MLA Documentation Review


In-text citations 

Note: Each citation in the body of your paper should include (within either the sentence or the parentheses) the first word of a matching entry on your Works Cited page.                                             

Author not mentioned in sentence

Researchers argue that "intelligence is not a learning style" (Coles 123).

Author mentioned in sentence

Wendell Coles argues that "intelligence is not a learning style" (123).

Author of two or more works you are referencing in your paper

Raymond’s claim that the dead Jamie “was my best friend” (Ellis, Informers 15) acquires a chilling significance when readers discover 160 pages later that Jamie was a vampire.

Single source, two authors                               

Emotional security varies "depending upon the circumstances of the social interaction" (Bullard and Smith 74).

Single source, four or more authors

The 205 named women in Hebrew and Christian scriptures make up roughly one fourth of the total number referenced there (Meyer et al. xi-xii).

Multiple sources cited in a single sentence  (Note that the parenthetical documentation is placed immediately following the paraphrased part of the sentence.)

Authorities believe that by 1900, the Amazon forest dwellers had been exposed to 140 viruses (Coles 123; Smith 12), which largely accounts for the decline in their population.

Bible (Spell out the names of its books in your text but abbreviate them inside the parentheses; do not underline or italicize individual books [or the Bible unless you are quoting from a specific titled edition—e.g., The New Interpreter’s Bible]).  Do not include the Bible in your works cited unless you refer to a specific edition. Note: many sacred texts are not italicized (e.g., Qur’an).

The Bible describes Jubal as the father of musicians (Gen.4.21).

The New Revised Standard Version Bible describes Jubal as “the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe” (Gen.4.21).

Classic prose work that has been printed in numerous editions (provide additional information after the page number to help your reader locate the quotation)

Emma’s opinion of Frank Churchill suffers when she hears that he has “gone off to London, merely to have his hair cut” (Austen 138; vol. 2; ch. 7).

Story, poem, or play from an anthology (use author, not editor)    

The girl and her granny finally “saw each other as well as they could in that failing light, in any light” (Hood 548).

Indirect or secondhand source  (include original source in your sentence; the source noted in parentheses will appear in your works cited)

Hélène Cixous announces, “I am spacious singing Flesh . . . ” (qtd. in Crowe).

Personal, e-mail, or telephone interview (indicate the type of interview in your works cited)

In a June 2004 interview, Judith Cofer explained that her Penelope poems were inspired by her mother, who spent many years waiting for her Navy husband to come home. 

Electronic source with author, title, page number (Cite in text as you would any book or article.)

Robert McGill describes Flannery O’Connor’s The Habit of Being as an “epistolary autobiography” (32).

Electronic source with paragraph numbers instead of page numbers (If neither paragraph nor page numbers are included by the source itself, do not indicate any.)

David Banash questions whether “the technique [collage] is itself almost a guarantee of a critical position . . .” (par.2).

Film (no parenthetical reference needed; if you focus on a particular contribution to the film, cite that person’s name at the beginning of your works-cited entry; otherwise, begin entry with the title)

Ethan and Joel Coen include numerous references to Homer’s Odyssey in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Performance (similar format for music, theatre, dance; no parenthetical reference needed; works- cited entry will begin with the title unless you focus on a particular person’s contribution)

Gay Hammond’s script for Dracula, based on the Bram Stoker novel, presents Mina as a more active and central character.

Print source with no author (cite by title)                                                      

Hummingbirds can consume twice their body weight (Birds in America 123).

Entry in an alphabetically organized reference work, no author listed (no page number needed)

The word homosexual has only been in use since the late nineteenth century (New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary). 

Entire Internet Site (no author)        

Friday the 13th is considered unlucky because on that date in October 1307 the King of France charged the Knights Templar with heresy (History

Works-cited sample entries (MLA style)

For additional citation examples conforming to MLA style (and other formats), please see the “Research Guide & Internet Tools” links on the Brenau Trustee Library website.  Consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers for further guidance.

Please note:  Italics and underlining are equivalent.  We use italics in these entries, but check with your instructor to see if he or she has a preference.  Remember to indent the second and subsequent lines of an entry.

Also note: publishers’ names should be streamlined: omit Co., Corp., Inc, etc.; shorten multiple personal names to one (e.g., “Harcourt” instead of “Harcourt Brace”); abbreviate “University Press” to UP.  Hyphenate a publisher and imprint (e.g., Anchor Books, an imprint of Doubleday, would be cited as Anchor-Doubleday).

Book with two or three authors  (Last name precedes first for the initial name only)

Lunsford, Andrea and Robert Connors. The New St. Martin’s Handbook. Boston: Bedford, 1999.

Book with four or more authors

Belenky, Mary Field et. al.  Women’s Ways of Knowing.  New York: Basic, 1986.

Book with an author and editor

Welty, Eudora. A Writer's Eye: Collected Book Reviews. Ed. Pearl A. McHaney. Jackson: UP

of Mississippi, 1994.


Item from dictionary or other well-known reference work (just note edition and date)

“Homosexual.” New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.  Thumb index ed. 1993.

Short story, poem, or essay from an anthology

Chopin, Kate.  “The Storm.”  Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 9th ed.

 Eds. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson-Longman, 2005. 127-31.


Multiple entries from an anthology (List the anthology as one entry and any stories, plays, or poems from it separately. Place all the entries alphabetically on your works cited page.)

Chopin, Kate.  “The Storm.”  Kennedy and Gioia 127-31.

Kennedy, X. J. and Dana Gioia, eds.  Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and

Drama.  9th ed.  New York: Pearson-Longman, 2005.

Williams, William Carlos. "The Dance."  Kennedy and Gioia 939.


 Two or more sources by the same author   (Sequence by titles alphabetically, not counting a, an, or the; note that Less than Zero is an example of a paperback republication of a hard-cover book. 1985 indicates the original date of publication.)


Ellis, Bret Easton. The Informers. New York: Knopf, 1994.

---. Less than Zero. 1985. New York: Vintage-Random, 1998.


Article reprin

Bascom, Alice. “Robert Penn Warren.” The Southern Review.  23.2 (1971): 63-80. Rpt. in Twentieth

            Century Literary Criticism.  Ed. Sharon Hall. Vol. 18. Detroit: Gale, 1981. 308-11.

Essay in journal, issues paginated separately (each issue begins with page 1; the number 1 below indicates the issue)

Atwan, Robert. “A Question for Dorothy Day.” River Teeth 5.1 (2003): 59-63.

Article in journal with continuous pagination (each issue for the year begins its page numbers where the previous issue ended; the number 65 below indicates the volume)

La Follette, M.C. "The Politics of Research Misconduct: Congressional Oversight,

Universities, and Science." Journal of Higher Education 65 (1994): 261-85.

Article from Online Journal (Project Muse database, continuous pagination; note that URL may be

broken only after a slash)

Lehmann, Courney. “Strictly Shakespeare? Dead Letters, Ghostly Fathers, and the Cultural Pathology

            of Authorship in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.”  Shakespeare Quarterly 52 (2001): 189-

            221. Project Muse. 27 June 2004 <



Article from Online Periodical, no author listed (Academic Search Premier database, EBSCOhost via GALILEO)     

USA Today Survey Shows Belief in Weird Things on the Rise.” Skeptic 6.2 (1998): 18. Academic

Search Premier. EBSCOhost. GALILEO. 23 April 2004 <>.


Article from Online Periodical (not accessed through a database; numbered by paragraphs instead of page numbers)

Banash, David. “From Advertising to the Avant-Garde: Rethinking the Invention of Collage.”

            Postmodern Culture 14.2 (2004): 33 pars. 25 June 2004 <>.


Entire internet site (list information available in the following order: title of site, editor, publication date or update, sponsoring organization, date of access and URL)


History 2004. History Channel. 26 June 2004 <>.


Interview conducted by you (indicate whether personal, telephone, or email)

Cofer, Judith Ortíz. Personal interview. 23 June 2004.

Film (include title, director, distributor, release year and other data if pertinent; the second example focuses on the contribution of the screenwriters)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? Screenplay by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen. Dir. Joel Coen. Perf. George

            Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Nelson, and John Goodman. Touchstone-Universal, 2000.


Coen, Ethan and Joel Coen. O Brother, Where Art Thou? Dir. Joel Coen. Perf. George

            Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Nelson, and John Goodman. Touchstone-Universal, 2000.


Performance (play, opera, ballet, concert: include title and information similar to that in the film entry, conclude with performance site and date; the second example focuses on the contribution of the playwright)

Dracula. By Gay Hammond. Dir. Jim Hammond. Perf. Chandra Owenby and Kristina Sutton.

            Brenau’s Hosch Theatre, Gainesville, GA. 20 Feb. 2004.


Gay Hammond. Dracula. Dir. Jim Hammond. Perf. Chandra Owenby and Kristina Sutton. Brenau’s

            Hosch Theatre, Gainesville, GA. 20 Feb. 2004.