Mla citation Format a resnick Library Information Guide

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MLA Citation Format

A Resnick Library Information Guide


Citing your sources gives credit where credit is due. Just as you would be angry if someone stole your joke without giving you credit, so too are scholars angered by the use of their work without being acknowledged. The purpose of this guide is to give you an introduction to the standards for citing sources in the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. Before using this guide, make sure MLA is your professor’s preferred format. For more examples, refer to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, available at Ref LB 2369 .G53 2009, in the writing center, or refer to the “Cite Your Sources” section of our website:

Citations—In text: When you cite a work in your text, it refers the reader to your works cited page so he or she can acquire the full reference information.

General Rule: (Author’s last name and page number) Note: If the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence, you only need to list the page number in parentheses after the quote or paraphrase.

“Taboo language, then, enters into a startling array of human concerns, from capital crimes in the Bible to the future of electronic media” (Pinker 325).

Pinker has argued that the study of swear words provides a glimpse of human nature (325).
Works Cited Page: Having been referred to your list of references by your in-text citation, the reader will look for the full citation by the author’s last name (listed in alphabetical order).


General rule: Author’s last name, First name. Book title. Publication information (including city of publication, publishing company, date, and format).

A book with a single author:

Pinker, Steven. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. New York: Viking, 2007. Print.

A book by more than one author:

Broer, Lawrence R., and Gloria Holland. Hemingway and Women: Female Critics and the Female Voice. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2002. Print.

Note: If there are more than three authors, use the first author’s name followed by “et al.” (“and others”).
A book by a corporate author:

National Research Council. Beyond Six Billion: Forecasting the World’s Population. Washington: Natl. Acad., 2000. Print.

A book with an editor, translator or compiler:

Shell, Marc, ed. American Babel: Literatures of the United States from Abnaki to Zuni. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2002. Print.

A book accessed online:

Hume, David. A Treatise of Human Nature. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1898. Google Books. Web. 31 Aug. 2009.

Note: For citations to online publications, be sure to indicate “Web” and date of access at the end of the citation.

A chapter in a book:

Bordo, Susan. “The Moral Content of Nabokov’s Lolita.” Aesthetic Subjects. Ed. Thomas Colchie. New York: Plume, 1992. 83-88. Print.

An entry in an encyclopedia or reference work:

Allen, Anita L. “Privacy in Health Care.” Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Ed. Stephen G. Post. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. New York: Macmillan-Thomson, 2004. Print.

An entry in an online encyclopedia or reference work:

“de Kooning, Willem.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2008. Web. 15 May 2008.

Note: For citations to online publications, be sure to indicate “Web” and date of access at the end of the citation.
Barkan, Elliott R. “Multiculturalism.” Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler 3rd ed. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 31 Aug. 2009.

Periodical articles

General Rule: Author’s last name, First name. “Article Title.” Periodical Title Volume number.Issue number (Date): Page numbers. Format.

A journal or magazine article:

Barthelme, Frederick. “Architecture.” Kansas Quarterly 13.3-4 (1981): 77-80. Print.

Weintraub, Arlene, and Laura Cohen. “A Thousand-Year Plan for Nuclear Waste.” Business Week 6 May 2002: 94-96. Print. Note: Do not include volume or issue information for frequently published magazines.
An online journal or magazine article:

Ouellette, Marc. “Theories, Memories, Bodies, and Artists.” Editorial. Reconstruction 7.4 (2007): n. pag. Web. 5 June 2008. Note: Use “n.d.” if no date is available; “n. pag.” if no pages are included.

From an online database:

Chan, Evans. “Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema.” Postmodern Culture 10.3 (2000): n. pag. Project Muse. Web. 5 June 2008.

A newspaper article:

McKay, Peter A. “Stocks Feel the Dollar’s Weight.” Wall Street Journal 4 Dec. 2006: C1+. Print.

Websites, blogs, etc.

General Rule: Creator’s last name, First name. “Title of Work.” Title of Website. Publisher (N.p. if no publisher), date of publication (n.d. if no date). Web. Date of Access.

Committee on Scholarly Editions. “Guidelines for Editors of Scholarly Editions.” Modern Language Association. MLA, 25 Sept. 2007. Web. 15 May 2008.

Resnick Library. “New Online Databases and Trials.” What’s New @ Resnick? Wordpress, 7 Aug. 2009. Web. 31 Aug. 2009.
Tyre, Peg. “Standardized Tests in College?” Newsweek. Newsweek, 16 Nov. 2007. Web. 15 May 2008.


A painting, photograph, or sculpture:

General Rule: Artist’s last name, First name. Name of Work. Year of creation (or N.d. for “No date”). Medium of composition. Name of holding institution or collection, location.

Berden, Romare. The Train. 1974. Photogravure and aquatint. Museum of Mod. Art, New York.

A sound recording:

General Rule: Artist’s last name, First name. “Song Title.” Name of Album. Distributor, date. Format.

Cash, Johnny. “Hurt.” American IV: The Man Comes Around. Lost Highway, 2002. CD.

Holiday, Billie. The Essence of Billie Holiday. Columbia, 1991. CD.
A Film:

General Rule: Title. Director. Distributor, year of release. Medium.

(500) Days of Summer. Dir. Marc Webb. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2009. Film.
It’s a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. 1946. Republic, 2001. DVD.
Multimedia from an online source:

General Rule: Include all of the above, but include the title of the database or Web site (in italics), the medium of publication (Web), and the date of access.

Lange, Dorothea. The Migrant Mother. 1936. Prints and Photographs Div., Lib. of Congress. Dorothea Lange: Photographer of the People. Web. 9 May 2007.

Bazan, David. “Lost My Shape.” Web. 1 Sept. 2009.
The Great Train Robbery. Dir. Edward Porter. Thomas Edison, 1903. Internet Archive. Web. 5 June 2008.


General Rule: Person interviewed (last name first). Interviewed by (if pertinent). “Name of interview.” Source of Interview. Publication information. Format.

Blanchett, Cate. “In Character with: Cate Blanchett.” Notes on a Scandal. Dir. Richard Eyre. Fox Searchlight, 20006. DVD.

Wiesel, Elie. Interview by Ted Koppel. Nightline. ABC. WABC, New York. 18 Apr. 2002. Television.
An interview you conducted:

Pei, I. M. Personal interview. 22 July 1993.

Reed, Ishmael. Telephone interview. 10 Dec. 2007.
An interview on the web:

Morris, Errol. Interviewed by Homi Bhabha. “The Anti-Post-Modern Post-Modernist.” Errol Morris. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 2009.

Note: N.p. stands for “No publisher”; n.d. stands for “No date.” Include this information if available. The date at the end is the date of access.
DCM, 09/2009

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