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MLA Documentation 8th Edition, 2016

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What's new in the 8th edition MLA Handbook?

MLA Documentation has two parts:

  1. A detailed list of Works Cited
  2. A citation within the text of the academic paper (parenthetical or in-text citation)

Works Cited Definition:

An alphabetical list of the sources you use to write your paper.
Works you consult during your research but do not borrow from are not included in this list.

Works Cited Formatting:

All sources are listed alphabetically by the first word in each citation entry and the end of each citation has a period.
  • Double-space the list.
  • If an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines half an inch from the left margin. This is sometimes called a hanging indent.
  • Top of page and sides have 1" margins.

The MLA web site provides Practice Templates to assist you with creating your Works Cited list.

Learn how to create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Core Elements of the Citation and Punctuation:

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

The final element in the citation should end with a period.

Learn more about the container element at the MLA site.


How to Cite in MLA Style:

Book Basic Format:

Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Edition, Publisher, Publication date.

Examples:

Hatfield, Charles, et al., editors. The Superhero Reader. University Press of Mississippi, 2013.

Karsh, Ellen, and Arlen Sue Fox. The Only Grant-Writing Book You'll Ever Need. 4th ed., Basic Books, 2014.

Pardlo, Gregory. Digest. Four Way Books, 2014.

 

Books with Additional Contributors:

Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Contributed by First Name Last Name, Edition, Publisher, Publication date.

Examples:

Homer. The Iliad. Translated by Peter Green, University of California Press, 2015.

Shakespeare, William. Coriolanus. Edited by Peter Holland, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013.

 

Book Chapter or Part of a Book:

Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Chapter." Title of Book, contribution by First Name Last Name, Edition, Publisher, Publication date, Pages.

Examples:

Crehan, Kate. "Culture." Critical Terms for the Study of Gender, edited by Catharine R. Stimpson and Gilbert Herdt, The University of Chicago Press, 2014, pp. 41-65.

Gottlieb, Sidney. "Persuasion and Cinematic Approaches to Jane Austen." Persuasion, by Jane Austen, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks, W. W. Norton & Company, 2013, pp. 301-311.

 

eBook:

Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Edition, Publisher, Publication date. Database, URL.

OR

Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Chapter." Title of Book, contribution by First Name Last Name, Edition, Publisher, Publication date, Pages. Database, URL.

Examples:

Hall, Gary. "There Are No Digital Humanities." Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2012, dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/21.

Hart, James D., and Phillip W. Leininger. The Oxford Companion to American Literature. 6th ed., Oxford University Press, 2013. Oxford Digital Reference Shelf, www.oxfordreference.com.

 

Print Article Basic Format:

Author Last Name, First Name. "Article Title." Publication Title, volume and/or issue number, Publication date, Pages.

Examples:

Brantley, Ben, et al. "Hamilton,'Yes, But That's Not All'." The New York Times , vol. CLXV, no. 57,233, 15 May 2016, pp. AR 6-9.

Funnell, Lisa, and Klaus Dodds. “The Man with the Midas Touch: The Haptic Geographies of James Bond's Body." The Journal of Popular Film and Television, vol. 43, no. 3, 2015, pp. 121-135.

Jacoby, Christopher. "Reverse the Curse: Finding the Source of a Buzz, Rattle, or Funny Sound in your Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass Doesn't Have to Make You Crazy." Strings, vol. 30, no. 11, June 2016, pp. 54-55.

 

Online Article Basic Format:

Author Last Name, First Name. "Article Title." Publication Title, volume and/or issue number, Publication date, Pages. Database , URL or doi.

Examples:

Faraci, Devin. "I Killed Robin, the Boy Wonder." Birth. Movies. Death., 20 April 2016, birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/04/20/i-killed-robin-the-boy-wonder.

Kirkpatrick, Ellen, and Suzanne Scott. "Representation and Diversity in Comics Studies." Cinema Journal, vol. 55, no. 1, 2015, pp. 220-224. Project Muse, muse.jhu.edu/article/595609.

Kreisel, Deanna K. "The Madwoman on the Third Story: Jane Eyre in Space." PMLA, vol. 131, no. 1, 2016, pp. 101-115. MLA Journals, doi: 10.1632/pmla.2016.131.1.101.

Reid, Kerry. "At Shakespearean World's Fair." American Theatre, vol. 33, no. 4, April 2016, pp. 46-49. americantheatre.org/category/issue/april-2016/.

 

Website Basic Format:

Author Last Name, First Name. "Page title." Website title, contribution by First Name Last Name, Publisher, Publication date, URL.

  Note: the website publisher is not required if it is the same publisher as the website title. Do not include http:// or https:// for URLs.

Examples:

Cliffe, Nicole. "How I Pray." The Toast, 13 October 2015, the-toast.net/2015/10/13/on-prayer/.

  James, Michael. "Race." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Stanford University, 17 February 2016, plato.stanford.edu/entries/race/.

"Ohio Cartoonists." Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, The Ohio State University Libraries, February 2016, cartoons.osu.edu/digital-resources/ohio-cartoonists/.

Parks, Tim. "Why Write in English?" NYR Daily, The New York Review of Books, 18 April 2016, nybooks.com/daily/2016/04/18/why-not-write-in-foreign-language/.

 

Multimedia Basic Format:

Author Last Name, First Name. Media title. Publisher, Publication date. Website, URL.

Author Last Name, First Name. "Media title." Work or Series Title, Number, Publisher, Publication date. Website, URL. Do not include http:// or https:// for URLs.

Examples:

"Four Weddings and a Funeral (Minus Three Weddings and a Funeral)." Happy Endings, season 2, episode 21, Sony Pictures Television, 04 April 2012. Hulu, hulu.com/watch/347176#i0,p20,s2,d0.

Lamar, Kendrick. "King Kunta." To Pimp a Butterfly, Aftermath / Interscope, 2015, play.spotify.com/track/0N3W5peJUQtI4eyR6GJT5O.

Sarkeesian, Anita. "The Manic Pixie Dream Girl." Feminist Frequency, 22 March 2011. YouTube, youtube.com/watch?v=uqJUxqkcnKA.

  Schinsky, Rebecca Joines and Amanda Nelson. "The Internet Illuminati." The Book Riot Podcast, no. 139, Book Riot, 11 January 2016, bookriot.com/2016/01/11/the-book-riot-podcast-139-the-internet-illuminati/.


Example of a Works Cited page:

 

Works Cited

Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA, vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193-200.

Beaudoin, Julianna. "Exploring the Contemporary Relevance of "Gypsy" Stereotypes in the Buffyverse." Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 48, no. 2, 2015, Academic Search Complete, pp. 313-327, doi: 10.1111/jpcu.12259.

Chan, Evans. "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema." Postmodern Culture, vol. 10, no. 3, May 2000. Project Muse, doi:10.1353/pmc.2000.0021.

Deresiewicz, William. "The Death of the Artist - and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur." The Atlantic, Jan.-Feb. 2015, pp. 92-97.

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

Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Vintage Books, 1995.

Hollmichel, Stefanie. So Many Books. 2003-13, somanyblooksblog.com.

"Hush." Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, season 4, episode 10, Mutant Enemy, 14 Dec. 1999.

Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford UP, 2011.

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

@persiankiwi. "We have report of large street battles in east & west of Tehran now - #Iranelection." Twitter, 23 June 2009, 11:15 a.m., twitter.com/persiankiwi/status/2298106072.

Pevear, Richard, and Larissa Volokhonsky, translators. Crime and Punishment. By Feodor Dostoevsky, Vintage eBooks, 1993.

Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America. National Endowment for the Arts, June 2004. Research Division Report 46.

Sullivan, Alan, and Timothy Murphy, translators. Beowulf. Edited by Sarah Anderson, Pearson, 2004.

Welleck, Rene, A History of Modern Criticism, 1750-1950. Vol. 8, Yale UP, 1992. 8 vols.

Whedon, Joss, creator. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Mutant Enemy, 1997-2003.

Parenthetical Documentation - using ( ) to identify your source

In the MLA format, parenthetical or in-text documentation, is used to briefly identify the sources of information you have borrowed in writing your paper. Parenthetical documentation should be integrated smoothly into the text of your paper, rather than listed separately.

  • Cite the source right in the text of your paper. If the reader wants to get more information, they can go to the Works Cited list at the end of your paper.
  • If the author's name is mentioned in your writing (this is called a "signal phrase"), you only need to put the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The reader can go to the list of Works Cited at the end of the paper to get the complete citation.
  • What if you cannot find a page number? Use a section number if it is given; otherwise, just use the author name or, if no author is given, the first words of the title.
    • Ross Parke notes that "natural fathers aren't the only ones raising children on their own. As more families split up, social workers note that stepfathers increasingly are being called on to bring up other people's kids" (52).
    • According to Bernard Farber in Encyclopedia Americana, there is a trend toward waiting to marry and toward postponing the birth of the first child (6).
    • According to the web site Our Fathers, "Almost 20 percent of fathers ask for child custody after divorce."

Examples- Parenthetical or In-text Citations

When you use the author's name in your sentence:

  • Ross Parke notes that "natural fathers aren't the only ones raising children on their own. As more families split up, social workers note that stepfathers increasingly are being called on to bring up other people's kids" (52).

When you do NOT use the author's name in your sentence:

  • Child support payments can be withheld from wages in 45 states (Schorr 33).

When you cite more than one work or example by the same author (this example shows the same author with 2 different articles- note the article titles are in quotation marks, exactly like the punctuation used for article titles in a Works Cited list):

  • One theory emphasizes the principle that dreams express "profound aspects of personality" (Foulkes, "Sleep" 184). But investigation shows that young children's dreams are "rather simple and unemotional" (Foulkes, "Dreams" 78). If the author had 2 different books, they would not have quotation marks and would be italicized).

When the work you are citing has multiple authors:

  • At the turn of the century many men worked long hours, which "entailed their absence from the family for most of the day: that was not a rejection of fatherhood but a necessary element of it" (McKee and O'Brien 54).

When there is no author- note the title of the work is italicized, just like it would be in the Works Cited list:

  • "Fathers today no longer know who they are or what their wives and children expect from them" (Fathers Confused 5), and this increases the likelihood they will abandon their families.

 

The ACC Library Services Information Literacy Team used 2 major sources to write this webpage- here is our Works Cited list:

 

Works Cited

Hess, Carl. "MLA Citation," Beegly Library Research Guides, Aug. 2016, libguides.heidelberg.edu/MLA/home.

"Using the MLA Format," Texas A&M Libraries, 2010, library.tamu.edu/assets/pdf/Using%20MLA%20Format.pdf.

ACC Library Services Information Literacy Team, 8/11/16