A research paper is one of the most often assigned papers at universities. Writing text and collecting data can take too much time but these two steps are not the only ones that you have to make, forming a good bibliography is also important. Without a doubt, every student understands how is it crucial to meet style requirements for crafting a proper reference list that wouldn’t lower your grade for the whole paper.
What Are the Basic Rules of MLA Format?
How to create a citation in MLA style? To answer this question let’s first learn more about it – MLA is a format introduced by Modern Language Association, which is widely applied in humanities to format documents and cite informational sources. MLA style is one of the most popular ones and is used all across the USA and other countries including Canada for different types of papers written in the English language.
What are the main rules? There are many of them but here are a few most significant ones:
- Each citation added to your text has to be clear and short;
- Referring to other authors’ articles you should use parenthetical citation (indicating only the number of page and author’s last name);
- Each line with a new citation should begin without an indent from left margin; all subsequent lines are located 5-7 spaces from the margin;
- In bibliography, your references have to be listed in alphabetical order;
- References have to be divided either by the authors’ family names or by names of the used resources;
- All words in the resource’s name (except articles, prepositions, and conjunctions) must be capitalized.
However, if you are still unsure whether you understand all distinctive features of this style – do not hesitate and use our MLA citation generator right now for free! We guarantee that with our generator, organizing your sources will no longer be a problem!
The Best Citing Generator
Are you facing issues each time you cite your sources? It is not a secret that due to a wide variety of different styles that all have different demands, students often make some common mistakes or are just unable to cite the used data properly. We can offer you a wise solution! MLA format citation generator can do all the work for you! Citation generator follows all the guidelines and rules from MLA handbook 8th edition and thus, using our generator you are getting a warranty that all required sources will be cited in an appropriate manner.
Your Ultimate MLA Format Guide & Generator
What is MLA?
MLA stands for the Modern Language Association, which is an organization that focuses on language and literature.
Depending on which subject area your class or research focuses on, your professor may ask you to cite your sources in MLA format. This is a specific way to cite, following the Modern Language Association’s guidelines. There are other styles, such as APA format and Chicago, but this citation style is often used for literature, language, liberal arts, and other humanities subjects.
What is Citing?
The Modern Language Association's Handbook is in its 8th edition and standardizes the way scholars document their sources and format their papers. When everyone documents their sources and papers in the same way, it is simple to recognize and understand the types of sources that were used for a project. Readers of your work will not only look at your citations to understand them, but to possibly explore them as well.
When you’re borrowing information from a source and placing it in your research or assignment, it is important to give credit to the original author. This is done by creating a citation. Depending on the type of information you’re including in your work, some citations are placed in the body of your project, and all are included in a “Works Cited” list, at the end of your project.
The handbook explains how to create citations. This page summarizes the information in the handbook, 8th edition.
There is also a section below on a recommended way to create a header. These headers appear at the top of your assignment. Check with your instructor if they prefer a certain MLA format heading.
What is MLA Format?
The 8th edition is the most recent and updated version of MLA citations. Released in April of 2016, this citation format is much different than previous versions.
The biggest difference and most exciting update is the use of one standard format for all source types. In previous versions, scholars were required to locate the citation format for the specific source that they used. There were different formats for books, websites, periodicals, and so on. Now, using one universal MLA citation format allows scholars to spend less time trying to locate the proper format to document their sources and focus more on their research.
Other updates include the addition of “containers.” A container is essentially what a source sits in. Chapters are found in a book, songs are found in an album, and journal articles are found in journals. What the source is found in is its container.
URLs are now encouraged to be added into citations (remove http:// and https:// when including URLs), social media pseudonyms and usernames can replace the real name of the author, volume and issue numbers are now abbreviated as vol. and no., and cities of publication and the source’s medium (such as print or web) are no longer included in citations.
When adding information into your project from another source, you are required to add an MLA citation. There are two types of MLA format citations: in-text citations and full citations.
When using a direct quote or paraphrasing information from a source, add an in-text citation into the body of your work. Direct quotes are word-for-word quotes that are pulled from a source and added into your project. A paraphrase is taking a section of information from a source and placing it in your own words. Both direct quotes and paraphrases require in-text, or parenthetical citations, to follow it.
Format your in-text citation as follows:
“Direct quote” or Paraphrase (Author’s last name and page number)
*See the section below on in-text citations for further clarification and instructions.
All sources used for a project are found on the Works Cited list, which is generally the last item in a project.
MLA Citing Format often includes the following pieces of information, in this order:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, other contributors, version, numbers, publisher, publication date, location.
Don’t forget, BibMe’s MLA citation generator is an MLA formatter that helps you create your citations quickly and easily!
The author is generally the first item in a citation (unless the source does not have an author). The author’s name is followed by a period.
If the source has one author, place the last name first, add a comma, and then the first name.
If your source has two authors, place them in the same order they’re shown on the source. The first author is in reverse order, add a comma and the word "and", then place the second author in standard form. Follow their names with a period.
Monsen, Avery, and Jory John.
For three or more authors, only include the first listed author’s name. Place the first author in reverse order, place a comma afterwards, and then add the Latin phrase, et al.
Borokhovic, Kenneth A., et al.
For social media posts, it’s acceptable to use a screen name or username in place of the author’s name. Start the citation with the user’s handle.
@TheOnion. “Experts Warn Number of Retirees Will Completely Overwhelm Scenic Railway Industry by 2030.” Twitter, 9 Oct. 2017, 9:50 a.m., twitter.com/TheOnion/status/917386689500340225.
No author listed? If there isn’t an author, start the citation with the title and skip the author section completely.
Citations do not need to always start with the name of the author. When your research focuses on a specific individual that is someone other than the author, it is appropriate for readers to see that individual’s name at the beginning of the citation. Directors, actors, translators, editors, and illustrators are common individuals to have at the beginning. Again, only include their name in place of the author if your research focuses on that specific individual.
To include someone other than the author at the beginning of the citation, place their name in reverse order, add a comma afterwards, and then the role of that individual followed by a comma.
Fimmel, Travis, performer. Vikings. Created by Michael Hirst, History Channel, 2013-2016.
Gage, John T., editor. The Promise of Reason: Studies in the New Rhetoric. SIU Press, 2011.
Titles and Containers
Titles follow the name of the author and are written in title capitalization form.
If you’re citing a source in its entirety, such as a full book, a movie, or a music album, then place the title in italics.
Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2001.
Rufus Du Sol. Bloom. Sweat It Out! 2016.
If you’re citing a source, such as a chapter in a book, a song on an album, or an article in a journal or website, then place the title of the piece in quotations and add a period afterwards. Follow it with the title of the full source, in italics, and then add a comma. This second portion is called the container. Containers hold the sources.
MLA formatting example with containers:
Vance, Erik, and Erika Larsen. “Mind Over Matter.” National Geographic Magazine, Dec. 2016, pp. 30-55.
Beyonce. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” I am...Sasha Fierce, Sony, 2008, track 2.
Wondering what to do with subtitles? Place a colon in between the title and subtitle. Both parts are written in title capitalization form.
Nasar, Sylvia. A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash. Simon and Schuster, 2001.
If the source does not have a title, give a brief description and do not use quotation marks or italics.
Israel, Aaron. Brooklyn rooftop acrylic painting. 2012, 12 W 9th Street, New York City.
When citing a tweet, the full text of the tweet is placed where the title sits.
@LOCMaps. “#DYK the first public zoo to open in the US was the #Philadelphia Zoo? #50States.” Twitter, 9 Feb. 2017, 3:14 p.m., twitter.com/LOCMaps/status/829785441549185024.
For email messages, the subject of the email is the title. Place this information in quotation marks.
Rabe, Leor. “Fwd: Japan Itinerary.” Received by Raphael Rabe, 11 Feb 2017.
Citations with Two Containers:
It is possible for a source to sit in a second, or larger container. A journal article sits in its first container, which is the journal itself, but it can also sit in a larger container, such as a database. A song can sit in its first container, which is the album it’s found on. Then it can sit in its next container, which could be Spotify or iTunes.
It is important to include the second container because the content on one container can be different than another container.
Citing with two containers should be formatted like this:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, other contributors, version, numbers, Publisher, publication date, location. Title of Second Container, Other contributors, version, number, Publisher, publication date, location.
In most cases, for the second container, only the title of the second container and the location is needed. Why? In order for readers to locate the source themselves, they’ll most likely use the majority of the information found in the first part of the citation.
Examples of Citations with 2 Containers:
Sallis, James, et al. “Physical Education’s Role in Public Health: Steps Forward and Backward Over 20 Years and Hope for the Future.” Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, vol. 83, no. 2, Jun. 2012, pp. 125-135. ProQuest, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1023317255?accountid=35635.
Baker, Martha. “Fashion: Isaac in Wonderland.” New York Magazine, vol. 24, no. 3, 21 Jan. 1991, pp. 50-54. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=PukCAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=magazine&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=magazine&f=false.
Remember, BibMe creates citations for you quickly and easily!
Format for Other Contributors:
In MLA citing, when there are other individuals (besides the author) who play a significant role in your research, include them in this section of the citation. Other contributors can also be added to help individuals locate the source themselves. You can add as many other contributors as you like.
Start this part of the citation with the individual’s role, followed by the word "by". Notice that if other contributors are added after a period, capitalize the first letter in the individual’s role. If it follows a comma, the role should start with a lowercase letter.
Gaitskill, Mary. “Twilight of the Superheroes.” The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970, edited by Lex Williford and Michael Martone, Simon and Schuster, 2012, pp. 228-238.
The Incredibles. Directed by Brad Bird, produced by John Walker, Pixar, 2004.
Gospodinov, Georgi. The Physics of Sorrow. Translated by Angela Rodel, Open Letter, 2015.
Format for Versions:
Sources can come in different versions. There are numerous bible versions, books can come in versions (such as numbered editions), even movies and songs can have special versions.
When a source indicates that it is different than other versions, include this information in the citation. This will help readers locate the exact source that you used for your project.
The Bible. Lexham English Version, Logos, 2011, lexhamenglishbible.com.
Crank, J. The Mathematics of Diffusion. 2nd ed., Clarendon, 1979.
Afrojack. “Take Over Control.” Beatport, performance by Eva Simons, extended version, 2011, www.beatport.com/track/take-over-control-feat-eva-simons-extended/1621534.
MLA Formatting for Numbers:
Any numbers related to a source that isn’t the publication date, page range, or version number should be placed in the numbers position of the citation. This includes volume and issue numbers for journal articles, volume or series numbers for books, comic book numbers, and television episode numbers, to name a few.
When including volume and issue numbers, use the abbreviation vol. for volume and no. for number.
Zhai, Xiaojuan, and Jingjing Wang. “Improving Relations Between Users and and Libraries: A Survey of Chinese Academic Libraries.” The Electronic Library, vol. 34, no. 4, 2016, pp. 597-616. ProQuest Research Library, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/docview/1841764839?accountid=35635.
“Chestnut.” Westworld, directed by Richard J. Lewis, season 1, episode 2, Warner Bros., 2016.
The production of the source is done by the publisher. The publisher is placed in the citation before the date of publication. Include the publisher for any source type except for websites when the name of the publisher is the same as the name of the website. It is also not necessary to include the name of publishers for newspapers, magazines, or journal articles, since the name of the publisher is generally insignificant.
When sources have more than one publisher that share responsibility for the production of the source, place a slash between the names of the publishers.
Use the abbreviation UP when the name of the publisher includes the words University Press.
When including the date that the source was published, display the amount of information that is found on the source, whether it’s the full date, the month and year, or just the year.
In terms of display, it does not matter if the date is written in a specific order. Make sure to use the same format for all citations.
2 Nov. 2016 or Nov. 2, 2016
When multiple dates are shown on the source, include the date that is most relevant to your work and research.
The location refers to the place where the source can be found. This can be in the form of a URL, page number, disc number, or physical place.
When MLA citing websites, include URLs. Remove the beginning of the web address as it is not necessary to include http:// or https://. If a DOI number is present, use it in place of a URL.
For page numbers, use the abbreviation p. when only referring to one page, and pp. for a range of pages.
Citations for Books:
The basic entry for a book consists of the author’s name, the book title, the publisher, and the year published.
Author’s Last name, First name. Book Title. Publisher, Year published.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears on the title page.
For a book written by two authors, list them in order as they appear on the title page. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the second author’s name is written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the second author’s name.
Smith, John, and Bob Anderson. The Sample Book. Books For Us, 2017.
For books with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by a comma and the abbreviation “et al.”
Campbell, Megan, et al. The Best Book. Books For Us, 2017.
The full title of the book, including any subtitles, should be italicized and followed by a period. If the book has a subtitle, the main title should be followed by a colon (unless the main title ends with a question mark or exclamation point).
The publication information can generally be found on the title page of the book. If it is not available there, it may also be found on the copyright page. State the name of the publisher.
If you are citing a specific page range from the book, include the page(s) at the end of the citation.
Smith, John, and Bob Anderson. The Sample Book. Books For Us, 2017, pp. 5-12.
When a book has no edition number/name present, it is generally a first edition. If you have to cite a specific edition of a book later than the first, see the section below on citing edited books.
Citations for E-Books:
Author’s Last name, First name. Title of E-Book. Publisher, Year published. Title of Website, URL.
Rodgers, Tara. Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound. Duke UP, 2010. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=syqTarqO5XEC&lpg=PP1&dq=electronic%20music&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=electronic%20music&f=false.
Citations for Edited Books:
If your book is an edition later than the first, you should note this in the citation. If the book is a revised edition or an edition that includes substantial new content, include the number, name, or year of the edition and the abbreviation “ed.” after the book title. “Revised edition” should be abbreviated as “revised ed.” and “Abridged edition” should be “abridged ed.” The edition can usually be found on the title page, as well as on the copyright page, along with the edition’s date.
Author’s Last name, First name, editor. Title of Book. Numbered ed., Publisher, Year published.
Ferraro, Gary, and Susan Andreatta, editors. Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. 10th ed., Cengage Learning, 2014.
Smith, John. The Sample Book. Revised ed., Books For Us, 2017.
If your edited book has more than one author, refer to the directions above under the heading “Authors.”
Also, BibMe helps you create your citations with more than one author quickly and easily!
Citations for Websites:
The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), page title, website title, sponsoring institution/publisher, date published, and the URL.
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Individual Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, Date, URL.
Fosslien, Liz, and Mollie West. “3 Ways to Hack Your Environment to Help You Create.” Huffpost Endeavor, Huffington Post, Dec. 7, 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/3-ways-to-hack-your-environment-to-help-you-createus580f758be4b02444efa569bc.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears on the website.
For a page with two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the website. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the last author’s name. For pages with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by the abbreviation “et al.”
If the article was written by a news service or an organization, include it in the author position.
If no author is available, begin the citation with the page title.
The page title should be placed within quotation marks. Place a period after the page title within the quotation marks. The page title is followed by the name of the website, which is italicized, followed by a comma.
Include the sponsoring institution or publisher, along with a comma, after the website title. The sponsoring institution/publisher can usually be found at the bottom of the website in the footer. If the name of the publisher is the same as the name as the website, do not include the publisher information in your citation.
Next, state the publication date of the page. In some cases, a specific date might not be available, and the date published may only be specific to a month or even year. Provide whatever date information is available.
End the citation with the URL. Remove http:// and https:// from the beginning of the citation. End the entire citation with a period.
Looking for an MLA formatter to create your website citations quickly and easily? Check out BibMe!
Citations for Online Journal Articles:
The most basic entry for a journal consists of the author name(s), article title, journal name, volume number, issue number, year published, page numbers, name of website or database, and URL or Direct Object Identifier (DOI).
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Journal Article.” Title of Journal, vol. number, issue no., date, page range. Database or Website Name, URL or DOI.
Snyder, Vivian. “The Effect Course-Based Reading Strategy Training on the Reading Comprehension Skills of Developmental College Students.” Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, vol. 18, no. 2, Spring 2002, pp. 37-41. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42802532.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears in the journal.
For an article written by two authors, list them in order as they appear in the journal. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the second is written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the second author’s name.
Krispeth, Klein, and Stewart Jacobs.
For articles with three or more authors, include the name of the first author in the citation, followed by a comma and the abbreviation “et al.”
The article title should be placed within quotation marks. Unless the article title ends with a punctuation mark, place a period after the article title within the quotation marks. The article title is followed by the name of the journal, which is italicized.
Include the volume number of the journal, but use the abbreviation “vol.” You may also need to include the issue number, depending on the journal. Use the abbreviation “no.” before the journal’s issue number.
Jones, Robert, et al. “Librarianship in the Future.” Libraries Today, vol. 5, no. 2, Mar. 2017, pp. 89-103. Database Life, www.dbl.com/6854.
When including the URL, make sure to exclude http:// and https:// from the citation.
Citations for Lectures:
The most basic entry for a lecture consists of the speaker’s name, presentation title, date conducted, and the name and location of the venue.
Speaker’s Last name, First name. Title of Lecture. Date conducted, Venue, Location.
Pausch, Randy. Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. 18 Sept. 2007, McConomy Auditorium, Pittsburgh.
Begin the citation with the name of the speaker. This person’s name should be reversed. If the lecture has a title, place it, along with a period, in italics after the speaker’s name. State the date on which the lecture was conducted, followed by a comma. Conclude your citation with the location/venue name and the city in which it occurred, separated by a comma.
Citations for Newspapers:
The most basic entry for a newspaper consists of the author name(s), article title, newspaper name, publication date, page numbers, and sometimes a URL, if found online. Volume numbers, issue numbers, and the names of publishers are omitted from newspaper citations.
Format if found on a website:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper’s Website, publication date, page range, URL.
Format if found on a database:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper, publication date, page range. Title of Database (if applicable), URL.
MLA format example:
This example is for a print newspaper:
Hageman, William. “Program Brings Together Veterans, Neglected Dogs.” Chicago Tribune, 4 Jan. 2015, p. 10.
The full article title should be placed within quotations. Next, state the name of the newspaper in italics.
Towards the end of the citation, include the page numbers on which the article appears, along with a period. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.
Don’t forget, BibMe’s MLA cite generator creates citations for you quickly and easily!
Citations for Encyclopedias
The most basic entry for an encyclopedia consists of the author name(s), article title, encyclopedia name, publisher, and year published.
Last Name, First Name. “Article title.” Encyclopedia Name, Publisher, Year published.
Smith, John. “Internet.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012.
Notice that the name of the publisher was not included in the example above. Only include the name of the publisher if it differs from the name of the encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica is the name of the encyclopedia AND the name of the publisher. It is not necessary to include Encyclopedia Britannica twice in the citation.
If there are no authors for the article, begin the citation with the article title instead.
“Media.” World Book Encyclopedia, 2010.
If the encyclopedia arranges articles alphabetically, do not cite the page number(s) or number of volumes. If articles are not arranged alphabetically, you may want to include page number(s) and/or volume number, which is preceded by the abbreviation “vol.” The volume should be cited after the encyclopedia name (or any edition), and before any publication information. After the publication year, include the page numbers on which the article appears, along with a period. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.
Saunders, Bill. “Treasure.” Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 18, 2012, p. 56.
If the encyclopedia entry is found on a website, use the following structure:
Last name, First name. “Encyclopedia Entry.” Title of Encyclopedia Website, Publisher, Year published, URL.
Citations for Films:
The most basic entry for a film consists of the title, director, distributor, and year of release. You may also choose to include the names of the writer(s), performer(s), and the producer(s), depending on who your research project may focus on. You can also include certain individuals to help readers locate the exact source themselves. Include as many individuals as you’d like.
Example of a common way to cite a film:
Film Title. Directed by First name Last name, performance by First Name Last Name, Distributor, Year.
BibMe: The Movie. Directed by John Smith, performance by Jane Doe, New York Stories, 2017.
If your research focuses on a specific individual, you can begin the citation with that individual’s name (in reverse order) and their role. Format it the same way as you would an author’s name.
Doe, Jane, performer. BibMe: The Movie. Directed by John Smith, New York Stories, 2017.
If the film is dubbed in English or does not have an English title, use the foreign language title in the citation, followed by a square bracket that includes the translated title.
Citas gobiernan el mundo [Citations Rule the World]. Directed by Sara Paul, Showcase Films, 2017.
If the film was found online, include the name of the website and the URL.
“Film Title.” Website Title, directed by First Name Last Name, performance by First Name Last Name, Distributor, Year Published, URL.
Since the citation has two titles included in it (the title of the film and the title of the website), the title of the film is placed in quotation marks and the title of the website is in italics.
Citations for Magazines:
The most basic entry for a magazine consists of the author name(s), article title, magazine name, the volume and issue numbers if available, publication date, page numbers, and URL if found online.
Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name, vol. number, issue no., publication date, page numbers or URL.
Pratt, Sybil. “A Feast of Tradition.” BookPage, Oct. 2017, p. 8.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears in the magazine.
For an article written by two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the title page. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the last author’s name. For articles with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by the abbreviation “et al.”
The full article title should be placed within quotations. Unless there is punctuation that ends the article title, place a period after the title within the quotations. Next, state the name of the magazine in italics.
If volume and issue numbers are available, include them in the citation. Use the abbreviations vol. and no. before the volume number and issue number.
Example: vol. 6, no. 1
The date the magazine was published comes directly after the volume and issue number. Use whichever date the magazine includes, whether it’s a complete date, a period spanning two months, a season, or just a month and year. Follow this information with a comma.
Include the page number(s) on which the article appears. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.
If the magazine article was found online, include the URL. Remove http:// or https:// from the beginning of the citation. End the citation with a period.
Citations for Interviews:
Begin your citation with the name of the person interviewed. This person’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name).
For an interview that has been broadcast or published, if there is a title, include it after the name of the person interviewed. If the interview is from a publication, program, or recording, place the title, along with a period, in quotation marks. If it was published independently, italicize it, followed by a period.
Jolie, Angelina. “Being a Mother.” Interview by Steve Kroft, 60 Minutes, CBS, 3 Feb. 2009.
While names of other individuals are generally found after the title, for interviews, include the name of the interviewee directly after the title if you feel it is important to include their name.
If there is no title, use the word “Interview” in place of a title and do not use quotation marks or italics. If the interviewer’s name is known, add it, preceded by “by”, after the word “Interview”. Do not reverse the interviewer’s name.
Jenkins, Lila. Interview. By Jessica Grossman. 5 Mar. 2017.
For published interviews found online, include the title of the website after the title of the interview. In addition, add the URL at the end of the citation.
Michaels, Jamye. “Fighting to Survive.” Women’s Magazine of Life, 2 Nov. 2016, www.womensmagazine.com/fightingtosurvive.com.
Citations for Photographs:
The most basic entry for a photograph consists of the photographer’s name, the title of photograph, the title of the book, website, or collection where the photograph can be located, the publisher of the photograph or publication where the image was located, the date the photograph was posted or taken, and the page number, location of the museum (such as a city and state) or URL if found online.
Photographer’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Photograph.” Title of the Book, Website, Collection, or other type of publication where the photograph was found, Date photograph was taken, page number, location (such as a city and state if necessary) where the photograph can be found, or URL.
Begin with the name of the photographer or main contributor (if available). This person’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (and any middle name).
For a photograph taken from a publication or website, include the title of the photograph in quotation marks followed by a period. If the photograph does not have a formal title, create a description. If you make your own description, only include a capital at the beginning of the description and at the beginning of any proper nouns. Do not place the description in italics or quotation marks.
Place the title of the publication in italics immediately following it, followed by a comma.
Digital image/photograph found online:
Photograph of the Hudson Area Public Library. JMS Collective, 19 Apr. 2016, www.jmscollective.com/hudson-ny-3/historic-hudson-armory-now-public-library/.
*Note that the above photograph does not have a formal title, so the photograph was given a description.
Photograph or Image viewed in a museum:
Vishniac, Roman. “Red Spotted Purple.” Roman Vishniac’s Science Work, early 1950s - late 1960s, International Center of Photography at Mana, New Jersey.
Photograph or Image found in a book:
Barnard, Edwin. Photograph of Murray Street, Hobart. Exiled: The Port Arthur Convict Photographs, National Library of Australia, 2010, p. 20.
Citations for TV/Radio:
The most basic citation for a radio/TV program consists of the individuals responsible for the creation of the episode (if they’re important to your research), the episode title, program/series name, broadcasting network or publisher, the original broadcast date, and the URL.
“The Highlights of 100.” Seinfeld, NBC, 2 Feb. 1995.
If your research focuses on a specific individual from the tv or radio broadcast, include their name at the beginning of the citation, in the author position. Or, begin the citation with the episode name or number, along with a period, inside quotation marks. Follow it with the name of the program or series, which is italicized, followed by a comma.
If relevant, you may also choose to include the names of personnel involved with the program. Depending if the personnel are relevant to the specific episode or the series as a whole, place the personnel names after the program/series name. You may cite narrator(s) preceded by narrated by, writer(s) preceded by written by, directors preceded by directed by, performer(s) preceded by performance by, and/or producer(s) preceded by produced by and then the individual names. Include as many individuals as you like. Write these personnel names in normal order – do not reverse the first and last names.
“The Highlights of 100.” Seinfeld, directed by Andy Ackerman, written by Peter Mehlman, NBC, 2 Feb. 1995.
Also include the name of the network on which the program was broadcasted, followed by a comma.
State the date which your program was originally broadcasted, along with a period. If including the URL, follow the date with a comma and place the URL at the end, followed by a period to end the citation. Remove http:// or https:// from the URL.
In-Text Citations and Parenthetical Citations
What is an In-Text Citation or Parenthetical Citation?
The purpose of the in-text citation is to give the reader a brief idea as to where you found your information. If the reader plans to investigate the original source further, they can find the full citation in the Works Cited list.
Format your MLA in-text citation as follows:
“Direct quote” or Paraphrase (Author’s last name and page number)
In-text citation MLA formatting example:
He goes on to say, “Jim never got back with a bucket of water under an hour - and even then somebody generally had to go after him” (Twain 8).
For sources without an author, use the main word of the title in place of the author’s name.
If your in-text citation comes from a website or another source that does not have page numbers, use the following abbreviations:
If the source has designated: - paragraph numbers, use par. or pars. - sections, use sec. or secs. - chapters, use ch. or chs.
Gregor’s sister is quite persuasive, especially when she states to her parents, "It'll be the death of both of you, I can see it coming. We can't all work as hard as we have to and then come home to be tortured like this, we can't endure it” (Kafka, chap. III).
If there aren’t page, paragraph, section, or chapter numbers, only include the author’s name in parentheses for your in-text citation.
If the original source is an audio or video recording, after the author’s name or title, place a time stamp.
To learn more about parenthetical citations, click here.
Need help creating your in-text or parenthetical citations? After creating your full citation for a source, there is an option to create a parenthetical citation.
Your Works Cited Page
An MLA Works Cited page contains all of the citations for a project and is usually found at the very end.
Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the first letter found in the citation.
If there are multiple sources by the same author, only include the author’s name in the first citation. For each citation afterwards, MLA formatting requires you to include three dashes and a period.
Example of a Works Cited List with Multiple Works by Same Author:
Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Quirk, 2011.
---. Tales of the Peculiar. Dutton, 2016.
When alphabetizing by titles, ignore A, An, and The, and use the next part of the title. In addition, if the title starts with a number, place the title where it would belong if the number was spelled out.
1492 The Year Our World Began would be alphabetized under F (for fourteen)
Formatting Your Header:
The Handbook does not include a required way to format the heading of your paper. Check with your instructor to see if there is a recommended way to format your header. BibMe recommends creating your header in the following format:
In the top left corner of your paper, place the following pieces of information in this order:
Your full name
Your instructor’s name
The course or class number
Double space this information.
In the top right corners, place a running head for your MLA header. The heading should include your last name and the page number. Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4…). Your word processing program should allow you to automatically set up the running head so that it appears at the top of every page of your project.
Using BibMe to Create Citations for your MLA Works Cited List or MLA Bibliography
Looking for an MLA Formatter? BibMe’s automatic citation generator formats your citations in MLA format. Enter a title, web address, ISBN number, or other identifying information into the MLA format template to automatically cite your sources. If you need help with BibMe, or MLA format citing, see more across the site here.
For more information on the current handbook, check out this page. There is further good information here, including MLA format examples and examples of MLA in-text citations.
In the News:
Check out this article, which shares information on helpful sites including an MLA citation machine.
Background Information and History:
The Modern Language Association was developed in 1883 and was created to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. With over 25,000 current members worldwide, the Modern Language Association continuously strives to keep its members up-to-date on the best practices, methods, and trends related to language and literature. The Modern Language Association boasts an annual conference, journal, an online communication platform, numerous area-focused committees, and one of its most popular publications, the MLA Handbook, now in its 8th edition.
Helpful Tips for Your Citation
Our citation guides provide detailed information about all types of sources in MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian styles.
If required by your instructor, you can add annotations to your citations. Just select Add Annotation while finalizing your citation. You can always edit a citation as well.
Remember to evaluate your sources for accuracy and credibility. Questionable sources could result in a poor grade!