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MLA Citation Style

This research guide will help students format their research papers using MLA citation style

MLA Style in 6 Minutes

About MLA Style

This guide is a quick introduction to the Modern Language Association 9th edition citation style. Be sure to consult the MLA Handbook or the online MLA Style Center for detailed standards and procedures. 

In-Text Citations

For more guidelines and examples, check out the MLA Style Center In-Text Citations Overview.

Basic Format:

(Last Name Page #)

Or, introduce direct quotes with the author and title within the sentence or paragraph, then include the page number(s) at the end of the quote in parentheses.

I'm citing...

You only need the author's last name and the page number.

(Burke 3)

If there is no author...

Use a shortened title of the work

("Impact of Global Warming")

Connect both authors' last names with and, and include the page number.

(Best and Marcus 9)

Use the first author's last name and et al., and include the page number.

(Franck et al. 327)


Block Quotations:

For more than four lines of quoted text, place the quotation in a free-standing block of text, indended 1/2" from the left margin. The in-text citation goes immediately after the closing punctuation mark in the quoted material.

Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration: They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte 78)

Different examples of in-text citations using the same source

As Hulme et al. state, students who are more curious "actively seek opportunities for new information and experiences" (56).

Students who are more curious are constantly looking for a variety of experiences related to their academic pursuits (Hulme et al. 56).

Students in the study who were more curious "actively seek opportunities for new information and experiences" (Hulme et al. 56). It's easy to see what behaviors drive one to be curious, but a more interesting question is how to make people more curious. If curiosity is a strong driver of educational interest, how can we inspire this in students?

As you can see, you can create in-text citations in many different ways -- what is important is that you clearly show which words/ideas are YOURS and which words/ideas come from your SOURCES

Works Cited page

Basic Format:
Author Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial. Title of Longer Work or "Title of Shorter Work." Publisher, Year. URL or DOI.

I'm citing a...

  1. Author(s). Note: Use the format Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial. If there are multiple authors, use and before the last author's name.
  2. "Title of the Article." Note: Include the title of a shorter work like an article in a journal in quotation marks and use headline-style capitalization.
  3. Title of the Journal, Note: Use italics for the title of a longer work like a journal and use headline-style capitalization.
  4. vol. #,
  5. no. #, Note: If there is no additional number after the volume, only include the volume number.
  6. Publication date,
  7. pp. xxx-xxx.
If accessed online or in a library database...
  • Database, Note: Use italics for names of databases.
  • URL or permalink.

 

Gosine, Kevin, and Emmanuel Tabi. "Disrupting Neoliberalism and Bridging the Multiple Worlds of Marginalized Youth via Hip-Hop Pedagogy: Contemplating Possibilities." Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, vol. 38, no. 5, 2016, pp. 445-467. Research Gate, doi: 10.1080/10714413.2016.1221712.

  1. Author(s). Note: Use the format Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial. If there are multiple authors, use and before the last author's name.
  2. "Title of the Article." Note: Include the title of a shorter work in quotation marks and use headline-style capitalization.
  3. Title of the Newspaper or Publisher, Note: Use italics for the title of a longer work like a newspaper or online publication and use headline-style capitalization.
  4. Publication date, Note: Use the formate Date Abbreviated Month Year.
  5. URL.

 

Cochrane, Emily, and Noah Weiland. "Hillary Clinton, the N.F.L., Roy Moore and Other Asides from the President." The New York Times, 16 Nov. 2018, https://nyti.ms/2zf1TPB.

Print Book
  1. Author(s). Note: Use the format Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial. If there are multiple authors, use and before the last author's name.
  2. Title of the Book. Note: Use italics for the title of a longer work like a book and use headline-style capitalization.
  3. Edition Note: If there are multiple editions, use the format 1st/2nd/3rd ed.,
  4. Publisher,
  5. Publication date.

 

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. 1st ed., J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1960.

eBook

  1. Author(s). Note: Use the format Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial. If there are multiple authors, use and before the last author's name.
  2. Title of the Book, Note: Use italics for the title of a longer work like a book and use headline-style capitalization.
  3. Editors Note: If there is one editor, use the format edited by Last Name, First Name. If there are multiple editors, use and before the last author's name.
  4. Publisher,
  5. Publication date.
  6. Database, Note: Use italics for names of databases.
  7. URL or permalink.

 

Hughes, Langston. Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond, edited by Evelyn Louise Crawford and Mary Louise Patterson. University of California Press, 2016. Ebook Central, https://caccl-contra.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01CACCL_CONTRA/10chp9j/alma991001620828605344.

  1. Author(s) of the Chapter. Note: Use the format Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial. If there are multiple authors, use and before the last author's name.
  2. "Title of the Chapter." Note: Include the title of a shorter work like a chapter in quotation marks and use headline-style capitalization.
  3. Title of the Book, Note: Use italics for the title of a longer work like a book and use headline-style capitalization.
  4. Editors Note: If there is one editor, use the format edited by Last Name, First Name. If there are multiple editors, use and before the last author's name.
  5. Publisher,
  6. Publication date,
  7. pp. xxx-xxx.
  8. Database, Note: Use italics for names of databases.
  9. URL or permalink.

 

Green, David. "Supporting the Academic Success of Hispanic Students." College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know, edited by Andrew D. Asher and Lynda M. Duke, ALA Editions, 2011. EBSCOhost Academic eBook Collection, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/contracosta-ebooks/detail.action?docID=772268.

  1. Author. Note: If there is no individual author, begin the citation with "Title of the Page."
  2. "Title of Page, Section, or Document."
  3. Publisher,
  4. URL.

 

Puka, Bill. "Golden Rule." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy., https://iep.utm.edu/goldrule. Accessed 14 Feb. 2024.

Check out more examples of citing online sources from the MLA Style Center.

More Help with MLA Style

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Guide Credits

Creative Commons License CC by NC 4.0 This guide was created by Tessa Withorn at CSUDH Library and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License. It has been adapted and added to by librarian Katherine Becvar for Contra Costa College.