Skip to Main Content

ENGLISH 84 Survey of American Literature: Citation MLA

English 084 A and B - created for Helen Han by Joy Chase

MLA Handbook

The MLA Handbook is the official guide of MLA citation formatting. You can find the manual at the reference desk and in the reserved reading collection behind the library circulation desk.

LB 2369.G53 2016 is the Call Number:

MLA Resources

The MLA Style Center has extensive information on style guidelines for all format types on creating works cited list

The Purdue OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide is another helpful resource for MLA citation. This page provides information about citing (giving credit for any quotes, facts, paraphrases, or summaries in your paper). Check here for help with your works cited page (bibliography page).

Cite and Cite

Why Cite?
The point of citation is to give credit to the author of your sources and explain to your professor where you found the information to support the argument of your paper.

stack of research

MLA citation

To create the citations for your sources:

1. Use the MLA universal set of guidelines to build your citations:


Author. "Title of Source". Title of Container, Other Contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.


Kunzig, Robert. "The New Europeans: Voices from a Changing Continent". National Geographic, vol. 258, no. 5, Nov. 2015, pp. 58-75.


Category Notes
1. Author.

One author format: Last, First.
Multiple author format: Last, First, and First, Last.

2. "Title of Source."

Capitalize all main words of the title.

3. Title of Container,              

If your source is found in a larger source, like an article in a magazine, list the title of the overall source.
Example: National Geographic,

4. Other Contributors, These include editors, illustrators, translators, etc.
5. Version, Include if your source has an edition number, like you would see with a textbook.
6. Number,

Include if your source has a volume, issue, episode or series number. You will see this with volumes of encyclopedias, journal articles or tv shows.
Example: vol. 24, no. 1,

7. Publisher,  
8. Publication date, Include day, month and year when available. Abbreviate long month names. Format: Day Mo. Year; Ex.: 5 Dec. 2011,
9. Location. Include if your source has page numbers or if your source comes from a website.
Example of source with pages: pp.12-54
Example of website:

2. Your source may not contain information in all of these categories, so only include the information you have. 

3. Pay attention to the punctuation. Put periods after the author, title of the source, and at the very end. Put commas in between everything else.

This is a basic overview of MLA Works Cited page.
For more details and help with specific source formats, go the Purdue Online Writing Lab here.

MLA in-text citation

An in-text citation is a brief reference in your text that indicates the source you consulted. In general, the in-text citation will be the author’s last name (or abbreviated title) with a page number, enclosed in parentheses. It should be unobtrusive: provide the citation information without interrupting your own text. 

Note that it does include a comma between the author (or title) and page number. 

Longer quotes should be indented.

For more information about in-text citation rules, see OWL at Purdue.