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Basic MLA

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In MLA documentation style, you acknowledge your sources by keying in brief parenthetical citations in text and corresponding this with an alphabetical list of work you have cited at the end of the paper.

In-text citations

There are two ways by which to acknowledge your source. You may wish to quote or parapharase. Look at the following examples.

Direct Quotation

Author in text Stewig stresses that logic "must pervade any fantasy from the beginning and end"(399).
Author in reference Recognizing this need, it may be declared that “ logic must pervade any fantasy from beginnig and end” (Stewig 399).

Paraphrase or Summary

Author in text Stewig stresses the need for logic in children's fantasy (399)
Author in reference The need for logic in children's fantasy has been recognized (Stewig 399).

Work Cited List

Use the following forms for entries in the bibliography or list of works cited.

BookEncyclopedia articles Periodicals Unpublished and miscellaneous


One author Mariani, Paul. Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman. New York: Morrow, 1990. Author's last name first, followed by comma and first name and a period. Two spaces after the period. Underline the title of the book.
Two or three authors MacQuade, Walter, and Ann Aikman. The Longevity Factor. New York: New American Library, 1970. First and last names are reversed only for the lead author. Notice also the use of a comma after the first author.
More than three authors Stein, Norman, et al. Family Therapy: A Systems Approach. Boston: Allyn, 1990. You may choose to name all the authors or to use the abbreviated format with et al.
Editor Johnson, Stanley, ed. The Population Problem. New York: Wiley, 1973. Name the editor followed by a comma and the abbreviated word ed.
Author and editor Russell, Bertrand. Essays in Analysis. Ed. Douglas Lackey. New York: Braziller, 1973. Name the author of the book and cite the name of the editor (Ed.) just after the title.
A selection from an edited book or anthology Davies, Phil. "Does Treatment Work? A Sociological Perspective." The Misuse of Alcolohol. Ed. Nick Heather et al. New York: New York UP, 1985. 158-177. Name the author of the selection and enclose the selection title in quotation marks. Underline or italicize the title of the book containing the selection and name its editor(s). Give page numbers of the selection at the end of the entry.
Multiple editions Shaw, Harry. The Harper Handbook of College Composition. 5th ed. New York: Harper, 1981. Cite the edition you have consulted just after giving the title.
Multiple volumes Leach, Maria, ed. Dictionary of Folklore. 2 vols. New York: Funk, 1950. Indicate the number of volumes just after giving the title.

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BookEncyclopedia articles | Periodicals | Unpublished and miscellaneous

Encyclopedia Articles

Signed articles Tate, Francis G. H. "Rum." Encyclopedia Britanica. 1950. If an article in a reference work is signed (usually initialed), include the name of the author, which is usually spelled out somewhere in the reference work.
Unsigned articles "Pointillism." Encyclopedia Americana. 1976. Enclose the selection title in quotes.

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BookEncyclopedia articles | Periodicals | Unpublished and miscellaneous


An unsigned magazine article "A Direct Approach to Alcoholism." Science News 9 Jan. 1988: 25. Quotation marks enclose the title of the selection while title of the publication itself is underlined.
A signed magazine article White, Theodore H. "China: Burnout of a Revolution." Time 26 Sept. 1983: 30-39. Name the author of the selection title.
A journal with continuous paging throughout volume Kling, William. "Measurement of Ethanol Consumed in Distilled Spirits." Journal of Studies on Alcohol 50 (1989): 456-460. Volume number is in arabic numerals, the year in parentheres followed by a colon. Page numbers include first and last pages.
A journal with new paging each issue Latessa, Edward J., and Susan Goodman. "Alcohol Offenders: Intensive Probation Program Shows Promise." Corrections Today 51.3 (1989): 38-39+. Note that the specific issue in volume 51 is indicated. The plus sign after page numbers indicates that the article continues after the last named page, but after intervening pages.
A signed newspaper article Welch, Patrick. "Kid and Booze: It's 10 O'Clock---Do You Know How Drunk Your Kids Are?" Washington Post 31 Dec. 1989: C1. The complete date of publication is given---day, month, year. If the paper has sections designated by letter (A, B, C), include the section before the page number.
An unsigned newspaper article "Alcohol Can Worsen lls of Aging, Study Says." New York Times 13 Jun. 1989, natl. ed.: 89. Specify edition if indicated in the masthead.
A book review Davies, Russel. Rev. of A Coat of Varnish, by C.P. Snow. New York Review of Books Notice that the review is listed by the reviewer's name.

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BookEncyclopedia articles | Periodicals | Unpublished and miscellaneous

Unpublished and Miscellaneous

An unpublished disseration or essay Reiskin, Helen R. "Pattern of Alcohol Usage in a Help-Seeking University Population." Diss. Boston U., 1980. State the author's name, the title (in quotation marks), a descriptive label (such as Diss. or Unpublished essay), the granting institution for dissertations, and the date.
An unpublished interview Bishop, Robert R. Personal interview. 5 November 1987. Note the desciptive label to indicate that source is an interview.
A film or videotape Alcoholism: The Pit of Despair. Videocassette. Gordon Jump. AIMS Media, 1983. VHS and Beta. 20 min. Give the title of film or videocassette firs, include the director and writer, the distributor, year and other important information regarding the medium.
A live performance, lecture Wilson, Bill. "Alcoholics Anonymous: Beginning and Growth." Presented to the NYC Medical Society. New York, 8 April 1958. Start with either the title or the name of person depending on the emphasis of your paper.
A TV or radio program "The Broken Cord." Interview with Louise Edrich and Michael Dorris. Dir. and prod. Catherine Tatge. A World of Ideas with Bill Moyers. Exec. prod. Judith Davidson Moyers and Bill Moyers. Public Affairs TV. WNET, New York. 27 May 1990. Include the title of the program (underlined), the network, the station, date of broadcast. For a series, include the title of the specific episode (in quotation marks) before the title of the program.
Electronic material Fischer, Mike. Wordsearch. Computer software. Hartley Courseware, 1981. Cite the author of the material, the title of the material in italics, a label to describe the material, the year produced and other pertinent information about the source.
On-line sources Alston, Robin. "The Battle of the Books." Humanist 7.0176 (10 Sept. 1993): 10 pp. Online. Internet. 10 Oct. 1993. Name of author, title of the source, the title of journal or newletter, volume information, year or date of publication. page numbers or paragrapraph numbers if given, name of computer network, and date of access

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