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MLA Documentation Style

Susan Silverman
Reference Librarian
Winthrop University
Fall 2009

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  • For additional and more-detailed information, consult the following sources located at the reference desk:
    • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, (2009)
    • MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition, (2008)
  • MLA suggests that using parenthetical references (or citing in the text) is the most practical way to document specific sources.
    • These references are brief but should give enough information to find the full citation in the works cited list at the end of the paper. For examples, refer to Chapter 6 in the MLA Handbook, pages 213 - 232.
  • All information on the Works Cited page is double-spaced. Begin each entry flush with the left margin and indent any subsequent lines five spaces.
  • Italics are used instead of underlining.
  • All entrees included in the Works Cited page must include the medium of publication. Most of these will be either print or web; but could be film, DVD, VHS, microfilm, etc.
  • For electronic references, refer to the research guide Citing Electronic Information – MLA Documentation Style.

Examples for the Works Cited Page

Citing Books by an Individual Author

Miller, Russell. The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle. New York: St. Martin’s,
2008. Print.

Citing Books by Two or More Authors

Ehrlich, Paul R., and Anne H. Ehrlich. The Dominant Animal, Human Evolution and the
Environment. Washington, D.C.: Island, 2008. Print.

Work in an Anthology or Collection

Grant, Elizabeth. “Race, Place, and Memory: African American Tourism in the
Postindustrial City.” African American Urban History since World War II. Ed.
Kenneth L. Kusmer and Joe W. Trotter. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2009. 404-423.
Print.

Article in an Encyclopedia or Reference Work

Note: Treat an encyclopedia article or reference work as a work in a collection. If the article is signed, list the author’s name first; if not provided, list the title first. For familiar sources, give only the edition, year, and the medium of publication. However, when citing less familiar reference works, include the editor, publication information, and the medium of publication.

“Japan.” World Book Encyclopedia. 2000 ed. Print.

Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane. “Art and Religion.” Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay
Jones. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan, 2005. Print.

Article in a Scholarly Journal

Note: When citing a scholarly journal, provide the volume and issue, if given; for example: 25.5 (25 is the volume number and 5 is the issue number).

Wells, Jane. “The Greatest Sports Feats of the Twentieth Century.” Journal of Physical
Education, Recreation and Dance 25.5 (1998): 6-12. Print.

Article in a Magazine

Note: To cite an article in a magazine published weekly or every two weeks, give the complete date beginning with the day (31 July 2009), followed by a colon, page numbers, and the medium.

Stein, Joel. “Less Vegas.” Time 24 Aug. 2009: 23-29. Print.

Note: To cite an article in a monthly or bimonthly magazine, give the month or months and year, followed by a colon, page numbers, and the medium.

Lehrer, Jonah. “Unlocking the Mysteries of the Artistic Mind.” Psychology Today Aug.
2009: 72-77. Print.

Article in a Newspaper

Rose, Annie Lee. “John Grisham: Mississippi Novelist.” New York Times 1 Apr. 1997, late
ed.: D1+. Print.

Video or film

Saving Private Ryan. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Perf. Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, and Edward
Burns. Paramount Pictures, 1998. DVD.


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