MLA Citation Guide

MLA Handbook Guide 8th edition

(Modern Language Association)


The MLA style is widely used for identifying research sources. In MLA style you briefly credit sources with parenthetical citations in the text of your paper, and give the complete description of each source in your Works Cited list. The Works Cited list, or Bibliography, is a list of all the sources used in your paper, arranged alphabetically by author’s last name, or when there is no author, by the first word of the title (except A, An or The).

For example:
In the text of your paper;

Results of studies done by Hawaii’s Ocean Mammal Institute
indicated that whales were affected by the noise of marine
engines” (Calvez 41).  [direct quotation]


According to Leigh Calves, studies by the Ocean Mammal
Institute indicated Hawaiian humpback whales were affected
by the noise of marine engines (41).   [paraphrase]

In your Works Cited list:

Calvez, Leigh. “By the Time We Have Proof.” Ocean Realm
Spring 2000: pp. 41-47.

When documentation is not needed:

  • Familiar proverbs (“You can’t judge a book by its cover”),
  • Well-known quotation (“We shall overcome”),
  • Common knowledge (“George Washington was the first president of the United States”)

The examples are based on the MLA Handbook, 8th ed., by the Modern Language Association of America.


  • Take the title from the title page, not the cover.
  • The author’s name should be written Last Name, First Name.

Author. Title of Book. Publisher, Date.

One Author
Borg, Jim. Tigers of the Sea: Hawaii’s Deadly Sharks. Mutual, 1993.

Editor (ed.) or Compiler (comp.)
Fitzgerald, Terence J., ed. Police in Society. H.W.Wilson, 2000.

Two or More Authors

  • List the names in the order they appear on the title page.
  • Only the first author’s name should be reversed: Last Name, First Name.
  • Use a comma between the authors’ names. Place a period after the last author’s name.
  • If there are more than three authors, name only the first and add et al., or give all the names.

Landre, Rick, Mike Miller, and Dee Porter. Gangs: A Handbook for
Community Awareness. Facts on File, 1997.

Daconta, Michael C., et al. Java 1.2 and JavaScript for C and C++
Programmers. Wiley, 1998.

Two or More Works by the Same Authors

  • When citing two or more sources by the same author, give the name in the first entry only. For the subsequent entries, type three hyphens, add a period, and skip a space
    (—.) then give the title. The three hyphens stand for the name(s) in the preceding entry.

Mead, Margaret. Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of
Primitive Youth for Western Civilization. Morrow, 1961.

—. People and Places. World, 1959.


  • When citing familiar reference books, especially those that often appear in new editions, it is not necessary to include full publication information. Give the edition (if available) and the year of publication.
  • If articles are arranged alphabetically, you do not need to give volume and page numbers.

Author of Article. (if given) “Article Title.” Title of Book. Publisher,

Faron, Louis C. “Inca.” Encyclopedia Americana. International Edition, 1999.


  • Abbreviate the months (except May, June, July). Give complete dates for magazines issued every week or every two weeks, written in this order: Day Month Year, e.g. 19 Jan. 1998.
  • If the article is on consecutive pages, specify the page numbers of the entire article, e.g. pp. 16-20. Give the last two digits of the second number, when possible: pp. 188-89, but pp. 196-200.
  • If the article is not on consecutive pages—if, for example, it begins on page 27, then skips to page 30, and continues on page 32—write only the first page number, followed by a plus sign: pp.  27+.
  • Do not give volume and issue numbers.
  • No author. Begin with the title of the article, ignoring any initial A, An, or The.

Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Magazine. Date: Pages(s).

McCulley, Jeff. “On the Mark.” Hawaii Business Feb. 1998: pp. 20+.

Risen, James, and Judy L. Thomas. “Pro-life Turns Deadly.”
Newsweek 26 Jan. 1998: pp. 68-69.

Taubes, Gary. “The Cell-Phone Scare.” Technology Review Nov./Dec. 2000: pp. 117-19.


  • Take the name of the newspaper from the masthead, but omit any introductory article: Honolulu Advertiser, not The Honolulu Advertiser.
  • If the city of publication is not part of the newspaper’s name, add it in square brackets: News and Observer [Raleigh, NC].
  • Specify the edition of the newspaper, if one is given on the masthead.
  • If the article is not on consecutive pages, write the first page number and a plus sign: B1+.

Author. “Title of Article.” Name of the Newspaper Date, Page(s).


Kakesako, Gregg K. “Clinton Vows to Support Akaka Bill.” Honolulu

Star-Bulletin 14 Nov. 1998,  A1+.


Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal,  numbers(such as volume and issue number), Date, Page(s). 

Cooksey, Elizabeth C. “Consequences of Young Mothers’ Martial

Histories for Children’s Cognitive Development.” Journal of

Marriage and the Family vol. 59, Spring 2001, pp.  245-61.

  • If the journal begins each issue on page 1, include the  numbers: e.g.  vol. 21, no. 3.

Lenhoff, Rosalyn, and Lynn Huber. “Young Children MakeMaps!”

Young Children vol.55, issue 5, 2000, pp. 6-12.


“Title of Episode or Segment.” Credit (Performer or author). Title of Name

of Program. Name of Network. Call letter (if any), City of Local

Station (if any). Broadcast Date. Medium of reception.

“Designing Woman.” Rept. by Maria Shriver. Dateline. NBC. KHNL,

Honolulu. 15 Mar. 1998. Television.

“Hurricane.” Raging Planet. Discovery Channel. 21 Mar. 1998. Television


Title. Director, Producer, and/or Writers.  Distributor, Year.

Monet: Legacy of Light. Writ., dir., and prod. by Michael Miller. WBGH Boston, 1989.


Person Interviewed. Type of interview (personal or telephone). Date.

Case, Ed.  Telephone interview. 2 Dec. 2005.

  • For a broadcast or published interview, add descriptive and bibliographic information. Medium.

Waihee, John. Interview with Leslie Wilcox. Channel 2 News. FOX. KHON, Honolulu.7 Nov. 2000.


Author’s name (if given). “Title of Article.” Name of Journal, volume, issue,  Date, Page(s).Title of Database, URL or DOI.
Penelope, Julia. “John Simon and the ‘Dragons of Eden.'” College of English, vol. 44, no. 8, Dec. 1982, pp. 848-54. JSTOR,

WEB SITE—Professional or Personal:

  • Do not include http:// in URL
  • DOIs and permalins, when available, are preferred over URLs

Creator’s name (if given).  Page Title. Institution or organization.
Date  URL network address.

Basic Hula Words.  8 Nov. 2000. < >.

Harden, Mark. Picasso the Legend. The Artchive.  6 Nov. 2000 .
< >.


Sender’s Name. “Title.” (from Subject line) Received by…. Date.

Crispen, Patrick D. “Online Tutorials.” Received by Darlene Wolff 31 Aug.2000. E


  • If a picture was found using Google Images, do not cite Google Images as the publisher. Instead, click on the picture and use the information from the website that is hosting the picture.
  • When including the URL, omit http:// from the site address.

Creator’s Name. “Title of digital image.” Title of website. Publisher, Date, URL.

Gilpin, Laura. “Terraced Houses, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.” Library of Congress, reproduction no.  LC-USZ62-102170, 1939,


Creator’s name. “Title of the image.” Title of the Journal. Publisher. Any number associated with the image (vol. and issue, if applicable). Date. Location. Title of the Database, URL or DOI.

Huanca Barrantes, Angela. “Questions and statements on the wall as reminders for Ms. Huanca’s students.” English Teaching Forum. U.S. Department of State, vol. 53, no. 2, 2015, pp. 41, ERIC,


  • Divide an electronic address only at a logical place, such as at a slash (“/”), period, or hyphen.

Author’s name (if given). “Title of Article.” Name of Newspaper Date.

Barayuga, Debra. “Verdict in Uyesugi Trial Prompts New Stage of Grief.” Star 15 June 2000.


Author’s name (if given). “Title of Article.” Name of Magazine Date.

Youmans, Susanne. “Henry Lee Returns to Investigating.” Popular Science 10 Oct. 2000.


Author’s name (if given). Title. City of Publication, Year. Title of database.  Date.

Kamakau, Samuel M. Ruling Chiefs. Honolulu, 1961. Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library. Web. 9 Sept. 2009.

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