial recordings, begin with the name of the contributor being cited (e.g. composer, conductor, singer). Then cite the title, the artist(s), the date of recording (optional), the manufacturer, and the year of release (if unknown, use n.d.). State the medium (eg. CD), immediately after the date. If you are citing a specific song, place its title in quotes.
When citing jacket notes or any text accompanying a recording, give the author's name, a description of the material (e.g. jacket notes), the title of the material followed by the normal bibliography information mentioned above.
Lecture or Speech
For oral presentations, give the speaker's name, the title of the presentation in quotations (if known), the meeting and/or sponsoring organization (if known), the location and the date, followed by the medium of delivery.
Computer or Internet Resources
Cite as much information as can be found: name of author, compiler, etc; title of work (italicize title if work is independent, put quotation marks around title if piece is part of a larger work. In addition, if no title is given, a descriptor such as Home page, Introduction, Online posting, etc. can be substituted but do not use quotes or italics.); title of overall Web site (italicized) if different than title of work; version or edition used (if applicable); publisher or sponsor of site (if none given, use N.p); date of publication (if none, use n.d.); medium; and date of access. If you need to include the URL (i.e., if an instructor requests it), place it after the access date in angled brackets followed by a period.
Digital File (e.g. .doc, .pdf, .jpg, .gif, .mp3)
For digital files that are independent from the Web (i.e., files independently created, scanned, or e-mailed to you), follow the relevant guidelines in MLA for formatting like entries followed by the appropriate medium.
Reference Article - from a Subscription Database
Reference Article - from the Web
Article in a Journal - from the Web
If no page numbers are given, use n. pag.
Article in a Journal - from a Subscription Database
Legal Case from a Subscription Service (e.g., Lexis-Nexis)
Give name of writer, the title of the message from the subject line enclosed in quotes, the recipient, the date and the medium.
Disclaimer: USM Libraries offer this handout as a guide only. We cannot offer suggestions or interpretations about citations. Please refer to the actual MLA Style Manual, 7th ed. or your teacher for clarifications.
Last modified: August 2009