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Citation Style

MLA Style Quick Guide

MLA Style, 8th edition Quick Guide
Based on MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th edition.

Two steps to citing:  Every source you use must (1) have an in-text citation and (2) be listed in the Works Cited list.

Step 1. In-Text Citations

In the body of your paper, provide in-text, parenthetical citations where you quote from, or use ideas from, a source. For each source, give the author’s last name and page number, if available. Each in-text citation will correspond to a more detailed citation on your Works Cited list (see Step 2).

Examples:        Baer and Heron have argued that “social norms evolve in consistent and cyclical patterns” (124).

- OR -

                         Scholars have argued that social norms consistently and cyclically evolve (Baer and Heron 124).


Step 2. Works Cited List

Gather these elements for each source you cite:

  • Author(s) or editor(s) of your source
  • Title of your source (Web page, article, chapter, book, video etc.).
  • Title of any periodical, database, Web site, or book that contains your source.
  • Publisher of the Web site or book, if applicable.
  • Volume and issue number of a periodical, or edition number of a book, if given.
  • Publication date as shown on your source (copyright date, periodical issue date, Web page updated date, etc.).
  • DOI (digital object identifier) for online articles when available, or Web site address.


Works Cited List - Tips

  1. See a sample MLA-formatted Works Cited list:
  2. Title your list Works Cited. Include a header with your last name and the page number of your document, and leave one-inch margins on all sides of the page. Double-space throughout.
  3. Begin the first line of each citation at the left margin. Indent additional lines 5 spaces, or one-half inch.
  4. Arrange all works in one alphabetical list by author, or by title if there is no author. When listing a work by title, alphabetize by the first main word in the title (ignore initial articles such as A, An, The).
  5. When a work has three or more authors, list only the first author, followed by “et al.” For example:

Burdick, Anne, et al.

  1. If a work doesn’t credit a person as author, its author can be the corporation or organization that created the work. If the corporate/organization name will also be in your citation as the name of the publisher, omit it as the author name and begin your citation with the title instead.
  2. If an element doesn’t apply to the source you’re using – for instance, no page numbers, or no publication date – then omit that element from the citation.
  3. Keep in mind that your reader should be able to locate your sources based on the information you provide in your citation.









Chapter in
an e-book
from a


Author or Editor Last Name, First Name. Book Title. Publisher, Year.

Silverman, Jacob. Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection. Harper

Collins, 2015.


Author or Editor Last Name, First Name. “Chapter Title.” Book Title, Author/Editor of Book (if

different from author/editor of chapter), Publisher, Year, Pages. Name of Database, Web address

of e-book.

Fox-Turnbull, Wendy. “Learning in Technology.” Technology Education for Teachers, edited by P. John

Williams, SensePublishers, 2012, pp. 55-92. SpringerLink,


Journal /
Magazine /

Journal article
from a

(with DOI)




(with Web


Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical, Volume and Issue Number

(if provided), Publication Day Month Year or Season Year (according to how the source provides

it), page numbers. Name of database, DOI or Web address of article.


Examples (with DOI and with Web address):
Wurdinger, Scott and Mariam Qureshi. “Enhancing College Students’ Life Skills through Project Based

Learning.” Innovative Higher Education, vol. 40, no. 3, Jun. 2015, pp. 279-86. ProQuest,


  Wernersbach, Brenna M., et al. "Study Skills Course Impact on Academic Self-Efficacy." Journal of

Developmental Education, vol. 37, no. 3, 2014, pp. 14-16,18-23,33. Education Database,



Web Site:


Page from
a Web site


Author Last Name, First Name (if different from organization/company responsible for site). “Title of

Page.” Name of Web site, Name of organization or company responsible for Web site (if

different from Web site title), Day Month Year of Publication or Last Update (to whatever level of

detail the source provides), Web site Address. Date Accessed.

“Total Water Use.” U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, 2 May 2016, Accessed 23 Apr. 2016.

For More Information...

More detailed citation guides can be found at Excelsior College's Online Writing Lab (OWL).

For additional citation support, please ask a librarian.