MLA Citation

This is designed to be a quick reference to the MLA style of documentation.
For further information, please consult The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Ed. by Joseph Gibaldi. The Gibaldi book is available in the media center.

There have been changes to MLA citation as of April 2009. See OWL at Purdue MLA Formatting and Style Guide for help.

You may want to try an online citation generator: NOTE: Citation generators are NOT always correct.
World Book Online has a citation generator and formats its entries into MLA citation for you.

Some Tips on Citation:
  • Italicize the title of a book or play.
  • Works cited entries are double-spaced. Do not add more line spaces between entries.
  • Works appear in alphabetical order by author's last name. If there is no author, use the title of the work.
  • Indent the second line and all lines that follow 5 spaces.
  • Works cited are on a separate piece of paper attached at the end of the essay or research paper. The title "Works Cited" should appear at the top of the page.

How does a Works Cited page look?
Download a sample works cited page in MLA format here.

What does an Annotated Bibliography look like?
Download a sample annotated bibliography in MLA format here.

Want to download the form we use in the media center?
To cite a book, use the book's title page to find out the city of publication, publisher and year. If you cannot find the information on the title page, use the verso or back of the title page to find the information.

NOTE: If you have a book with no city of publication, write "n.p.".
If you have a book with no publisher, write "n.p.".
If you have a book with no date, write "n.d.".
Designate that you used a book by writing Print. at the end of the entry.

Book with one author

Last name, first name. Title of Book. City : Publisher, year. Print.


Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. New York : Scholastic, 1999. Print.

Book with two authors

Last name, first name and first name last name. Title of Book. City: Publisher, year. Print.


Baker, Glenn A. and Stuart Coupe. The New Music. New York: Bay Books, 1981. Print.

Citing An Encyclopedia Article or Article in a Reference Book
Want to download the form we use in the media center? Click here.

Signed or Authored
Last name, first name. "Title of Article." Title of Reference Book. Edition. Date. Print.


Carson, T.E. "Popes, List of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd edition. 2002. Print.

Unsigned or Not Authored
Omit the author.

"Philosophy." Compton's by Britannica. 2007 edition.

NOTE: According to The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th edition, if you are citing a less familiar reference work, especially if there has only been one edition, use the full publication information as you would citing a book.

Example (The second line is a hanging indent. It doesn't show in this example because of web formatting):

Walsh, Chris. "Frazer's Magazine for Town and Country." Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era. Ed. James Eli Adams. 4 vol. Danbury: Grolier

Academic Reference, 2004. Print.

Download the worksheet from the media center here.

Designate Web. at the end of the entry. You no longer need to use the URL or web address of a website.
If the publisher or sponsor of a website is not available, use N.p.
If the date of publication is not available, use n.d.

Last name, first name. "Title of Article." Title of Overall Website. Edition or version used. Publisher or sponsor of site. Date of Publication. Web. Date of access.

Trumble, Angus. Rossetti's Wombat: A Pre-Raphaelite Obsession in Victorian England. Lecture. National Library of Australia. 16 Apr. 2003. Web. 11 Sept. 2009

Example with no author or copyright date:
"Facebook Strips Down to Lite Site" BBC News. British Broadcasting Company, 11 Sept. 2009. Web. 11 Sept. 2009.