MLA Style is most commonly used by to write papers and cite sources by the within the liberal arts and the humanities. The examples for the Works Cited page and in-text citations provided below reflect the MLA Handbook 8th edition.
For the Basic Format of the Works Cited page go to https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/05/.
To create the individual entries for the sources, you consult a list of core elements. These elements are the general pieces of information that MA suggests including in each Works Cited entry. In your citation, the elements should be listed in the following order:
- Title of source.
- Title of container, (this is the larger whole in which the source is located)
- Other contributors,
- Publication date,
Each element should be followed in the entry by the punctuation mark used in the above list.
Works Cited Page Entry Examples
Basic Book Format
Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.
Tannen, Deborah. The Argument Culture: Moving from Debate to
Dialogue. Random, 1998.
When a book has multiple authors, order the authors in the same way they are presented in the book. The first given name appears in last name, first name format; subsequent author names appear in first name last name format.
If there are three or more authors, list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (Latin for "and others") in place of the subsequent authors' names. (Note that there is a period after “al” in “et al.” Also note that there is never a period after the “et” in “et al.”).
Format for an Article in a Reference Book (e.g. Encyclopedias, Dictionaries)
For entries in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works, cite the piece as you would any other work in a collection but do not include the publisher information. Also, if the reference book is organized alphabetically, as most are, do not list the volume or the page number of the article or item.
"Ideology." The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed., 1997.
Format for an Article in a Magazine or Newspaper
Cite by listing the article's author, putting the title of the article in quotations marks, and italicizing the periodical title. Follow with the date of publication. Remember to abbreviate the month.
Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.
Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.
Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA
Include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. Because web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA encourages the use of citing containers such as Youtube, JSTOR, Spotify, or Netflix in order to easily access and verify sources. However, MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs.
Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.
Online newspapers and magazines sometimes include a “permalink,” which is a shortened, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source includes a permalink. If you can find a permalink, use that instead of a URL.
Go to https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/ for examples of the format for a variety of online sources.
In-Text Citation Format
Go to https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/ for examples of the format for in-text citations.
Russell, Tony, et al. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 27 Jan. 2017.