MLA Quick Guide

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MLA Style Format

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General Guidelines

  • The Works Cited list appears at the end of your paper, on its own page, with the title Works Cited (not bolded or underlined) centered on the top, and continuing the page numbers of the text.
  • A Works Cited list should include only the sources referred to in your paper.
  • Begin each entry flush with the left margin and indent subsequent lines five spaces. This is called a hanging indent; it can be formatted in the paragraph menu of Word.
  • The Works Cited page should be double-spaced.
  • Alphabetize the Works Cited page by the first author’s last name. If author is unknown, alphabetize by whatever appears first in the entry.
  • The in-text citation should include the author(s) last name(s) and page number.
  • If you include a URL, do not include http://.

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General Format: Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

One author:
The author's name should be given as it is listed on the title page of the text, but with last name first.

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

In-text citation: (Kasson 36)

Two or three authors:
For multiple authors, only reverse the first author's name. Do not change the order in which the authors are listed.

Grossberg, Lawrence, Cary Nelson, and Paula A. Treichler. Cultural Studies. Routledge, 1992.

In-text citation: (Grossberg, Nelson, and Treichler 210)

More than three authors:
Use “et al.” after the first author’s name in place of listing subsequent authors.

Stein, Norman, et al. Family Therapy: A Systems Approach. Allyn, 1990.

In-text citation: (Stein et al. 45)

No author identified:
List by book title.

New York Public Library American History Desk Reference. Macmillan, 1997.

In-text citation: (New York Public Library American History Desk Reference 15)

Entire anthology or compilation:

Feldman, Paula R., editor. British Women Poets of the Romantic Era. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.

In-text citation: (Feldman 300)

Work in an anthology or chapter in a book:

General Format: Last name, First name. "Title of Essay." Title of Collection, edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, pp. x–x.

Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, edited by X.J. Kennedy and Diana Gioia, HarperCollins, 1995. pp. 298-300.

In-text citation: (Jackson 23)


Magazine or newspaper articles:
Abbreviate all months except May, June and July.

General Format: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pp. x–x.

Wright, Karen. “The First Earthlings.” Discover, Mar. 2003, pp. 24-25.

In-text citation: (Wright 24)

Harris, Nicole. “Airports in the Throes of Change.” Wall Street Journal, 27 Mar. 2002, p. B1.

In-text citation: (Harris B1)

Journal articles:

General Format: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. X, no. X, Year, pp. x–x.

Cnattingius, Sven, et al. "Pregnancy Characteristics and Maternal Risk of Breast Cancer." JAMA, vol. 294, no.19, 2005, pp. 2474-2480.

In-text citation: (Cnattinguis et al. 2477)

Encyclopedia article or dictionary:
Do not cite the editor of the encyclopedia. If no author is available start with the title of the article.

Mohanty, Jitendra “Indian Philosophy.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropedia. 15th ed., 1998.

In-text citation: (Mohanty 456)

A Review:
The performance title will be in italics for books, plays, and films and in quotation marks for articles, poems, and short stories.

General format: Review Author. "Title of Review." Review of Performance Title, by Author/Director/Artist. Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, page.

Kermode, Frank. "Criticism without Machinery." Review of Literary Reflections, by R.W.B. Lewis. New York Times Book Review, 11 July 1993, p. 16.

In-text citation: (Kermode 16)

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Broadcast television or radio program:

General format: “Title of Episode.” Name of Series. Network name, Station call letters, City, Date of broadcast.

"The Phantom of Corleone." Sixty Minutes. CBS, WCBS, New York, 10 Dec. 2006.

In-text citation: ("The Phantom of Corleone")

Recorded television:

General format: “Title of Episode.” Name of Series or Collection, directed by Name, Distributor Name, Date of distribution.

"The One Where Chandler Can't Cry." Friends: The Complete Sixth Season, directed by Kevin Bright, Warner Brothers, 2004.

In-text citation: (“The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry”)

Films or movies:

General format: Title. Directed by Name, Studio or Distributor, performances by Names, release year.

It’s a Wonderful Life. Directed by Frank Capra, performances by James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell, Republic, 1946.

In-text citation: (It's a Wonderful Life)

Interview that is broadcast or recorded:
Include as much information as you have.

Updike, John. Interview by Scott Simon. Weekend Edition. National Public Radio, WBUR, Boston, 2 Apr. 1994.

In-text citation: (Updike)

Personal interview:
Include the name of the interviewee and the date you conducted the interview.

Nye, Bill. Personal interview. 16 Apr. 2009.

In-text citation: (Nye)

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General format: Author. “Title.” Title of container (self-contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

Example using an E-Book

Seton, Ernest Thompson. The Arctic Prairies: A Canoe-Journey of 2,000 miles in Search of the Caribou. C. Scribner’s Sons, 1911. Project Gutenberg, Accessed 20 Mar. 2017.

In-text citation: (Seton 30)


Often scholarly journal articles from databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is given, cite that in place of the URL.

General Format: Author. “Title.” Journal Title, vol. X, no. X, Publication Date, pp. X-X. Database Name, doi:XXXXX or URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

Article from a magazine:

Betz, Eric. "Tornado Outbreaks on the Rise." Discover, vol. 38, no. 3, Apr. 2017, p. 12. EBSCOhost, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

In-text citation: (Betz 12)

Article from an academic journal:

Conley, Joyce. “A Psychophysical Investigation of Judgments of Complexity in Music.” Psychomusicology, vol. 1, no. 2, 1981, pp. 59-71. PsycARTICLES, doi: Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

In-text citation: (Conley 59)

Article from a newspaper:

Rosenblum, Gail. "The Key to Happiness: Doing More with Less." Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities, 19 Mar. 2017, Metro ed., p. 01E. NewsBank, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

In-text citation: (Rosenblum 01E)

Encyclopedia entries:
When no author is given start with the article title.

“Alterity.” Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories. Routledge, 2000. EBSCOhost, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

In-text citation: (“Alterity”)


General Format: Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL. Date of access.

An entire website:

Huffpost. Huffington Post. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

In-text citation: (Huffpost)

A page on a website:

Stroke Health Center. WebMD, 2017, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

In-text citation: (Stroke Health Center)

Article from a web page:

Mozes, Alan. “Study Links Psychiatric Disorders to Stroke Risk Group of High Achievers.” WebMD. 23 Feb. 2017, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

In-text citation: (Mozes)

Government Publications:

News & Events: Bisophenal A (BPA). U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 15 Jan. 2010. Accessed 17 Jan 2010.

In-text citation: (News & Events: Bisophenal A (BPA))

Online Video or Film:

Shimabukuro, Jake. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” YouTube, uploaded by MusicLover23, 23 June 2009,

In-text citation: (Shimabukuro)

Online Visual Art (Photographs, etc):

General Format: Artist's name, Title of artwork, date of creation, Institution and City where the work is housed. Title of Website, URL. Date of access.

Greenspun, Philip. Frozen Yogurt: 6th Avenue and 12th, 1995, Manhattan. Street Photography in New York City, Accessed 9 June 2009.

In-text citation: (Greenspun)

Blog Posting, Listserv, or Discussion:

General Format: 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), Date published, URL. Date of access.

Kristoff, Nicholas. “How to Get Out in the Woods (and Survive the Bears!).” Nicholas D. Kristoff: On the Ground. The New York Times, 9 Aug. 2009. Accessed 27 Aug. 2009.

In-text citation: (Kristoff)

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