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Citation Guide

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About MLA Style

The MLA citation style was created by the Modern Language Association, which promotes the study and teaching of language and literature. The first version of their style guide was published in 1951.

In-Text Citations

MLA format uses the author-page method.

(author's last name page #)

Ex.: (Hernandez 539)

Works Cited: MLA's 'Container System'

MLA's unique approach to documenting sources using a template of core elements — facts common to most sources, like author, title, and publication date...allows writers to cite any type of work, from books, e-books, and journal articles in databases to song lyrics, online images, social media posts, dissertations, and more.

This new modular concept does make it easier for users of MLA format to adapt to works appearing in new formats without having to wait for directions.  Like AI Text Generators...

 

Basic Format (for Anything)

Author. Title. Title of container (do not list container for standalone books, e.g. novels), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs URL or DOI). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

Works CIted: Books

Basic Book Format

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.

 

Single Author

  • FormatAuthor's Last Name, Author's First NameBook Title. Publisher, Year of Publication.  
  • Example: Lears, Jackson. Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America. Basic Books, 1994. 

Two Authors

  • Format: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name and Author's First Name Last Name. Book Title. Publisher, Year of Publication. 
  • Example: Achtert, Walter S. and Joseph Gibaldi. The MLA Style Manual. MLA, 1985.

 Multiple Authors - Three or More Authors 

  • Basic FormatAuthor's Last Name, Author's First Name, et al. Book Title. Publisher, Year of Publication
  • Example: Shoham, Shlomo G., et al. International Handbook of Criminology. CRC Press, 2010.

 Book with Multiple Editions  (List edition only if the book has more than one edition.)

  • Format: Last name, First Name. Book Title. Edition, Publisher, Year of Publication. 
  • Example: Mitchell, Susan. American Attitudes: Who Thinks What About The Issues That Shape Our Lives. 2nd edition, New Strategist Publication, 1998.

 Chapter / Anthology - Contributors' roles (such as editors and translators, etc.) need to be spelled out in full.  

  • Format: Last name, First Name. "Chapter Title". In First and Last name (editor), Book Title. Edition, Publisher, Year of Publication. 
  • Example: Collier, Richard. "Masculinities and Crime: Rethinking the "Man Question"?" In Sumner, Colin (editor), The Blackwell Companion to Criminology. Blackwell Publishing, 2004.  

Works CIted: Periodicals

Basic Periodical Format

Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publisher Date, Location (pp.). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Pub date, Location (pp.).

 

Print

Single Author Article 

  • Format: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. "Article Title." Journal Title, Volume Number, Issue Number, Publication Date, Pages.
  • Example: Ulmer, William A. "The Christian Wordsworth 1798-1800", Journal of English and Germanic Philology 95, (1996), pp. 336-58.

Multiple Author Article

Format: First Author's Last Name, First Author's First Name, et al"Article Title." Journal Title, Volume Number. Issue Number (Publication Date): Pages.

Example: Hibel, Jeremy, et al. "Who Is Placed into Special Education?" Sociology of Education, Volume 83, Number 4 (October 2010), pp. 312-332.

 

Online

Remember: If you got it from a Whittemore Library database, that database will be one of the 'containers' in your works cited citation.

Citing an article from an online journal with a URL 

  • Format:  Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. "Article Title." Journal Title, Volume Number, Issue Number, Publication Date, Pages. Database provider. URL. 
  • Example: Dominique, Rachel Beauvoir. “The Social Value of Voodoo throughout History: Slavery, Migrations and Solidarity.” Museum International, no. 4, 2010, pp. 99. EBSCOhost, http://fscproxy.framingham.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.261886091&site=eds-live. 

Citing an article from an online journal with a DOI (Three or more authors)

  • Format:  First Author's Last Name, First Author's First Name, et al. "Article Title." Journal Title, Volume Number, Issue Number, Publication Date, Pages. Database provider. URL. 
  • Example: Conlon, Rachel P. Kolko, et al. “Demographic, Pregnancy-Related, and Health-Related Factors in Association with Changes in Sleep Among Pregnant Women with Overweight or Obesity.” International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 28, no. 2, Apr. 2021, pp. 200–06. EBSCOhost, https://doi-org.fscproxy.framingham.edu/10.1007/s12529-020-09887-4.

Works Cited: Stuff from a Website

Again, remember the MLA container system:

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).

 

So, before you go to cite something from a website (or even the whole cste in general), it's best to gather s much of the following information as you can find:

  • Author and/or editor names (if available); last names first.
  • "Article name in quotation marks."
  • Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
  • Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
  • Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
  • Any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
  • DOI (if available, precede it with "https://doi.org/"), otherwise a URL (without the https://) or permalink.
  • Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed).- not requred, but better to have due to how quickly websites can change

 

Entire website:

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, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

 

One Website page: (If publisher same as website name only list it once)

Last name, first name. “website page's title” website name, URL, DOI or Permalink. Date of access (if applicable). 

The Works Cited page formatted the MLA way

  • Starts on separate page
  • Title is always: Works Cited, centered, not bold or emphasized
  • Double-spaced in between entries
  • When a citation runs over a line, second line is indented 0.5 inches
  • In alphabetical order by (first) listed author's last name
    • No authors? Default to title

Official MLA Style Support from the Modern Language Association