The MLA citation format has general rules, which applies to all types of citations. Formatting

Double-space the entire list Apply hanging indentation. Begin each entry flush with the left margin and if an entry runs more than one line, then indent the subsequent line or lines one-half inch from the left margin. You can set your word processing program to do this automatically for a group of paragraphs.

Citing Author Name

Arrange entries alphabetically by author’s last name, first word of a corporate author, or first word of a title (if there is no author) excluding A, An, and The. Use the author’s name as it appears on the title page, with full name or initials; do not change. Do not include degrees (PhD, etc.) or titles (Sir, Hon., etc). If using more than one work by an author, use —. instead of the author’s name for subsequent entries.


In a title, capitalize the first word, the last word, and all principal words, including those that follow a hyphen in a compound term. Also capitalize the first word of a subtitle following a colon. Italicize the names of books, plays, films, newspapers, journals, magazines, pamphlets, Web sites, etc. and any work published independently. Use quotation marks for titles of works published within a larger work and for unpublished works; articles, essays, poems, stories, pages in Web sites, and chapters of books; unpublished manuscripts, lectures, and addresses delivered at conferences.

Citing Information about Publications

Publication information – use city name only; no state, province or country. Date information within a citation is given in day, month, year; abbr. all months but May, June, July. Simplify the publisher’s name – McGraw for McGraw-Hill, Inc. or Norton for W.W. Norton and Co., Inc. Separate data elements by periods, i.e., Author. Title. Journal information. Publication information. Database information.etc. In each entry include the medium that was consulted – print, web, film, cd, etc

Following are examples from generally used reference sources, and how to do MLA citation when quoting them. MLA Citation for Books Basic Format

Author’s Last Name, First Name. Title of the Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Medium of Publication. Single Author Books

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. London: Bloomsbury, 2002. Print. Books by Two or More Authors

If the book has two or three authors, list all of the authors.

Welsch, Roger L., and Linda K. Welsch. Cather’s Kitchens: Foodways in Literature and Life. Lincoln: U of Nebraska

P, 1987. Print.

If the book has more than three authors, list the first one, followed by et al.

Quirck, Randolph et al. A Comprehensive Grammary of English Language. London: Longman, 1985. Print. Journal, Magazine, Newspaper Articles Basic Format

Author’s Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Periodical Title Volume number.Issue number (Date of publication): Page number range. Medium of Publication. Article in a Journal

Carter, Nancy Carol. "The Special Case of Alaska: Native Law and Research." Legal Reference Services Quarterly 22.4 (2003): 11-46. Print. Article in a Newspaper

Rosenberg, Geanne. “Electronic Discovery Proves an Effective Legal Weapon.” New York Times 31 Mar. 1997, late ed.: D5. Print A Work (An Essay, Short Story, Poem) From A Collection Basic Format

Author’s Last Name, First Name. "Title of the Work." Trans. Translator’s Name. Title of the Anthology or Collection. Ed. Editor First Name Last Name. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Page Number Range. Medium of Publication.

Making citations is an art itself, because there are proper formats for the job. One such format is the MLA format. But the question is, how to do MLA citation? And in the modern world, how to do MLA citation for internet sources? Let’s explore different reference sources and how to do MLA citation for them.

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