Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA Style: MLA Quick Reference

How to use MLA Style to write your paper

Essential Elements

As a rule of thumb, students should always record the following information when working with sources:

1) Name of Author   2) Title of Work   3) Year or Date of Publication   4) Publisher   5) Place of Publication

The information required for a proper citation can vary, though, so it’s important to follow the specific model for a given source type. You can find examples of citations and examine sample papers in this portion of the guide.

In-text (Parenthetical) Citations

In MLA, in-text citations can be written in essentially two different ways.

Paraphrasing

Using the Author's Name in a Sentence:

   ex. Marten argues that breed specific legislation has not lessened the number of incidents related to dog aggression (76).

Without Using Author's Name in a Sentence:

   ex. Breed specific legislation has not lessened the number of incidents related to dog aggression (Marten 76).

Quoting

Quotations should always be preceded by a tag or signal phrase that introduces readers to quoted material.

Using the Author's Name in a Sentence:

   ex. According to Marten, such "fears and fundamental misunderstandings have led to a culture where genocide appears acceptable" (78).

Without Using Author's Name in a Sentence:

   ex. Over the past several decades, these "fears and fundamental misunderstandings have led to a culture where genocide appears acceptable" (Marten 78).

Long quotations (four words or more) should be presented as a block of text. The block of text should not be enclosed in quotation marks, as it is designated as a quote by virtue of the block format.

   ex. Marten makes the following conclusion:

               In the end, the unfounded, stereotypical assumptions driving breed

               specific legislation cause considerably more harm than good. These

               laws have proven to be wrong-headed and roundly ineffectual when

               it comes to preventing incidents tied to canine aggression. They have

               also proven to be nothing short of cruel by stripping families of their

               well-behaved companions and destroying those same companions

               without just consideration. (82)

Book, Chapter and Entry Citations in a Works Cited

Print Book, Single Author

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding the Media: The Extensions of Man. Boston: MIT Press, 1994. Print.

Print Book, Multiple Authors

Davidson, William R., Daniel J. Sweeney, and Ronald W. Stampfl. Retailing Management. 6th ed. New

     York: Wiley, 1988. Print.

Print Book, Corporation or Organization as Author

American Medical Association. American Medical Association Book of Heartcare. New York: Random

    House, 1982. Print.

Electronic Book/ Electronic Version of Print Book
Kanneh, Kadiatu. African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, Pan-Africanism

     and Black Literatures. London: Routledge, 1998. ebrary. Web. 5 Sept. 2012.

Print Book with Editor

Niatum, Duane, ed. Harper's Anthology of Twentieth Century Native American Poetry. New York:

     HarperOne,1988. Print.

Work in an Edited Print Book

Shutte, Nancy, and Laura Tangley. "Problem Drinkers Can Learn Moderation." Addiction: Opposing

     Viewpoints. Ed. Jennifer A. Hurley. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2000. 93-100. Print.

Entry in a Print Reference Work

 “Automobile Service Technicians.” Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. 15th ed.

     Vol. 2. New York: Ferguson-Infobase, 2011. Print.

Periodical Citations in a Works Cited

Print Journal Article, Single Author

Swedin, Eric G. “Designing Babies: A Eugenics Race with China?”The Futurist May/June 2006: 18-21.

     Print.

Print Journal Article, Multiple Authors

Paterson, Bill, and Ted Thorne. “Enhancing the Evaluation of Nursing Care Effectiveness.” Canadian

     Journal of Nursing Research 35.3 (2003): 26-38. Print.

Electronic Journal Article, Multiple Authors

Otgaar, Henry, Ingrid Candel, Harald Merckelbach, and Kimberley A. Wade. "Abducted by a UFO:

      Prevalence Information Affects Young Children's False Memories for an Implausible Event."

      Applied Cognitive Psychology 3.1 (2009): 115-125. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

      Collection. Web. 12 Sept. 2012.

Print Newspaper Article, Single Author

Borgelt, Allison. "Sealed with a Kiss." BG News 17 June 2009: 1+. Print.

Electronic Newspaper Article, Single Author

Buescher, James. "Animal Magnetism: 'Jungle Jack' Hanna Brings His  Critters to AMT." Sunday News

     [Lancaster, Pennsylvania] 22 Mar. 2009: H1+. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 12 Sept. 2012.

Website and Audiovisual Citations in a Works Cited

Website

Eaves, Morris, Robert Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, eds. The William Blake Archive. Lib. of Cong.,

     8 May 2008. Web. 15 May 2008.

Sound Recording

Radiohead. "Separator." The King of Limbs. TBD Records, 2011. CD.

DVD

Mardi Gras: Made in China. Dir. David Redmon. Carnivalesque Films, 2008. DVD.

Library Guru

Profile Photo
Gloria Creed-Dikeogu
Contact:
Ottawa University
Gangwish Library
1001 S. Cedar
Ottawa KS. 66067-3399
785-248-2536
Website
Subjects: Diversity