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Research Guides

Core Elements

When citing sources in MLA Style, always list these elements in the following order and style (you may not need them all):

 

Author. "Title of source." Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

 

TEACHERS: MLA no longer requires place of publication. Punctuation between elements has been simplified to commas and periods only.

Author

(Hint: In MLA style, the "author" may be an editor, translator, or an institution.)

Author's last name, rest of name.

  • Woodson, Jaqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. Penguin, 2014.
  • Eliot, T. S. Selected Poems. HBJ, 1958.

Multiple authors:

  • Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdrich. The Crown of Columbus. HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.

When the "author" is an editor:

  • Nunberg, Geoffrey, editor. The Future of the Book. U. of California P, 1996.

Title of Source

Use italics for books:

  • Woodson, Jaqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. Penguin, 2014.
  • Eliot, T. S. Selected Poems. HBJ, 1958.

Use quotation marks for articles, songs, and individual webpages:

  • Schmitt, Jacob. "Undocumented Workers and the Labor Market." Immigration and Migration: in Context, edited by Thomas Riggs and Kathleen J. Edgar, vol. 2, Gale, 2018, pp.794-802. Gale in Context: High School, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX3662200156/SUIC?u=oak30216&sid=SUIC&xid=0f807007. Accessed 30 Sept. 2019.
  • Beyoncé. "Pray You Catch Me." Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment, 2016, www.beyonce.com/album/lemonade-visual-album/.
  • Hollmichel, Stefanie. "The Reading Brain: Differences between Digital and Print." So Many Books. 2003-13, somanybooksblog.com.

Title of Container

Use italics for containers (the larger work that your source is located in).

For example,

  • a website is the container for a webpage. 
    • Wise, DeWanda. “Why TV Shows Make Me Feel Less Alone.” NAMI, 31 May 2019, www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2019/How-TV-Shows-Make-Me-Feel-Less-Alone. Accessed 3 June 2019.
  • a television show is the container for an episode.
    • “94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, performance by Amy Poehler, season 2, episode 21, Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2010.
  • collection of short stories is the container for a single short story.
    • Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.