MLA (Modern Language Association) Style

The definitive guide for MLA (Modern Language Association) Style is kept at the Reference Desk in Mullins Library:

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 8th ed. The Modern Language Association of America, 2016. Ref Desk LB 2369 .G53 2016.

Some important changes in the 8th edition include:

  • This edition focuses on an overall strategy for documentation. Unlike previous editions of the Handbook, it gives fewer specific examples of how to cite different publication types, such as books or articles.

    Instead, it provides a framework for determining the important information to include in a citation.

    Core elements that should be considered, no matter what the publication type, include:
    • author
    • title
    • "container," that is, journal title / book title if the work being cited is an article or a book chapter
    • publisher
    • publication date
    • version or edition

  • It is no longer necessary to indicate whether or not a a work is Print or Web.
  • It is no longer necessary to indicate the place of publication.
  • It is now necessary to indicate the volume and issue and pages of a journal article with abbreviations, rather than just numerals. Examples:
    • 8th edition:
      • Alison, Charlie. "The razorback in Arkansas culture and history." Flashback, vol. 64, no. 1, 2014, pp.1, 28-48.
    • 7th edition:
      • Alison, Charlie. "The razorback in Arkansas culture and history." Flashback, 64:1 (2014): 1, 28-48, 2014.

Parenthetical Citation

MLA Style includes guidelines for parenthetical (in text) citations, with the full bibliographic information supplied in a Works Cited list. Guidelines for parenthetical citation are given in Part 2, Section 3 of the MLA Handbook. What is included in a parenthetical citation depends on many variables, including the wording of your sentence, the number of works by the same author in your Works Cited list, and the nature of the source being cited.

Examples of parenthetical citations:

...In her Guide to Immaculate Academic Style, Lucy Librarian stresses the importance of proper citations (113).

...Many experts stress the use of scholarly attribution in academic writing (Librarian 113).

...Librarian has observed in one work that some citation guidelines are suggestive rather than proscriptive (Librarian, Guide 113) while claiming the opposite in another (Librarian, Handbook 433).

What is most important is that your parenthetical citations are consistent and give your reader a clear idea of the source being cited.

MLA Examples

Below are some examples of MLA citation style for a Works Cited list of common publication formats.

Article in a scholarly journal

Print

Author last name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. ##, no. ## (if issue numbered), date, pp. ##.

Brinkmeyer, Robert H., Jr. "New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and Eudora Welty's The Optimist's Daughter." Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Culture, vol. 44, no. 4, 1991, pp. 429-41.

Electronic

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. ##, no. ## (if issue numbered), date, pp. ##. Database name, URL or DOI without the https or https. Accessed Day Month Year.

Brinkmeyer, Robert H., Jr. "New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and Eudora Welty's The Optimist's Daughter." Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Culture, vol. 44, no.4, 1991, pp. 429-41. Ebsco, search.ebscohost.com. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Article in a Popular Magazine

Print

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine, Month Year or Day Month Year of publication, pages.

Gilchrist, Ellen. "My Delta, Myself." Outside, June 1999, pp. 70-1.

Electronic

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine, Month Year or Day Month Year of publication, pages. Database Name. Accessed Day Month Year.

Gilchrist, Ellen. "My Delta, Myself." Outside, June 1999, pp. 70-1. Academic Search Premier. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Article in a Newspaper

Print

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper, Day Month Year, edition, sectionpages.

Gorman, James. "Deep in the Swamp, an 'Extinct' Woodpecker Lives." New York Times, 29 April 2005, Late Edition - Final ed., p. A18.

Electronic

Author Last Name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper, Day Month Year. Name of Database. Accessed Day Month Year.

Gorman, James. "Deep in the Swamp, an 'Extinct' Woodpecker Lives." New York Times, 29 April 2005. Lexis Nexis Academic. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Review

Print

Review in a scholarly journal:

Review Author Last Name, Review Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article (if needed)." Review of Title of Work Being Reviewed, by/dir. Author or Director of Work First Name Author or Director of Work Last Name, Title of Periodical , vol. ##, no. ## (if issue numbered), date, pp. ##.

Horowitz, Marc, and Josef Krebs. Rev. of Crash, dir. by Paul Haggis, Sound & Vision, vol. 70, no. 9, 2005, p. 106.

Review in a popular magazine:

Review Author Last Name, Review Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article (if needed)." Rev. of Title of Work Being Reviewed, by/dir. Author or Director of Work First Name Author or Director of Work Last Name, Title of Periodical , Month and Year or Day Month Year of publication, pages.

Denby, David. Rev. of Crash, dir. by Paul Haggis, New Yorker, 13 June 2005, p. 48.

Electronic

Scholarly review in a library subscription service:

Review Author Last Name, Review Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article (if needed)." Rev. of Title of Work Being Reviewed, by/dir. Author or Director of Work First Name Author or Director of Work Last Name, Title of Periodical ,vol. ##, no. ## (if issue numbered), date, pp. ##. Database Name. Acccessed Day Month Year.

Horowitz, Marc, and Josef Krebs. Rev. of Crash, dir. by Paul Haggis, Sound & Vision, vol. 70, no. 9, 2005, p. 106. Academic Search Premier. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Review direct from a website:

Review Author Last Name, Review Author First Name or initials. "Title of Article (if needed)." Rev. of Title of Work Being Reviewed, by/dir. Author or Director of Work First Name Author or Director of Work Last Name, Web Site Name, Day Month Year of publication, URK or DOI. Accessed Day Month Year.

Atkinson, Michael. Rev. of Crash, dir. by Paul Haggis, Village Voice Online, 3 May 2005, www.villagevoice.com. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Entire Book

Print

Single author:

Author last name, Author First Name or initials. Title of Book. Publisher, year.

Cochran, Robert. Our Own Sweet Sounds: A Celebration of Popular Music in Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, 1996.

Multiple authors or edited work:

First Author last name, First Author First Name or initials, Second Author First Name Second Author Last Name and Third Author First Name Third Author Last Name, editors. Title of Book. Publisher, year.

Donovan, Timothy, Willard Gatewood and Jeannie Whayne, editors. The Governors of Arkansas. 2nd ed. University of Arkansas Press, 1995.

Electronic

In a library subscription service:

Author last name, Author First Name or initials. Title of Book. ed. by Editor First Name Editor Last Name (if needed). Publisher, year. Database Name, URL or DOI. Accessed Day Month Year.

Anger, Jane. Jane Anger her Protection for Women To Defend them Against the Scandalous Reportes of a Late Surfeiting Lover... London: Printed by Richard Iones, and Thomas Orwin, 1589. Early English Books Online, eebo.com. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Freely available online:

Author last name, Author First Name or initials. Title of Book. ed. by Editor First Name Editor Last Name (if needed). Publisher, year. Site name, URL or DOI. Accessed Day Month Year.

Pay as You Go! or, The Unconstitutionality of the Nine Million Debt Bill Demonstrated. New York: W.C. Bryant, 1851. Making of America, moa.org. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Book Chapter or Section

Print

Author last name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of the Book Chapter." Title of Book, edited by Editor's First Name Editor's Last Name, Publisher, year, pages of chapter.

Cochran, Robert. "Lessons of the Bear." Value and Vision in American Literature: Literary Essays in Honor of Ray Lewis White, edited by Joseph Candido and Charles H. Adams, Ohio University Press, 1999. pp. 83-94.

Electronic

Author last name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of the Book Chapter." Title of Book, edited by Editor's First Name Editor's Last Name, Publisher, year, pages of chapter. Database Name, URL or DOI. Accessed Day Month Year.

Arnold, Edwin T. "Donald Harington." Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 152: American Novelists Since World War II, Fourth Series, edited by by James Giles and Wanda Giles, The Gale Group, 1995, pp. 82-91. Gale Literature Resource Center, galenet.com. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Entry in a Reference Source

Print

"Title of article or entry." Work Title. Edition, date.

"Ivory-billed woodpecker." The New Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.

Electronic

Article in a subscription reference service:

"Title of article or entry." Name of database. Accessed Day Month Year.

"Ivory-billed woodpecker." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Published Conference Paper

Print

Author last name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of the Paper." Title and Date of Conference Proceedings, edited by Editor's First Name Editor's Last Name, publisher, year, pages of paper.

Woods, Randall B. "The Rhetoric of Dissent: J. William Fulbright, Vietnam, and the Crisis of International Liberalism." Presidential Rhetoric; Critical Reflections on the Cold War Linking Rhetoric and History, 4th Annual Conference, 1988, edited by . M.J. Medhurst and H.W. Brands, Texas A&M University Press, 2000, pp.187-208.

Electronic

Author last name, Author First Name or initials. "Title of the Paper." Title of Conference Proceedings edited by Editor's First Name Editor's Last Name, publisher (if provided), date. URL or DOI. Accessed Day Month Year.

Maness, Jack and Sarah Naper. "Hurry! Hurry! r u dum? *#%@!" Virtual Reference Desk Conference 2005, 20 January 2006. Accessed 26 April 2006.

Web Page

Electronic (duh!)

Page Title. Institution or individual affiliated with the site, page date, if known, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

Rock Art in Arkansas. George Sabo et. al., 2001, rockart.uark.edu. Accessed 26 April 2006.