MLA stands for Modern Language Association. Their guidelines on scholarly documentation are most often used by scholars and students working in the study of the humanitites. Guidelines are published in MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing.
The examples on this page are for the 7th edition of the MLA style guide. The Modern Language Association released a new, substantially different, style guide in 2016. Click on the MLA 8th edition tab above to see examples for the newest edition of MLA.
The examples are taken from the following book. Corresponding page numbers are listed next to the examples:
Your in-text citations should include the author and page number: (Jones 10). You can omit the author name if it appears in the text of your sentence.
Author's last name, Author's first name. Title of the book. Location: Publisher, year of publication. Format.
Franke, Damon. Modernist Heresies: British Literary History, 1883-1924. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2008. Print.
Shell, Marc, ed. American Babel: Literatures of the United States from Abnaki to Zuni. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2002. Print.
Yount, Lisa. Animal Rights. New York: Facts on File, 2004. NetLibrary, Inc. Web. 20 June 2011.
Child, L. Maria, ed. The Freedmen's Book. Boston, 1866. Google Book Search. Web. 15 May 2008.
Author's last name, Author's first name. "Chapter Title." Book Title. Ed. Editor's name(s). Location: Publisher, year of publication. Pages of chapter. Format.
Bordo, Susan. "The Moral Content of Nabokov's Lolita." Aesthetic Subjects. Ed. Pamela R. Matthews and David McWhirter. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2003. 125-52. Print.
Allen, Anita L. "Privacy in Health Care." Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Ed. Stephen G. Post. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. New York: Macmillan-Thompson, 2004. Print.
Allen, Anita L. “Privacy in Health Care.” Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Ed. Stephen G. Post. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. New York: Macmillan Thompson, 2004. Web. 5 June 2008.
"Japan." The Encyclopedia Americana. 2004 ed. Print.
Smith, John. "The Scientists Speak." The Newsleader [Staunton] 20 Nov. 2007: A1. Print.
Larson, Carl. "Utah Mine Rescue Funeral." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Aug. 2007. Web. 21 Aug. 2007.
Green, Joshua. "The Rove Presidency." The Atlantic 20 Sept. 2007:15-20. Print.
Tyre, Peg. "Standardized Tests in College?" Newsweek. Newsweek, 16 Nov 2007. Web. 15 May 2008.
Shigehara, Kazuyoshi, Toshiyuki Sasagawa, Syohei Kawaguchi, Yoshitomo Kobori, Takao Nakashima, Masayoshi Shimamura, Tadashi Taya, Keiichi Furubayashi, and Mikio Namiki. “Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Infection in the Urinary Tract of Men With Urethritis.” International Journal of Urology. 17.6 (2010): 563-568. Consumer Health Complete. Web. 5 Oct 2011.
Author, A. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Vol.Issue (1998): pg#-pg#. Database. Web. Date Accessed.
Tolson, Nancy. "Making Book Available: The Role of Early Libraries, Librarians, and Booksellers in the Promotion of African American Children's Literature." African American Review 32.1 (1998): 9-16. JSTOR. Web. 5 June 2008.
Currie, Janet and Duncan Thomas. "Does Head Start Make a Difference." NBER Working Paper No.4406. (1993). Web. 29 March 2012.
Artist last name, first name. Title of work. Date of composition. Medium of composition. Institutiion that houses the work, name of city where the museum is located. Database name. Web. Date accessed (day, month, year).
Monet, Claude. Garden at Sainte-Adresse. 1867. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. ARTstor. Web. 8 March 2013.
Artist. Title of image. Date. Title of website. Web. Date of access (day, month, and year).
Currin, John. Blond Angel. 2001. Indianapolis Museum of Art. IMA: It's My Art. Web. 9 May 2007.
Lange, Dorthea. The Migrant Mother. 1936. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Dorthea Lange: Photographer of the People. Web. 9 May 2007.
Artist last name, first name. Title of work. Date of composition. Medium of composition. Institutiion that houses the work, name of city where the museum is located.
Bearden, Romare. The Train. 1974. Photogravure and aquatint. Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Artist last name, first name. Title of work. Date of composition. Medium of composition. Institutiion that houses the work, name of city where the museum is located. Title of source in which the reproduction appears. Editor. Publication location: publisher, publication date. Page number where art appears. Medium of reproduction.
Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo. Photogram. N.d. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography. Ed. Richard Bolton. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989. 94. Print.
Author (Twitter username). "entire text of the tweet without changing the capitalization." (Date of tweet), time of tweet. Tweet.
Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.
Include as much of the following as possible:
Author. Title of work. Title of the overall Website. Version or edition used. Publisher or sponsor of the site. Day Month Year of publication. Web. Day Month Year of access.
Committee on Scholarly Editions. "Guidelines for Editors of Scholarly Editions." Modern Language Association. MLA, 25 Sept. 2007. Web. 15 May 2008
"Maplewood, New Jersey." Map. Google Maps. Google, 15 May 2008. Web. 15 May 2008.
Liu, Alan, ed. Home Page. Voice of the Shuttle. Dept. of English, U of California, Santa Barbara. n.d. Web. 15 May 2008.
Whenever possible, find the original source and cite that. If the original source is not available then cite the source indirectly. Here's how:
After you've quoted or paraphrased the original source put the abbrievation qtd. in in parentheses with the in-text citation for the source where you obtained the quotation or paraphrase.
In this example, Samuel Johnson's book is the original source (which you could not obtain), and Boswell, is where you found Samuel Johnson's quote.
Samuel Johnson admitted that Edumund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 2:450)
Boswell, James. The Life of Johnson. Ed. George Birkbeck Hill and L.F. Powell. 6 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1934-50. Print.
PDF handout made by Grafton Library.
List authors as ordered in your source. Reverse the first author’s name for alphabetizing (Last name, then first name separated by a comma). If multiple authors, separate names with commas and connect the second to last and last author’s names with and. Sec. 2.7.1
Capitalize the first word, the last word and all principal words of the title. Basically everything but words like; a, an, and, as, against, between, but, for, in, nor, of, or, the, to, so, yet, or to. Sec. 1.2
If an article in a journal or newspaper appears on nonconsecutive pages, include the first page number and a +. Sec. 2.5.1
For Regional newspapers only: include City and state abbreviation in brackets after the title. Sec. 2.6.1
Book, Journal, Newspaper and Website titles are italicized.
Omit co, corp, inc and ltd. For academic presses University Press should be abbreviated. Sec 1.6.3
When you can’t find a Publication Date, include the date you accessed the source. p. 53
Sometimes an author isn’t a person. They might be an organization, instead. If the Author is also the publisher, only list them as the Publisher and don’t list an author.