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Martha S. Grafton Library

Citation Help: MLA 8th ed.

Information on properly citing research.

What is MLA style?

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 8th edition of the MLA style guide.

MLA Style Manual

Example In-Text and Bibliographic Citations:

The following are some examples of the most commonly used sources. If you are looking for examples of other materials, please consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

MLA 8th edition is designed to be more flexible than previous versions. While there are some exceptions or variations, the basic format for citing ANY material in MLA is:

Author. Title. Title of container, Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs URL or DOI). 

In-Text Citations

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). Book Title: Subtitle. Publisher, Publication Year.

Bailey, Tim S., Stewart McPherson and Alastair Robertson. Carnivorous Plants of Britain and Ireland: A Retrospective Study. Redfern Natural History Productions, 2016.


Author(s). Book Title: Subtitle. Publisher, Publication Year. URL or DOI

Bynum, Caroline Walker. Holy Feats and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women. U of California P, 1987.

Book Chapter

Author(s). "Chapter Title." Book Title, edited by Editor(s), Publisher, Publication Year, pp. pages of chapter. 

Bordo, Susan. "The Moral Content of Nabokov's Lolita." Aesthetic Subjects, edited by Pamela R. Matthews and David McWhirter. U of Minnesota P, 2003, pp. 125-52.

Entry in a Reference Book

"Gadamer." Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd ed., 2006.


Author(s). “Article Title.” Newspaper Title, Publication Date, URL for Online OR pp. page numbers for print.

Ahmed, Azam. “Hurricane Matthew Pummels Haiti with Fierce Winds and Rain.” The Star-Ledger [Newark], 4 Oct. 2016, pp. 2A+.

Journal Articles

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. #, No. #, Publication season & Year, pp. #-#. Database, doi: DOI.

Shigehara, Kazuyoshi, et al. [If fewer than 4 authors, list them by name]. “Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Infection in the Urinary Tract of Men With Urethritis.” International Journal of Urology, vol. 17, no. 6 (2010), pp. 563-568.

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, vol. 32, no. 1 (1998): 9-16. JSTOR, doi: 10.2307/3042263


Artist last name, first name. Title of work. Date of composition. Institution that houses the work, name of city where the museum is located. Database/Website name. Accessed date.

Monet, Claude. Garden at Sainte-Adresse. 1867. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. ARTstor. 8 March 2013.

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado, Accessed 22 May 2006.


Twitter handle. "entire text of the tweet without changing the capitalization." Twitter, Date of tweet, time of tweet. url.

@BillMurray. “Accordion to a recent survey, replacing words with the names of musical instruments in a tweet often goes undetected.” Twitter, 3 Aug. 2013, 2:47 PM,


Author(s). “Page Title.” Website Title, Publisher and Publication day month year, URL. Accessed date.

Lundman, Susan. “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.” eHow, Accessed 6 July 2015.

*If the website publisher is the author, only list them as the publisher and do not put an author:

"Henry VIII's Wives - What Happened to All of the King's Consorts?” All That's Interesting, 27 Jul. 2018, Accessed 30 Nov. 2018.



PDF handout made by Grafton Library.

Formatting Your Works Cited

Alphabetize your citations, use a hanging indent on the second and subsequent lines, double-space your citations, and title your list: Works Cited.

List authors in the order they appear 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.