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«All information from outside sources used in a research paper must be cited. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research th Papers, 7 edition by the ...»

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Lake-Sumter Community College Library

MLA Style Citation

All information from outside sources used in a research paper must be cited. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research


Papers, 7 edition by the Modern Language Association (MLA), gives instructions on citing different types of resources.

All examples and section numbers listed in this handout are adapted from this edition of the Handbook. IMPORTANT:

Always verify this citation format with your writer’s handbook and/or with your instructor.

Plagiarism Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas, information or words and passing them off as your own. This is not only intellectual theft but can also be construed as fraud if you plagiarize with the intent of getting a better grade (MLA 52).

According to the MLA Handbook, most plagiarism in student writing is unintentional and almost always the result of inaccurate notes. To guard against this, always take careful notes that distinguish between your own thoughts and ideas, those that you have paraphrased from other sources, and those that you have directly quoted. Remember that “presenting an author’s exact wording without marking it as a quotation is plagiarism, even if you cite the source” (MLA 55).

Parenthetical References A parenthetical reference briefly identifies the source in the body of the paper without repeating the information from the works cited page. See the MLA Handbook, (ch. 6; 214-232) for more details and examples than those provided below.

Sample citation for a work with no author:

“The Lakers Take the Next Step in the Evolution of the NBA‟s Minor League System.” Sports Works Cited Illustrated 1 May 2006: 22. Print.

In the text, use the first word of the title (not including a, an, or the) and the page number. If the title is italicized, underline

it in your reference or if the title is in quotes place it in quotes. Follow the example below:

In The NBA is trying to develop a minor league system (“Lakers” 22).


Sample citation for a work with one author:

Works Freeman, Michael. Bloody Sundays: Inside the Dazzling, Rough-and-Tumble World of the NFL.

Cited New York: William Morrow, 2003. Print.

In your paper cite the author’s name and the page number in parentheses after the text or in the text. If the author is mentioned in the text, only the page number is needed in parentheses.

NFL coaching responsibility is greater than in other sports (Freeman 5).

In Text Freeman says that NFL coaching responsibility is greater than in other sports (5).

If you have more than one book or article by the same author, use the last name of the author, a comma, a shortened version of the article or book title (in quotes or italicized) and the page number.

In NFL coaching responsibility is greater than in other sports (Freeman, Bloody 5).


Sample citation for a work with two or more authors:

When a work has two or more authors, include up to three authors in the in text citation. Let the works cited entry guide the parenthetical reference.

Works Osborne, David and Ted Gaebler. Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Cited Transforming the Public Sector. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 1992. Print.

2 authors In Text The public opposes competition between schools due to a concern over equity (Osborne and 2 authors Gaebler 101).

Works Kilpatrick, Franklin P, Milton C. Cummings, and M. Kent Jennings. The Image of the Federal Cited Service. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1964. Print.

3 authors In Text The survey showed that teachers “approach their work with a strong sense of duty” (Kilpatrick, 3 authors Cummings, and Jennings 67).

–  –  –

In Text The president decides how the country reacts to an act of “external aggression” (Peabody et al. 28).

4+ authors

Sample citation for two works by the same author in one paper:

When you have two works by the same author on one works cited page do not repeat the name of the author a second time. Instead use three hyphens to indicate that the author is the same (see the second example). When using two or more works by the same author, cite the author and a few words from the title in the parenthetical reference.

–  –  –

The government tells “selective truths” in order “to shape events to fit policy” (Wise, The Politics 62).

In The political views and personal lives of citizens are interesting to the government because it gives the Text state power over the individual (Wise, The American 102).

–  –  –

When referencing an entire work in your text, mention the author and title of the work in the text rather than in parentheses.

In In Bloody Sundays, Freeman exposes football‟s secrets.

Text When citing a direct quote used by the author of your source, use the abbreviation qtd. in in your parenthetical reference.

–  –  –

Tips for web documents:

 If a web page includes fixed page numbers, include them as you would for a print source. [e.g. (Smith 28)].

 If a web page has other fixed numbers, use them with the appropriate labels: line(s)., par(s). for paragraph(s), sec(s). for sections, ch(s). for chapters, etc. [e.g. (“Knight’s Tale”, lines 50-75); (Moulthrop, pars. 19-20)].

 If there are no fixed numbers in a web document, omit them. Never cite a page or line number from a printout;

these may vary depending on text size, paper size or printer.

The Works Cited Page All works that are acknowledged in the paper and identified by a parenthetical reference require a listing in the works cited page. The purpose of the works cited page is to permit the reader to return to the original source.

Here is the basic format for the works cited page:

 Start your works cited page on a new sheet at the end of your paper, number the page (not the citations) consecutively, and use the same font style and size as for the rest of the paper.

 Center the title Works Cited one inch from the top of the page and double space between the title and the first entry. Double space the entire list. Arrange entries alphabetically. Do not number the entries.

 Begin each entry flush with the left margin. Indent the following lines five spaces.

Medium of Publication The medium of publication is the way a resource is delivered to the reader. Print and Web are the two most common delivery methods. A print resource is tangible and “printed”. These include but are not limited to books, magazines, letters, and transcripts. A web resource is delivered on the web and can include the same types of sources as above. Other publication mediums include but are not limited to: television, DVD, performance, personal interview, and CD-ROM.

Types and Formats of Sources The following terms will be important for understanding the different types of sources, how a source is formatted, and how

it is delivered:

 Books – A book is usually published once and may be updated in different editions. Usually the information in a book is one to two years old when it is published.

 Periodicals – Periodicals are published in regular intervals, which can be as often as daily or as far apart as annually. In this handout, periodicals will refer to newspapers, magazines and journals.

 Databases – are collections of sources that are usually available by subscription only via the Internet. Databases include sources such as books, periodicals, photographs, videos, and more.

 Websites – are usually available for free on Internet.

 Print – a print source indicates a written source that you can hold in your hand, like a book or a magazine.

 Web – a web source is can be delivered via the Internet or created for the Internet.

o Sources delivered via the Internet include many electronic books, newspapers, magazines, journals and books that were originally created in print and may or may not still exist in print as well as online.

o Sources that are created for the Internet have been designed by private individuals, companies, agencies or organizations that have created material especially for their websites. These sources do not exist in any other format.

–  –  –

Basic Citation Elements:

Every type of citation from any kind of source will contain some if not all of the following elements in the order listed below. The format of these elements does not usually change.

Author - Include all the authors of the work in the format listed (sections 5.5.2 & 5.5.4) No Author – start with the title of the work  1 Author – Smith, Jane.

 2 Authors – Smith, Jane and John Doe.

 3 Authors – Smith, Jane, John Doe and Dudley Doright.

 More than three authors – Smith, Jane, et al.

 Editors as authors – list the author’s as above and add the abbreviation ed. or eds. preceded by a comma –  o 1 editor - Smith, Jane, ed.

o 2 editors - Smith, Jane and John Doe, eds.

o 3 editors – Smith, Jane, John Doe and Dudley Doright, eds.

o More than three editors – Smith, Jane, et al., eds.

 Organizations and associations can be authors as well – American Heart Association

Title of the work - Include any titles for the work.

 Italicize the titles of books, magazines, newspapers, journals, movies, and other large sources  Place in quotation marks the titles of articles, short stories, poetry, and other smaller sources within larger ones  Any section cited from a larger source (like an anthology or a web page within a web site) must be in quotes.

Publication Information – includes publisher information for print as well as database resources.

 Book – use the format (Place of Publication: Publisher, Date – for example, New York: Putnam, 2007).

 Magazine – give the publication date for article and page numbers of the article.

o Weekly publications –Day Month Year format (10 Apr. 2007) o Monthly publications – Month Year format (Apr. 2007) o Bi-Monthly publications – Month-Month Year format (Nov.- Dec. 2007) o Seasonal publications – Season Year format (Winter 2007) o Months should be in the following format: Jan.; Feb.; Mar.; Apr.; May; June; July; Aug.; Sept.; Oct.; Nov.;


o Volume and issue numbers (for journals only) and page numbers will also be included  Database Source – o list the publication information for the original print source o give the name of the database  Website – date the information on the website was added or updated (if available) Access Information & Medium of Publication – access dates are required for all online sources. URLs are only required if “you probably can’t relocate the source without it”. (Use the same formats for dates as listed above).

 Print Source – use the notation Print when you use the physical (not virtual) version of any type of source  Database Source – o include the access date (the date when you found the article) o include the medium of publication Web  Website – include:

o Access date (the date you found the site or page) o include the medium of publication Web o include the URL if a general web search for the title and author of the source does not immediately return you to the source 4 10/26/2011 Examples: Please Note: MLA Style requires your citations to be double-spaced even though the examples here are single-spaced Book Examples

Book Citation Format – Print:

Author‟s last name, first name (initial if known). Title of Book. City of Publication, state or country:

publisher, year of publication. Print.

Book Citation Format – Database:

Author‟s last name, first name (initial if known). Title of E-Book. City of Publication, state or country:

publisher, year of publication. Name of database. Web. Access date (day month year).

Book Citation Format – Website:

Author‟s last name, first name (initial if known). Title of E-Book. City of Publication, state or country:

publisher, year of publication. Name of Website. Web. Access date (day month year).

Book Citation Format – From Electronic Device or E-Reader:

Author‟s last name, first name (initial if known). Title of E-Book. City of Publication, state or country:

publisher, year of publication. Name of Device.

Books – Print (section 5.5.2) Waldron, Ann. Eudora: A Writer’s Life. New York: Doubleday, 1998. Print.

Farley, Tom and Tanner Colby. The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts. New York: Viking,

2008. Print.

Brown, Richard, ed. A Companion to James Joyce. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008. Print.

Brettell, Caroline B. and James F. Hollifield, eds. Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines. New York:

Routledge, 2000. Print.

People for the American Way. Attacks on the Freedom to Learn: 1992-1993 Report. Washington: People for the American Way, 1993. Print.

Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982. Print.

E-book – ABC-CLIO eBook Collection (section 5.6.2c and 5.6.4) Gordon, Edward E. The 2010 Meltdown: Solving the Impending Jobs Crisis. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2005.

ABC-CLIO eBook Collection. Web. 6 Sept. 2011.

E-book – Ebrary Database (section 5.6.2c and 5.6.4) Wray, Robert D. Christmas Trees for Pleasure and Profit. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers UP, 2009. Ebrary.

Web. 31 Jan. 2011.

E-book – EBSCO Ebooks Database (section 5.6.2c and 5.6.4) Toth, Emily. Unveiling Kate Chopin. Jackson, MS: UP of Mississippi, 1999. EBSCO Ebooks. Web. 19 Sept.


E-book – Website (section 5.6.2c) Austen, Jane. Persuasion. Boston: Little Brown, 1899. Google Book Search. Web. 25 Jan. 2011.

Tressell, Robert. Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Project Gutenberg. Ed. Michael S. Hart. Web. 10 Sept.


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