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MLA Style Guide

Download MLA Style as a PDF

This guide provides instruction on MLA in-text citations and full details of each source on a final Works Cited page.

For formatting help, search “MLA template” on the RCC website. For more assistance, please contact an RCC librarian and/or visit the "How do I cite sources" page.

Adapted with permission from MiraCosta College.

In-Text Citations

Place in-text citations in each of sentences where you quote or summarize a source; include author & pages (when available).

In-Text Citation When Paraphrasing or Summarizing

- According to one researcher, students learn best when they take notes (Gomez 176-80).
- In her research, Gomez found that students learn best when they take notes (176-80).

In-Text Citation When "Quoting"

- According to Gomez, “college students learn best when they are note taking” (179).
- One scholar stated that “college students learn best when they are note taking” (Gomez 179).

In-Text Citation for Sources with No Author

Give entire title - as listed in your Works Cited - in the body of your paper OR abbreviate title in parentheses:

- According to “What the World Needs Now” more kittens would make humans significantly happier (179).
-  Kittens make humans significantly happier (“What” 179).

­In-Text Citation for Sources with 3+ authors

List et al. after first author: (Cox et al. 156).

Works Cited Page

A Works Cited list is the final page of a research paper and should be alphabetized and double-spaced. All citations longer than one line should have a .5 inch hanging indent:

Works Cited

Marshall, Charles, and George Kovacs. Classics and Comics.
      Oxford UP, 2011. EBSCOhost,
      search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db
      =352893&site=ehost-live.

Stone, Jim. Harry Potter and the Spectre of Imprecision.”
     Analysis, vol. 70, no. 4, Oct. 2010, pp. 638-44. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40930271.
     Accessed 13 May 2016.

There are 9 core elements to look for to cite a source in the Works Cited list. Give each in the order listed below. Elements are followed by a period or comma as shown; final elements always end with a period. If an element is not available for your source, skip that element and move on to the next element.

1. Author.

2. Title of source.

3. Title of container,

4. Other contributors,

5. Version,

6. Number,

7. Publisher,

8. Publication date,

9. Location.

Only cite available information. Citations for items in databases (journal articles, eBooks) end with name of database and digital object identifier (DOI) or stable URL / permalink. More information on citation elements is in the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook (pp. 28-58).


ESSAY / CHAPTER IN TEXTBOOK (PRINT)

Author(s). Pellerin, Robert M.
Title of essay/chapter. “Disability and Inequality.”
Title of book, Our Social World,
Editor(s), edited by Jeanne H. Ballantine, et al.,
Edition/Version, 5th ed.,
Publisher, Sage,
Publication date, 2016,
Essay/Chapter page range. pp. 359-60.

MLA Citation:
Pellerin, Robert M. “Disability and Inequality.” Our Social World,
     edited by Jeanne H. Ballantine, et al., 5th ed., Sage, 2016,
     pp. 359-60.


PRINT BOOK

Author(s). Said, Edward.
Title of book. Orientalism.
Publisher, Pantheon Books,
Publication date. 1978.

MLA Citation:
Said, Edward. Orientalism. Pantheon Books, 1978.


EBOOK (IN DATABASE)

Author(s). Marshall, Charles, and George Kovacs.
Title of book. Classics and Comics.
Publisher, Oxford UP,
Publication date. 2011.
Database name, EBSCOhost,
Permalink. search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true= 352893&ehost-live.

MLA Citation:
Marshall, Charles, and George Kovacs. Classics and Comics.
     Oxford UP, 2011. EBSCOhost,
     search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true=352893&ehost-live


ESSAY / CHAPTER IN EBOOK (IN DATABASE)

Author(s). Mackenzie, Stenton.
Title of essay/chapter. “Switcheroo.”
Title of book, Trans People in Love,
Editor(s), edited by Katrina Fox and Tracie O’Keefe,
Publisher, Routledge,
Publication date, 2008,
Essay/Chapter page range. pp. 1-10.
Database name, EBSCOhost,
Permalink. search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=228529&site=ehost-live.

MLA Citation:
Mackenzie, Stenton. Switcheroo.” Trans People in Love,
     edited by Katrina Fox and Tracie O’Keefe, Routledge,
     2008, pp. 1-10. EBSCOhost,
     search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=228529&site=ehost-live.


JOURNAL ARTICLE (IN DATABASE)

Author(s). Allom, Vanessa, et al. [note: for sources with 3+ authors list first only then et al.]
Article title. “Physical Activity and Transitioning to College: The Importance of Intentions and Habits.”
Journal title, American Journal of Health Behavior,
Volume & Issue, vol. 40, no. 2,
Publication date, Mar. 2016,
Pages. pp. 280-290.
Database, EBSCOhost,
DOI (or Permalink if no DOI). doi:10.5993/AJHB.40.2.13.
Date of access (optional). 3 Nov. 2016.

MLA Citation:
Allom, Vanessa, et al. “Physical Activity and Transitioning to College: The Importance of
     Intentions and Habits.” American Journal of Health Behavior, vol. 40, no. 2,
     Mar. 2016, pp. 280-290. EBSCOhost, doi:10.5993/AJHB.40.2.13.
     Accessed 3 Nov. 2016.

Additional MLA Citations (JSTOR):
Stone, Jim. "Harry Potter and the Spectre of Imprecision." Analysis, vol. 70, no. 4, Oct. 2010, pp. 638-44.
     JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40930271. Accessed 13 May 2016.


JOURNAL ARTICLE (ON A WEBSITE)

Author(s). Ruiz, Pollyanna.
Article title. “The Cartographies of Protest.”
Journal title, Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest,
Volume & Issue, vol. 3, no. 2,
Publication date, Apr. 2016,
Pages, pp. 65-80,
URL. contentionjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/ 04/Ruiz.pdf.
Date of access. Accessed 1 Dec. 2016.

MLA Citation:
Ruiz, Pollyanna. “The Cartographies of Protest.” Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social
     Protest, vol. 3, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 65-80,
     contentionjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Ruiz.pdf. Accessed 1 Dec. 2016.


ARTICLE ON A WEBSITE

Author(s). Lansky, Sam.
Article title. “Adele on Motherhood, Social Media, and Breaking Records.”
Website name, Time,
[Sponsor/Publisher if different than website name,]
Publication date, 21 Dec. 2015,
URL. time.com/4155795/adele-time-cover-story-interview-motherhood25/.
Date of access. Accessed 1 Oct. 2016.

MLA Citation:
Lansky, Sam. “Adele on Motherhood, Social Media, and Breaking Records.” Time, 21 Dec. 2015,
     time.com/4155795/adele-time-cover-story-interview-motherhood25/.
     Accessed 1 Oct. 2016.


ENTIRE WEBSITE

Website name. Supreme Court of the United States.
Publisher, The United States Government,
Publication/update date, 15 July 2016,
URL. www.supremecourt.gov.
Date of access. Accessed 8 Nov. 2016.

MLA Citation:
Supreme Court of the United States. The United States Government, 15 July 2016,
     www.supremecourt.gov. Accessed 8 Nov. 2016.


YOUTUBE VIDEO

Video name. “Nick Kroll’s New Character: The ‘70s eater.”
Website name, YouTube,
Publisher (username), uploaded by TeamCoco,
Publication date, 27 Feb. 2014,
URL. www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVgMvJVTjFI.

MLA Citation:
“Nick Kroll’s New Character: The ‘70s eater.” YouTube, uploaded by TeamCoco,
     27 Feb. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVgMvJVTjFI.


PERSONAL INTERVIEW

Name of person interviewed. McMilk, Harvey.
Title. Personal interview.
Date of interview. 27 Dec. 2016.

MLA Citation:
McMilk, Harvey. Personal interview. 27 Dec. 2016.


TWITTER POST

Twitter user. @persianwiki.
Tweet. “We have report of large street battles in east & west Tehran now - #Iranelection.”
Website name, Twitter,
Posting date & time, 23 June 2009, 11:15 a.m.,
URL. twitter.com/persianwiki/status/2298106072.

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


EMAIL

Picard, Jean-Luc. "Re: Earl Grey Tea Supplies." Received by
     Geordi La Forge, 23 May 2016.