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MLA Style

Updated 13 October 2009

In the summer of 2008, the Modern Language Association released a revision of its style guide for graduate students and scholarly publication, and in January 2009 that guide became the style used in MLA journals. In 2009, the MLA released the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. This source is located in the Library’s reference collection under the following call number: Ref LB2369 .G53 2009 (there are also a few copies that can be checked out on the third floor).

This Guide includes some of the more common examples for citing references in a list of works cited or bibliography. MLA Style dictates that all references are indented and double-spaced.

The major differences in this guide and the previous version of MLA Style involve using italics instead of underlining and specifying the format of the item at the end of the bibliography entry. URLs are no longer required for electronic resources, unless the URL will make it easier for the reader to locate the item or your publisher requires it (keep in mind that typing a URL into a browser might be more difficult than doing a search for the item) .

 

Print

Electronic

Miscellaneous

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Books
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Articles in scholarly journals
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Articles in popular magazines
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Works in anthologies or collections
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Newspaper articles
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ERIC documents
Government documents
Proceedings of conferences and meetings
Doctoral dissertations
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Web sites or individual pages (including blogs)
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Articles in scholarly journals
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Articles in popular magazines
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Ebooks
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Government publications
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Newspaper articles
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Posting to a discussion list
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Email communication
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DVD
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Film or video
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Interview

Print Sources

Books

No Author

The Smithsonian: A History. New York: Smithsonian, 1993. Print.


One Author

Taylor, Gary. Reinventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from the Restoration to the Present. New York:

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989. Print.


Editor in place of author

Lee, Robert A., ed. Herman Melville: Reassessments. Ottawa: Barnes, 1984. Print.


Two or three authors

Gross, Samuel R., and Robert Mauro. Death and Discrimination: Racial

Disparities in Capital Sentencing. Boston: Northeastern UP, 1989. Print.

Anthony, William, Walter E. Wheatley, and P.E. Smyth. Envisionary Management:

A Guide for Human Resource Professionals in Management Training and Development.
New York: Quorum, 1988. Print.


More than three authors

Quirk, Randolph, et al. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language.

London: Longman, 1985. Print.


Two or more books by the same author

Johnson, Carol M., and Paul V. Wright. Jungle Room Jubilee. Boston:

Houghton Mifflin, 1978. Print.

---. A World Far, Far Away. New York: Norton, 1998. Print.


Corporate author

American Medical Association. Genetic Engineering: A Case for Caution. New

York: Random, 1996. Print.


Edition other than the first

Clayton, Bruce D., and Yvonne N. Stock. Basic Pharmacology for Nurses.

9th ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1989. Print.

Clinton, Barb S. Politics and the Religious Right. Ed. F. G. Patterson. 2nd ed.

Toronto: Pegasus, 1999. Print.


Multi-volume work (citing entire set)

Creighton, James S., ed. Jameson’s Encyclopedia of American Literature. 3 vos.

San Francisco: Utley, 1994. Print.


Multi-volume work (citing an individual volume)

Barada, Vaclav. The History of the USSR. Vol. 9. Moscow: Harizonika, 1945. Print.


Articles in Professional/Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journals often group several individual issues under a single volume number. In these instances, page numbers are not renumbered for each issue, but continue consecutively across issues (e.g. Issue #1 may have page numbers 1-234, Issue #2 235-356, etc.). For such journals, include only the volume number in the reference list citation.

Copeland, Edward. "Fictions of Employment: Jane Austen and the Woman's

Novel." Studies in Philology 85.1 (1988): 114-24. Print.

Prichitka, David S., and Conrad R. Capstan. “Neurolinguistics of Children with

Cerebral Palsy.” Journal of Communication 56.6 (1997): 10-23. Print.


Articles in Popular Magazines

In the reference list, give the date of the magazine, but do not provide volume and issue numbers even if they are listed:

"The New Politics of Abortion." Time 17 July 1989: 96-109. Print.

If the article is not printed on consecutive pages, include only the first page number followed by a plus sign in the reference list:

Jacobs, Paul V., and Mary K. Peters. "Killing Time: Prisoners in America’s

Toughest Prisons." U.S. News and World Report 10 May 1999: 78+. Print.


Newspaper Articles

Take note of the following when citing newspapers:

  • Omit the initial article of a newspaper title (e.g. A, An, The) even if it is present.
  • If the newspaper is not a nationally recognized paper (USA Today, Wall
    Street Journal
    , etc.), include the city name of the newspaper in square brackets [ ] after the newspaper name.
  • When listing the date of publication, do not include volume and issue numbers, even if they are present.
  • Abbreviate all months according to the section 7.2 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., except for May, June and July.
  • If an edition is listed on the paper, include this after the date.
  • If each section of the paper has separate page numbers, include the section number or letter with the page numbers. If the article is not printed on consecutive pages, write only the first page number followed by a + sign.

Hamilton, William J. “Death on the Rocks!” Mining Journal [Marquette] 31 Dec. 1996: A1+. Print.

Smith, James P. “Build It and They Will Come.” New York Times 2 May 1987, late ed.: C2+. Print.


Works in anthologies or collections

Marshall, Denise. "Slaying the Angel and the Patriarch: The Grinning Wolf." Last Laughs:

Perspectives on Women and Comedy. Ed. Regina Barreca. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1988. 149-77. Print.


ERIC Documents

Snyder, Howard N., and Melissa Sickmund. Challenging the Myths: 1999 National Report Series.

Juvenile Justice Bulletin. 2000. ERIC Document Reproduction Service. ED454351. Print.


Government Publications

Before citing government documents in a reference list you may want to consult section 5.5.20 (pp. 174-77) of the MLA Handbook for special instructions. Note, most federal publications, regardless of the branch of government issuing them, are published by the Government Publishing Office (GPO) in Washington, D.C.

United States. Cong. Senate. Subcommittee on Environmental Protection of the Committee on

Environment and Public Works. Oil Spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska.
101st Cong., 1st sess. Washington: GPO, 1989. Print.

United States. Dept. of Housing and Human Services. Low Cost Housing: Urban Problem

or Blessing? Washington: GPO, 1997. Print.

Benjamin, Steve R. Gypsy Moth Management in the United States : A Cooperative

Approach. Agr. Handbook 542. Washington: GPO, 1985. Print.

Michigan. Dept. of Public Health. Lifelines for Children: Child Mortality in Michigan.

Michigan: Lansing, 1989. Print.


Proceedings of Conferences and Meetings

If you wish to cite the entire conference proceedings, use the following format:

Eds. Title of Conference. Date [if not mentioned in the title], location [if not mentioned in the

title]. Place of publication: Group responsible for publication, date of publication. Medium of publication.

If all or part of the publication information is missing, use N.p. If there is no date of publication, use n.d.

Wright, Will and Steven Kaplan, eds.The Image of Violence in

Literature, the Media, and Society: Selected papers from the 1995 Conference of the Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery. Pueblo: Colorado, 1995. 174-188. Print.

To cite one presentation in a conference proceedings:

Muhlestein, Daniel K. "Rumbold's Revenge: Joyce's Subversion of the Gallows

Text Tradition of Commodified Violence." The Image of Violence in
Literature, the Media, and Society: Selected papers from the 1995
Conference of the Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery.
Ed. Will Wright and Steven Kaplan. Pueblo: Colorado, 1995. 174-188. Print.


Doctoral Dissertations

The following example is for a dissertation obtained from the granting institution:

McDonough, Kevin M. "Minority Rights, Liberal Autonomy and North American Indian Schools." Diss.

U of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 1994. Print.

The following example is for a dissertation obtained on microfilm from UMI (Note, in this context the dissertation is considered published and the title is italicized. You can add the order number as additional information at the end of the citation as in this example):

Marshall, Daniel P. Claiming the Land: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to British Columbia.

Diss. U of British Columbia, 2000. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2000. Print.


Electronic Sources

Web Sites or Individual Pages (including blogs)

Entire Web Site

Use the following format when citing an entire Web site.  If you cannot find some of this information, cite what is available.

Author, editor, or name of person creating site (if given and relevant). "Title of the Work" (if you are citing part

of a larger site). Title of Site. Version or edition you're citing. Name of organization or institution sponsoring or associated with site (if not available, use N. p.), date of publication, posting date, or update (if not given, use n.d.). Medium of publication (Web). Date of access (day, month, and year). <URL, if you believe that it will make it easier for your reader to find the page or if your publisher asks for it>.

Leary, Patrick. Victoria Research Web. N.p. July 2009. Web. 31 July 2009. <http://victorianresearch.org>.

Indicate if you are citing an individual work included in a larger site:

Holmes, Mary J. "Millbank; or Roger Irving's Ward." Wright American Fiction:

1851-1875. Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and Indiana University DIgital Library Program. 3 September 2005. Web. 31 July 2009.

The following site did not have a title and instead was given the brief description of "Home page":

Smith, Paul. Home Page. Northern Michigan University, 23 Apr. 1998. Web.  

21 Oct. 1999.

Individual Web Page

Use the following format when citing a page within a site. If you cannot find some of this information, cite what is available.

Author, editor, or name of person creating site (if given and relevant). "Title of

page." Title of the professional or personal site (if given and relevant). Date of publication, posting date, or latest update (if known).  Name of organization or institution sponsoring or associated with site (if relevant). Medium of publication (Web). Date of access(day, month, and year). <URL, if you believe that it will make it easier for your reader to find the page or if your publisher asks for it>.

Burt, Sharon. "Maya Angelou." Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color. Department

of English and Program of American Studies, University of Minnesota, 23 Aug. 2000. Web. 16 October 2008.

Sparling, Donald W., and Peter T. Lowe. "Chemicals Used to Control Mosquitoes

on Refuges Differ in Toxicity to Tadpoles." Pautuxent Wildlife Research Center,
United States Geological Survey, 21 Dec. 2000. Web. 16 October 2008.

Work on the Web that also exists in print

Some works on the Web also exist in print. In some cases, it might be helpful to your reader to have the print information for an item you accessed electronically. If so, begin your citation as you would as if it were a print resource, excluding the medium of publication, of course, Then add the Title of the Database or Web SIte. Medium of publication (Web). Date of access.

Book:

LIppa, Richard A. Gender, Nature, and Nurture. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum,

2002. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 31 July 2009.

Article:

Tosenberger, Catherine. "'Oh my God, the Fanfiction!' Dumbledore's Outing

and the Online Harry Potter Fandom." Children's Literature Association Quarterly 33.2 (2008): 200-206. Project Muse. Web. 31 July 2009.


Scholarly Articles

From the Publisher's Site

When citing articles on a scholarly journal's Web site, use the following format:

Author’s name. “Title of work or material.” Name of periodical. Volume number. issue number

(Date of publication): range of pages (if there are no page numbers, use n. pag.). Medium of publication (Web). Date of access (day, month, and year). <URL, if required>.

Hanson, Mary Ellen. “Jean Claude VanDamme: A Man on a Mission.” Popular Culture

56 (1999): n. pag. Web. 25 Nov. 2003.


Sohmer, Steve. “12 June 1599: Opening Day at Shakespeare's Globe." Early

Modern Literary Studies 3.1 (1997): n. pag. Web. 22 June 1999.


From an Online Database (e.g. PerAbs, JSTOR, etc.)

When citing journal articles from an online database use the following format:

Author’s name. “Title of work or material.”  Name of periodical. Volume number.issue number

(Date of publication): range of pages (if there are no page numbers, use n. pag.). Name of database. Medium of publication (Web). Date of access (day, month, and year). <URL, if required>.

Wink, Walter, and Samuel Smith. “Drug Policy: The Fix We’re In.”

Foreign Affairs 116.6 (1999): n. pag. WilsonSelectPlus. FirstSearch. Web. 16 Aug. 2004.

Herold, Niels. “Pedagogy, Hamlet, and the Manufacture of Wonder." Shakespeare Quarterly

46.2 (1995):125-134. JSTOR. Web. 31 Dec. 2000.


Popular Magazine Articles

From the Publisher's Site

When citing articles on a popular magazine's Web site, use the following format:

Author’s name (if given). “Title of work or material.” Name of periodical.

day month (abbreviated, except May, June, or July) year: range of pages (if there are no page numbers, use n. pag.). Medium of work (Web). Date of access (day, month, and year). <URL, if you believe that it will make it easier for your reader to find the page or if your publisher asks for it>.

Miller, Michael J. “Are You Really Safe Online?” PC Magazine 4 Aug. 1999: n. pag. Web.

12 Sept. 2003.


From an Online Database (e.g. General OneFile, etc.)

When citing magazine articles from an online database use the following format:

Author’s name (if given). “Title of work or material.” Name of periodical.

day month (abbreviated except May, June, or July) year: range of pages (if there are no page numbers, use n. pag.). Name of database. Medium of work (Web). Date of access (day, month, and year). <URL, if required>.

The following citation did not have a listed author:

“Ending the War on Drugs.” The Economist 2 Jan. 1999: n. pag. General Reference

Center Gold. InfoTrac. Web. 1 Sept. 2003.


Ebooks

Use the following format in a reference list when citing an entire online book.  If you cannot find some information, cite what is available.

Author or editor's name (if given; if editor is mentioned, include ed. following the name).

Title of work. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication. Title of database or web site. Medium of publication (Web). Date of access.

Lamb, Charles. On The Tragedies Of Shakespeare. Hoboken: BiblioBytes, 1820.

EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 16 October 2008.

When citing a part of an online book, place the title of the part between the author's name and the title of the book. If the cited part is a poem or essay, place it in quotation marks; if it is a standard division within the book, e.g. Introduction, do not place it in quotation marks.

Horowitz, Daniel. "Growing Up Absurd." Vance Packard & American

Social Criticism. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina Press, 1994. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 16 October 2008.


Government Publications

To cite an online government publication, begin with the same information given for a printed government document and add relevant electronic information: name of the Web site (if the item is part of a larger site), medium of the work (Web), date you accessed the site, and network address (URL). For more information, see section 5.6 of the MLA Handbook.

United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Forest Service. How to Identify Common

Nitidulid Beetles Associated with Oak Wilt Mats in Minnesota. By Valerie
J. Cervenka et. al. 2001. Northeastern Area. Web. 3 August 2009.


Newspaper Articles

Take note of the following when citing newspapers:

  • Omit the initial article of a newspaper title (e.g. A, An, The) even if it is present.
  • If the newspaper is not a nationally recognized paper (USA Today, Wall
    Street Journal
    , etc.), include the city name of the newspaper in square brackets [ ] after the newspaper name.
  • When listing the date of publication, do not include volume and issue numbers, even if they are present.
  • Abbreviate all months according to the handbook (put exact citation in when handbook arrives) except for May, June and July.
  • If an edition is listed on the paper, include this after the date.
  • If each section of the paper has separate page numbers, include the section number or letter with the page numbers. If the article is not printed on consecutive pages, write only the first page number followed by a + sign.

From the Publisher's Site

When citing newspaper articles from Web pages, other than those in online databases, use the following format:

Author’s name (if given). “Title of work or material.” Name of newspaper.

day month (abbreviated except May, June, or July) year: range of pages (if there are no page numbers, use n. pag.). Medium of work (Web). Date of access. <URL, if required>.

Kahn, Joseph. “Fugitive, Hiding in Plain Sight, Eluded International Dragnet.”

New York Times 15 Aug. 1999: n. pag. Web. 16 Aug. 2003..

“Alexander To Quit Presidential Race.” The Wire: News from the Associated Press

23 Sept. 1998: n. pag. Web. 24 Oct. 1998.


From an Online Database

When citing newspaper articles from an online database, use the following format:

Author’s name (if given). “Title of work or material.” Name of newspaper. Day month

(abbreviated except May, June, or July) year: range of pages (if there are no page numbers, use n. pag.). Name of database. Medium of work (Web). Date of access.

Lee, Elizabeth. "Irradiated Mail: Will Procedure Help or Hurt?" Star Tribune [Minneapolis].

28 Nov. 2001: n. pag. InfoTrac Custom 120 Full Text Newspapers. Web. 23 Dec. 2003.


Posting to a Discussion List

In a discussion list, include the medium designation--online posting--at the end of the entry. Include the online address of the list's Internet site, or if not available, the e-mail address of the list's moderator.

Smith, John K. “Re:Trub Removal.” 4 Aug. 1999. <news: rec.beer.brewing>. Online Posting.

Callanson, J. W. “Teaching Undergraduates the Basics of Searching.” 1 Oct. 1998. STS-L:

Science and Technology Section, ACRL. <mpc@aztec.lib.utk.edu>. Online Posting.


E-mail Communication

When citing an e-mail, include the medium designation--e-mail.

Bruggink, John. “Occurrence of Black Bears in the U.P.” Message to Kevin

McDonough. 23 Aug. 1999. E-mail.


DVD

When citing a DVD, use the following format:

Title of movie. Director (abbreviated as Dir.). Distributor, year of release. Medium.

You may include other information such as the names of the writer, actors, producer, etc., between the title and distributor. When citing a DVD, include the original release date (if relevant) and the term DVD before the name of the distributor.

Gallipoli. Dir. Peter Weir. Perf. Mel Gibson and Mark Lee. 1981.Paramount, 1999. DVD.


Miscellaneous Sources

Film or Video

When citing a film or video use the following format:

Title of film/video. Director (abbreviated as Dir.). Distributor, year of release. Format (DVD, videocassette, etc.).

You may include other information such as the names of the writer, actors, producer, etc., between the title and distributor. When citing a video, include the original release date (if relevant) and the term videocassette before the name of the distributor.

Addicted Brain. Prod. Roger Bingham. Films for the Humanities, 1987. Videocassette.

Gallipoli. Dir. Peter Weir. Perf. Mel Gibson and Mark Lee. Paramount Home Video, 1981. Videocassette.

Green Mile. By Stephen King. Dir. Frank Darabont. Perf. Tom Hanks, Michael Duncan Clarke,

James Cromwell, David Morse, and Bonnie Hunt. 1999. Warner Home Video, 2000. Videocassette.


Interview

When citing an interview you conducted, use the following format:

Name of person interviewed. Kind of interview (phone interview, personal interview, etc.). Date.

Russell, Shelley. Personal interview. 13 August 2002.



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