The Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is widely used for identifying research sources in English and the humanities.

In the MLA style, in-text citations are handled with some combination of signal phrase, parenthetical citation, and a page number. These short parenthetical citations refer directly to a Works Cited list following the document (Hacker 591). I've just used an in-text citation to give you a feel for its use. Another example, also found in Hacker, is using a signal phrase (as I have just done with the previous clause) and then citing merely the page number in parenthesis (593). To differentiate between multiple sources from the same author you may instead use the work's title in the signal phrase or parenthetical. For example: Smith describes 48 common travel mistakes ("Traveling" 220), and in a later book, 21 common solutions ("21 Cures" 38). This is a poor example of when to cite a fact, but an accurate depiction of how to cite one.

The Works Cited list at the end of your paper lists all the sources you've used. The list is headed by the words Works Cited centered atop the page. The list itself is arranged alphabetically by author's last name, or by the first unique word of the title (except A, An or The) in the cases where there is no author, or multiple works by the same author. Each entry is double spaced with (most importantly) an under hanging indent of either 5 spaces or one-half inch. The indent style is what allows a reader to quickly find a citation while browsing the text.

The following examples are based largely on The Bedford Handbook, 6th ed., by Diana Hacker and to some extent a previous write-up that relies on Leong-Kurio (see source, compare previous write-up) and also Gibaldi's MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th ed. I have used a monospaced font to emphasize the placement of punctuation and indent style and have included various works of my own choosing in example citations. Additionally, I've arranged the example citations logically instead of alphabetically. And finally, since this is E2, I've hardlinked various words and works in the example citations; but know this: Linking Is Not Markup (making a hardlink won't always underline the words) so don't link something when you intend to underline/emphasize it, etc.

To reiterate, if your browser underlines links, ignore them -- or disable them -- for the purpose of citation examples.

Examples of MLA Citation



Format: Author (or Authors combined with and, if there are more than three authors, list the first three then conclude with comma et al), then a period or Editor/Compiler comma ed/comp, period. Title of book in italics (or underlined if handwritten, or the type-writer/system doesn't permit italics), period. If the book is a later edition include it here, followed by the abbreviation ed. City of publication, colon, publisher's name, comma, year of publication, period. The city of publication may be followed by a comma and a State or Province's abbreviation if necessary. For example, no State or country is necessary for cities such as Boston, London, Moscow, New York, Tokyo, etc.
Hacker, Diana. The Bedford Handbook. 6th ed. Boston:
     Bedford / St. Martin's, 2002.
Rowe, Richard, and Larry Jeffus. The Essential Welder:
     Gas Metal Arc Welding Classroom Manual.
     Delmar, 2000.
Clute, John, and Peter Nicholls, eds. The Encyclopedia
     of Science Fiction.
New York: St. Martin's, 1993.



Format: Authors of article, if known, period. Title of article or entry, period, in quotes. Title of the reference, italicized, period. City of publication, colon (if necessary), publisher's name, comma, year of publication, period.
"Designer Drugs." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia
     Britannica Corporation, 2003.
Lesko, Leonard H. "Pyramids." The World Book Encyclopedia. 2001.



Format: Authors or editors, period. Title of complete set in italics, period. Total number of volumes, period. City of publication, colon, publisher's name, comma, year of publication, period. The second example shows how to handle an article by a specific author in a multivolume set edited by someone else.
Conway, Jill Ker, ed. Written by Herself. 2 vols. New York:
     Random, 1996.

Fagan, Jeffrey. "Gangs and Drugs." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol
     and Addictive Behavior.
Ed. Rosalyn Carson DeWitt. 2nd ed.
     4 vols. New York: Macmillan, 2001.



Format: Authors or Poet, period. Title, period, in quotes. Title of book or anthology in italics, period. Name of editor/compiler preceded by ed/comp, period. City of publication, colon, publisher's name comma, year of publication, period. Page numbers, period.
Odell, Noell. "Mallory and Irvine's Attempt." Points
     Unknown: A century of Great Exploration.
Ed. David
     Roberts. New York: Norton, 2000. 161-72.
Purcell, Arthur H. "Better Waste Management Strategies Are
     Needed to Avert a Garbage Crisis." Garbage and Recycling:
     Opposing Viewpoints.
Ed. Helen Cothran. San Diego:
     Greenhaven, 2003. 20-27.



Format: Authors, period. Title of article, period, in quotes. Title of magazine in italics (no period yet), followed by date, colon, page numbers, period.
Newman, Cathy. "Why Are We So Fat?" National Geographic Aug.
     2004: 46-61.
Dominus, Susan. "Why Pretty Isn’t Pretty Enough Anymore."
     Glamour Jan. 2004: 136+.



Format: Authors, period. Title of article, period, in quotes. The name of the newspaper in italics, followed by the date, comma, edition followed by ed. comma, section (if the section is not designated by a letter), colon, page number, period. If the article isn't printed on consecutive pages, append a plus sign to the first page it appears on (Hacker 615).
Murphy, Sean P. "Decisions on the Status of Tribes Draw Fire."
     Boston Globe 27 Mar. 2001: A2.
Wilford, John Noble. "In a Golden Age of Discovery, Faraway Worlds
     Beckon." New York Times 9 Feb. 1997, late ed., sec. 1: 1+.



Format: Author, period. Title of article, period, in quotes. Title of journal in italics, followed by volume number with its date in parenthesis, colon, page numbers, period.
Wood, Michael. "Broken Dates: Fiction and the Century."
     Kenyon Review 22.3 (2000): 50-64.
Ryan, Katy. "Revolutionary Suicide in Toni Morrison's Fiction."
     African American Review 34 (2000): 389-412.



Format: Title of episode or segment in quotes, period. Title of program in italics, period. Next give relevant information about the program such as the writer (By David Rolfe), the director (Dir. Michael Dorn), stars/performers (Perf. Patrick Stuart) separated by comma, or the host (Host Terry Gross), all followed by periods. Next, name the network, period, the local station if any, period, finally, the date, period.
"Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges." Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
     By Ronald D. Moore, Dir. David Livingston, Perf. Alexander
     Siddig, William Sadler, et al. Paramount Television.
     3 Mar. 1999.
"American Limbo." This American Life. Host Ira Glass. Public
     Radio Intl. WJCT, Jacksonville. 9 Feb. 2001.



Format: Title in italics, period. Cite the director (Dir.), lead actors (Perf.) or narrator (Narr.), period. Format, if not original film (e.g. DVD, Videocassette, Laserdisc, VCD, etc.), period. Distributor, comma, year, period. For a play, cite the author first, then director. For a live performance give the venue and date instead of distributor and year (see example).
High Fidelity. Dir. Stephen Frears. Perf. John Cusack,
     Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, and Todd Louiso. 2000.
     Videocassette. Walt Disney Video. 2001.
Mother Courage. By Bertolt Brecht. Dir. Janos Szasz.
     Perf. Karen McDonald, Mirjana Jokovich, Jonathon
     Roberts, Tim Kang, and Amos Lichtman. American Repertory
     Theatre, Cambridge. 18 Mar. 2001.



Format: Person interviewed, period. If the interview is a personal interview, by you, state Personal Interview or Telephone Interview, etc., then a period. If the interview is published and the name of the interviewer is relevant, state Interview with name, period. If the interviewer is not relevant, or obvious from context, state merely Interview, period. Finally cite the rest of the source consistent with its format: For a periodical you will name the article in quotes, etc.; for a radio or television interview you will include the program, network, and date.
Rolfe, Kevin. Personal interview. 25 Nov. 2002.
Brown, Harry. E-mail interview. 10 June 2000.
Prince. Interview with Bilge Ebiri. Yahoo! Internet
7.6 (2001): 82-85.
Renoir, Jean. "Renoir at Home: Interview with Jean
     Renoir." Film Quarterly 50.1 (1996): 2-8.
McGovern, George. Interview. Charlie Rose. PBS.
     WUFT, Gainesville. 1 Feb. 2001. 



Format: Author/Creator, if given, period. Web site title in italics, period. Institution or organization, if any. Date of last update, or date accessed followed directly by the URL/URI enclosed in brackets, period. The MLA handbook suggests breaking URLs at the slash to avoid long lines, keep in mind this requires some savvy on the reader's part.
Everything2. The Everything Development Company. 16 Oct.
     2004 <>.
Malda, Rob. Slashdot.  OSTG. 16 Oct. 2004 <>.



Format: The citation will be similar to that of the relevant primary source with these additions: The name of the database in italics, period. The name of the service, period. The name of the library where the information was retrieved (if any), period. The date you retrieved the article, and if any the URL in brackets followed by a period.
Fitzgerald, Jill. "How Will Bilingual/ESL Programs
     in Literacy Change in the Next Millennium?" Reading
     Research Quarterly
35.4 (2000). Expanded Academic
. InfoTrac. Salem State Coll. Lib., Salem MA.
     16 Feb. 2001.
Conniff, Richard. "The House that John Built." Smithsonian
     Feb. 2001. America Online. 11 Mar. 2001. Keyword:
     Smithsonian Magazine.
"Germans Fire London." World News Digest 31 Dec 1941. 16 Oct. 2004 <


(E.g. a write-up on E2)

Format: Authors (if given), period. Title of article, period, in quotes. Name of newspaper/magazine/website in italics, followed by date of publication (or last update), period. Sponsor of the site (if relevant), period. Date of access followed by URL in brackets, period.
Barabak, Mark Z. "Californians Endorse New Power
     Plants, Environmental Rules." Los Angeles Times
     17 Feb. 2001. 18 Feb. 2001 <
Rolfe, David. "Karoshi (thing)." Everything2. 3 Sept. 2002 16 Oct. 2004
Cletus the Foetus. "Citing writeups (idea)." Everything2. 12 Oct. 2000.
     16 Oct. 2004 <>



Format: Sender's name, period. Title from subject line, period, in quotes. The words E-mail to the author, period. Date of the e-mail, period.
Wall, Larry. "Re: Perl 6 using Perl 5 modules." E-mail to the author. 24 Dec. 2003.



Format: Author, period. Title of message from subject line, period, in quotes.  The words Online posting, period. Date of the message, period. The list, group, or forum name, period. Date of access, followed by the URL in brackets, period.
Keirn, Kellie. "Evaluation Criteria." Online Posting.
     6 Feb. 2001. Speakeasy Cafe. 7 Feb. 2001 <http://>.
Vvaldo. "Re:Yet another gun control law..." Online Posting.
     27 Mar. 2004. Slashdot Comments: PIRATE Act
     Introduced in Congress. 10 Oct. 2004 <http://>.



Format: Author, period. Title of map in italics, or title of chart in quotes, period. The word Map or Chart, period. Follow this with the rest of the citation data depending on format. If it's in a book, cite the publisher and year, etc. If it's in a journal cite the volume and page, etc. If it's online cite date, sponsor, date of access and url, as you would with any other web source.
U.S. Obesity Trends 1985-2003. Map. National Center for Chronic Disease
     Prevention and Health Promotion
9 Nov. 2004. United States Department
     of Health and Human Services. 2 Dec. 2004 <


Sources and Works Cited

atril. "MLA (thing)." Everything2. 8 Apr. 2002 <>.

Hacker, Diana. The Bedford Handbook. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2002.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th ed. Minneapolis: Sagebrush Education Resources, 1999.

Leong-Kurio, Nadine. "MLA Citation Examples written by HCC Library." Honolulu Community College Library. 20 Sept. 2004 <>.

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