Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Referencing: MLA Style

information on how to cite sources used in your research according to MLA Style

What is MLA 8 Style?

What is MLA Style?

MLA Style is system for documenting sources in academic writing developed by the Modern Language Association.  MLA style is used primarily in the humanities in English, literature, language, and arts.  

The guidelines are published in the MLA Handbook, the latest edition -- the 8th -- was published in April 2016 and uses one universal citation format for all types of sources regardless of publication format. 

Researchers need to locate the CORE ELEMENTS of their sources and then use them in the order listed below.  Skip any elements that aren't relevant or that aren't included with the source. 

Containers, a new MLA concept, are the elements that hold the source, or, WHERE the source is from. Containers could be books, journals, series, websites, blogs, databases, etc.  There can be multiple containers in a single citation (an article from a database would list the journal title as one container and the database name as a second container; a TV series watched on Netflix would list the name of the series as the first container and Netflix as the second). 

Some additional tips:

  • Use the punctuation marks that are shown.
  • Always end a citation with a period/full stop.
  • Italicize titles of self-contained works, such as books.
  • Use quotation marks for poems, stories, articles, or essays.
  • When giving a URL, copy it in full from your browser BUT OMIT http:// or https://
  • For a source with three or more authors, list only the first author’s last name, and replace the additional names with et al.
  • Alphabetize titles that start with numbers as though they were spelled, e.g. treat 1984 as Nineteen Eighty-Four.

[image from  "Works Cited: A Quick Guide." MLA Quick Style, 2016, style.mla.org/works-cited-a-quick-guide.]

MLA 8 Examples

Article from a periodical

Author's Last name, First name. "Article Title." Title of Periodical, volume, issue, publication date, page(s).

Nash, Phillip, and Dan Fennell. "Which is Better? Australia or New Zealand?" Down Under Today, vol. 2, no. 4, 2016, pp. 22-34.

In-text Citation Examples:  

Nash and Fennell extensively explored the historical significance of the differences (34). 

The historical differences "continued to ungird the enter structure of society" (Nash and Fennell 34).


Periodical/magazine article in a database

Author's Last name, First name. "Article Title." Title of Periodical, volume, issue, publication date, page(s). Name of database, DOI or URL.

Nash, Phillip, and Dan Fennell. "Which is Better: Australia or New Zealand?" Down Under Today, vol. 2, no. 4, 2016, pp. 22-34. Australian Online Internet Archives, www.aoia.com/articles/2321345.

Metcalfe, Rebecca. "Tips and Tricks for Teaching in the MYP." Pelita Harapan Journal, vol. 94, no. 5, 9 Nov. 2017, pp. 1283-84, DOI: 10.1126/PHJ.9452017.


Newspaper article

Author's Last name, First name. "Article Title." Title of Newspaper, edition, publication date, page(s).

McIntyre, Esther. "English is My Thing." Lippo Daily News, Metro ed., 21 Aug. 2016, p. A1.


Book

Author's Last name, First name. Title of Book.  Other contributors, edition, publisher, publication year.

Comrie, Bruce. Ultimate Frisbee for the Masses. SPH Press, 2014.

Kurniawan, Fransisgo. Tips for Coaching Soccer2nd ed., SPH Press, 2017.

 

eBook

Author's Last name, First name. Title of eBook.  Other contributors, edition, publisher, publication year. Name of online site, DOI or URL.

Fennell, Diane. 1001 History Assignments. Updated ed., SPH Press, 2016. Humanities E-library, hdl.handle.net/2016/sph.07599.011.2.


Entry from a Reference Book

Author's Last name, First name. "Title of Entry." Title of Book, other contributors, edition, publisher, publication year, page(s).

Radbone, Tracy, et al. "Safety on Stairs." Encyclopedia of School Safety, edited by Jason Myers, 3rd ed., Safety Publications International, 2016, pp. 245-246.

NOTE:  For a source with three or more authors, list only the first author’s last name, and replace the additional names with et al.


Web page

Author's Last name, First name. "Web Page Title." Title of Website, other contributors, version, publisher, publication date, URL.

Wibowo, Robertus. "Soccer Coaching Tips." Soccer, Soccer, Soccer, 2016, www.soccersoccersoccer.com/tips/rw.html.


IF YOU CANNOT FIND AN AUTHOR, START WITH THE TITLE 

"Soccer Coaching Tips." Soccer, Soccer, Soccer, 2016, www.soccersoccersoccer.com/tips/rw.html.

In-text Citation Example:

The region has "more readily accessible data regarding concussions and preventive measures" ("Soccer Coaching Tips").

 

 

Sample MLA Paper from Purdue's Online Writing Lab