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Citing Sources: MLA

Getting Started with MLA


MLA (from the Modern Language Association) is a citation style commonly used in the humanities. View the below PowerPoint presentation for an introduction to MLA.


When deciding how to cite your source, start by consulting the list of core elements. These are the general pieces of information that MLA suggests including in each Works Cited entry. In your citation, the elements should be listed in the following order:

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

Each element should be followed by the punctuation mark shown here.  --from Purdue OWL

Format your MLA Paper

  • 1" Margins
  • 12pt Font, double-spaced
  •  Create a running header with your last name and page number (header sometimes ommited from first page)
  • List Name, Instructor, Course, and Date in upper-left corner of first page

Quick Links for MLA Help:

Style Guides in the Library or Online

NOTE: The online version of the MLA Style Guide is available with an individual subscription

How do I cite my sources in the text of my paper? (In-text citations)

With author in sentence:

Naomi Wolf argues that women's magazines have instilled a message that women have to look a certain way to experience happiness and excitement (61).

Without author in sentence:

"A girl learns that stories happen to 'beautiful' women, whether they are interesting or not" (Wolf 61).

In-text citations for print source with no known author:

We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change..." ("Impact of Global Warming" 6).

When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number.

How do I cite my sources at the end of my paper? (Works Cited Page)

Book, with 1 Author

Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth. Doubleday, 1991.

Author Name (Last Name, First Name). Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Book, with 2 Authors

Beecher, Willard, and Marguerite Beecher. Beyond Success and Failure. Julian Press, 1966. 

Author Name (first author appears Last Name, First Name: second author appears First Name Last Name). Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Book, No Author

The Book of Common Prayer. Seabury Press, 1979.

Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Journal Article, with 3 authors

Green, Cheryl, Walter Knysz, III, and Ming T. Tsuang. "A Homeless Person With Bipolar Disorder and a History of Serious Self-Mutilation." American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 157, no.1, 2000, pp 1392-1397.

Author Name (first author appears Last Name, First Name: second and third appear First Name, Last Name). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, volume #, issue #, publication date, page range.

Article Accessed From Electronic Database (more than 3 authors)

Coulton, Keith, et al. "Eleni's Creepy Cookies."  People Magazine, vol. 6, no. 6, 2009, pp. 6-10,,shib&db=fth&AN=44718278&custid=gso1&custid=gso1&groupid=main&profile=eds. Accessed 12 August. 2016.

Author Name (first author appears Last Name, First Name - followed by et al.) "Title of Article." Title of Journal, volume #, issue #, page range, URL (omit http:// or https://). Date Accessed.


The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.

Name of Site. Name of Institution/organization affiliated with the site, date of resource creation (if available), URL (omit http:// or https://). Date of Access (if applicable).

How to Cite Online Images in MLA Style

Structure of a citation for an image found on a website in MLA 8:

Creator’s Last name, First name. “Title of the digital image.” Title of the website, First name Last name of any contributors, Version (if applicable), Number (if applicable), Publisher, Publication date, URL. Access Date.

  • Vasquez, Gary A. Photograph of Coach K with Team USA. NBC Olympics, USA Today Sports, 5 Aug. 2016, Accessed 24 April 2018.
  • Gilpin, Laura. “Terraced Houses, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.” Library of Congress, Reproduction no. LC-USZ62-102170, 1939, Accessed 26 April 2018.

Source: Manhattanville College Libary

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