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Research Guides

Citation Guides

A guide to citing sources, including how to use the most commonly used citation styles (APA, MLA, and Chicago).

Guides in the Catalog

Parenthetical Documentation

For citations within papers using MLA style, the author's last name and a page number in parentheses are usually enough to identify the source and the specific location from which you borrowed material; for example, (Wood 28).

For more information, including help with citing works with no page numbers, common literature, verse plays, and poems, consult "Documentation: Citing Sources in the Text" (Section 6) in the MLA Handbook.

Online Citation Help

Print Publications - Examples of Works Cited in MLA Style

Book Citation Components (Section 5.5.1):

Not all citations will have all of the components. For example, if no edition is specified, leave that component out of your citation.

Name of author, editor, compiler, or translator (Last name, First name). Title of the Work. Edition used. Number(s) of the volume(s) used. City of publication: Name of the publisher, year of publication. Medium of publication consulted (Print). Supplementary bibliographic information and annotation (if relevant).

A Book by a Single Author (Section 5.5.2):

Minter, David L. William Faulkner, His Life and Work. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997. Print.


A Book by Two or More Authors (Section 5.5.4):

Moore, Harry T., and Albert Parry. Twentieth-Century Russian Literature. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1974. Print.


A Work in an Anthology (Section 5.5.6):

If you are citing an essay, a short story, a poem, or another work that appears within an anthology or some other book collection, you need to add the author, title (in quotes), translator (if relevant), and inclusive page numbers of the part of the book being cited:

Barlow, Judith E. “Building Characters: Eugene O’Neill’s Composition Process.” Eugene O’Neill in China. Ed. Haiping Liu and Lowell Swortzell. New York: Greenwood, 1992. 149-155. Print.

To cite a previously published scholarly article in a collection, give the complete data for the earlier publication and the add Rpt. in (Reprinted in), the title of the collection, and the new publication facts. This includes items reprinted in the Gale Literary Criticism Series, the Opposing Viewpoints Series, or the Current Controversies Series:

For material reprinted from books:

Frank, Joseph. “The Gambler: A Study in Ethnopsychology.” Freedom and Responsibility in Russian Literature: Essays in Honor of Robert Louis Jackson. Eds. Elizabeth Cheresh Allen and Gary Saul Morson. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1995. 99-107. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Jessica Bomarito and Russel Whitaker. Vol. 168. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006. 75-84. Print.

For material reprinted from journals:

Franklin, J. Jeffery. “The Victorian Discourse of Gambling: Speculations of Middlemarch and The Duke’s Children.” ELH 61.4 (1994): 899-921. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Jessica Bomarito and Russel Whitaker. Vol. 168. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006.  39-51. Print.

If the article was originally published under a different title, first state the new title and publication facts, followed by Rpt. of (Reprint of) if the full text of the previously published material is present or Excerpt from if only an excerpt of the previously published material is present, then the original title, and the original publication facts:

Huesmann, L.R., and Laramie D. Taylor. "Exposure to Violence in the Media Leads to Violent Behavior." Media Violence. Ed. David M. Haugen and Susan Musser. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 29-36. Rpt. of "The Role of Media Violence in Violent Behavior." Annual Review of Public Health 27 (2006): 393-415.


Journal/Magazine/Newspaper Citation Components (Section 5.4.1):

Not all citations will have all of the components. For example, if no author is given, start the citation with the title of the article in quotes.

Author's name (Last name, First name). "Title of the article." Name of the Periodical Series number or name (if relevant) Volume number.Issue number (Date of publication): Inclusive page numbers. Medium of publication consulted (Print). Supplementary information (if relevant).

An Article in a Scholarly Journal (Section 5.4.2):

Downie, J.A. “Defoe’s Early Writings.” Review of English Studies 46 (1995): 225-230. Print.


An Article in a Newspaper (Section 5.4.5):

If a newspaper has more than one edition, the edition must be given after the date. If the city of publication is not included in the name of a locally published newspaper, add the city in square brackets, not italicized, after the name.

“Century’s Top Novels in English.” USA Today 21 July 1998, final ed.: D8. Print.

Adams, Lee. "IHL Board Approves Design for MSU Facility." Bulldog Beat [Starkville] 24 Aug. 2011: 9. Print.  


An Article in a Magazine (Section 5.4.6):

To cite a magazine published every week or two weeks, give the complete date. To cite a magazine published every month or every two months, give the month or months and year. Do not give the volume and issue numbers even if they are listed.

Barcott, Bruce. “Spirit Bear.” National Geographic Aug. 2011: 34-53. Print.

Web Publications - Examples of Works Cited in MLA Style

Web Citation Components (Section 5.6.2):

Name of author, compiler, director, editor, narrator, performer, or translator of the work (Last name, First name). Title of the work (italicized if the work is independent; in quotes if the work is part of a larger work). Title of the overall Web site (if distinct from title of the work). Version or edition used. Publisher or sponsor of the site (use N.p. if not available), Date of publication (use n.d. if not available). Medium of publication (Web). Date of access (day, month, and year).

A Work Cited Only on the Web (Section 5.6.2.b):

Include a URL in angle brackets after the date of access as supplementary information only when the reader probably cannot locate the source without it or when your instructor requires it. If a URL must be divided between two lines, break it only after the double slashes or a single slash. See Section 5.6.1 for more details.

NRK. "Medieval Helpdesk with English Subtitles." YouTube. YouTube, 26 Feb. 2007. Web. 19 Aug. 2011.

Stasz, Clarice. “Jack [John Griffith] London.” The Jack London Online Collection. Sonoma State U Lib., 19 Aug. 2001. Web. 2 Feb. 2010. <>.   


A Work on the Web Cited with Print Publication Data (Section 5.6.2.c):

Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary: Provincial Manners. Trans. Eleanor Marx-Aveling. London, 1892. Google Books. Web. 25 Aug. 2011.  


A Work on the Web Cited with Publication Data for Another Medium besides Print (Section 5.6.2.d):

The MLA Handbook refers users to Section 5.6.2d for works of visual art on the Web, but MLA style is flexible and users may need to improvise especially when citing works found on the Web. Consult with your instructors if you have questions about their preferred formatting.

Hill. BabelBar. 5 Sept. 2005. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 5 Aug. 2011. < File:BabelBar.jpg>.


A Periodical Publication in an Online Database (Section 5.6.4):

In addition to the information required for all print articles, journal articles accessed through an electronic database should include the name of the database, the medium (Web), and the date the article was accessed.

Ford, Karen J. “Do Right to Write Right: Langston Hughes’s Aesthetics of Simplicity.” Comparative Literature 38.4 (1992): 436-456. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Feb. 2009.  

Grant, Steve. “Mark Twain House Gets a Subtle Addendum.” Washington Post 29 Oct. 2003, final ed.: C11. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 15 Aug. 2009.

Additional Sources - Examples of Works Cited in MLA Style

A Television or Radio Broadcast (Section 5.7.1):

All Things Considered. Narr. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel. Natl. Public Radio. WMAB, Mississippi State, 29 Aug. 2011. Radio.  

"Mini WRC vs. Skeleton Sled." Top Gear. BBC AMERICA. 22 Aug. 2011. Television.  

CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. CBS. WCBI, Columbus, 29 Aug. 2011. Television.  


A Sound Recording (Section 5.7.2):

Holiday, Billie. "Summertime." Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday. Columbia, 2001. CD. Disc 1.  


A Film or Video Recording (Section 5.7.3):

Beowulf. Dir. Robert Zemeckis. Perf. Ray Winstone, Robin Wright Penn, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Crispin Glover, Brendan Gleeson, Alison Lohman, and Angelina Jolie. Paramount, 2008. DVD.


An Advertisement (Section 5.7.10):

If the city of publication is not included in the name of a locally published newspaper, add the city in square brackets, not italicized, after the name.

Oktibbeha County Co-Op. Advertisement. Bulldog Beat [Starkville] 24 Aug. 2011: 8. Print.  


A Lecture, a Speech, an Address, or a Reading (Section 5.7.11):

Goldner, Matt. "Managing a 21st Century Library Collection." MidSouth eResource Symposium. Mississippi State University Libraries, Starkville. 11 Aug. 2011. Keynote speech.  


A Digital File (Section 5.7.18):

For digital files, determine the kind of work you want to cite (book, photograph, sound recording, etc.) and follow the MLA style guidelines for citing that work, then add the digital file format at the end (PDF file, Microsoft Word file, JPEG file, MP3 file, etc.). If you don't know the file type, use Digital file.

The Posies. "Love Comes." Every Kind of Light. Rykodisc, 2005. WMA file.