IV. Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

  • Book by a single author
  • Book by two or more authors
  • Book by more than three authors
  • Edited collection written by different authors
  • Work from an anthology
  • Multivolume work
  • Sacred texts
  • Introduction, preface, foreword or an afterword
  • Article in a reference book
  • Book by a corporate author or government publication
  • Pamphlet
  • Article in a scholarly journal
  • Article in a scholarly journal that pages each issue separately
  • Article in a scholarly journal that uses only issue numbers
  • Article in a monthly periodical
  • Article in a weekly periodical
  • Article in a newspaper
  • Unsigned article
  • Editorial
  • Review
  • Letter or memo
  • Personal or published interview
  • Lecture, speech address or reading
  • Performance
  • Film or videorecoring
  • Television or radio program
  • Sound recording
  • Painting, sculpture or photograph

  • Electronic Resources
  • Electronic book
  • Article in an online scholarly journal
  • Article in an online magazine
  • Article in an online newspaper version
  • Article from a library subscription service
  • E-mail communication
  • Web site
  • Introduction

    The Modern Language Association (MLA) is the official scholarly organization for students, teachers, professors, researchers, and others whose special study is language and the literatures of all languages (from English to Chinese and Spanish, from Arabic to Icelandic, Urdu and Xhosa). Since 1951, MLA has been publishing guidelines for style, including instructions on documenting the use of sources. While the methods have changed over the years (from notes and bibliography to parenthetical citations and works cited), what follows are models based on the 6th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (2003). The MLA Style web site (http://www.mla.org/style_faq) will inform its users of documentation format changes or additions as they occur.

    In this MCC Guide to Writing Research Papers, we give examples for the types of resources used by students most often. In the MLA Style of Documentation, in-text citations and list of Works Cited/Consulted are the forms of documentation. They are modeled in the Sample Paper.

    Note how in Works Cited sources are alphabetized, indented, and spaced.

    Citing Books and Other Non-Periodical Publications

    The order of information in an MLA listing is fixed. The author(s) last name comes first. It is separated by a comma from the first name, which is followed by a period. The title comes next, and it is underlined. * The title is followed by the place of publication and punctuated with a colon. The publisher's name is listed next, followed by a comma. The year of publication follows and is punctuated with a period. See the following example of a book listing:

    Smith, Alison. Name All the Animals. New York: Scribner, 2005.

    *In research papers and manuscripts submitted for publication, titles of sources are best underlined rather than italicized. Italic type is sometimes not distinctive enough. To avoid ambiguity, underline rather than italicize—or check with your instructor. When preparing a manuscript for publication, consult with your editor how to represent italicization.

    Examples of In-text Citations and Source Listings

    Book by a single author

    In-text citation:

    (Saferstein 98)

    Works Cited list examples for 1st edition and later edition:

    Saferstein, Richard. Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1977.

    Saferstein, Richard. Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2004.

    Book by two or more authors

    In-text citation:

    (Desmet, Speak, and Miller 127)

    Works Cited list example:

    Desmet, Christy, Kathy Houff Speak, and Deborah Church Miller. Argument. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005.

    Book by more than three authors

    In-text citation:

    (Pavia et al. 79)

    Works Cited list example:

    Pavia, Donald L., et al. Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques: A Small-Scale Approach. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, 2005.

    Edited collection written by different authors

    In-text citation:

    (Tatar 3)

    Works Cited list example:

    Tatar, Maria, ed. The Classic Fairy Tales: Texts and Criticism. New York: Norton, 1998.

    A work from an anthology

    In-text citation:

    (Perrault 11)

    Works Cited list example:

    Perrault, Charles. "Little Red Riding Hood." The Classic Fairy Tales: Texts, Criticism. Ed. Maria Tatar. New York: Norton, 1998. 11-13.

    A multivolume work

    In-text citation:

    (Campbell 1: 203)

    Works Cited list example:

    Campbell, Joseph. The Masks of God. 4 vols. New York: Arkana, 1991.

    Sacred texts

    In-text citation:

    (Rev. 4.6-8)

    Works Cited list example:

    The Holy Bible: King James Version. Iowa Falls, IA: World Bible Publishers, 2001.

    An introduction, preface, foreword or an afterword

    In-text citation:

    (Barrett vii)

    Works Cited list example:

    Barrett, Helen. Foreward. Digital Portfolios in Teacher Education. By Laurie Mullen, Jody Britten, and Joan Mc Fadden. Indianapolis: Jist Publishing, 2005. v-vii.


    An article in a reference book

    In-text citation:

    (Genuth 902)

    Works Cited list example:

    Genuth, Saul. “Metabolism.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica. Vol 23. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2002. 893-928.

    A book by a corporate author or government publication
    Note: Cite the book by a corporate author, even though the corporate author is the publisher.

    In-text citation:

    (Food and Drug Administration 12)

    Works Cited list example:

    United States Department of Health and Human Services. Food and Drug Administration. Protecting Your Children Against Serious Diseases: Making Sure They Get All Their “Shots”. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Food and Drug Administration, 2002.

    A pamphlet

    In-text citation:

    (Thirty Foods for Your Health)

    Works Cited list example:

    Thirty Foods for Your Health. New York: Consumers Health Society, 1996.

    Citing Articles and Other Publications in Periodicals
    Note: The order of information in an MLA Style listing for articles and publications in periodicals is the same as for books. The author's last name is given first. It is separated by a comma from the first name, which is followed by a period. Next comes the title of the article in quotations, followed by an underlined title of the periodical. Volume or issue number comes next, and enclosed in parenthesis is the year of publication, punctuated by a colon. The pages of the article are listed last and punctuated by a period.

    An article in a scholarly journal

    In-text citation:

    (Pelter and McQuade 1811)

    Works Cited list example:

    Pelter, Michael, and Jennifer McQuade. “Brewing Science in the Chemistry Laboratory: A ‘Mashing' Investigation of Starch and Carbohydrates.” Journal of Chemical Education 82 (2005): 1811-1812.

    An article in a scholarly journal that pages each issue separately (each issue begins with page 1)

    In-text citation:

    (Pinkowski 47)

    Works Cited list example:

    Pinkowski, Jennifer. “A City by the Sea.” Archaeology 59.1 (2006): 46-49.

    An article in a scholarly journal that uses only issue numbers

    In-text citation:

    (McNeilly 13)

    Works Cited list example:

    McNeilly, Kevin. “Home Economics.” Canadian Literature 166 (2000): 5-16.

    An article in a monthly or bimonthly magazine

    In-text citation:

    (Fowler 31)

    Works Cited list example:

    Fowler, Brenda. “ A Place Without History.” Archaeology Sept.-Oct. 2005: 30-35.

    Article in a weekly or biweekly magazine

    In-text citation:

    (Tolson 60)

    Works Cited list example:

    Tolson, Jay. “The Battle That Changed the World.” U.S. News and World Report 24 Oct. 2005: 56-65.

    Article in a newspaper

    In-text citation:

    (Wielaard 11A)

    Works Cited list example:

    Wielaard, Robert. “Europe Warns Iran on Holocaust Denial.” Democrat and Chronicle 16 Dec. 2005: 11A.

    Unsigned article (without an author)

    In-text citation:

    (“Early Walkers” 14)

    Works Cited list example:

    “Early Walkers.” Archaeology Nov.-Dec. 2004: 14.

    Editorial

    In-text citation:

    (“Earthquake in Pakistan ”)

    Works Cited list example:

    “Earthquake in Pakistan.” Editorial. New York Times 13 Oct. 2005, late ed.: A26.

    Review

    In-text citation:

    (Weiner 10)

    Works Cited list example:

    Weiner, Jonathan, Rev. of A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and “Low Mechanicks,” by Clifford D. Conner. New York Times Book Review 18 Dec. 2005: 10.

    A letter or memo

    In-text citation for a letter:

    (Johnson 13)

    Works Cited list example:

    Johnson, Christy. “A View of Ohio by Way Of New York.” Letter. New York Times 18 Dec. 2005, sec.14 (The City): 13.

    In-text citation for a memo:

    (Cox)

    Works Cited list example:

    Cox, Donna H. Memo to the English/Philosophy dept. faculty, Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY. 10 Jan. 2006.

    Personal interview and published interview

    In-text citation:

    (Marchese)

    Works Cited list example:

    Marchese, Joe. Professor of Business, Monroe Community College. Personal interview. 13 Jan. 2006.

    In-text citation:

    (Needleman 69)

    Works Cited list citation:

    Needleman, Jacob. Interview. “The True Human Body.” Parabola Fall 2005: 66-73.

    A lecture, a speech, an address, or a reading

    In-text citation for a lecture:

    (Atwood)

    Works Cited list example:

    Atwood, Margaret. “Wicked Women in Literature.” Lecture. Rochester Arts & Lectures. Downtown United Presbyterian Church, Rochester, New York. 5 May 1994.

    In-text citation for a reading:

    (Bauman)

    Works Cited list example:

    Bauman, Melvin G. “Luck.” Reading. Wadsworth Library. Geneseo, New York. 18 Sept. 2005.

    A performance

    In-text citation:

    (The Second Shepherds' Play)

    Works Cited list example:

    The Second Shepherds' Play. By the Wakefield Master. Trans. from Middle English by Matt Fox and Tony Leuzzi. Dir. Matt Fox. Monroe Community College Theater. Rochester, New York. 16 Dec. 2005.

    A film or videorecording

    In-text citation for a film:

    (Troy)

    Works Cited list example:

    Troy. Dir. Wolfgang Petersen. Perf. Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Peter O'Toole, and Diane Kruger. Warner Bros., 2004.

    In-text citation for a videorecording:

    (The Hours)

    Works Cited list example:

    The Hours. Dir. Stephen Daldry. Perf. Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman. Paramount Pictures/Miramax, 2002. DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2003.

    Television or radio program

    In-text citation:

    (“Katrina's Animal Rescue”)

    Works Cited list example:

    “Katrina's Animal Rescue.” Narr. Laura Dern. Nature. PBS. 20 Nov. 2005.

    Sound recording

    In-text citation:

    (Schwartz)

    Works Cited list example:

    Schwartz, Stephen. Wicked a New Musical: Original Broadway Cast Recording. Decca Broadway, 2003.

    A painting, sculpture, or photograph

    In-text citation:

    (Escher 263)

    Works Cited list example:

    Escher, Morits Cornelius. Sky and Water. National Gallery of Art, Cornelius van S. Roosevelt Collection, Washington, D.C. M.C. Escher, Visions of Symmetry. Doris Schattschneider, ed. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2004. 263.

    Electronic Resources
    In the works cited list examples for electronic resources below, the last date shown in each listing is the access date (date viewed online).

    Electronic book

    In-text citation:

    (Ember and Ember)

    Works Cited list example:

    Ember, Melvin and Carol Ember, eds. Countries and Their Cultures. 2001. Virtual Reference Library. Gale. MCC Libraries, Rochester, NY. 16 Dec. 2005 <http://www.galegroup.com/>.

    An article in an online scholarly journal

    In-text citation:

    (Gopinath)

    Works Cited list example:

    Gopinath, Sumanth. “Ringtones, or the Auditory Logic of Globalization.” First Monday: Peer Reviewed Journal on the Internet 10.12 (2005). 19 Dec. 2005 <http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue 10_12/gopinath/index.html>.

    An article in an online magazine

    In-text citation:

    (Rowe)

    Works Cited list example:

    Rowe, Michael. “She Is No Homophobe.” The Advocate 22 Nov. 2005. 19 Dec. 2005 <http://www.advocate.com/>.

    An article in an online newspaper version or on a newswire

    In-text citation:

    (Barnes)

    Works Cited list example:

    Barnes, Susan B. “Podcasters Reach Out In Their Own Digital Show.” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 19 June 2005. Newsbank. MCC Libraries, Rochester, NY. 19 Dec. 2005 <http://www.newsbank.com/>.

    A work from a library subscription service

    In-text citation:

    (Wills et al.)

    Works Cited list example:

    Wills, Wendy, et al. “Young Teenagers' Perceptions of Their Own and Others' Bodies: A Qualitative Study of Obese, Overweight and ‘Normal Weight' Young People in Scotland.” Science and Medicine 62.2 (2005): 396-406. ScienceDirect. Elsevier. MCC Libraries, Rochester, NY. 19 Dec. 2005 <http://www.sciencedirect.com>.

    An e-mail communication

    In-text citation:

    (DiSano)

    Works Cited list example:

    DiSano, Mary. “Re. The New Guide to Writing Research Papers.” E-mail to Stasia Callan and Ann Penwarden. 1 Feb. 2006.

    Web site

    In-text citation:

    ("Early Childhood Educational Issues")

    Works Cited list example:

    “Early Childhood Educational Issues.” National Association for the Education of the Young Children. 22 May 2006<http://www.naeyc.org/ece/>.

    Sample Research Paper Documented in MLA Style

    The format of an MLA Style research paper does not require a title page. A typical title page is the first page of the paper with the student's name, professor's name, course title, and the date when the paper was due. It also includes the title of the paper. This is illustrated below.

    Each page should include the student writer's name followed next to the page number.

    If an instructor requires a separate title page, follow her/his directions regarding the format.

    See Sample MLA paper for more details

    Return to the Table of Contents

    MCC Guide to Writing Research Papers.
    Developed by: M. DiSano, A. Penwarden, S. Callan.
    Revised version August 2006. Last updated April 19, 2012. Copyright Monroe Community College.