MLA Citations

This page will only show some general tips for citing sources and offer a brief sample of some frequently used citations. Please consult your writing/grammar handbook or instructor for more specific questions and guidance.

In-text Citations

In-text citations contain the author's last name and page number in parentheses and come directly after quoted or paraphrased material. Unless the end punctuation (i.e. question mark or exclamation point) belongs with the quote, always put the period after the parenthetical citation.

"In the 1920s, the fashion style changed dramatically, causing a gender revolution" (Smith 34).

If the author's last name is mentioned in an attributive tag before the quoted or paraphrased material, it does not need to be repeated in the in-text citation.

According to designer Susan Smith, "In the 1920s, the fashion style changed dramatically, causing a gender revolution" (34).

Works Cited Page

Your Works Cited page should be placed at the end of the paper. Center the title, Works Cited, but do not underline it. All sources should be listed in alphabetical order.

All citations start 1" from the margin, but when you drop to the next line(s), indent 1/2". This hanging indention will make it easier for the reader to skim the sources by the alphabetized list of authors' last names.

Parenthetical (in-text) citations should match the first item of each source listed on the works cited page. Thus, if no author is given, you move to the next piece of information (usually the title) and cite a shortened form of that piece of information in your parenthetical citation. For example, if an article found on the Internet listed no author and no page number but was titled "Freedom Fighters", cite it as follows: "Douglass became an invaluable figure in the abolitionist movement" ("Freedom").

Just as your entire paper should be double spaced, so should your works cited page and all your entries.

All dates are written in "military style" with no commas separating the day, month, and year. Example: 26 Nov. 2014

Works Cited entries should contain MLA's list of core elements (pieces of information common to all sources). Organize the core elements in this order, punctuating each element as shown. Skip elements that are not relevant to your source and insert elements that help to clarify your source, such as a second container.

  1. Author.
  2. Title of Source.
  3. Title of Container,
  4. Other Contributors (editors, translators, directors, etc.),
  5. Version,
  6. Number (volume and issue numbers),
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location (page number, URL, or DOI).

A Book

Author's last name, first name. Title of Source (Book). Publisher, Publication date. 

Smith, John. The Anatomy of the Child. Harper Collins, 2014.

A Work in an Anthology

Author's last name, first name. "Title of Source." Title of Container, Other contributors (Editor), Publisher, Publication date, Location (page numbers). 

Crane, Stephen. "The Open Boat." The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, edited by R.V. Cassill, W.W. Norton & Company, 2002, pp. 335-354. 

An Article in a Magazine

Author's last name, first name. "Title of Source (Article)." Title of Container (Magazine), Number (volume and issue numbers as applicable), Publication date, Location (page numbers).

Brooks, Susan. "Cyberspace is Warping our Kids." Newsweek, vol. 24, no. 2, 7 May 2016, pp. 22-25. 

An Article in a Newspaper

Author's last name, first name. "Title of Source (Article)." Title of Container (Newspaper), Version (early or late edition if applicable), Publication date, Location (page numbers). Note: Use + to indicate continuation of a story onto another page. 

Rodriguez, Javier. "Voucher System Fails." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sunday edition, 17 July 2016, pp. A1+. 

An Article in a Journal

Author's last name, first name. "Title of Source (Article)." Title of Container (Journal), Number (volume and issue numbers as applicable), Publication date, Location (page numbers). 

Danforth, Eugene. "The AIDS epidemic." JAMA, vol. 49, no. 1, 2016, pp. 120-126. 

A Film

Director's last name, first name. Title of Source (Film). Other Contributors (actors), Publisher (Distribution company), Publication date (year of release).

Capra, Frank, director. It's a Wonderful Life. Performance by James Stewart. RKO, 1946. 

If you accessed the film online, include extra relevant information as a container:

Capra, Frank, director. It's a Wonderful Life. Performance by James Stewart. RKO, 1946. Netflix, www.netflix.com/watch/356776.

Professional Website

Author's last name, first name. Title of the Website. Publisher (include only if different from the author), Publication date, Location (URL), Date of access (optional).

Pagliaroni, Sara. UW Colleges Online Writing Lab. University of Wisconsin Colleges, 30 May 2016, http://uwc.edu/students/academic-support/owl/online-writing-lab, Accessed 20 Sept. 2016.

Work from a Subscription Service (for example: Ebsco, ProQuest, JSTOR)

Author's last name, first name. "Title of Source (article)." Title of 1st Container (Periodical), Number (vol. #, no. #), Publication date, Location (pp. #). Title of the 2nd Container (database), Location (URL or DOI). Date of access (optional).

Williams, Jacob. "The ADD Epidemic." Psychology Update, vol. 45, no. 4, 2015, pp. 50-54. ProQuest PsychArticles, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uwc.edu/psycarticles/docview/614335749/, Accessed 4 Sept. 2016.