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MLA Sample Citations


The following are examples of citations and works cited, using the MLA format, for the most frequently used materials. For samples from other types of publications, see the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 2nd ed. New York: Modern Language Assoc., 1998. It is on Permanent Reserve (808.027 G35) at the Circulation & Reserves Desk.

All examples are from paper sources, unless they are specifically indicated as online sources. The general format of citations to online sources is the same as for paper, with the addition of the following: 

A retrieval statement that includes date of retrieval (not necessary for CD-ROMs), the name of the specific database, the source, and any other information needed to retrieve the particular item. For Web sources, give the URL in angle brackets.

These criteria are still being developed by MLA. For the most recent guidelines, check their web site at http://www.mla.org . Click on MLA style, then Frequently Asked Questions.


Index to MLA Sample Citations


BOOKS

PERIODICALS

OTHER


SAMPLE CITATIONS
(C = Citation form; W = Works Cited)

*** If the author's name and/or the title is clearly mentioned in the text near the parenthetical citation, the name and/or title should be omitted within the parentheses. Often only the page number appears in parentheses.

*** If there is one publisher but more than one city, use only the first one.

*** If the work has had several printings, use the original copyright date.


BOOKS

One book by a given author

 C (Clark 87-95)
 W Clark, Hugh R. Community, Trade, and Networks: Southern Fujian Province
 from the Third to the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge UP,
 1991.

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Two books by same author

 C (Schroeder, Feminist 5-9)
 C (Schroeder, Presence 71)
 W Schroeder, Patricia R. The Feminist Possibilities of Dramatic Realism. Madison:
 Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1996.
 W ---. The Presence of the Past in Modern American Drama. Madison: Fairleigh
 Dickinson UP, 1989.

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Book with two authors

 C (Wickersham and Verbrugghe 17-21)
 W Wickersham, John, and Gerald Verbrugghe.  Greek Historical Documents:
 The Fourth Century B.C. Toronto: Hakket, 1973

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Book with three authors

 C (Aiken, Ferman, and Sheppard 331-42)
 W Aiken, Michael, Lewis A. Ferman, and Harold L. Sheppard.  Economic
 Failure, Alienation, and Extremism.  Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P,
 1968.

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Books with more than three authors

 C (Bailyn et al. 107)
 W Bailyn, Bernard, et al. The Great Republic:  History of the American People.
 Lexington: Heath, 1977.

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Anonymous work (book)

 C (World 734)
 W The World of Learning. 47th ed. London: Europa, 1997.

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Corporate authorship (book)

 C (Commission on Security 9)
 W Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Government-opposition
 Relations in Uzbekistan.  Washington: 1997.

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Edited Work (book)

 C (Damiani 80-94)
 W Damiani, Bruno M., ed. Renaissance and Golden Age Essays in Honor of
 D.W. McPheeters. Potomac: Scripta Humanistica, 1986.

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Book with a translator

 C (Camus 262-63)
 W Camus, Albert.  The Plague.  Trans. Stuart Gilbert. New York: Knopf, 1948.

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Specific article from an edited anthology (book)

 C (Hall 10)
 W Hall, Colette. "De 'La Femme Rompue' à La Femme Gelée: Le Deuxième
 Sexe Revu et Corrigé."  Thirty Voices in the Femenine.  Ed.
 Michael Bishop. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994, 6-13.

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Article that was published elsewhere before being included in an anthology - report where it first appeared, then show where you read it. (book)

 C (Welty 77-79)
 W Welty, Eudora. "The Eye of the Story." Yale Review 55 (1966): 265-74. Rpt.
 in Katherine Anne Porter: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Robert
 Penn Warren. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1979, 72-80.

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Edition after the first (book)

 C (Pringle 117-118)
 W Pringle, David. Imaginary People: A Who's Who of Fictional Characters from
 the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day
. 2nd ed. Hampshire: Scolar,
 1996.

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Multivolume work, published over a period of several years

 C (Muir 6:  188-91)
 W Muir, John.  The Writings of John Muir.  8 vols.  Boston: Houghton, 1916-18.

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Book in a series

 C (Clouser 134-38)
 W Clouser, Robin. Love and Social Contracts: Goethe's Unterhaltungen Deutsher
 Ausgewanderten. Germanic Studies in America 62.  Bern: Lang, 1991.

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Publisher's imprint

 C (Wong 77-85)
 W Wong, Jan. Red China Blues; My Long March from Mao to Now.  Toronto:
 Anchor-Doubleday, 1996.

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Reprint - give the dates of the original and the reprint

 C (Dreiser 262-63)
 W Dreiser, Theodore. Sister Carrie. Ed. Donald Pizer. 1900. New York: Norton
 Critical Edition, 1970.

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SACRED TEXTS - the titles of sacred scriptures are generally neither italicized nor underlined.

 C (Jer.32.42)
 W The Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version. New York: New American
 Library, 1962.

 

 C (al-Baqarah 2:177.4)
 W Holy Qur'an. Trans. M. H. Shakir. Elmhurst, NY: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an,
 n.d..

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Books with no place of publication, no publisher, unnumbered pages, or no date.

 C (McCarty N.pag.)
 W McCarty, Burke. The Suppressed Truth About the Assassination of Lincoln.
 N.p.: n.p, n.d.

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An introduction, foreword, or afterword

 C (Yeager ix)
 W Yeager, Jeana. Forward. Amelia Earhart: A Biography. By Doris L. Rich.
 Washington: Smithsonian, 1989. ix-x.

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Indirect source - if it is not possible to read the original

 C The critic Susan Hardy Aikens has argued on behalf of what she calls
 "canonical multiplicity" (qtd. in Mayers 677).
 W There would be a bibliographic entry for Mayers but not for Aikens.

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Dictionary source (including Who's Who, Contemporary Authors, and similar sources) - no page number is necessary because entries are arranged alphabetically

 C ("Zoology")
 W "Zoology." New English Dictionary.  London, 1888.
 C ("Audrey")
 W ("Audrey, Robert." Contemporary Authors.  Vol. 33-36, 1973.

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Encyclopedia - signed article, well-known source. No page number is necessary if you are citing the entire entry. Use page number(s) if you are citing a portion of a lengthy article.

 C (Weiss)
 W Weiss, Thomas G. "United Nations."  Encyclopedia Americana. 1996 ed.

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Encyclopedia - unsigned article, lesser-known source. No page number is necessary if you are citing the entire entry. Use page number(s) if you are citing a portion of a lengthy article.

 C ("Russel" 398-400)
 W "Russel, Bertrand Arthur William."  Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Ed. Edward
 Craig. 10 vols. London: Routledge, 1998.

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Citing more than one work in a single parenthetical reference

 C (Schroeder Feminist 5-9; Hall 10)

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PERIODICALS

Journal article - pages numbered continuously in a year

 C (Goetz 180-81)
 W Goetz, Stewart. "The Choice-Intention Principle." American Philosophical
 Quarterly 32 (1995): 177-85.

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Journal article - pages numbered separately in each issue

 C (Roberts 21-22)
 W Roberts, Daniel Sanjiv. "The Missing Letters of Thomas DeQuincey to Samuel
 Taylor Coleridge."  English Language Notes 36.2 (1998): 21-27.

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ONLINE ARTICLE FROM A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE, SUCH AS INFOTRAC, GALENET, PROJECT MUSE, ETC. - it is also necessary to include the name, city and state of the library subscriber. Pages are not numbered online, so only the first page is given.

 C (Schwabsky)
 W Schwabsky, Barry. "Surrounded by Sculpture." Art in America Jan. 1999:56.
 Expanded Academic ASAP. Myin Lib., Collegeville, PA. 21 June
 1999. <http://web1.infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/session>.

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Signed monthly magazine articles; two by the same author

 C (Schele, "Reading" 40)
 C (Schele, "Space" 37-38)
 W Schele, Linda. "Reading Mayan Images." Americas Mar. 1987: 38-43.
 W ---. "Space and Life Style: A Maya Answer." Americas May 1973: 33-39.

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Unsigned article in monthly magazine

 C ("Boom Days" 627)
 W "Boom Days in the Southwest." National Geographic Nov. 1959: 626-27.

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Article in weekly magazine - two authors

 C (Saal and Coleman 99)
 W Saal, Hubert and Fred Coleman. "America First." Newsweek 17 July 1978:
 99.

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Book or film review

 C (Hemphill 151)
 W Hemphill, C. Dallet. Rev. of First Generations: Women in Colonial America,
 by Carol Berkin. The Historian 61 (1998): 150-51.

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Signed article from a daily newspaper

 C (Volkmer L6)
 W Volkmer, Jon. "The St. Croix Paradox." The Philadelphia Inquirer 31 Oct.
 1999: L1, 6-7.

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ARTICLE FROM WEB VERSION OF A DAILY NEWSPAPER - you must include the date you accessed the database and the complete URL.

 C (Fish)
 W Fish, Larry. "A Proposal to Help Navajo and Forests at the Same Time." The
 Inquirer
31 Aug. 2001. 31 Aug. 2001 <http://inq.philly.com/content/
 inquirer/2001/08/31/front_page/Hogan31.htm>.

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Editorial, NEWSPAPER WHICH PUBLISHES MORE THAN ONE EDITION - begin with the author's name if the editorial is signed.

 C ("Price" A12)
 W "The Price of Silence." Editorial. Wall Street Journal 16 July 1990, eastern ed.:
 A12.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 C (Thiel B9)
 W "Thiel, Linda. Letter. Chronicle of Higher Education 30 July 1999: B9

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OTHER

ART WORK (PAINTING, PHOTOGRAPH, SCULPTURE, ETC.)

Original work

 C Apparently the assumption is that you will list the author and the title of the work in
the text of the article, so no parenthetical reference is needed.
 W Xaras, Theodore A. Bomberger Bell Tower. Philip and Muriel Berman Museum
 of Art, Collegeville, PA.

Photograph of a work - include the above information about the original work, and also complete publishing
information for the source in which the photograph is published, including the page, figure, or plate number.

 C Not necessary. See note above.
 W Degas. Woman with binoculars. Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.
 Impressionists Side by Side; Their Friendships, Rivalries, and Artistic
 Exchanges. By Barbara Ehrlich White. New York: Knopf. 1996. 192.

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Documents From an Information Service, i.e. Early American Imprints, ERIC, etc.

 C (Williamson 21)
 W Williamson, Hugh. The Plain Dealer, No. III. 1764. Early American Imprints
 no. 9878.

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Pamphlet

Treat a pamphlet like a book.

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Personal Interview

 C (King)
 W King, John. Personal interview. 12 February 1999.

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Personal letter

 C (Packard)
 W Packard, A.S. Letter to Henry Barnum Poor. 27 Nov. 1878. Charles Lyon
 Chandlet Collection. Myrin Library, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA.

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Personally Received  Letter

 C (Thompson)
 W Thompson, Carolyn. Letter to the author. 14 Sept. 1998.

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DISCUSSION LIST, BULLETIN BOARD, or E-MAIL

Writer of document. Description of message that includes recipient. Date of message.

 C (Erb)
 W Erb, Peter. "Schwenkfelder Fraktur Project Update." E-mail to the author. 27
 Aug. 1993.

 

 C (Wu)
 W Wu, Joseph. "Business Card Etiquette in Japan." Online posting. 5 Mar.1997.
 Origami List. 8 Mar. 1997. <origami@mitvma.mit.edu>.

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WORLD WIDE WEB

Include as much information as you can, so that someone else may find exactly what you did. Include as many of the following elements as you can.

Author. "Title of Article or Web Page Section." Title of Project or Database. Available publishing information, including editor, version number, publication date, publisher. Date of access. <complete URL of page you are citing>.

 C (Kaku)
 W Kaku, Michio. "Is Time Travel Possible?" PBS Online. 11 Feb. 1998. PBS.
 15 Feb. 1998.<http://www.wnet.org/hawking/mysteries/html/
 kaku1-1.html>.

 

 C (Richter)
 W Richter, Richard P. The Postmodern Programme at Sixth Avenue. 30 May
 1999. 21 June 1999. <http://acad.ursinus.edu/~rrichter/indexold.html>.

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Compiled by Judith Fryer, Myrin Library 02/99; updated 09/01