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Citing Sources: MLA Style

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Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Style Guide
Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides writing resources and instructional materials for writing projects.  The MLA Style Guide includes an introduction to the style, citation formatting for various sources, formatting for in-text citations and reference lists, and more. 


MLA Style Center Homepage
Learn the MLA citation style directly from the creators.  The MLA Style Center provides guidance, formatting, and examples of how to cite within the MLA style. 


Citation Machine: MLA Style
Citation Machine is a free, online citation creator.  Easily cite websites, books, articles, videos, and more. Just fill in the information, and remember to double check the accuracy of the citation before placing it in your reference list. 


About MLA Style

MLA is one of the most commonly used citation styles.  This style is used within the language arts, cultural studies, and other humanities disciplines.  Majors that use MLA citation style include Communication, Digital Media, English, Music, Religion & Philosophy, and Theatre. 

Always check with your professor to determine which citation style you should use before beginning your paper or project. 

Formatting Examples

Before you start creating your citations, you will need to identify:

  • Author(s)
  • Title of the Work
  • Publisher Information
  • Date of Publication or Creation

Elements of your citation should be listed in the following order:

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

Rules for the Reference Page

  • The words Works Cited should be centered at the top of the page.
  • Arrange items in alphabetical order by first word of the entry.
  • Use hanging indent and double space the entire page - no extra lines between items.
  • List all authors as such:
    • One Author: Last Name, First Name
    • Two Authors: Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name
    • Three or More Authors: Last Name, First Name, et al. 
  • Italicize book titles.
  • Place individual webpage titles in quotation marks.
  • Place titles of magazine articles, newspaper articles, and scholarly journal articles in quotation marks. 
  • Write DOIs as: doi: xx-xxx/xxxx
  • Publisher location is only needed if the book was published before 1900. 

MLA format follows the author-page method for in-text citations. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, for example, (Junes 238).  A complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. 

A Work by One Author (Wordsworth 263) Wordsworth stated that... (263). 
A Work by Two Authors (Best and Marcus 9) Best and Marcus argue... (9). 
A Work by Three or More Authors (Franck et al. 327) According to Franck et al., "..." (327). 
Unknown Author

Shorten the title of the work

("Impact of Global Warming" 22)

The article "Impact of Global Warming" discusses... (22).
Two or More Works in the Same Parentheses 

Separate the citations by a semi-colon

(Burke 3; Dewey 21)

Citing Indirect Sources

Use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted

(qtd. in Weisman 259)

Ravitch argues in Weisman's article... (Weisman 259) 


Source: "MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics" from Purdue OWL

Basic Form

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

Note: the City of Publication should only be used if the book was published before 1900, if the publisher has offices in more than one country, or if the publisher is unknown in North America.

Book with One Author 

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. Penguin, 1987.

Book with Two Authors

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

Book with Three or More Authors

Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah
     State UP, 2004.

Book by a Corporate Author or Organization

American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. Random House, 1998.

Book with No Author

Encyclopedia of Indiana. Somerset, 1993.


Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince, translated by W. K. Marriott, Kindle ed., Library of Alexandria, 2018.

Translated Book

Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. Translated by Richard Howard,
     Vintage-Random House, 1988.

Book Prepared by an Editor 

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre, edited by Margaret Smith, Oxford UP, 1998.

Book Published before 1900

Thoreau, Henry David. Excursions. Boston, 1863.

The Bible

The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.

The New Jerusalem Bible. Edited by Susan Jones, Doubleday, 1985.

Basic Form

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Scholarly Journal, vol. #, no. #, Year, pp. ##. 

Journal Article Accessed in Print

Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies
     in Women's Literature,
 vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.

Journal Article Accessed Online

Wheelis, Mark. “Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons
     Convention.” Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-600, Accessed 8 Feb. 2009.

Article in an Online-Only Scholarly Journal

Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society:
     The International Online-Only Journal,
 vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, Accessed 20
     May 2009.

Basic Form

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Article in a Magazine 

Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.

Article in a Newspaper

Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times, late ed., 21 May 2007, p. A1.


Entire Website

Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, Accessed
     10 May 2006.


“Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview.” WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014,

Article in a Web Magazine 

Bernstein, Mark. “10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 16 Aug. 2002, Accessed 4 May 2009.

YouTube Video

McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012,

“8 Hot Dog Gadgets put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 June 2016,


@tombrokaw. “SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign.” Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m.,

Instagram Photo

National Geographic. Photo of Bering Sea. Instagram, photographed by Corey Arnold, 2 Apr. 2017,


“Best of Not My Job Musicians.” Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! from NPR, 4 June 2016,

Song on Spotify 

Rae Morris. “Skin.” Cold, Atlantic Records, 2014. Spotify,


Lucas, George, director. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Twentieth Century Fox, 1977.

Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video

“94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, season 2, episode 21, NBC, 29 Apr. 2010. Netflix,

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