MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th 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 8th edition of MLA has been significantly reduced in size from the 7th Edition that was 292 pages down to 146 pages. The reason for that and consequently the brevity of this new help page is because instead of having different citations for every type of work (books, articles, websites, etc.) there is a standard citation with allowances for additional information required by certain works.

Author's Last name, First name. "Title of the Source." Title of Container, Other Contributors, Version,

Number, Publisher, Publication Date, Location.

You are no longer required to include the City of Publication.

The volume number is now written out: vol. 43, no. 2it is no longer: 43.2.

In MLA 7th edition, using URL's was up to your teacher, in 8th Edition, using DOI is preferred but if you cannot locate a DOI it is highly recommended that you use the URL, but the date of access is no longer required.

Book by a Single Author

Ambrose, Stephen E. American at War. UP of Mississippi, 1997.

Kasson, John F. Civilizing the Machine: Technology and Republican Values in America 1776-1900.Penguin, 1976.

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.

Hall, Stuart. "Cold, Comfort, Farm." New Socialist Nov. 1985: 10-12.

---. "Thatcherism: A New Stage?" Marxism Today Feb. 1980: 22-27.

Hall, Stuart. et al. Policing the Crisis. Macmillan, 1979.

Book by Two Authors

Booth, Wayne C., and Gregory G. Colomb. The Craft of Research. 2nd ed. U of Chicago P, 2003.

Book by Three or More Authors/Editors
List only the first author and add "et al."

Hall, Stuart, et al. Policing the Crisis. Macmillan, 1979.

Corporate Authorship
A corporate author can be a commission, association, committee, etc. If the corporate author and the publisher are the same, begin the entry with the title, skipping the author, list org in the publisher position.

Cities Post – 9/11. Urban Land Inst., 2002.

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).

"The Shepherd's Consort." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M.H. Abrams. 4th ed. Vol. 1. Norton, 1979. 2 vols.

Tesh, Sylvia Noble. Hidden Arguments. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1988. Print.

Article from a Printed Source

Magistrale, Tony. "Wild Child: Jim Morrison's Poetic Journeys." Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 26, no. 3, Winter 1992, 133-44.

Article from a Subscription Database

Tolson, Nancy. “Making Books Available: The Role of Early Libraries, Librarians, and Booksellers in the Promotion of African American Children’s Literature.” African American Review, vol. 32, no.1, 1998, 9-16. JSTOR.

Personal Site

Leary, Patrick. “Works of Reference.” Victorian Research Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2009. <>.
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 2017