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.
Each 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):
AuthorLastName, FirstName. Book Title. Publisher, Year.
Note on Capitalization of the Title: Most words of the title are capitalized, including all nouns, pronouns (e.g., Our and That), adjectives, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions (e.g., Because and After). Do not capitalize articles (e.g., a and the), prepositions (e.g., of, in, and for), coordinating conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or) and the infinitive "to" (e.g., to Move). The first word of the title and subtitle (if present) are capitalized.
Subtitle: Use a colon (:) to separate the main title from the subtitle. For example: Charles Dickens: The Definitive Collection. If the title contains a question mark or exclamation point, do not include a colon. For example: The Greatest Adventurer? Sir Ernest Shackleton's Doomed Voyage.
Note on the Publisher: In most cases, MLA8 does require the city of publication. Only include the city if the book was published before 1900, if the publisher has offices in multiple countries, or if the publisher is likely to be unknown to a North American Readership. See the McMillan example below (an unknown publisher in this case). Use this format when including the city of publication: City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.
Hanging Indent: Every line after the first line should be indented, called a hanging indent. (Found under "paragraph" > "indent" in Word.)
McMillan, Montague. A history of Limestone College: 1845-1970. Columbia, SC, R. L. Bryan Company, 1970,
Turabian, Kate. Student's guide to writing college papers. The University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Example with a subtitle: (the subtitle always follows a colon)
Levitin, Daniel. A field guide to lies: Critical thinking in the information age. Dutton, 2016.
Example of a book in translation:
Mathiez, Albert. The French revolution. Translated by Catherine Phillips, Grosset & Dunlap, 1964.
Example of a book in an edition other than the first:
Jones, Doug. A handbook of photography. 5th ed., Rogers, 2008.
AuthorLastName, FirstName. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, Pages.
AuthorLastName, FirstName. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, Pages. Database, DOI/URL
Bauer, Christine, and Christine Strauss. “Educating Artists in Management - An Analysis of Art Education Programmes in DACH Region.” Cogent Education, vol. 2, no. 1, Cogent, Dec. 2015, doi:10.1080/2331186X.2015.1045217.
Cazé, Antoine. “Emily Dickinson and the Question of ‘Giving Death.’” Textual Practice: Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Philosophical, vol. 33, no. 10, Routledge, Nov. 2019, pp. 1787–800, doi:10.1080/0950236X.2019.1665928.
Green, Lucy. “Popular Music Education in and for Itself, and for ‘other’ Music: Current Research in the Classroom.” International Journal of Music Education, vol. 24, no. 2, SAGE Publications, 2016, pp. 101–18, doi:10.1177/0255761406065471.
AuthorLastName, FirstName. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine, Volume, Issue, Date, Pages.
AuthorLastName, FirstName. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine, Volume, Issue, Date, Pages. Database, DOI/URL
Berry, Barnett. “Teaching, Learning, and Caring in the Post-COVID Era.” Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 102, no. 1, Sept. 2020, pp. 14–17. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/0031721720956840.
Har'el, Alma. "Why Women's History Should Be Everyone's History." Time, 5 Mar. 2020. https://time.com/5795675/documenting-100-women-of-the-year/
Raine, Michael. “Demystifying Streaming Playlists.” Canadian Musician, vol. 42, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 38–41. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=url,ip,cookie,uid&db=a9h&AN=141371924&scope=site.
In general, follow the same format as the magazine. Include the city of publication in [brackets] for local newspapers that do not otherwise include the city of publication in the title. Note: Online editions of newspapers may not include the original page numbers.
Shain, Andy. "Fire ravages the historic Babcock Building in the BullStreet District." Post and Courier [Charleston, SC], 16 Sep. 2020, p. A16.
Lustgarten, Abrahm. "How Climate Migration Will Reshape America: Millions will be displaced. Where will they go?" New York Times.15 Sep. 2020.
For web-based materials that are potentially unstable in format, provide as much information as possible. Note that if you access a stable, published source online, like a magazine or newspaper article, cite it according to the rules for periodicals above. A source like a blog or a Wikipedia article is not a stable source. It may either change overtime or be moved to a new location. In general, it is best to avoid citing sources that do not include an author and date information.
AuthorLast, First. "Page/Article Title." Website Title, Date of Publication, URL, Date Accessed [Day Month Year].
Treilhard, John B. "Chaucer the Love Poet: A Study in Historical Criticism." Medievalists.net, 1 Apr. 2017, http://www.medievalists.net/2015/01/chaucer-love-poet-study-historical-criticism/, Accessed 15 Aug. 2018.
Ferlazzo, Larry, "Tuesday's Must-Read Articles About School Reopening." Larry Ferlazzo's Website of the Day. 14 Sep. 2020. https://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2020/09/14/tuesdays-must-read-articles-about-school-reopening/, Accessed 15 Sep. 2020.
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.
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).