Citing A Website Mla Bibliography Format

The Complete Guide to MLA & Citations

What You’ll Find on This Guide:

This page provides an in-depth overview of MLA format. It includes information related to MLA citations, plagiarism, proper formatting for in-text and regular citations, and examples of citations for many different types of sources.

Looking for APA? Check out Citation Machine’s guide on APA format.

How to Be a Responsible Researcher or Scholar:

Putting together a research project involves searching for information, disseminating and analyzing information, collecting information, and repurposing information. Being a responsible researcher requires keeping track of the sources that were used to help develop your research project, sharing the information you borrowed in an ethical way, and giving credit to the authors of the sources you used. Doing all of these things prevents plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of using others’ information without giving credit or acknowledging them. There are many examples of plagiarism. Completely copying another individual’s work without providing credit to the original author is a very blatant example of plagiarism. Plagiarism also occurs when another individual’s idea or concept is passed off as your own. Changing or modifying quotes, text, or any work of another individual is also plagiarism. Believe it or not, you can even plagiarize yourself! Re-using a project or paper from another class or time and saying that it is new is plagiarism. One way to prevent plagiarism is to add citations in your project where appropriate.

What is a Citation?

A citation shows the reader or viewer of your project where you found your information. Citations are included in the body of a project when you add a quote into your project. Citations are also included in the body when you’re paraphrasing another individual’s information. These citations that are found in the body of a research paper are called in-text, or parenthetical citations. These citations are found directly after the information that was borrowed and are very brief in order to avoid becoming distracted while reading a project. Included in these brief citations is usually just the last name of the author and a page number or the year published. Scroll down below for an in-depth explanation and examples of in-text and parenthetical citations.

In-text and parenthetical citations provide us with a brief idea as to where you found your information, it doesn't include the title and other components. Look on the last page or part of a research project, where complete citations can be found in their entirety.

Complete citations are found on what is called an MLA Works Cited page, which is sometimes called a bibliography. All sources that were used to develop your research project are found on the Works Cited page. Complete citations are created for any quotes or paraphrased information used in the text, but also any sources that helped you develop your research project. Included in complete citations is the author’s name, the title, publisher, year published, page numbers, URLs, and a few other pieces of information.

Looking to create your citations in just a few clicks? Try Citation Machine’s MLA formatter! The Citation Machine MLA generator, which is an MLA citation website, will create all of your citations in just a few clicks. Click here to see more across the site. Also, check out this article to see MLA citation in the news.

Why Does it Matter?

Citing your sources is an extremely important component of your research project. It shows that you’re a responsible researcher. It also shows that you were able to locate appropriate and reputable sources that helped back up your thesis or claim. In addition, if your work ends up being posted online or in print, there is a chance that others will use your research project in their own work!

Scroll down to find directions on how to create citations.

How the Modern Language Association Helps You Become a Responsible Researcher

What is MLA format?

The Modern Language Association is an organization that was created to develop guidelines on everything language and literature related. They have guidelines on proper grammar usage and research paper layouts. In addition, they have English and foreign language committees, numerous books and journal publications, and an annual conference.

What are citations?

The Modern Language Association is responsible for creating standards and guidelines on how to properly cite sources to prevent plagiarism. Their style is most often used when writing papers and citing sources in the liberal arts and humanities fields. Liberal arts is a broad term used to describe a range of subjects including the humanities, formal sciences such as mathematics and statistics, natural sciences such as biology and astronomy, and social science such as geography, economics, history, and others. The humanities specifically focuses on subjects related to languages, art, philosophy, religion, music, theater, literature, and ethics.

Believe it or not, there are thousands of other types of citation styles. While this citation style is most often used for the liberal arts and humanities fields, many other subjects, professors, and schools prefer citations and papers to be styled in MLA format.

Why do we use this style?

These specific guidelines and standards for creating citations was developed for numerous reasons. When scholars and researchers in the literature, language, and numerous other fields all cite their sources in the same manner, it makes it easier for readers to look at a citation and recognize and understand the different components of a source. From looking at a citation, we can see who the author is, the title of the source, when it was published, and other identifiable pieces of information.

Imagine how difficult it would be to understand the various components of a source if we didn’t all follow the same guidelines! Not only would it make it difficult to understand the source that was used, but it would also make it difficult for readers to locate it themselves. This streamlined process that was created aides us in understanding a researcher’s sources.

How is the new version different than previous versions?

This citation style has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. Currently in its 8th edition, the 8th version is a citation style that is much different than the previous formatting style.

In the 7th version, which is the format, or structure, that was previously used, researchers and scholars found it grueling to put their citations together. Why? Each source used a different citation structure. Researchers and scholars were required to look up the citation format that matched the type of source they used. So, if a person used a book, a website, a journal article, a newspaper article, and an e-book, all in one research project, they were required to look up how to cite each one of those sources because each was structured differently.

Now, with the new version of MLA formatting, which is version 8, all source types use the same citation structure. The Modern Language Association enacted this new format due to the many new and innovative ways of obtaining information. We are no longer receiving information through traditional means, such as books, websites, and articles. We can now obtain information through apps, advertisements, Tweets, other social media posts, and many other creative ways. To make the process of creating citations easier for researchers and scholars, the Modern Language Association decided to have one MLA citing format, which works for all source types.

Other changes were made as well. This includes:

  • removing http:// and https:// from URLs.
  • not including the city where a source was published or the name of the publisher from some source types (such as newspapers).
  • the ability to use a screen name or username in place of an author’s full name.
  • using the abbreviations vol. and no., for volume and number, when including information from a periodical.

A Deeper Look at Citations

What do they look like?

There are two types of citations. There are regular or complete citations, which are found at the end of research projects. These citations are usually listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last names and include all of the information necessary for readers to be able to locate the source themselves.

Regular citations are generally placed in this MLA citation format:

Last name of the author, First name of the author. “Source’s Title.” Container’s Title, roles and names of any other individuals who helped contribute to the source, the version of the source, any numbers associated with the source, the name of the publisher, the date the source was published, the location where individuals can find the source themselves (usually a URL or page range).

There are times when additional information is added into the regular citation.

Not sure how to transfer the information from your source into your citation? Confused about the term, “containers?” See below for information and complete explanations of each component of the citation.

The other type of citation, called an “in text citation,” is included in the main part, or body, of a project when a researcher uses a quote or paraphrases information from another source. See the next section to find out how to create in text citations.

What are in text and parenthetical citations?

As stated above, in text citations, also called parenthetical citations, are included in the main part of a project when using a quote or paraphrasing a piece of information from another source. We include these types of citations in the body of a project for readers to quickly gain an idea as to where we found the information.

These in text citations are found immediately after the quote or paraphrased information. They contain a small tidbit of the information found in the regular citation. The regular, or complete, citation is located at the end of a project.

Here’s what a typical in text or parenthetical citation looks like:

Throughout the novel, the mother uses a vast amount of Chinese wisdom to explain the world and people’s temperaments. She states, “each person is made of five elements….Too much fire and you have a bad temper...too little wood and you bent too quickly...too much water and you flowed in too many directions” (Tan 31).

This specific in text citation, (Tan 31), is included so that the reader sees that we are quoting something from page 31 in Tan’s book. The complete, regular citation isn’t included in the main part of the project because it would be too distracting for the reader. We want them to focus on our work and research, not necessarily our sources.

If the reader would like to see the source’s full information, and possibly locate the source themselves, they can refer to the last part of the project to find the regular citation.

The regular citation, at the end of the project looks like this:

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Penguin, 1989, p. 31.

If your direct quote or paraphrase comes from a source that does not have page numbers, it is acceptable to place a paragraph number (use the abbreviation par. or pars.), sections (sec. or secs.), or chapters (ch. or chs.). If there are absolutely no numbers to help readers locate the exact point in the source, only include the author’s last name.

More About Quotations and How to Cite a Quote:

  • Use quotes from outside sources to help illustrate and expand on your own points, but the majority of your paper should be your own writing and ideas.
  • Include the quote exactly as you found it. It is okay to pull and use only certain words or phrases from the quote, but keep the words (spelling and capitalization) and punctuation the same.
  • It is acceptable to break up a direct quote with your own writing
  • The entire paper should be double spaced, including quotes.

Example: Dorothy stated, “Toto,” then looked up and took in her surroundings, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore“ (Wizard of Oz).

  • If the quote is longer than four lines, it is necessary to make a block quote. Block quotes show the reader that they are about to read a lengthy amount of text from another source.
    • Start the quote on the next line, half an inch in from the left margin
    • Do not use any indents at the beginning of the block quote
    • Only use quotation marks if there are quotation marks present in the source
    • If there is more than one paragraph in the block quote, start the next paragraph with the same half inch indent
    • Add your in-text citation at the end of the block quote

Example:

While his parents sat there in surprise, Colton went onto say

“Cause I could see you,” Colon said matter-of-factly. “I went up and out of my body and I was looking down and I could see the doctor working on my body. And I saw you and Mommy. You were in a little room by yourself, praying; and Mommy was in a different room, and she was praying and talking on the phone” (Burpo xxi).

Confused about whether footnotes and endnotes should be used?

Footnotes and endnotes are not used in this style. Use in-text, or parenthetical citations, in the body of your work. In addition, create full, or regular citations, and place them at the end of your project on the Works Cited list.

If you need help with in text and parenthetical citations, Citation Machine can help. Citation Machine’s MLA citation generator is simple and easy to use!

Specific Components of a Citation

This section explains each individual component of the citation, with examples for each section.

Name of the Author

The author’s name is usually the first item listed in the citation. Author names start with the last name, then a comma is added, and then the author’s first name (and middle name if applicable) is at the end. A period closes this information.

Here are two examples of how an author’s name can be listed in a citation:

Twain, Mark.
Poe, Edgar Allan.

Wondering how to format the author’s name when there are two authors working jointly on a source? When there are two authors that work together on a source, the author names are placed in the order in which they appear on the source. Place their names in this format:

First listed author’s Last Name, First name, and Second author’s First Name Last Name.

Here are two examples of how to cite two authors:

Clifton, Mark, and Frank Riley.
Paxton, Roberta J., and Michael Jacob Fox.

There are many times when three or more authors work together on a source. This happens often with journal articles, edited books, and textbooks.

To cite a source with three or more authors, place the information in this format:

First listed author’s Last name, First name, et al.

As you can see, only include the first author’s name. The other authors are accounted for by using et al. In Latin, et al. is translated to “and others.” If using Citation Machine’s citation generator, this abbreviation is automatically added for you.

Here’s an example of a citation for three or more authors:

Warner, Ralph, et al. How to Buy a House in California. Edited by Alayna Schroeder, 12th ed., Nolo, 2009.

Is there no author listed on your source? If so, in MLA formatting, exclude the author’s information from the citation and begin the citation with the title of the source.

Was the source found on social media, such as a tweet, Reddit, or Instagram post? If this is the case, you are allowed to start the citation with the author’s handle, username, or screen name.

Here is an example of how to cite a tweet:

@CarlaHayden. “I’m so honored to talk about digital access at @UMBCHumanities. We want to share the @libraryofcongress collection.” Twitter, 13 Apr. 2017, 6:04 p.m., twitter.com/LibnOfCongress/status/852643691802091521.

While most citations begin with the name of the author, they do not necessarily have to. Quite often, sources are compiled by editors. Or, your source may be done by a performer or composer. If your project focuses on someone other than the author, it is acceptable to place that person’s name first in the citation. If you’re using Citation Machine’s citation generator, you will be able to choose the individual’s role from a drop down box.

For example, let’s say that in your research project, you focus on Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances as an actor. You’re quoting a line from the movie, Titanic, in your project, and you’re creating a complete citation for it in the Works Cited list.

It is acceptable to show the reader that you’re focusing on Leonardo DiCaprio’s work by citing it like this in the MLA Works Cited list:

DiCaprio, Leonardo, performer. Titanic. Directed by James Cameron. Paramount, 1997.

Notice that when citing an individual other than the author, place the individual’s role after their name. In this case, Leonardo DiCaprio is the performer.

This is often done with edited books, too. Place the editor’s name first (in reverse order), add a comma, and then add the word editor.

If you’re still confused about how to place the authors together in a citation, Citation Machine can help! Our website is easy to use and will create your citations in just a few clicks!

Titles and Containers

The titles are written as they are found on the source, and in title form, meaning the important words start with a capital.

Here’s an example of a title written properly:

Practical Digital Libraries: Books, Bytes, and Bucks.

Wondering whether to place your title in italics or quotation marks? It depends on whether the source sits by itself or not. If the source stands alone, meaning that it is an independent source, place the title in italics. If the title is part of a larger whole, place the title of the source in quotation marks and the source it sits in, in italics.

When citing full books, movies, websites, or albums in their entirety, these titles are written in italics.

However, when citing part of a source, such as an article on a website, a chapter in a book, a song on an album, or an article in a scholarly journal, the part is written with quotation marks and then the titles of the sources that they are found in are written in italics.

Here are some examples to help you understand how to format titles and their containers.

To cite Pink Floyd’s entire album, The Wall, cite it as this:

Pink Floyd. The Wall. Columbia, 1979.

To cite one of the songs on Pink Floyd’s album, cite it as this:

Pink Floyd. “Another Brick in the Wall (Part I).” The Wall, Columbia, 1979, track 3.

To cite a fairy tale book in its entirety, cite it as this:

Colfer, Chris. The Land of Stories. Little Brown, 2016.

To cite a specific story, or chapter, in the book, it would be cited as this:

Colfer, Chris. “Little Red Riding Hood.” The Land of Stories, Little Brown, 2016, pp. 58-65.

More About Containers:

From the section above, you can see that titles can stand alone or they can sit in a container. Many times, sources can sit in more than one container. Wondering how? When citing an article in a scholarly journal, the first container is the journal. The second container? It’s the database that the scholarly journal is found in. It is important to account for all containers, so that readers are able to locate the exact source themselves.

When citing a television episode, the first container is the name of the show and the second container is the name of the service that it could be streaming on, such as Netflix.

If your source sits in more than one container, the information about the second container is found at the end of the citation.

Use the following format to cite your source with multiple containers:

Last name of the author, First name of the author. “Source’s Title.” Container’s Title, roles and names of any other individuals who helped contribute to the source, the version of the source, any numbers associated with the source, the name of the publisher, the date the source was published, the location where individuals can find the source themselves (usually a URL or page range). Title of Second Container, roles and names of any other contributors, the version of the second container, any numbers associated with the second container, the name of the second container’s publisher, the date the second container was published, location.

If the source has more than two containers, add on another full other section at the end for each container.

Not all of the fields in the citation format above need to be included in your citation. In fact, many of these fields will most likely be omitted from your citations. Only include the elements that will help your readers locate the source themselves.

Here is an example of a citation for a scholarly journal article found on a database. This source has two containers, the journal itself is one container, and the site it sits on is the other.

Zanetti, Francois. “Curing with Machine: Medical Electricity in Eighteenth-Century Paris.” Technology and Culture, vol. 54, no. 3, July 2013, pp. 503-530. Project Muse, muse.jhu.edu/article/520280.

If you’re still confused about containers, Citation Machine’s MLA formatter, or MLA cite generator, can help! MLA citing is easier when using Citation Machine’s website.

Other contributors

Many sources have people, besides the author, who contribute to the source. If your research project focuses on an additional individual besides the author, or you feel as though including other contributors will help the reader locate the source themselves, include their names in the citation.

To include another individual in the citation, after the title, place the role of the individual, the word by, and then their name in standard order.

If the name of the contributor comes after a period, capitalize the first letter in the role of the individual. If it comes after a comma, the first letter in the role of the individual is lowercased.

Here’s an example of a citation for a children’s book with the name of the illustrator included.

Rubin, Adam. Dragons Love Tacos. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, Penguin, 2012.

The names of editors, directors, performers, translators, illustrators, and narrators can often be found in this part of the citation.

Versions

If the source that you’re citing states that it is a specific version or edition, this information is placed in the “versions” section of the citation.

When including a numbered edition, do not type out the number, use the numeral. Also, abbreviate the word edition to ed.

Here is an example of a citation with a specific edition:

Koger, Gregory. “Filibustering and Parties in the Modern State.” Congress Reconsidered, edited by Lawrence C. Dodd and Bruce I. Oppenheimer, 10th ed., CQ Press, 2013, pp. 221-236. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=b7gkLlSEeqwC&lpg=PP1&dq=10th%20edition&pg=PR6#v=onepage&q=10th%20edition&f=false.

Numbers

Many sources have numbers associated with them. If you see a number, different than the date, page numbers, or editions, include this information in the “numbers” section of the citation. This includes volume and/or issue numbers (use the abbreviations vol. and no.), episode numbers, track numbers, or any other numbers that will help readers identify the specific source that you used. Do not include ISBN (International Standard Book Numbers) in the citation.

Publishers

In MLA format citing, it is important to include the name of the publisher (the organization that created or published the source), so that readers can locate the exact source themselves.

Include publishers for all sources except for periodicals. Also, for websites, exclude this information when the name of the publisher matches the name of the website. Furthermore, the name of the publisher is often excluded from the citation for second containers, since the publisher of the second container is not necessarily responsible for the creation or production of the source’s content.

Publication dates

Publication dates are extremely important to include in citations. They allow the reader to understand when sources were published. They are also used when readers are attempting to locate the source themselves.

Dates can be written in one of two ways. Researchers can write dates as:

Day Mo. Year
OR
Mo. Day, Year

Whichever format you decide to use, use the same format for all of your citations. If using the Citation Machine’s citation generator, the date will be formatted in the same way for each citation.

While it isn’t necessary to include the full date for all source citations, use the amount of information that makes the most sense to help your readers understand and locate the source themselves.

Wondering what to do when your source has more than one date? Use the date that is most applicable to your research.

Location

The location generally refers to the place where the readers can find the source. This includes page ranges, URLs, DOI numbers, track numbers, disc numbers, or even cities and towns.

When MLA citing websites, make sure to remove the beginning of the URL (http:// or https://) as it is not necessary to include this information.

For page numbers, when citing a source that sits on only one page, use p. Example: p. 6.
When citing a source that has a page range, use pp. and then add the page numbers. Example: pp. 24-38.

Since the location is the final piece of the citation, place a period at the end.

Looking for an online tool to do the work for you? Citation Machine can help! Our site is simple (and fun!) to use.

Need some more help? There is further good information here

Common Citation Examples:

ALL sources use this format:

Last name of the author, First name of the author. “Source’s Title.” Container’s Title, roles and names of any other individuals who helped contribute to the source, the version of the source, any numbers associated with the source, the name of the publisher, the date the source was published, the location where individuals can find the source themselves (usually a URL or page range). *Title of Second Container, roles and names of any other contributors, the version of the second container, any numbers associated with the second container, the name of the second container’s publisher, the date the second container was published, location.

*If the source does not have a second container, omit this last part of the citation.

Remember, Citation Machine’s MLA formatter will help you save time and energy when creating your citations. Check out our MLA Citation Machine page to learn more.

Books:

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2008.

Chapter in an Edited Book:

Khan, Maryam. “Co-branding in the Restaurant Industry.” Managing Tourism and Hospitality Services: Theory and International Application. Edited by B. Prideaux et al., CABI, 2005, pp. 73-82.

Print Scholarly Journal Articles:

Zak, Elizabeth. “Do You Believe in Magic? Exploring the Conceptualization of Augmented Reality and its Implications for the User in the Field of Library and Information Science.” Information Technology & Libraries, vol. 33, no. 3, 2014, pp. 23-50.

Online Scholarly Journal Articles:

Kuzuhara, Kenji, et al. “Injuries in Japanese Mini-Basketball Players During Practices and Games.” Journal of Athletic Training, vol. 51. no. 2, Dec. 2016, p. 1022. Gale Health Reference Center Academic, i.ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=HRCA&sw=w&u=nypl&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA484460772&it=r&asid=91b1a34dda62a32f4cd82c768e8a6a97.

How to Cite a Website:

When citing a website, individuals are often actually citing a specific page on a website. They’re not actually citing the entire website.

Here is the most common way to cite a page on a website:

  • Start the citation with the name of the author who wrote the information on the page. If there isn’t an author listed, do not include this information in the citation. Start the citation with the title.
  • The title of the individual page is placed in quotation marks, followed by a period.
  • Next, place the name of the website in italics, followed by a comma.
  • If the name of the publisher matches the name of the author or the name of the title, do not include the publisher’s information in the citation.
  • The date the page or website was published comes next.
  • End the citation with the URL. When including the URL, remove http:// and https:// from the URL. Since most websites begin with this prefix, it is not necessary to include it in the citation.

Last name, First name of author. “Title of Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, Date published, URL.

Rothfeld, Lindsay. “Smarter Education: The Rise of Big Data in the Classroom.” Mashable, 3 Sept. 2014, mashable.com/2014/09/03/education-data-video/#hViqdPbFbgqH.

(When citing websites, remember to remove http:// and https:// from the URL.)

Print Newspaper Articles:

Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara. “Medium Cool.” New York Observer, 2 Mar. 2015, pp. 14-17.

Online Newspaper Articles:

Skiba, Katherine. “Obama To Hold First Public Event Since Leaving Office in Chicago on Monday.” Los Angeles Times, 24 Apr. 2017, www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-obama-speech-20170424-story.html.

Television Shows:

“Three Turkeys.” Modern Family, produced by Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, ABC, 19 Nov. 2014.

Movies:

Home Alone. Performance by Macaulay Culkin, directed by Chris Columbus, 20th Century Fox, 1990.

YouTube Videos:

DJ Mag. “Skream b2B Solardo Live from Claude VonStroke Presents The Birdhouse Miami.” YouTube, 29 Mar. 2017, youtu.be/4Q448x-LHGg.

Tweets:

Gates, Melinda. “Today, Bill and I were deeply humbled to accept France’s Legion of Honour award on behalf of all our foundation’s partners and grantees.” Twitter, 21 Apr. 2017, 2:36 p.m., twitter.com/melindagates/status/855535625713459200.

How to Cite an Image:

There are a variety of ways to cite an image. This section will show how to cite a digital image found on a website and an image in print

How to cite a digital image:

Use this structure to cite a digital image:

Last name, First name of the creator (if available). “Title or Description of the Image*. Title of the Website, Publisher**, Date published, URL.

*if the digital image does not have an official title, create a brief description. Do not place the description in quotation marks or italics. In addition, only capitalize the first letter in the description and any proper nouns.
**If the name of the publisher is the same as the author or the same name as the website, do not include the publisher in the citation.

Example:

“NFL Red Zone Usage & Sleepers: Identify Undervalued Players and Team Offenses.” RotoBaller, www.rotoballer.com/nfl-fantasy-football-cheat-sheet-draft-kit?src=bar.

Wondering how to cite an image found through a search engine, such as Google? Head to the site where the image “lives,” by clicking on the link that leads you to the website. Cite the image using the information from the original site.

How to cite an image in print:

Last name, First name of the creator (if available). "Title" or Description of the Image*. Title of the Container, such as a the Book Title, Magazine Title, etc., Publisher**, Date published, page or page range.

*if the digital image does not have an official title, create a brief description. Do not place the description in quotation marks or italics. In addition, only capitalize the first letter in the description and any proper nouns.

**If the name of the publisher is the same as the author or the same name as the website, do not include the publisher in the citation.

Example:

Photograph of Kate Middleton. Metro New York, 19 July 2017, p.17.

How to Cite a Magazine in Print:

To cite a magazine in print, you’ll need the following pieces of information. They can be found on the cover of the magazine and on the article itself:

  • The name of the magazine
  • The date the magazine was published
  • The title of the magazine article
  • The name of the author of the article
  • The page or page range the article is found on.

On the cover of most magazines, you can find the title of the magazine as well as the date the magazine was published. On the article itself, you can find the name of the article’s author(s), the title of the article, and the page or page range that the article is found on.

If the article appears on nonconsecutive pages, include the page number for the first page the article is found on, and then add a plus sign after it. Example: 61+

Place the information in this format:

Last name, First name of the Article’s Author. “Title of the Article.” Title of the Magazine, Date published, page range.

Example for the print magazine article above:

Gopnik, Adam. “A New Man: Ernest Hemingway, Revised and Revisited.” The New Yorker, 3 July 2017, pp. 61-66.

How to Cite an Essay

An essay is an analytic writing piece that is generally short in length (compared to books and journal articles) and focuses on a specific topic or subject. Citing an essay is similar to citing a chapter in a book or a story in an anthology. Include the name of the individual author or the group of authors, the title of the essay (placed in quotation marks), the title of the book, collection, or site the essay is found on (in italics), the name of the editor (if there is one), the volume and issue number (if they are available), the publication date, and the location. The location can be either a page range or a URL.

Here is an MLA formatting example of how to cite an essay:

Hasen, Richard L. “Race or Party? How Courts Should Think About Republican Efforts to Make it Harder to Vote in North Carolina and Elsewhere.” Harvard Law Review Forum, vol. 125, no. 58, 7 Jan. 2014, harvardlawreview.org/2014/01/race-or-party-how-courts-should-think-about-republican-efforts-to-make-it-harder-to-vote-in-north-carolina-and-elsewhere/.

Click here for additional information on essays

How to Cite an Interview:

To cite interviews:

  • Place the name of the person being interviewed at the beginning of the citation, in the author’s position
  • The title or description of the interview comes next. If there isn’t a formal title, only use the word Interview as the title and do not place it in quotation marks or italics.
  • If found online or in a book, include the title of the website or book after the title.
  • After the title, it is acceptable to include the name of the interviewer. Include this information especially if it will help readers locate the interview themselves or if it’s relevant to the research paper.
  • Include the publisher if it is a published interview and if it differs from any other information already found in the citation.
  • Include the date that the interview was either published or the date that the interview occurred.
  • If found online, include the URL. Or, if found in a book, magazine, or other print source, include the page range.

Here are two examples:

Gutman, Dan. “Interview with Children’s Author Dan Gutman.” The Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2011, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/08/AR2011030805468.html.

Lin, Brenda. Interview. By Michele Kirschenbaum. 17 July 2017.

How to Cite a PDF:

Check to see if the the PDF is written by an individual, set of authors, or an organization or company. If it is not written by an individual or a set of authors, use the name of the organization or company responsible for creating the PDF in place of the author’s name. Continue with the title of the PDF, version (if there are different versions available), the publisher (only include if the name of the publisher is different than the name of the author or the title), the publication date, and the location (usually a URL if found online).

Notice that in the example below, the name of the publisher (The American Podiatric Medical Association) is omitted since the name of the publisher is the same name as the author.

MLA format example:

American Podiatric Medical Association. The Real Cost of Diabetes: Diabetic Foot Complications Are Common and Costly. apma.files.cms-plus.com/ProductPDFs/APMA_TodaysPodiatrist_Infographic_8.5x11.pdf.

Click here for more on PDFs

How to Cite a Textbook in Print:

To cite a full textbook in print, you’ll need to find the following pieces of information:

  • The name of the author(s) or editor(s)
  • The title of the textbook, including any subtitles
  • The version of the textbook (such as a numbered edition or revised edition)
  • The name of the publisher
  • The year the textbook was published

Place the pieces of information in this format:

Last name, First name of the author or Last name, First name, editor. Title of the Textbook. Version, Publisher, Year published.

If the textbook was compiled by an editor, use this format at the beginning of the citation:

Last name, First name, editor.

Examples of how to cite a textbook in print:

Lilly, Leonard S. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: Review and Assessment. 9th ed., Elsevier Saunders, 2012.

Cherny, Nathan, et al., editors. Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. 5th ed., Oxford UP, 2015.

How to Cite a Chapter from a Textbook in Print:

To cite an individual chapter, you’ll need to find the following pieces of information:

  • The name of the author(s) of the individual chapter or section
  • The title of the individual chapter or section
  • The title of the textbook
  • The name of the editors of the textbook
  • The version of the textbook (such as a numbered edition or a revised edition)
  • The name of the publisher
  • The year the textbook was published

Place the pieces of information in this format:

Last name, First name of the chapter author. “Title of the chapter or section.” Title of the Textbook, edited by First name Last name of editor, version, Publisher, Year published, page or page range.

Example of how to cite a chapter from a textbook in print:

Riley, Simon C., and Michael J. Murphy. “Student Choice in the Undergraduate Curriculum: Student-Selected Components.” Oxford Textbook of Medical Education, edited by Kieran Walsh, Oxford UP, pp. 50-63.

How to Cite a Survey

Surveys can be found online or in print. Find the format below that matches the type of survey you’re attempting to cite.

To cite a survey found on a website, follow this structure:

Last name, First name of survey’s creator(s) OR organization responsible for its creation. “Title of the Survey.” Title of the Website, Publisher (if different than the author or website title), Publication date, URL.

Example:

International Food Information Council Foundation. “Food Decision 2016: Food & Health Survey.” Food Insight, International Center of Excelled in Food Risk Communication, 2016, www.foodinsight.org/sites/default/files/2016-Food-and-Health-Survey-Report_%20FINAL_0.pdf.

To cite a survey found in print, follow this structure:

Last name, First name of survey’s creator(s) OR organization responsible for its creation. “Title of Survey.” Title of Publication, Publisher (if different than the author or website title), Publication date, page or page range that survey is found on.

Don’t see your source type on this guide? Citation Machine’s citation generator can create your citations for you! Our website will help you develop your works cited page and in text and parenthetical citations in just a few clicks.

Looking for APA? Check out Citation Machine’s guide on APA format.

Need some more help? There is further good information here

Check out this article to see it in the news.

How to Format and Write a Paper

When it comes to formatting your paper or essay for academic purposes, there are specific guidelines to follow. The section that follows will answer the following questions: How to format an MLA paper, How to create papers, and How to write in MLA format. If you’re trying to learn how to format your essay, this section will help you too.

  • Use paper that is 8½-by-11 inch in size. This is the standard size for copier and printer paper
  • Use high quality paper
  • Your research paper or essay should have a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the paper
  • While most word processors automatically format your paper to have one-inch margins, you can check or modify the margins of your paper by going to the “Page setup” section of your word processor. Click here for more on margins.

Which font is acceptable to use?

  • Use an easily readable font, specifically one that allows readers to see the difference between regular and italicized letters.
  • Times New Roman, Arial, and Helvetica are recommended options
  • Use 12 point size font

Should I double space the paper, including citations?

  • Double space the entire paper
  • There should be a double space between each piece of information in the heading
  • Place a double space between the heading and the title
  • Place a double space between the title and the beginning of the essay
  • The Works Cited page should be double spaced as well. All citations are double spaced

Justification & Punctuation

  • Text should be left-justified, meaning that the text is aligned, or lies flush, against the left margin
  • New paragraphs should be indented half an inch from the left margin
    • Indents signal to the reader that a new concept or idea is about to begin
    • Use the “tab” button on your keyboard to create an indent
  • Add one space after all punctuation marks

Heading & Title

  • Include a proper heading and title
    • The heading should include the following, on separate lines, starting one inch from the top and left margins:
      • Your full name
      • Your teacher or professor’s name
      • The course number
      • Date
        • Dates in the heading and the body of your essay should be consistent. Use the same format, either Day Month Year or Month Day, Year throughout the entire paper
        • Examples: 27 July 2017 or July 27, 2017
    • The title should be underneath the heading, centered in the middle of the page, without bold, underlined, italicized, or all capital letters.

Page numbers

  • Number all pages, including the Works Cited page
    • Place page numbers in the top right corner, half an inch from the top margin and one inch from the right margin.
    • Include your last name to the left of the page number
      Example: Jacobson 4

Works Cited

  • The Works Cited list should be at the end of the paper, on its own page.
    • If a citation flows onto the second line, indent it in half an inch from the left margin (called a hanging indent).
    • For more information on the Works Cited list, refer to “How to Make a Works Cited Page,” which is found below.

How to Create a Title Page:

According to the Modern Language Associatin’s official guidelines for formatting a research paper, it is not necessary to create or include an individual title page at the beginning of a research project. Instead, follow the directions above, under “Heading & Title,” to create a proper heading. This heading is featured at the top of the first page of the research paper or research assignment.

If your instructor or professor does in fact require or ask for a title page, follow the directions that you are given. They should provide you with the information needed to create a separate, individual title page. If they do not provide you with instructions, and you are left to create it at your own discretion, use the header information above to help you develop your research paper title page. You may want to include other information, such as the name of your school or university.

How to Make a Works Cited Page:

The MLA Works Cited page is generally found at the end of a research paper or project. It contains a list of all of the citations of sources used for the research project. Follow these directions to format the Works Cited list to match the Modern Language Association’s guidelines.

  • The Works Cited list has its own page, at the end of a research project
  • Include the same running head as the rest of the project (Your last name and then the page number). The Works Cited List has the final page number for the project.
  • Name the page “Works Cited,” unless your list only includes one citation. In that case, title it as “Work Cited.”
  • The title of the page (either Works Cited or Work Cited) is placed one inch from the top of the page, centered in the middle of the document.
  • Double space the entire document, even between the title of the page and the first citation.
  • Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the citation (usually the last name of the author or the first word in the title if the citation does not include the author’s name. Ignore A, An, and The if the title begins with these words.)
  • All citations begin flush against the left margin. If the citation is long in length, and rolls onto a second or third line, the lines below the first line are indented half an inch from the left margin. This is called a “hanging indent.” The purpose of a hanging indent is to make the citations easier to read.

Wai-Chung, Ho. “Political Influences on Curriculum Content and Musical Meaning: Hong Kong Secondary Music Education, 1949-1997.” Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, vol. 22, no. 1, 1 Oct. 2000, pp. 5-25. Periodicals Index Online, search-proquest-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/pio/docview/1297849364/citation/6B70D633F50C4EA0PQ/78?accountid=35635.

  • Works Cited pages can be longer than one page. Use as many pages as necessary.

Overview of MLA 8 Format

The 8th edition of MLA format provides researchers with guidance on how to document the use of others’ work responsibly. Published in April 2016, the new handbook illustrates examples of citations made in the revised style, and explains how to create two types of citations: full citations that are placed in a works cited list, and in-text citations, which are abbreviated versions of full citations and located in the body of the work.

For a visual guide to MLA 8 citations, see our infographic.

For a PDF guide to general MLA 8 guidelines,click here.

MLA 8th Edition: What’s New?

With the new MLA citation format, a major change was made to how full citations are created and how MLA works cited pages are formatted. Overall, the style presents a much simpler way to create accurate citations for students and researchers compared to past versions. Let’s take a look at the major changes:

1. One standard citation format that applies to every source type

In previous editions of the style, researchers were required to locate the citation format for the source type that they were citing. For instance, if they were trying to cite a scholarly journal article, they would have to find and reference the rules for citing journals. This has become inefficient in modern writing, however, as we are digesting information from a more broad variety of sources than ever before. With information readily available in tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, etc., it has become unrealistic for writers to create citation formats for every source type. To address this, there is now one universal format that  can be used to create citations, which is displayed in MLA 8.

To properly use this new format, the researcher is required to locate the “Core Elements” of each source used in their paper. These “core elements” are what make up the information that will populate each citation. These pieces of information can also be found in the forms in the MLA citation generator.

The “Core Elements” of a citation, along with their corresponding punctuation marks, include the following:

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

The appropriate punctuation mark must follow each core element, unless it is the final piece. In that situation, the punctuation mark should always be a period.

These core elements are then placed within the citation, and generally follow this format:

Author. Title. Title of the container. Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher’s name, Date of publication, Location

Here is an example of how an actual citation (in this case, for a book) looks when written using the 8th edition style:

Goodwin, Doris. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Simon & Schuster, 2012.

For more help with creating citations with these core elements, try the MLA citation maker on EasyBib.com.

2. Inclusion of “containers” in citations

When the source you are referencing is actually a small part of a larger source, such as a chapter within a book, the larger source is called the “container,” as it “contains” the smaller source. Generally, the container is italicized and is followed by a comma. For more details on this, see the examples below. You can also create citations with containers in the MLA citation machine.

MLA citation format for citing a title within a container might look as follows:

Source Author(s) Last Name, First Name. “Title of Source.” Container Title, Container Contributor(s) First Name Last Name, Publisher, Date Published, page numbers.

Here is an example full citation of how to cite a book chapter using the 8th edition format:

Uenten, Wesley Iwao. “Rising Up from a Sea of Discontent: The 1970 Koza Uprising in U.S. Occupied Okinawa.” Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific, edited by Setsu Shigematsu and Keith L. Camacho, University of Minnesota Press, 2010, pp. 91-124.

3. The ability to use pseudonyms for author names

In order to more efficiently create accurate citations for new source types, it is now acceptable to use online handles or screen names in place of authors’ names.

Formula:

@TwitterHandle. “Content of Tweet.” Twitter, Date, Time, URL (omit http:// or https://).

Example:

@realDonaldTrump. “I will be having a general news conference on JANUARY ELEVENTH in N.Y.C. Thank you.” Twitter, 3 Jan. 2017, 6:58 p.m., twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/816433590892429312

4. Adding the abbreviations vol. and no. to magazine and journal article citations

In previous versions of the style, there was no indication that the numbers in periodical citations referred to the volume and issue numbers. This has changed in the 8th edition to be clearer to the reader.

Example in MLA 7:

O’Carol, John. “The Dying of the Epic.” Anthropoetics 30.2 (2011): 48-49. Print.

Example in MLA 8:

O’Carol, John. “The Dying of the Epic.” Anthropoetics, vol. 30, no. 2, 2011, pp. 48-49.

5. Inclusion of URLS

Unlike previous editions, the inclusion of URLs in citations is highly recommended by the 8th edition.

Omit “http://” or “https://” from the URL when including it in a citation.

6. Omitting the city of publication

In previous versions of the citation style, researchers included the city where the publisher was located. Today, this information generally serves little purpose and the city of publication can often be omitted.

It is suggested that you include the city of publication if the version of the source differs when published in a different country (example: British editions of books versus versions printed in the United States).

7. Flexibility in citation formatting

In addition to one universal format for all source types, the 8th edition now allows for more flexibility in citation presentation than previous versions of the style. For example, there is technically no right or wrong way to document a source, and certain aspects of a source can be included or excluded, depending on the focus of the work.

For example, if you are citing the movie, Casablanca, and your research project focuses on the main character, Rick Blaine, it would be beneficial to your reader for you to include the name of the actor, Humphrey Bogart, in your citation. Other writers who instead focus on the whole movie in their paper may elect to just include the name of the director in their works cited page.

To create the best and most effective citations, you always should think about which pieces of information will help readers easily locate the source you referenced themselves, should they wish to do so.

More on MLA 8.

8th Edition: Formatting Guidelines

Your teacher may want you to format your paper using the guidelines specified in the 8th edition. If you were told to create your citations in this format, your the rest of your paper should be formatted using the new MLA guidelines as well.  

General guidelines:

  1. Use white 8 ½  x 11” paper.
  2. Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides
  3. The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch.
  4. Indent set-off quotations one inch from the left margin
  5. Use any type of font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman. Make sure that italics look different from the regular typeface
  6. Use 12 point size
  7. Double space the entire research paper, even the works cited page.
  8. Leave one space after periods and other punctuation marks, unless your instructor tells you to make two spaces.
  9. You can either create a title page usingEasyBib’s Title Page creator or omit the title page completely and use a header.

To create a MLA header, follow these steps:

  • Begin one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin.
  • Type your name, your instructor’s name, the course number, and the date on separate lines, using double spaces between each.
  • Double space once more and center the title. Do NOT underline, bold, or type the title in all capital letters. Only italicize words that would normally be italicized in the text. Example: Character Development in The Great Gatsby.
  • Do not place a period after the title or after any heading.
  • Double space between the title and first lines of the text.

Example:

Page Numbers

  • Placed in the upper right-hand corner, one half inch from the top, flush with the right margin.
  • Type your last name before the page number. (To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add the last name and page number to each page).
  • Do not place p. before the page number.
  • Many instructors do not want a page number on the first page. Ask your instructor for their specific preferences.

Example:

Tables and Illustrations

  • Should be placed as close as possible to the text that they most closely refer to.
  • Label tables with: “Table,” an arabic numeral, and create a title for it.
    • This information should be located above the table, flush left, on separate lines.
    • Format the title the same way as the title of the paper.
    • Underneath the table, provide the source and any notes. Notes should be labeled with a letter, rather than a numeral, so the reader is able to differentiate between the notes of the text and the notes of the table.
    • Use double spacing throughout.
    • Label illustrations with: Fig. (short for figure), assign an arabic number, and provide a caption.
      • The label and caption should appear underneath the illustration.
      • **If the table or illustration’s caption gives complete information about the source and the source isn’t cited in the text, there is no need to include the citation in the works cited page.
  • Label musical scores with: Ex. (short for Example), assign it an Arabic numeral, and provide a caption.
    • The label and caption should appear below the musical illustration.

Use of Numerals

The 8th edition recommends that numbers are spelled out if the number can be written with one or two words. For larger numbers, write the number itself.

Examples:

One, forty four, one hundred, 247, 2 ½, 101

If the project calls for frequent use of numbers (such as a scientific study or statistics), use numerals that precede measurements.

Examples:

247 milligrams, 5 pounds

Here are some other formatting tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not start sentences with a numeral, spell out the number.
  • Always use numerals before abbreviations or symbols, ex. 6 lbs.
  • In divisions, use numbers, ex: In page 5 of the study

8th Edition: Works Cited Lists

The purpose of an MLA works cited list is to display the sources that were used for a project, and to give credit to the original authors of the works that were consulted for a project. Works Cited lists are typically found at the very end of a project. Citations are what make up a works cited list.

Here are some tips on how to create a works cited list for your citations:

  • Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the citation, which is typically the last name of the author.
  • Each citation should have a hanging indent.

When there are two or more sources with the same author, only include the author’s name in the first citation. In the second or subsequent citations, use three hyphens in place of the author’s name, followed by a period.

Example:

Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution. Oxford UP, 2007.

– – -. Colonial America. Oxford UP, 1999.

If the author is listed along with another author, type out the full name of each author, do not use the hyphens and periods.

Example:

Sparks, Nicholas. The Notebook. Warner, 1996.

—. A Walk to Remember. Warner, 1999.

Two or more works by the same author:

Example:

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse, and Tom Lichtenheld. Duck! Rabbit! San Francisco: Chronicle, 2009.

—. Exclamation Mark! Scholastic, 2013.

  • The Works Cited list typically appears at the end of a paper.
  • Make the Works Cited page the next consecutive page number. If the last page of your project is page 12, the Works Cited list will be page 13.
  • An annotated bibliography is different than a Works Cited list. An annotated bibliography includes brief summaries and evaluations of the sources.
  • Use one-inch margins around the page. Double-space the entire document.
  • Place the title of the page (Works Cited) in the center of the page, an inch from the top.
  • Create a double space between the title (Works Cited) and the first citation.
  • Each citation should start on the left margin (one inch from the side of the paper).

Example of a Works Cited List:

Connell, James. “The Battle of Yorktown: What Don’t We Know?” The American History Journal, vol. 19, no. 6, 2005, pp. 36-43.

Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution. Oxford UP, 2007.

– – -. Colonial America. Oxford UP, 1999.

The Patriot. Directed by Roland Emmerich, performed by Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger. Columbia Pictures, 2002.

8th Edition: Formatting “Core Elements”

Formatting: Titles

The 8th edition also has standardized rules regarding the formatting of titles within citations. Here are some of the rules pertaining to titles in the new MLA format:

How to Format Book Titles:

When citing book titles, always enter the full title, in italics, followed by a period.  

See the MLA format citation below:

Last Name, First Name. Italicized Title. Publisher, Publication Year.

Click here for additional information on book titles.

How to Format Periodical Titles:

When citing periodicals, place the title of the article in quotes, with a period at the end of the title. The italicized title of the periodical follows, along with a comma.

An MLA format example is below:

Last Name, First Name. “Title of the Article.” Periodical Title.” Publication Year, Page Numbers.

How to Format Website Titles:

When citing a website, the title of the webpage or article is placed in quotation marks, with a period before the end quotation. The title of the website is written in italics followed by a comma. If the name of the publisher differs from the name of the website, include it after the title. Immediately following the publisher is the date that the page or article was published, or posted. Finally, end with the URL. The URL is the website’s address.

The citation format is as follows:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.

Click here for additional information on website titles.

Formatting: Authors

Giving credit to the author of works that you use in your research paper is not only important for citation accuracy, but will prevent plagiarism. In order to include the author’s name in your citation, follow the guidelines listed below:

One Author:

Author formatting: Olsen, Gregg.

Citation example:

Olsen, Gregg. If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children. St. Martin’s True Crime, 2015, pp. 18-22.

Two Authors:

Place the authors in the order in which they appear on the source. Note that only the lead author’s name is listed last name first; all additional authors are listed by their first name, middle initial if applicable, and then last name:

Author formatting: Bernecker, Sven, and Fred Dretske.

Citation example:

Bernecker, Sven, and Fred Dretske. Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology. Oxford: UP, 2007.

Three or More Authors:

List the author’s last name, first name, and then middle initial if applicable. Follow it with a comma, and then add et al. in place of the additional authors:

Author formatting: George, Michael L., et al.

Citation example:

George, Michael L., et al. The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook. McGraw-Hill, 2005.

Individuals Other Than an Author:

In cases where the person responsible for creating a work is someone other than the author, such as an editor, producer, performer, or artist, always include the individual’s role after the name:

Kansaker, Tej Ratna, and Mark Turin, editors.  

When citing works of entertainment, such as film or television, include the name and role of the person on whom you’ve focused:

Byrne, Rose, performer.

*Note: If you are writing about a film or television show that does not focus on an individual’s role, omit the author’s name and start the citation with the title.

If a corporation is the author of the text, include the full name of the corporation:

The American Heart Association.

Translated Works:

Treat the translator as the author. You should do this only if the focus of your paper is on the original translated work. Include the name of the original creator after the title, preceded by the word “By”:

Author formatting: Rabassa, Gregory, translator.
Citation example:

Rabassa, Gregory, translator. One Hundred Years of Solitude. By Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Random House, 1995.

No Author:

When no author is given in a text, omit this section and start the citation with the title.

Formatting: Versions

Sources can be released in different versions, or forms. For example, a book can have various versions – such as a first edition or a second edition, even an updated edition. A movie can have an unrated or an uncut version. It is important to communicate to the reader which version was used to. This will help them locate the exact source themselves.

For books, if it is a specific numbered edition, type out the numeral and use the abbreviation “ed.” for edition.

If no specific version is mentioned or located, omit this information from the citation.

Examples of 8th edition citations for sources with various versions:

Weinberger, Norman M. “The Auditory System and Elements of Music” The Psychology of Music, edited by Diana Deutsch, 2nd ed., Academic Press, 1999, p.61. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=A3jkobk4yMMC&lpg=PP1&dq=psychology&pg=PR6#v=onepage&q=psychology&f=false.

JFK. Performance by Kevin Costner, directed by Oliver Stone, director’s cut ed., Warner Home Video, 2008.

Formatting: Dates

When including the date of publication, there aren’t any set rules to how the date should be input into the citation. For example, you can use May 5, 2016 or 5 May 2016. What does matter is consistency. Whichever way the date is placed in one citation, the same format should be used in the other citations in your project.

Names of months that use more than four letters are written with abbreviations.

Examples:

Jan., Sept., Nov.

In-Text Citations

Researchers place brief parenthetical descriptions to acknowledge which parts of their paper reference particular sources. Generally, you want to provide the last name of the author and the specific page numbers of the source. If such information is already given in the body of the sentence, then exclude it from the parenthetical citation.

When citing websites, just include the author’s last name and/or a shortened version of the webpage title.

Place the parenthetical citation where there is a pause in the sentence – normally before the end of a sentence or a comma. The in-text citation will differ depending on how much information you provide within the sentence.

Example in text citation:

(Author Last Page Number[s]).

(Rowling 19). Find out more here.

In-Text Citations with more than one author

If you use sources with the same author surnames, then include a first name initial. If the two sources have authors with the same initials, then include their full names.

Example:

(J. Johnson 12-13).

Or

(John Johnson 12-13).

If there are two or three authors of the source, include their last names in the order they appear on the source:

Example:

(Smith, Wollensky, and Johnson 45).

If there are more than three authors, you can cite all the authors with their last name, or you can cite the first author followed by “et al.” Follow what is shown the works cited list.

Example:

(Smith et al. 45).

In-Text Citations without an author

Some sources do not have authors or contributors—for instance, when you cite some websites. Instead, refer to the name of the source in your parenthetical citation in place of the author. Shorten/abbreviate the name of the source but ensure that your reader can easily identify it in your works cited (abbreviate the title starting with the same word in which it is alphabetized). Punctuate with quotations or italicize as you would in its works cited form (a book is italicized; an article is in quotes).

Examples:

Double agents are still widely in use (Spies 12-15, 17).

With prices of energy at new highs, bikes have been increasingly used (“Alternative Transportation” 89).

Citing Part of a Work in the text

When citing a specific part of a work, provide the relevant page or section identifier. This can include specific pages, sections, paragraphs or volumes. When the identifier is preceded by an abbreviation or word, place a comma between the identifier and the source reference.

Article in a Periodical in the text

When citing a specific page(s) of a multivolume work, precede the page number by the volume number and a colon. Do not separate by a comma.

It was arguably the most innovative period in history (Webster 4:12-15).

Use “par.” or “pars.” when referring to specific paragraphs.

The marketing dollars of big studio films has overshadowed good indie movies (Anderson, pars. 12-34).

Citing Group or Corporate Authors in the text

In your parenthetical citation, cite a corporate author like you would a normal author. Preferably, incorporate the corporate author in your text instead of the parenthetical citation.

Facial transplants pose significant risk to the autoimmune system (American Medical Association 12-43).

As noted by the American Medical Association, facial transplants pose significant risk to the autoimmune system (12-43).

Citing an Entire Source in the text

When citing an entire work, there are no specific page numbers to refer to. Therefore it is preferable to refer to the source within the text itself with either the author or the title of the source.

Hartford suggests the Internet provides more distractions than it does information.

Citing Indirect Sources in the text

When an original source is unavailable, then cite the secondhand source – for instance, a lecture in a conference proceedings. When quoting or paraphrasing a quote, write “qtd. in” before the author and pages.

John Murray calls Tim Smith “interesting but egotistical” (qtd. in Jesrani 34).

Citing Classical/Religious Sources in the text

For works such as novels, plays and other classic works, it’s helpful to provide further identifying information along with the page information. Do this by adding a semicolon and then the identifying information following the page number.

(Tolstoy 5; pt. 2, ch. 3).

When citing classic poems and plays, replace page numbers with division numbers (part, book, scene, act). The below refers to book 10 line 5. Bear in mind the divisions and the way they are written can vary by source.

Fear plays a role in Homer’s Odyssey (10.5).

The title of books in the Bible and other famous literary works should be abbreviated.

(New Jerusalem Bible, Gen. 2.6-9).<?p>

Where to Place In-Text Citations

Place parenthetical citations at the end of the sentence you are paraphrasing and quoting. For example: The destruction of the argentine is due to many socioeconomic factors (Taylor 33).

Even when quoting, place the parenthetical citations after the quotations.

“Mamma always said stupid is as stupid does” (Gump 89).

Placing In-text Citations After Direct Quotes

When directly quoting a source, place the parenthetical citation after the quote.

Sanders explains that economic woes are due to “the mortgage crisis and poor risk assessment” (20).

Long Quotes

When quoting four lines or more, indent every line you are quoting by one inch (or 10 spaces) and do not use quotes.

Example:

The use of nuclear weapons in today’s society is strikingly alarming. Though the United States is the only country to employ it in the past, they are at the same time the country that condemns its use the most. While this may seem hypocritical, is it the most proper action for the United States to make as the global leader (Taparia 9).

Why We Use In-Text Citations

Researchers place brief parenthetical descriptions to acknowledge which parts of their paper reference particular sources. Generally, you want to provide the last name of the author and the specific page numbers of the source. If such information is already given in the body of the sentence, then exclude it from the parenthetical citation.

Citing Sources in MLA 8

Ready to start citing? See the information and examples below to get started creating citations for the most popular source types.

*Please note that these are only some of the ways you can cite sources in MLA 8. If you need further assistance, consult the MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition, or ask your teacher or librarian.

How to Cite a Print Book:

Book – A written work or composition that has been published – typically printed on pages bound together.

Much of the information needed to cite a book can be located on the title page:

Formula:

Author’s Last name, First name. Title of the work, translated by or edited by First Name Last name, vol. number, Publisher, Year the book was published, page number(s).

Examples:

Roth, Veronica. Divergent. Katherine Tegen Books, 2011.

Olsen, Gregg, and Rebecca Morris. If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children. St. Martin’s True Crime, 2015, pp. 18-22.

Matthews, Graham, et al. Disaster Management in Archives, Libraries, and Museums. Ashgate, 2009.

How to Cite a Book Chapter:

Formula:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of chapter or section.” Title of the work, translated by or edited by First Name Last name, vol. number, Publisher, Year the book was published, page number(s).

Example:

Montrose, Louis. “Elizabeth Through the Looking Glass: Picturing the Queen’s Two Bodies.” The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500-2000, edited by Regina Schulte, Berghahn, 2006, pp. 61-87.

How to Cite an E-book Found Online:

Formula:

Author’s last name, First name. “Title of the chapter or section.” Title of the e-book, translated by or edited by First name Last name, vol. number, Publisher, Year of publication, page number(s). Title of the web site or database, URL.

Examples:

Austen, Jane, and Seth Grahame-Smith. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Quirk, 2015. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=x5xPaPeZzmUC&lpg=PP1&dq=zombies&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=zombies&f=false.

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Gold Bug.” Short Stories for English Courses, Edited by Rosa M.R. Mikels, 2004. Project Gutenberg, www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5403/pg5403-images.html.

How to Cite an E-book on a Device:

Formula:

Author’s last name, First name. “Title of the chapter or section.” Title of the e-book, translated by or edited by First name Last name, Name of e-reader device, vol. number, Publisher, Year of publication, page number(s).

Example:

Doer, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See. Kindle ed., Scribner, 2014.

For more info click here.

How to Cite a Website:

Formula:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.

Example:

Feinberg, Ashley. “What’s the Safest Seat in an Airplane?.” Gizmodo, Gawker Media, 3 Aug. 2016, www.gizmodo.com/the-safest-seat.

Click here for more on websites.

How to Cite a Website with no author:

Formula:

“Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.

Example:

“Giant Panda.” Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institute, 2004, nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/giantpandas/pandafacts

How to Cite a Website with No Webpage Title:

Formula:

Webpage Description. Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.

Example:

General Information on the New York Mets. NYCData, The Weissman Center for International Business Baruch College/CUNY, www.baruch.cuny.edu/nycdata/sports/nymets.htm.

How to Cite a Journal Article Found on a Database:

Journal – A periodical published by a special group or professional organization. Often focused around a particular area of study or interest. Can be scholarly in nature (featuring peer-reviewed articles), or popular (such as trade publications).

*Note: Online databases provide access to thousands of journal articles. It is important to identify the database name when citing a journal article found through a database.

Formula:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the article.” Title of the journal, First name Last name of any other contributors (if applicable), Version (if applicable), Numbers (such as a volume and issue number), Publication date, Page numbers. Title of the database, URL or DOI.

Example:

Brian, Real, et al. “Rural Public Libraries and Digital Inclusion: Issues and Challenges.” Information and Technology Libraries, vol. 33, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 6-24. ProQuest, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/docview/1512388143?accountid=35635.

How to Cite a Journal Article Found in Print:

Formula:

Author’s Last name, First name ” Title of the article.” Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.

Example:

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.

How to Cite an Essay:

Follow the formula for citing a book. Cite the author of the essay, the name of the essay, the name of the collection, the editor of the collection, the publication information, and the page number(s) of the essay.

How to Cite an Image from a Website:

If there is no title available for the image, include a brief description of the image instead.

Formula:

Creator’s Last name, First name. “Title of the digital image.” Title of the website, First name Last name of any contributors, Version (if applicable), Number (if applicable), Publisher, Publication date, URL.

Examples:

Vasquez, Gary A. Photograph of Coach K with Team USA. NBC Olympics, USA Today Sports, 5 Aug. 2016, www.nbcolympics.com/news/rio-olympics-coach-ks-toughest-test-or-lasting-legacy.

Gilpin, Laura. “Terraced Houses, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.” Library of Congress, Reproduction no. LC-USZ62-102170, 1939, www.loc.gov/pictures/item/90716883/.

How to Cite a Photograph in a Book:

Formula:

Photographer Last, First M. Photograph Title. Circa Date Taken, Location/Museum. Book Title, by Author First Name Last Name, Publisher, Year Published, page number(s).

Example:

Bennett, Peter. East Village. Circa 1983, Museum of Modern Art. New York City: A Photogenic Portrait, by Laura Sheppard, Twin Lights, 2004, p. 8.

How to Cite a Photograph from a Database:

Formula:

Photographer Last, First M. Photograph Title. Circa Year Created, Location/Museum. Database Title, URL.

Example:

Freed, Leonard. Holidaymaker Stuck in Traffic Jam. Circa 1965. ARTstor, www.artstor.org.

How to Cite a Newspaper Article in Print:

Formula:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title [City], Date Month Year Published, Page(s).

Example:

Bowman, Lee. “Redistricting Push Puts a Lot on Line.” Sun-Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale], 7 Mar. 1990, p. A4.

How to Cite a Newspaper Article Found Online:

Formula:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Website Title. Website Publisher, Date Month Year Published.

Example:

Jensen, Elizabeth. “Sesame Workshop Tackles Literacy With Technology.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 19 Oct. 2014.

How to Cite a Magazine Article in Print:

Formula:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Magazine Title, Date Month Year Published, Page(s).

Example:

Rothbart, Davy. “How I Caught up with Dad.” Men’s Health, Oct. 2008, pp. 108-13.

How to Cite a Magazine Article Found Online:

Formula:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Magazine Title, Date Month Year Published, URL.

Example:

Laurent, Olivier. “See What Undocumented Immigrants Carry Across the Border.” TIME Magazine, 30 Jan. 2015, www.time.com/364789/undocumented-immigrants.

How to Cite a Movie:

Formula:

Film Title. Contributors (these can be directors, producers, performers, etc). Studio/Distributor, year released.

Example:

Little Miss Sunshine. Directed by Martin Scorsese, performed by Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel. Warner Brothers, 1973.

How to Cite a TV Show Episode:

Formula:

“Episode Title.” Contributors (these can be directors, producers, performers, etc.), Show Title, Network/Channel, Air Date.

Example:

“Bass Player Wanted.” Narrated by Bob Saget, directed by Pamela Fryman, How I Met Your Mother, CBS, 16 Dec. 2013.

How to Cite Content from a Streaming Service (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime etc.):

Formula:

Title of the film or video. Role of contributors and their First name Last name, Publication date. Service Name, url.

Example:

Kindergarten Cop. Directed by Ivan Reitman, performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Universal Pictures, 21 Dec. 1990. Amazon Prime, www.amazon.com/Kindergarten-Cop-Arnold-Schwarzenegger/dp/B001VLLES4.

How to Cite a YouTube Video:

Formula:

Last name, First name of the creator. “Title of the film or video.” Title of the website, role of contributors and their First name Last name, Publication date, URL.

Example:

RotoBaller. “RotoBaller MLB: Top Fantasy Baseball Catcher Dynasty League Prospects for 2016.” YouTube, commentary by Raphael Rabe, 27 Mar. 2016, youtu.be/gK645_7TA6c.

How to Cite a Blog Post:

Formula:

Last, First. “Article Title.” Website/Blog Title. Website Publisher, Day Month Year Published, URL.

Example:

Shaw, Julia. “The Memory of Illusion.” Mind Guest Blog, Scientific American Blogs, 13 June 2016, blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/the-memory.

How to Cite a Podcast:

Formula:

Host’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Podcast Episode.” Title of Overall Podcast, Episode Number if Given, Web Site Hosting If Different From Podcast Title, Day Month Year of Episode, URL of episode.

Example:

Orton, Tyler, and Patrick Blennerhassett. “Lessons From the Brexit.” BIV Podcast, Episode 18, Business Vancouver, 28 June 2016, www.biv.com/article/2016/6/biv-podcast-episode-18-lessons-brexit/.

How to Cite a Tweet:

Formula:

Twitter Handle (First Name Last Name if Known). “The entire tweet word-for-word.” Twitter, Day Month Year of Tweet, Time of Tweet, URL.

Example:

@jtimberlake (Justin Timberlake). “USA! USA!!.” Twitter, 16 June 2014, 8:05 PM. www.twitter.com/jtimberlake/status/64780730286358528lang=en.

How to Cite a Facebook Post:

Formula:

Author Last Name, First Name or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook, Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL.

Example:

Rick Mercer Report. Spread the Net Challenge Winners 2016. Facebook, 23 Mar. 2016, 9:00 a.m., www.facebook.com/rickmercerreport.

How to Cite an Email:

Formula:

Email sender’s Last name, First name. “Email subject.” Received by Recipients Name, date sent.

Example:

Olsen, Mary. “Re: Statistics from Student Population.” Received by Jonas Conner, 15 Mar. 2015.

How to Cite a Music Album:

Formula:

Artist/Group Name. Album Title. Studio/Record Label, Year Released.

Example:

Foo Fighters. In Your Honor. RCA, 2005

How to Cite a Song:

Formula:

Artist/Group Name. “Song Title.” Album Title, Studio/Record Label, Year Released.

Example:

Presley, Elvis. “Jailhouse Rock.” Essential Elvis Presley, BMG, 2007.

How to Cite Sheet Music/Scores:

Formula:

Composer Last Name, Composer First Name. Title of score. Date of composition. Publisher, Date of Publication.

Example:

Handel, G. F. Trio Sonata No. 1. 1733. Southern Music, 1989.

How to Cite a Lecture or Speech:

Formula:

Last Name, First Name. “Presentation Title.” Meeting/Event. Venue, City. Date Conducted.

Example:

Pausch, Randy. “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” Journeys. Carnegie Mellon University. McConomy Auditorium, Pittsburgh. 18 Sept. 2007.

How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation:

Formula:

Author’s Last Name, First Name. Paper Title. Dissertation or thesis, Publisher [usually a college or university], Year published.

Example:

Wilson, Peggy Lynn. Pedagogical Practices in the Teaching of English Language in Secondary Public Schools in Parker County. Dissertation. University of Maryland, 2011.

How to Cite Unpublished Conference Proceedings:

Include the name of the entire proceedings, and if there is a specific presentation or paper being cited, include this information as well. You also want to include conference information (name of conference, date, and location) if not already stated in the name of the proceedings.

Because the conference proceedings / paper is unpublished, do not include any publication information, but instead a description of the type of document and the year it was published. Additionally, as it is important to describe where the document can be found since there is no formal publisher, you should include the location of the document. Like all citations in a works cited, try to incorporate as much information as you can find.

Formula:

Contributor name(s). Proceedings of the Conference Name, Location, Date. Name of  Publisher, Year.

Example:

Balakian, Anna, and James J. Wilhelm, editors. Proceedings of the Xth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, New York, NY, 1982. Garland, 1985.

 


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