Category: Research Paper
The Modern Language Association (MLA) provides citation guidelines for preparing research papers and scholarly manuscripts. These guidelines include parenthetical citation within a written work and a Works Cited page, both of which allow writers to accurately quote and paraphrase sources. MLA style is used in a range of disciplines, primarily in the humanities. Other prominent styles include those from the American Psychological Association (APA) and the University of Chicago. Some disciplines may use a modified or combined style, such as the American Anthropological Association .
Below are some examples of MLA-style citation entries for quick reference. For more detailed examples and guidelines, consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Scholars preparing manuscripts for publication will also want to use the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing .
Papers written using MLA Style are ususally double-spaced, including the Works Cited Page.
*On a Works Cited page, always indent five spaces for each line after the first one:On This Page
A Handbook of Korea. 6th ed. Seoul International Pub. House, 1987.
Morrison, Toni. Sula. New York: Knopf, 1974.
Hyde, Margaret O. and Elizabeth Held Forsyth. Suicide: The Hidden Epidemic. Rev. ed. New York: Watts, 1986.
MORE THAN TWO AUTHORS
Quirk, Randolph, et. Al. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman, 1985.
Perkins, Kathy A. ed. Black Female Playwrights: An Anthology of Plays Before 1950. Bloomington: Indiana U, 1989.
AUTHOR AND EDITOR
Shakespeare, William. The Comedy of Errors. Ed. By T.S. Dorsch. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988.
ESSAY/CHAPTER IN A BOOK
Klawans, Stuart. "Colorization: Rose-Tinted Spectacles." Seeing Through Movies. Ed. Mark C. Miller. New York: Pantheon, 1990. 150-185.
MAGAZINE ARTICLE SIGNED
Theroux, Paul. "China Passage by Rail." National Geographic March 1988: 296-329.
MAGAZINE ARTICLE UNSIGNED
"Time for Doubt." Time 26 Nov. 1990: 30-34.
JOURNAL WITH CONTINUOUS PAGING
Brook, Dan W. "The Value of Prolonging Human Life." Philosophical Studies 50 (1986): 401-26.
JOURNAL THAT PAGES EACH ISSUE SEPARATELY
Baum, Rosalie Murphy. "Alcoholism and Family Abuse in Maggie and The Bluest Eye. " Mosaic 19.3 (1986): 91-105.
NEWSPAPER ARTICLE UNSIGNED
"The Elected Aristocracy: 12 is Enough." Wall Street Journal 6 Nov. 1990, sec. A: 22.
Hall, Lucia K.B. Rev. of God and the New Physics. by Paul Davies. Humanist Nov.-Dec. 1986: 39.
Sapir, Edward. "Communication." Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. New York: Macmillan, 1930.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Boston, 1845. 1 Aug. 1999
ONLINE JOURNAL ARTICLE WITH PAGE NUMBERS
Washington, Gerald R. "The Writing Crisis in Urban Schools: A Culturally Different Hypothesis." Journal of Advanced Composition 16.3 (1996). 12 Aug. 1999
ARTICLE TEXT FROM SUBSCRIPTION DATABASE SERVICE
Pursell, Chris. "Xena Ratings Princess." Electronic Media 16 Jul. 2001: 6. ABI/INFORM Global. Proquest. University of California, Davis Library. 4 Mar. 1999
ORGANIZATION WEB SITE
Romance Languages and Literatures Page. 1 Jan. 1997. Dept. of Romance Languages and Literatures, U. of Chicago. 8 July 1998
INTERVIEW IN PERSON
Basso, Lilliam. Personal Interview. 4 Mar. 1991.
INTERVIEW IN PRINT
Ellison, Ralph. Interview. "Invisible Man." With Allen McPherson. Atlantic Dec. 1970: 45-60. 1990.
TELEVISION AND RADIO
"Belly of the Beast." 48 Hours. Host Dan Rather. Narr. Peter Van Sant. CBS. 10 Aug. 1999.
It's a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. 1946. DVD. Republic, 2001.
The Modern Language Association uses parenthetical references instead of footnotes or endnotes in the body of the research paper to acknowledge the use of borrowed material. These references point to the Works Cited page (see examples of entries above) at the end to fully document this material with necessary author, title, and publishing information.Placement and Punctuation Guidelines
Three or more authors:
(Quirk et al 96)
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: MLA, 2003. HSSGIS Reference (Protected) LB2369 .G53 2003 Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 2nd ed. New York: MLA, 1998. HSSGIS Reference PN147 .G444 1998 Walker, Janice R. The Columbia Guide to Online Style. New York: Columbia UP, 1998. HSSGIS Reference (Protected) PN171.F56 W35 1998 Online examples of MLA style MLA Style Most Frequently Asked Questions Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism: Documentation Guidelines (Duke) SLATE Citation Machine
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1 MLA Citation Examples: 2011 MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers Seventh Edition Dorothy Allen, ILS, MacArthur Ninth Grade School, Aldine ISD
2 Adler, Mike. 1 The World and Climate Change. New York: Random House, Print. Author Title Place of Publication Copyright Date Medium of Publication Book With One Author Publishing Company Special Note: Underline the title if you are writing by hand. Source Number
3 Bates, David, and Tony Juniper. Endangered Planet. New York: Kingfisher, Print. Authors Title Place of Publication Copyright Date Medium of Publication Book With Two Authors Publishing Company Source number 2
4 Smith, Jan, ed. Immigration. Chicago: Kerr Publishing, Print. Book With One Editor Editor Title Place of Publication Publishing Company Medium of Publication Copyright Date 3 Source Number
5 Smith, Jan, and Dan Gale, eds. Identities. Boston: Barnes Publishing, Print. Book With Two Editors Editors Title Place of Publication Publishing Company Medium of Publication Copyright Date 4 Source Number
6 Burnie, Jerry. “Project Green: The Race for Survival.” Newsweek. 9 June 2008: Print. Periodical (Newspaper or Magazine Article) One Author Author Title of the Article (inside quotations) Title of the Magazine Date of Publication Page NumbersMedium of Publication 5 Source number
7 Scholarly Journal “Special Notation” When citing a scholarly journal only the year of publication is required; for all other periodicals the day, month, and year, as available.
8 Gillman, Don. “Climate: Why It Matters.” Climate Change. World Life Federation, 12 Feb Web. 15 May Web Site 6 Author Page Title (inside quotations) Title of Web Site Publisher or Sponsor of the Web Site Date of Publication Medium of Publication Date of Access (the day the site is read by you) Source number
9 Lyles, John. “Global Warming.” National Geographic 2 June 2007: MAS Edition. Web. 10 Feb Periodical Publication from an On-line Database Author Title of the Article Title of the Periodical Day, Month, Year Publication Title of Database Date of Access Medium of Publication Page numbers Source number 7
10 Nixon, Richard M. Photograph. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition. Web. 1 Feb Photograph Image Subject Medium Database Medium of Publication Date of Access 8 Source Number
11 Tips for Citation Page Spacing-double space between title and first entry Begin at the left margin Double space within and between entries Indent ½ inch the second and all following lines for the entry Punctuation-pay attention Citations are in alpha order Give the medium of publication
See Citation Guide: MLA (8th ed.): General notes for citation information based on the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers or Research Papers.
This guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. and provides selected citation examples for common types of sources. For more detailed information please consult the print version of the handbook. Graduate students and professional writers might also need to consult the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd ed. PN 147 G444 2008 .
Keep track of your document references/citations and format your reference lists easily with citation management software. If you use bibliographic citation software (e.g. RefWorks or EndNote), you must ensure that information is entered accurately in order for the software to output results properly.General Notes on MLA Style
Forer states that "corporal punishment was employed as a legally imposed penalty in Colonial America" (142).
At the conclusion of My Side of the Mountain. Sam realized how much he had missed his family:
Then I jumped in the air and laughed for joy. I recognized my four year-old brother's pleasure song. The family! Dad had brought the family! Every one of them. I ran, twisting, and turning through the trees like a Cooper's hawk, and occasionally riding a free fifty feet downhill on an aspen sapling. Dad gave me a resounding slap, and Mother hugged me until she cried. I led them proudly up the mountain. (George 175)
Women talked of their aspirations relating to their clothes and of attempts to create images, which were perceived as successful. (Martin par. 20)
If there are no page or paragraph numbers, the MLA guide recommends that you incorporate the name of the author in the text of your paper. (e.g. Mitchell argues that there is a link between soda consumption and obesity ). You may indicate in your paper an approximate location of the cited passage (e.g. In the final third of his article, Mitchell argues there is a link between soda consumption and obesity ) (6.4.1-2).
If possible, incorporate the title of the film or video in the text of your research paper, instead of using a parenthetical reference. For example:
Ichikawa's Burmese Harp. narrating the experience of Japanese soldiers stationed in Burma during the Second World War, was one of the first films to depict the wartime experience from the perspective of the Japanese army.
Online Film or Film Clip (e.g. YouTube Video) (5.6.2b, 6.4.1)
If possible, incorporate the title of the film or video in the text of your research paper, instead of using a parenthetical reference (6.4.1). For example:
This concept is demonstrated in the film "Hurricane Katrina: The Drive."
As Marcel Proust reminisced: "There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those. we spent with a favourite book (qtd. in Wolf, 6). 1
Conference Proceedings, Print or Electronic (5.5.6, 5.5.21)
(Brewin, Paul, and Monita 19)
(10th International Workshop )
Lecture, Speech, Reading or Address (5.7.11)
In his discussion of the evolution and nature of the fossil record, Professor Dunlop emphasized.
Citation immediately below table
Citation immediately below figure
Custom Courseware packages are compilations of journal articles, book chapters and other materials selected by your instructor. The MLA manual does not give specific advice about citing these materials, so you will have to use your judgment and come up with your own solution.
If you need to cite a source from a Custom Courseware package, here are two suggestions. However, our strong recommendation is to first check with your instructor.
1. Find the full citation where the article, chapter, etc. was originally published, and cite accordingly. The full citations may be included on the first page of the coursepack. If not, search a relevant database or the library catalogue, or ask a librarian.
2. Treat the Courseware package as an anthology, and the instructor who did the compilation as a book editor/compiler. Therefore, treat the article, chapter, etc. as if it was part of an anthology, or edited book. Most probably you will not have the page numbers, since the Custom Courseware is not a true publication and is not paginated throughout. You will also have to include the name of the compiler, the title of the Courseware, the name of the course (e.g. CMNS 210), the semester (e.g. Spring 2006) and the publisher ( Simon Fraser University). Bear in mind that someone trying to find the article/chapter from a coursepack you cited might not have access to the same coursepack.
Several of these online guides, though helpful, nevertheless vary in terms of how they cite sources. Please keep this in mind while consulting these other online guides.