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Citation Guide

Discover and explore the basics of why and how to cite.

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style of Citation

The recommended style of citation used in the Arts and Humanities is the MLA style. This style is used when citing materials used in writing papers, journal reviews, and other assignments requiring documentation supporting your research.

Always check with your professor if you are unsure as to which style guide you should be using.

Core Elements of MLA Citation

stack of booksEach entry in your Works Cited page will have core elements that you'll have to arrange in a specific order (notice the appropriate punctuation to use after each element): 

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

Sample MLA Papers - 8th Edition

MLA Sample Citations

Book Citation Basic Format: 

AuthorLast, First M. Book Title. City: Publisher, Year.


Day, Gary. Literary Criticism : A New History. Edinburgh University Press, 2008.

Elecronic Book Citation Basic Format: 

AuthorLast, First M. Book Title. City: Publisher, Year. Database/Website Title, Day Month Year Accessed.


Day, Gary. Literary Criticism : A New History. Edinburgh University Press, 2008. EBSCOhost, 16 January 2016.



Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review, vol. 64, no. 1, 2010, pp. 69-88. JSTOR,

Sample Website Citation

Include as much information as possible about the resource. 

AuthorLast, First. "Page/Article Title." Website Title, Date Accessed [Day Month Year], URL.



Treilhard, John B. "Chaucer the Love Poet: A Study in Historical Criticism.", 1 Apr. 2017,


When referencing a source, provide the author and page number of the reference in parenthesis. The reference must be included as an item on the Works Cited page. 

(AuthorLast Page #)

Place the citation after the sentence, but before the period. If the author(s) is mentioned in the sentence, only include the page number in the parentheses.

* If you include a block quotation in your paper, place the in-text citation after the final period of the quotation.


Sentence text referring to the source (Smith 62).

OR: According to Smith, . . . (62). 

The above reference is to a work included in the Works Cited page by an author named Smith. If there happened to be two authors named Smith on the Works Cited page, for this example, provide an additional initial or name. Thus, (A. Smith 51) and (N. Smith 62) would separate an Allison Smith from a Nelson Smith.

Classic Works:

When citing a classic work for which many various editions exist, provide a chapter reference in addition to the page number. Additionally, ensure that you correctly cite the edition of the classic work you consult.

(Author Page #; Chapter #)


Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: Harriman House, 2007.

For the above entry on the Works Cited page, provide an in-text citation referencing the chapter and page number:

(Smith 45; ch. 1).

MLA Manual 8th Edition

Learn more about MLA 8th Edition and the differences from the 7th Edition from the MLA website and EasyBib.

Purdue OWL

The Purdue OWL is an excellent source for MLA Citation Style information. The Purdue University's Online Writing Lab offers comprehensive information, guidelines and examples.

MLA Research Paper Example

If you are experiencing problems with our guides, please contact Janet S. Ward,, Associate Professor and Web Services Librarian.