Citation Machine Bibliography

BibMe’s Free APA Format Guide & Generator

What is APA?

APA stands for the American Psychological Association, which is an organization that focuses on psychology. They are responsible for creating this specific citation style. The APA is not associated with this guide, but all of the information here provides guidance to using their style.

What is APA Citing?

This citation style is used by many scholars and researchers in the behavioral and social sciences, not just psychology. There are other citation formats and styles such as MLA and Chicago, but this one is most popular in the science fields.

Following the same standard format for citations allows readers to understand the types of sources used in a project and also understand their components.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is currently in its 6th edition. It outlines proper ways to organize and structure a research paper, explains grammar guidelines, and how to properly cite sources. This webpage, created solely by BibMe to help students and researchers, focuses on how to create APA citations*. For more information, please consult the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed.).

We cite sources for many reasons. One reason is to give credit to the authors of the work you used to help you with your own research. When you use another person’s information to help you with your project, it is important to acknowledge that individual or group. This is one way to prevent plagiarism. Another reason why we create citations is to provide a standard way for others to understand and possibly explore the sources we used. To learn more about citations, check out this page on crediting work. Also, read up on how to be careful of plagiarism.

What does it look like?

There are two types of citations. In-text citations are found in the body of the project and are used when adding a direct quote or paraphrase into your work. Reference citations are found in the reference list, which is at the end of the assignment and includes the full citations of all sources used in a project.

Depending on the types of sources you used for your project, the structure for each citation may look different. There is a certain format, or structure, for books, a different one for journal articles, a different one for websites, and so on. Scroll down to find the appropriate citation structure for your sources.

Even though the structure varies across different sources, see below for a full explanation of in-text citations and reference citations.

To learn more about APA referencing, including the American Psychological Association's blog, formatting questions, & referencing explanations, click on this link for further reading on the style. To learn more about BibMe, see the section below titled, “Using BibMe to Create Citations for your Reference List or APA Bibliography.”

Citing Basics

In-Text Citations Overview:

When using a direct quote or paraphrasing information from a source, include an in-text citation in the body of your project, immediately following it.

In-text citations may look something like this:

"Direct quote" or paraphrase (Author’s last name, Year, page number).

See the section below titled, “In-Text or Parenthetical Citations,” for a full explanation and instructions.

Full Citations Overview

Each source used to help with the gathering of information for your project is listed as a full citation in the reference list, which is usually the last part of a project.

The structure for each citation is based on the type of source used. Scroll down to see examples of some common source formats.

Most citations include the following pieces of information, commonly in this order:

Author’s Last name, First Initial. Middle initial. (Date published). Title of source. Retrieved from URL

To determine the exact format for your full citations, scroll down to the section titled, “Common Examples.”

If you’re looking for an easy way to create your citations, use BibMe’s free APA citation machine, which automatically formats your citations quickly and easily.

Citation Components

How to Structure Authors

Authors are displayed in reverse order: Last name, First initial. Middle initial. End this information with a period.

Example:

Kirschenbaum, M. A.

In an APA citation, include all authors shown on a source. If using BibMe’s APA citation builder, click “Add another contributor” to add additional author names. Our free citation creator will format the authors in the order in which you add them.

If your reference list has multiple authors with the same last name and initials, include their first name in brackets.

Example:

Brooks, G. [Geraldine]. (2005). March. New York, NY: Viking.

Brooks, G. [Gwendolyn]. (1949). Annie Allen. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers.

When no author is listed, exclude the author information and start the citation with the title followed by the year in parentheses.

Editors:

When citing an entire edited book, place the names of editors in the author position and follow it with Ed. or Eds. in parentheses. See below for examples of citing edited books in their entirety and also chapters in edited books.

How to Structure Publication Dates:

Place the date that the source was published in parentheses after the name of the author. For periodicals, include the month and day as well. If no date is available, place n.d. in parentheses, which stands for no date.

How to Structure the Title:

For book titles: Only capitalize the first letter of the first word in the title and the same for the subtitle. Capitalize the first letter for any proper nouns as well. Place this information in italics. End it with a period.

Example:

Gone with the wind.

For articles and chapter titles: Only capitalize the first letter of the first word in the title and the same for the subtitle. Capitalize the first letter for any proper nouns as well. Do not italicize the title or place it in quotation marks. End it with a period.

Example:

The correlation between school libraries and test scores: A complete overview.

For magazine, journal, and newspaper titles: Write the title in capitalization form, with each important word starting with a capital letter.

Example:

The Boston Globe

If you believe that it will help the reader to understand the type of source, such as a brochure, lecture notes, or an audio podcast, place a description in brackets directly after the title. Only capitalize the first letter.

Example:

New World Punx. (2014, February 15). A state of trance 650 [Audio file]. Retrieved from https://soundcloud.com/newworldpunx/asot650utrecht

How to Structure Publication Information

For books and sources that are not periodicals, give the city and state (or city and country if outside of the U.S.) for the place of publication. Abbreviate the state name using the two-letter abbreviation. Place a colon after the location.

Example:

Philadelphia, PA:

Rotterdam, Netherlands:

For journals, magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals, place the volume number after the title. Italicize this information. Place the issue number in parentheses and do not italicize it. Afterwards, include page numbers.

Example:

Journal of Education for Library and Information Science,57(1), 79-82.

If you’re citing a newspaper article, include p. or pp. before the page numbers.

How to Structure the Publisher:

The names of publishers are not necessary to include for newspapers, magazines, journals, and other periodicals.

For books and other sources: It is not necessary to type out the name of the publisher exactly as it is shown on the source. Use a brief, but understandable form of the publisher’s name. Exclude the terms publishers, company, and incorporated. Include Books and Press if it is part of the publisher’s name. End this information with a period.

Example:

Little Brown and Company would be placed in the citation as: Little Brown.

Oxford University Press would be placed in the citation as: Oxford University Press.

How to Structure Online sources

For sources found online:

  • include the URL at the end of the citation
  • format it as: Retrieved from URL
  • do not place a period after the URL

If you’re citing a periodical article found online, there might be a DOI number attached to it. This stands for Direct Object Identifier. A DOI, or digital object identifier, is a unique string of numbers and letters assigned by a registration agency. The DOI is used to identify and provide a permanent link to its location on the internet. The DOI is assigned when an article is published and made electronically. If your article does indeed have a DOI number, use this instead of the URL as the DOI number is static and never changes. If the source you’re citing has a DOI number, after the publication information add a period and then http://dx.doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx. The x’s indicate where you should put the DOI number. Do not place a period after the DOI number. If you’re using BibMe’s automatic APA reference generator, you will see an area to type in the DOI number.

Example:

Lobo, F. (2017, February 23). Sony just launched the world’s fastest SD card. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2017/02/23/sony-sf-g-fastest-sd-card/?utm_cid=mash-prod-nav-sub-st#ErZKV8blqOqO

Chadwell, F.A., Fisher, D.M. (2016). Creating open textbooks: A unique partnership between Oregon State University libraries and press and Open Oregon State. Open Praxis,8(2), 123-130. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.8.2.290

Citations and Examples

Citations for Print Books

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of book. Location of publisher: Publisher.

Example:

Finney, J. (1970). Time and again. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Looking for an APA formatter? Don’t forget that BibMe’s APA citation generator creates citations quickly and easily.

Notes: When citing a book, keep in mind:

  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title and any subtitles, as well as the first letter of any proper nouns.
  • The full title of the book, including any subtitles, should be stated and italicized.

Citing an E-book from an E-reader

E-book is short for “electronic book.” It is a digital version of a book that can be read on a computer, e-reader (Kindle, Nook, etc.), or other electronic devices.

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of work [E-reader version]. http://dx.doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx or Retrieved from URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx is used when a source has a DOI number. If the e-book you’re citing has a DOI number, use it in the citation. DOIs are preferred over URLs.

Example:

Eggers, D. (2008). The circle [Kindle version]. Retrieved from www.amazon.com

Citing an E-book found in a Database and Online

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of work [E-reader version]. http://dx.doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx OR Retrieved from URL

When citing an online book or e-book, keep in mind:

  • A DOI (digital object identifier) is an assigned number that helps link content to its location on the Internet. It is therefore important, if one is provided, to use it when creating a citation. In place of the x’s in the doi format, place the 10 digit DOI number.
  • Notice that for e-books, publication information is excluded from the citation.

Example:

Sayre, R. K., Devercelli, A. E., Neuman, M. J., & Wodon, Q. (2015). Investment in early childhood development: Review of the world bank’s recent experience. https://doi.org/10.1596/978-1-4648-0403-8

Citations for Chapters in Edited Books

Chapter author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of chapter. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of book (p. x or pp. x-x). Location: Publisher. http://dx.doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx or Retrieved from URL

Example:

Longacre, W. A., & Ayres, J. E. (1968). Archeological lessons from an Apache wickiup. In S. R. Binford & L. R. Binford (Eds.), Archeology in cultural systems (pp. 151-160). Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=vROM3JrrRa0C&lpg=PP1&dq=archeology&pg=PR9#v=onepage&q=archeology&f=false

Citations for Edited Books

Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (Year published). Title of edited book. Location: Publisher.

Example:

Gupta, R. (Ed.). (2003). Remote sensing geology. Germany: Springer-Verlag.

Citations for Websites

Citing a general website article with an author:

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day published). Title of article or page. Retrieved from URL

Example:

Simmons, B. (2015, January 9). The tale of two Flaccos. Retrieved from http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-tale-of-two-flaccos/

Citing a general website article without an author:

Article title. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Retrieved from URL

Example:

Teen posed as doctor at West Palm Beach hospital: Police. (2015, January 16). Retrieved from http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Teen-Posed-as-Doctor-at-West-Palm-Beach-Hospital-Police-288810831.html

Citations for Journal Articles found in Print:

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Article title. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.

Example:

Nevin, A. (1990). The changing of teacher education special education. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children,13(3-4), 147-148.

Citations for Journal Articles found Online

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year published). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. http://dx.doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxxx OR Retrieved from URL

Example:

Spreer, P., & Rauschnabel, P. A. (2016). Selling with technology: Understanding the resistance to mobile sales assistant use in retailing. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 36(3), 240-263. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08853134.2016.1208100

Notes: When creating your online journal article citation, keep in mind:

  • This citation style does NOT require you to include the date of access/retrieval date or database information for electronic sources.
  • You can use the URL of the journal homepage if there is no DOI assigned and the reference was retrieved online.
  • A DOI (digital object identifier) is an assigned number that helps link content to its location on the Internet. It is therefore important, if one is provided, to use it when creating a citation. All DOI numbers begin with a 10 and are separated by a slash. Don’t forget, BibMe’s free APA generator, which is an APA citation maker, is simple to use!

Citations for a Newspaper Article in Print

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Article title. Newspaper Title, pp. xx-xx.

Example:

Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon. The New York Times, p. D5.

Notes: When creating your newspaper citation, keep in mind:

  • Begin page numbers with p. (for a single page) or pp. (for multiple pages).
  • Even if the article appears on non-consecutive pages, include all page numbers, and use a comma to separate them. Example: pp. C2, C5, C7-C9.

Citations for Newspapers found Online

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month Day of Publication). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. Retrieved from URL of newspaper’s homepage

Example:

Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon. The New York Times, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

Notes: When citing a newspaper, keep in mind:

  • This style does NOT require you to include the date of access for electronic sources. If you discovered a newspaper article via an online database, that information is NOT required for the citation either.
  • Multiple lines: If the URL runs onto a second line, only break URL before punctuation (except for http://).

Citations for Magazines

Citing a magazine article in print:

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month of publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume(Issue), page range.

Example:

Tumulty, K. (2006, April). Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167(15), 3-40.

Notes: When citing a magazine, keep in mind:

  • You can find the volume number with the other publication information of the magazine.
  • You can typically find page numbers at the bottom corners of a magazine article.
  • If you cannot locate an issue number, simply don’t include it in the citation.

Citing a magazine article found online:

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Month of publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume(Issue). Retrieved from URL

Example:

Tumulty, K. (2006, April). Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167(15). Retrieved from http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1179361,00.html

Notes: When creating an online magazine citation, keep in mind:

*The volume and issue number aren’t always on the same page as the article. Check out the other parts of the website before leaving it out of the citation.

Citations for Films

Producer’s Last name, F. M. (Producer), & Director’s Last name, F. M. (Director). (Release Year). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of Origin: Studio.

Example:

Bender, L. (Producer), & Tarantino, Q. (Director). (1994). Pulp fiction [Motion picture]. United States: Miramax.

Citations for Films & Videos from YouTube

Person who posted the video’s Last name, F. M. [User name]. (Year, Month Day of posting). Title of YouTube video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

If the name of the individual who posted the YouTube video is not available, begin the citation with the user name and do not place this information in brackets.

Smith, R. [Rick Smith] (2013, September 20). Favre to Moss! [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOP_L6hBjn8

Citations for Photographs

Citing a photograph found in a publication or museum:

Photographer’s Last name, F. M. (Photographer). (Year, Month Day of Publication). Title of photograph [Photograph]. City, State of Publication or Museum: Publisher/Museum.

Example:

Roege, W. J. (Photographer). (1938). St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue from 50th St to 51st Street [Photograph]. New York, NY: New York Historical Society.

Citing a photograph retrieved online:

Photographer, A. (Photographer). (Year, Month Day of Publication). Title of photograph [Digital image]. Retrieved from URL

Example:

Ferraro, A. (Photographer). (2014, April 28). Liberty enlightening the world [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/afer92/14278571753/in/set-72157644617030616

Citations for TV/Radio Broadcasts

Writer, F. M. (Writer), & Director, F. M. (Director). (Year of Airing). Episode title [Television series episode]. In F. M. Executive Producer’s Last name (Executive Producer), TV series name. City, State of original channel: Channel.

Kand, K. (Writer), & Fryman, P. (Director). (2006). Slap bet [Television series episode]. In C. Bays (Executive Producer), How I met your mother, Los Angeles, CA: CBS.

TV/Radio Broadcasts found Online:

Writer, F. M. (Writer), & Director, F. M. (Director). (Year of Airing). Episode title [Television series episode]. In F. M. Executive Producer’s Last name (Executive Producer), TV series name. Retrieved from URL

Kand, K. (Writer), & Fryman, P. (Director). (2006). Slap bet [Television series episode]. In C. Bays (Executive Producer), How I met your mother. Retrieved from https://www.hulu.com/watch/1134858#i0,p30,d0

Note: When citing a TV show or episode, keep in mind:

*IMDB is a great resource for finding the information needed for your citation (Director, Writer, Executive Producer, etc.) This information can also be found in the opening and closing credits of the show.

Citations for Interviews:

A personal interview should NOT be included in a reference list. They are not considered recoverable data (they cannot be found by a researcher). You should reference personal interviews as in-text citations instead.

Example:

(J. Doe, personal communication, December 12, 2004)

Citations for Encyclopedia Entries

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Publication Year). Entry title. In F. M. Last name of Editor (Ed.), Title of encyclopedia (pp. xx-xx). City, State abbreviation or Country: Publisher.

Example:

Kammen, C., & Wilson, A. H. (2012). Monuments. Encyclopedia of local history. (pp. 363-364). Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.

How to Reference a Lecture

This style of reference would be used if you were citing a set of notes from a lecture (e.g. PowerPoint or Google slides provided by your instructor).

Citing online lecture notes or presentation slides:

Author’s Last name, F. M. (Publication year). Name or title of lecture [Lectures notes or PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from URL

Example:

Saito, T. (2012). Technology and me: A personal timeline of educational technology [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/Bclari25/educational-technology-ppt

Tip: If you want to cite information from your own personal notes from a lecture, this is considered personal communication. It is considered personal communication since the lecture notes may not be available online for others outside of the class to access. Refer to it only in the body of your essay or project. You can follow the style guide for personal communication available in the Interview section.

In-Text and Parenthetical Citations

What is an In-Text Citation or Parenthetical Citation?

The purpose of in-text and parenthetical citations is to give the reader a brief idea as to where you found your information, while they’re in the middle of reading or viewing your project. You may include direct quotes in the body of your project, which are word-for-word quotes from another source. Or, you may include a piece of information that you paraphrased in your own words. These are called parenthetical citations. Both direct quotes and paraphrased information include an in-text citation directly following it. You also need to include the full citation for the source in the reference list, which is usually the last item in a project.

In-Text Citations for Direct Quotes

The in-text citation is found immediately following the direct quote. It should include the page number or section information to help the reader locate the quote themselves.

Example:

Buck needed to adjust rather quickly upon his arrival in Canada. He states, “no lazy, sun-kissed life was this, with nothing to do but loaf and be bored. Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment’s safety” (London, 1903, p. 25).

In-Text Citations for Paraphrased Information:

When taking an idea from another source and placing it in your own words, it is not necessary to include the page number, but you can add it if the source is large and you want to direct readers right to the information.

Example:

At the time, papyrus was used to create paper, but it was only grown and available in mass quantities in Egypt. This posed a problem for the Greeks and Romans, but they managed to have it exported to their civilizations. Papyrus thus remained the material of choice for paper creation (Casson, 2001).

How to Format In-Text and Parenthetical Citations

After a direct quote or paraphrase, place in parentheses the last name of the author, add a comma, and then the year the source was published. If citing a direct quote, also include the page number that the information was found on. Close the parentheses and add a period afterwards.

If the author’s name is included in the text of your project, omit their name from the in-text citation and only include the other identifying pieces of information.

Example:

Smith states that, “the Museum Effect is concerned with how individuals look at a work of art, but only in the context of looking at that work along with a number of other works” (2014, p. 82).

If your source has two authors, always include both names in each in-text citation.

If your source has three, four, or five authors, include all names in the first in-text citation along with the date. In the following in-text citations, only include the first author’s name and follow it with et al.

Example:

1st in-text citation: (Gilley, Johnson, & Witchell, 2015)

2nd and any other subsequent citations: (Gilley, et al. 2015)

If your source has six or more authors, only include the first author’s name in the first citation and follow it with et al. Include the year the source was published and the page numbers (if it is a direct quote).

1st in-text citation: (Jasper, et al., 2017)

2nd and any other subsequent citations: (Jasper, et al., 2017)

If your source was written by a company, organization, government agency, or other type of group, include the group’s name in full in the first in text citation. In any in-text citations following it, it is acceptable to shorten the group name to something that is simple and understandable.

Example:

1st citation: (American Eagle Outfitters, 2017)

2nd and subsequent citations: (American Eagle, 2017)

Check out this page to learn more about parenthetical citations. Also, BibMe creates your parenthetical citations quickly and easily. Towards the end of creating a full reference citation, you’ll see the option to create a parenthetical citation in the APA format generator.

Your Reference List

The listing of all sources used in your project are found in the reference list, which is usually the last page or part of a project. Included in this reference list are all of the sources you used to gather research and other information.

It is not necessary to include personal communications in the reference list, such as personal emails or letters. These specific sources only need in-text citations, which are found in the body of your project.

All citations, or references, are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

If you have two sources by the same author, place them in order by the year of publication.

Example:

Thompson, H. S. (1971). Fear and loathing in Las Vegas: A savage journey to the heart of the American dream. New York, NY: Random House.

Thompson, H. S. (1998). The rum diary. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

If there are multiple sources with the same author AND same publication date, place them in alphabetical order by the title.

Example:

Dr. Seuss. (1958). The cat in the hat comes back. New York, NY: Random House.

Dr. Seuss. (1958). Yertle the turtle. New York, NY: Random House.

If a source does not have an author, place the source in alphabetical order by the first main word of the title.

Need help creating the citations in your APA reference list? BibMe creates your citations by entering a keyword, URL, title, or other identifying information.

How to Format Your Paper in APA:

Need to create APA format papers? Follow these guidelines:

In an APA style paper, the font used throughout your document should be in Times New Roman, 12 point font size. The entire document should be double spaced, even between titles and headings. Margins should be 1 inch around the entire document and indent every new paragraph using the tab button on your keyboard.

Place the pages in the following order:

  1. Title page (An APA format title page should include a title, running head, author line, institution line, and author’s note). (Page 1)
  2. Abstract page (page 2)
  3. Text or body of research paper (start on page 3)
  4. Reference List
  5. Page for tables (if necessary)
  6. Page for figures (if necessary)
  7. Appendices page (if necessary)

Page numbers: The title page counts as page 1. Number the pages afterwards using Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4…).

What is a running head?

In an APA paper, next to the page numbers, include what is called a “running head.” The running head is a simplified version of the title of your paper. Place the running head in the top left corner of your project and place it in capital letters.

On the title page only, include the phrase: Running head

Title page example:

  • Running head: QUALITY LIBRARY PROGRAMS

For the rest of the paper or project, do not use the term, Running head.

Example of subsequent pages:

Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and many other word processing programs allow you to set up page numbers and a repeated running head. Use these tools to make this addition easier for you!

If you’re looking for an APA sample paper, check out the other resources found on BibMe.

Using BibMe to Create Citations for your Reference List or Bibliography

Looking to cite your sources quickly and easily? BibMe can help you generate your citations; simply enter a title, ISBN, URL, or other identifying information.

See more across the site here and if you’d like to cite your sources in MLA format, check out BibMe’s MLA page. Other citation styles are available as well.

Background Information and History of APA:

The American Psychological Association was founded in 1892 at Clark University, in Worcester, Massachusetts. APA style format was developed in 1929 by scholars from a number of different scientific fields and backgrounds. Their overall goal was to develop a standard way to document scientific writing and research.

Since its inception, the Style Manual has been updated numerous times and it is now in its 6th edition. The 6th edition was released in 2010. In 2012, APA published an addition to their 6th edition manual, which was a guide for creating citations for electronic resources.

Today, there are close to 118,000 members. There is an annual convention, numerous databases, and journal publications. Some of their more popular resources include the database, PsycINFO, and the publications, Journal of Applied Psychology and Health Psychology.

*Disclaimer: The American Psychological Association was not involved in the making of this guide.

Helpful Tips for Your Citation

 

Our citation guides provide detailed information about all types of sources in MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian styles.

 

If required by your instructor, you can add annotations to your citations. Just select Add Annotation while finalizing your citation. You can always edit a citation as well.

 

Remember to evaluate your sources for accuracy and credibility. Questionable sources could result in a poor grade!

Your Ultimate MLA Format Guide & Generator

What is MLA?

MLA stands for the Modern Language Association, which is an organization that focuses on language and literature.

Depending on which subject area your class or research focuses on, your professor may ask you to cite your sources in MLA format. This is a specific way to cite, following the Modern Language Association’s guidelines. There are other styles, such as APA format and Chicago, but this citation style is often used for literature, language, liberal arts, and other humanities subjects.

What is Citing?

The Modern Language Association's Handbook is in its 8th edition and standardizes the way scholars document their sources and format their papers. When everyone documents their sources and papers in the same way, it is simple to recognize and understand the types of sources that were used for a project. Readers of your work will not only look at your citations to understand them, but to possibly explore them as well.

When you’re borrowing information from a source and placing it in your research or assignment, it is important to give credit to the original author. This is done by creating a citation. Depending on the type of information you’re including in your work, some citations are placed in the body of your project, and all are included in a “Works Cited” list, at the end of your project.

The handbook explains how to create citations. This page summarizes the information in the handbook, 8th edition.

There is also a section below on a recommended way to create a header. These headers appear at the top of your assignment. Check with your instructor if they prefer a certain MLA format heading.

What is MLA Format?

The 8th edition is the most recent and updated version of MLA citations. Released in April of 2016, this citation format is much different than previous versions.

The biggest difference and most exciting update is the use of one standard format for all source types. In previous versions, scholars were required to locate the citation format for the specific source that they used. There were different formats for books, websites, periodicals, and so on. Now, using one universal MLA citation format allows scholars to spend less time trying to locate the proper format to document their sources and focus more on their research.

Other updates include the addition of “containers.” A container is essentially what a source sits in. Chapters are found in a book, songs are found in an album, and journal articles are found in journals. What the source is found in is its container.

URLs are now encouraged to be added into citations (remove http:// and https:// when including URLs), social media pseudonyms and usernames can replace the real name of the author, volume and issue numbers are now abbreviated as vol. and no., and cities of publication and the source’s medium (such as print or web) are no longer included in citations.

Citing Basics

When adding information into your project from another source, you are required to add an MLA citation. There are two types of MLA format citations: in-text citations and full citations.

In-Text Citations:

When using a direct quote or paraphrasing information from a source, add an in-text citation into the body of your work. Direct quotes are word-for-word quotes that are pulled from a source and added into your project. A paraphrase is taking a section of information from a source and placing it in your own words. Both direct quotes and paraphrases require in-text, or parenthetical citations, to follow it.

Format your in-text citation as follows:

“Direct quote” or Paraphrase (Author’s last name and page number)

*See the section below on in-text citations for further clarification and instructions.

Full Citations:

All sources used for a project are found on the Works Cited list, which is generally the last item in a project.

MLA Citing Format often includes the following pieces of information, in this order:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, other contributors, version, numbers, publisher, publication date, location.

Don’t forget, BibMe’s MLA citation generator is an MLA formatter that helps you create your citations quickly and easily!

Citation Components

Authors:

The author is generally the first item in a citation (unless the source does not have an author). The author’s name is followed by a period.

If the source has one author, place the last name first, add a comma, and then the first name.

Examples:

If your source has two authors, place them in the same order they’re shown on the source. The first author is in reverse order, add a comma and the word "and", then place the second author in standard form. Follow their names with a period.

Example:

Monsen, Avery, and Jory John.

For three or more authors, only include the first listed author’s name. Place the first author in reverse order, place a comma afterwards, and then add the Latin phrase, et al.

Example:

Borokhovic, Kenneth A., et al.

For social media posts, it’s acceptable to use a screen name or username in place of the author’s name. Start the citation with the user’s handle.

Example:

@TheOnion. “Experts Warn Number of Retirees Will Completely Overwhelm Scenic Railway Industry by 2030.” Twitter, 9 Oct. 2017, 9:50 a.m., twitter.com/TheOnion/status/917386689500340225.

No author listed? If there isn’t an author, start the citation with the title and skip the author section completely.

Citations do not need to always start with the name of the author. When your research focuses on a specific individual that is someone other than the author, it is appropriate for readers to see that individual’s name at the beginning of the citation. Directors, actors, translators, editors, and illustrators are common individuals to have at the beginning. Again, only include their name in place of the author if your research focuses on that specific individual.

To include someone other than the author at the beginning of the citation, place their name in reverse order, add a comma afterwards, and then the role of that individual followed by a comma.

Examples:

Fimmel, Travis, performer. Vikings. Created by Michael Hirst, History Channel, 2013-2016.

Gage, John T., editor. The Promise of Reason: Studies in the New Rhetoric. SIU Press, 2011.

Titles and Containers

Titles follow the name of the author and are written in title capitalization form.

If you’re citing a source in its entirety, such as a full book, a movie, or a music album, then place the title in italics.

Examples:

Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2001.

Rufus Du Sol. Bloom. Sweat It Out! 2016.

If you’re citing a source, such as a chapter in a book, a song on an album, or an article in a journal or website, then place the title of the piece in quotations and add a period afterwards. Follow it with the title of the full source, in italics, and then add a comma. This second portion is called the container. Containers hold the sources.

MLA formatting example with containers:

Vance, Erik, and Erika Larsen. “Mind Over Matter.” National Geographic Magazine, Dec. 2016, pp. 30-55.

Beyonce. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” I am...Sasha Fierce, Sony, 2008, track 2.

Wondering what to do with subtitles? Place a colon in between the title and subtitle. Both parts are written in title capitalization form.

Example:

Nasar, Sylvia. A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash. Simon and Schuster, 2001.

If the source does not have a title, give a brief description and do not use quotation marks or italics.

Example:

Israel, Aaron. Brooklyn rooftop acrylic painting. 2012, 12 W 9th Street, New York City.

When citing a tweet, the full text of the tweet is placed where the title sits.

Example:

@LOCMaps. “#DYK the first public zoo to open in the US was the #Philadelphia Zoo? #50States.” Twitter, 9 Feb. 2017, 3:14 p.m., twitter.com/LOCMaps/status/829785441549185024.

For email messages, the subject of the email is the title. Place this information in quotation marks.

Example:

Rabe, Leor. “Fwd: Japan Itinerary.” Received by Raphael Rabe, 11 Feb 2017.

Citations with Two Containers:

It is possible for a source to sit in a second, or larger container. A journal article sits in its first container, which is the journal itself, but it can also sit in a larger container, such as a database. A song can sit in its first container, which is the album it’s found on. Then it can sit in its next container, which could be Spotify or iTunes.

It is important to include the second container because the content on one container can be different than another container.

Citing with two containers should be formatted like this:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, other contributors, version, numbers, Publisher, publication date, location. Title of Second Container, Other contributors, version, number, Publisher, publication date, location.

In most cases, for the second container, only the title of the second container and the location is needed. Why? In order for readers to locate the source themselves, they’ll most likely use the majority of the information found in the first part of the citation.

Examples of Citations with 2 Containers:

Sallis, James, et al. “Physical Education’s Role in Public Health: Steps Forward and Backward Over 20 Years and Hope for the Future.” Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, vol. 83, no. 2, Jun. 2012, pp. 125-135. ProQuest, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1023317255?accountid=35635.

Baker, Martha. “Fashion: Isaac in Wonderland.” New York Magazine, vol. 24, no. 3, 21 Jan. 1991, pp. 50-54. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=PukCAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=magazine&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=magazine&f=false.

Remember, BibMe creates citations for you quickly and easily!

Format for Other Contributors:

In MLA citing, when there are other individuals (besides the author) who play a significant role in your research, include them in this section of the citation. Other contributors can also be added to help individuals locate the source themselves. You can add as many other contributors as you like.

Start this part of the citation with the individual’s role, followed by the word "by". Notice that if other contributors are added after a period, capitalize the first letter in the individual’s role. If it follows a comma, the role should start with a lowercase letter.

Examples:

Gaitskill, Mary. “Twilight of the Superheroes.” The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970, edited by Lex Williford and Michael Martone, Simon and Schuster, 2012, pp. 228-238.

The Incredibles. Directed by Brad Bird, produced by John Walker, Pixar, 2004.

Gospodinov, Georgi. The Physics of Sorrow. Translated by Angela Rodel, Open Letter, 2015.

Format for Versions:

Sources can come in different versions. There are numerous bible versions, books can come in versions (such as numbered editions), even movies and songs can have special versions.

When a source indicates that it is different than other versions, include this information in the citation. This will help readers locate the exact source that you used for your project.

Examples:

The Bible. Lexham English Version, Logos, 2011, lexhamenglishbible.com.

Crank, J. The Mathematics of Diffusion. 2nd ed., Clarendon, 1979.

Afrojack. “Take Over Control.” Beatport, performance by Eva Simons, extended version, 2011, www.beatport.com/track/take-over-control-feat-eva-simons-extended/1621534.

MLA Formatting for Numbers:

Any numbers related to a source that isn’t the publication date, page range, or version number should be placed in the numbers position of the citation. This includes volume and issue numbers for journal articles, volume or series numbers for books, comic book numbers, and television episode numbers, to name a few.

When including volume and issue numbers, use the abbreviation vol. for volume and no. for number.

Examples:

Zhai, Xiaojuan, and Jingjing Wang. “Improving Relations Between Users and and Libraries: A Survey of Chinese Academic Libraries.” The Electronic Library, vol. 34, no. 4, 2016, pp. 597-616. ProQuest Research Library, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/docview/1841764839?accountid=35635.

“Chestnut.” Westworld, directed by Richard J. Lewis, season 1, episode 2, Warner Bros., 2016.

Publishers:

The production of the source is done by the publisher. The publisher is placed in the citation before the date of publication. Include the publisher for any source type except for websites when the name of the publisher is the same as the name of the website. It is also not necessary to include the name of publishers for newspapers, magazines, or journal articles, since the name of the publisher is generally insignificant.

When sources have more than one publisher that share responsibility for the production of the source, place a slash between the names of the publishers.

Use the abbreviation UP when the name of the publisher includes the words University Press.

Example:

Publication Dates:

When including the date that the source was published, display the amount of information that is found on the source, whether it’s the full date, the month and year, or just the year.

In terms of display, it does not matter if the date is written in a specific order. Make sure to use the same format for all citations.

Example:

2 Nov. 2016 or Nov. 2, 2016

When multiple dates are shown on the source, include the date that is most relevant to your work and research.

Locations:

The location refers to the place where the source can be found. This can be in the form of a URL, page number, disc number, or physical place.

When MLA citing websites, include URLs. Remove the beginning of the web address as it is not necessary to include http:// or https://. If a DOI number is present, use it in place of a URL.

For page numbers, use the abbreviation p. when only referring to one page, and pp. for a range of pages.

Common Examples:

Citations for Books:

The basic entry for a book consists of the author’s name, the book title, the publisher, and the year published.

Format:

Author’s Last name, First name. Book Title. Publisher, Year published.

Example:

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818.

The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears on the title page.

For a book written by two authors, list them in order as they appear on the title page. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the second author’s name is written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the second author’s name.

Smith, John, and Bob Anderson. The Sample Book. Books For Us, 2017.

For books with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by a comma and the abbreviation “et al.”

Campbell, Megan, et al. The Best Book. Books For Us, 2017.

The full title of the book, including any subtitles, should be italicized and followed by a period. If the book has a subtitle, the main title should be followed by a colon (unless the main title ends with a question mark or exclamation point).

The publication information can generally be found on the title page of the book. If it is not available there, it may also be found on the copyright page. State the name of the publisher.

If you are citing a specific page range from the book, include the page(s) at the end of the citation.

Smith, John, and Bob Anderson. The Sample Book. Books For Us, 2017, pp. 5-12.

When a book has no edition number/name present, it is generally a first edition. If you have to cite a specific edition of a book later than the first, see the section below on citing edited books.

Citations for E-Books:

Format:

Author’s Last name, First name. Title of E-Book. Publisher, Year published. Title of Website, URL.

Example:

Rodgers, Tara. Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound. Duke UP, 2010. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=syqTarqO5XEC&lpg=PP1&dq=electronic%20music&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=electronic%20music&f=false.

Citations for Edited Books:

If your book is an edition later than the first, you should note this in the citation. If the book is a revised edition or an edition that includes substantial new content, include the number, name, or year of the edition and the abbreviation “ed.” after the book title. “Revised edition” should be abbreviated as “revised ed.” and “Abridged edition” should be “abridged ed.” The edition can usually be found on the title page, as well as on the copyright page, along with the edition’s date.

Format:

Author’s Last name, First name, editor. Title of Book. Numbered ed., Publisher, Year published.

Examples:

Ferraro, Gary, and Susan Andreatta, editors. Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. 10th ed., Cengage Learning, 2014.

Smith, John. The Sample Book. Revised ed., Books For Us, 2017.

If your edited book has more than one author, refer to the directions above under the heading “Authors.”

Also, BibMe helps you create your citations with more than one author quickly and easily!

Citations for Websites:

The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), page title, website title, sponsoring institution/publisher, date published, and the URL.

Format:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Individual Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, Date, URL.

Example:

Fosslien, Liz, and Mollie West. “3 Ways to Hack Your Environment to Help You Create.” Huffpost Endeavor, Huffington Post, Dec. 7, 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/3-ways-to-hack-your-environment-to-help-you-createus580f758be4b02444efa569bc.

The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears on the website.

For a page with two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the website. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the last author’s name. For pages with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by the abbreviation “et al.”

If the article was written by a news service or an organization, include it in the author position.

If no author is available, begin the citation with the page title.

The page title should be placed within quotation marks. Place a period after the page title within the quotation marks. The page title is followed by the name of the website, which is italicized, followed by a comma.

Include the sponsoring institution or publisher, along with a comma, after the website title. The sponsoring institution/publisher can usually be found at the bottom of the website in the footer. If the name of the publisher is the same as the name as the website, do not include the publisher information in your citation.

Next, state the publication date of the page. In some cases, a specific date might not be available, and the date published may only be specific to a month or even year. Provide whatever date information is available.

End the citation with the URL. Remove http:// and https:// from the beginning of the citation. End the entire citation with a period.

Looking for an MLA formatter to create your website citations quickly and easily? Check out BibMe!

Citations for Online Journal Articles:

The most basic entry for a journal consists of the author name(s), article title, journal name, volume number, issue number, year published, page numbers, name of website or database, and URL or Direct Object Identifier (DOI).

Format:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Journal Article.” Title of Journal, vol. number, issue no., date, page range. Database or Website Name, URL or DOI.

Example:

Snyder, Vivian. “The Effect Course-Based Reading Strategy Training on the Reading Comprehension Skills of Developmental College Students.” Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, vol. 18, no. 2, Spring 2002, pp. 37-41. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42802532.

The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears in the journal.

For an article written by two authors, list them in order as they appear in the journal. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the second is written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the second author’s name.

Krispeth, Klein, and Stewart Jacobs.

For articles with three or more authors, include the name of the first author in the citation, followed by a comma and the abbreviation “et al.”

The article title should be placed within quotation marks. Unless the article title ends with a punctuation mark, place a period after the article title within the quotation marks. The article title is followed by the name of the journal, which is italicized.

Include the volume number of the journal, but use the abbreviation “vol.” You may also need to include the issue number, depending on the journal. Use the abbreviation “no.” before the journal’s issue number.

Jones, Robert, et al. “Librarianship in the Future.” Libraries Today, vol. 5, no. 2, Mar. 2017, pp. 89-103. Database Life, www.dbl.com/6854.

When including the URL, make sure to exclude http:// and https:// from the citation.

Citations for Lectures:

The most basic entry for a lecture consists of the speaker’s name, presentation title, date conducted, and the name and location of the venue.

Speaker’s Last name, First name. Title of Lecture. Date conducted, Venue, Location.

Pausch, Randy. Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. 18 Sept. 2007, McConomy Auditorium, Pittsburgh.

Begin the citation with the name of the speaker. This person’s name should be reversed. If the lecture has a title, place it, along with a period, in italics after the speaker’s name. State the date on which the lecture was conducted, followed by a comma. Conclude your citation with the location/venue name and the city in which it occurred, separated by a comma.

Citations for Newspapers:

The most basic entry for a newspaper consists of the author name(s), article title, newspaper name, publication date, page numbers, and sometimes a URL, if found online. Volume numbers, issue numbers, and the names of publishers are omitted from newspaper citations.

Format if found on a website:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper’s Website, publication date, page range, URL.

Format if found on a database:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper, publication date, page range. Title of Database (if applicable), URL.

MLA format example:

This example is for a print newspaper:

Hageman, William. “Program Brings Together Veterans, Neglected Dogs.” Chicago Tribune, 4 Jan. 2015, p. 10.

The full article title should be placed within quotations. Next, state the name of the newspaper in italics.

Towards the end of the citation, include the page numbers on which the article appears, along with a period. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.

Don’t forget, BibMe’s MLA cite generator creates citations for you quickly and easily!

Citations for Encyclopedias

The most basic entry for an encyclopedia consists of the author name(s), article title, encyclopedia name, publisher, and year published.

Last Name, First Name. “Article title.” Encyclopedia Name, Publisher, Year published.

Smith, John. “Internet.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012.

Notice that the name of the publisher was not included in the example above. Only include the name of the publisher if it differs from the name of the encyclopedia. Encyclopedia Britannica is the name of the encyclopedia AND the name of the publisher. It is not necessary to include Encyclopedia Britannica twice in the citation.

If there are no authors for the article, begin the citation with the article title instead.

“Media.” World Book Encyclopedia, 2010.

If the encyclopedia arranges articles alphabetically, do not cite the page number(s) or number of volumes. If articles are not arranged alphabetically, you may want to include page number(s) and/or volume number, which is preceded by the abbreviation “vol.” The volume should be cited after the encyclopedia name (or any edition), and before any publication information. After the publication year, include the page numbers on which the article appears, along with a period. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.

Saunders, Bill. “Treasure.” Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 18, 2012, p. 56.

If the encyclopedia entry is found on a website, use the following structure:

Last name, First name. “Encyclopedia Entry.” Title of Encyclopedia Website, Publisher, Year published, URL.

Citations for Films:

The most basic entry for a film consists of the title, director, distributor, and year of release. You may also choose to include the names of the writer(s), performer(s), and the producer(s), depending on who your research project may focus on. You can also include certain individuals to help readers locate the exact source themselves. Include as many individuals as you’d like.

Example of a common way to cite a film:

Film Title. Directed by First name Last name, performance by First Name Last Name, Distributor, Year.

BibMe: The Movie. Directed by John Smith, performance by Jane Doe, New York Stories, 2017.

If your research focuses on a specific individual, you can begin the citation with that individual’s name (in reverse order) and their role. Format it the same way as you would an author’s name.

Doe, Jane, performer. BibMe: The Movie. Directed by John Smith, New York Stories, 2017.

If the film is dubbed in English or does not have an English title, use the foreign language title in the citation, followed by a square bracket that includes the translated title.

Citas gobiernan el mundo [Citations Rule the World]. Directed by Sara Paul, Showcase Films, 2017.

If the film was found online, include the name of the website and the URL.

“Film Title.” Website Title, directed by First Name Last Name, performance by First Name Last Name, Distributor, Year Published, URL.

Since the citation has two titles included in it (the title of the film and the title of the website), the title of the film is placed in quotation marks and the title of the website is in italics.

Citations for Magazines:

The most basic entry for a magazine consists of the author name(s), article title, magazine name, the volume and issue numbers if available, publication date, page numbers, and URL if found online.

Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name, vol. number, issue no., publication date, page numbers or URL.

Pratt, Sybil. “A Feast of Tradition.” BookPage, Oct. 2017, p. 8.

The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears in the magazine.

For an article written by two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the title page. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word “and” before the last author’s name. For articles with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by the abbreviation “et al.”

The full article title should be placed within quotations. Unless there is punctuation that ends the article title, place a period after the title within the quotations. Next, state the name of the magazine in italics.

If volume and issue numbers are available, include them in the citation. Use the abbreviations vol. and no. before the volume number and issue number.

Example: vol. 6, no. 1

The date the magazine was published comes directly after the volume and issue number. Use whichever date the magazine includes, whether it’s a complete date, a period spanning two months, a season, or just a month and year. Follow this information with a comma.

Include the page number(s) on which the article appears. Cite all inclusive page numbers – if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.

If the magazine article was found online, include the URL. Remove http:// or https:// from the beginning of the citation. End the citation with a period.

Citations for Interviews:

Begin your citation with the name of the person interviewed. This person’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name).

For an interview that has been broadcast or published, if there is a title, include it after the name of the person interviewed. If the interview is from a publication, program, or recording, place the title, along with a period, in quotation marks. If it was published independently, italicize it, followed by a period.

Jolie, Angelina. “Being a Mother.” Interview by Steve Kroft, 60 Minutes, CBS, 3 Feb. 2009.

While names of other individuals are generally found after the title, for interviews, include the name of the interviewee directly after the title if you feel it is important to include their name.

If there is no title, use the word “Interview” in place of a title and do not use quotation marks or italics. If the interviewer’s name is known, add it, preceded by “by”, after the word “Interview”. Do not reverse the interviewer’s name.

Jenkins, Lila. Interview. By Jessica Grossman. 5 Mar. 2017.

For published interviews found online, include the title of the website after the title of the interview. In addition, add the URL at the end of the citation.

Michaels, Jamye. “Fighting to Survive.” Women’s Magazine of Life, 2 Nov. 2016, www.womensmagazine.com/fightingtosurvive.com.

Citations for Photographs:

The most basic entry for a photograph consists of the photographer’s name, the title of photograph, the title of the book, website, or collection where the photograph can be located, the publisher of the photograph or publication where the image was located, the date the photograph was posted or taken, and the page number, location of the museum (such as a city and state) or URL if found online.

Format:

Photographer’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Photograph.” Title of the Book, Website, Collection, or other type of publication where the photograph was found, Date photograph was taken, page number, location (such as a city and state if necessary) where the photograph can be found, or URL.

Begin with the name of the photographer or main contributor (if available). This person’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (and any middle name).

For a photograph taken from a publication or website, include the title of the photograph in quotation marks followed by a period. If the photograph does not have a formal title, create a description. If you make your own description, only include a capital at the beginning of the description and at the beginning of any proper nouns. Do not place the description in italics or quotation marks.

Place the title of the publication in italics immediately following it, followed by a comma.

Digital image/photograph found online:

Photograph of the Hudson Area Public Library. JMS Collective, 19 Apr. 2016, www.jmscollective.com/hudson-ny-3/historic-hudson-armory-now-public-library/.

*Note that the above photograph does not have a formal title, so the photograph was given a description.

Photograph or Image viewed in a museum:

Vishniac, Roman. “Red Spotted Purple.” Roman Vishniac’s Science Work, early 1950s - late 1960s, International Center of Photography at Mana, New Jersey.

Photograph or Image found in a book:

Barnard, Edwin. Photograph of Murray Street, Hobart. Exiled: The Port Arthur Convict Photographs, National Library of Australia, 2010, p. 20.

Citations for TV/Radio:

The most basic citation for a radio/TV program consists of the individuals responsible for the creation of the episode (if they’re important to your research), the episode title, program/series name, broadcasting network or publisher, the original broadcast date, and the URL.

“The Highlights of 100.” Seinfeld, NBC, 2 Feb. 1995.

If your research focuses on a specific individual from the tv or radio broadcast, include their name at the beginning of the citation, in the author position. Or, begin the citation with the episode name or number, along with a period, inside quotation marks. Follow it with the name of the program or series, which is italicized, followed by a comma.

If relevant, you may also choose to include the names of personnel involved with the program. Depending if the personnel are relevant to the specific episode or the series as a whole, place the personnel names after the program/series name. You may cite narrator(s) preceded by narrated by, writer(s) preceded by written by, directors preceded by directed by, performer(s) preceded by performance by, and/or producer(s) preceded by produced by and then the individual names. Include as many individuals as you like. Write these personnel names in normal order – do not reverse the first and last names.

“The Highlights of 100.” Seinfeld, directed by Andy Ackerman, written by Peter Mehlman, NBC, 2 Feb. 1995.

Also include the name of the network on which the program was broadcasted, followed by a comma.

State the date which your program was originally broadcasted, along with a period. If including the URL, follow the date with a comma and place the URL at the end, followed by a period to end the citation. Remove http:// or https:// from the URL.

In-Text Citations and Parenthetical Citations

What is an In-Text Citation or Parenthetical Citation?

The purpose of the in-text citation is to give the reader a brief idea as to where you found your information. If the reader plans to investigate the original source further, they can find the full citation in the Works Cited list.

Format your MLA in-text citation as follows:

“Direct quote” or Paraphrase (Author’s last name and page number)

In-text citation MLA formatting example:

He goes on to say, “Jim never got back with a bucket of water under an hour - and even then somebody generally had to go after him” (Twain 8).

For sources without an author, use the main word of the title in place of the author’s name.

If your in-text citation comes from a website or another source that does not have page numbers, use the following abbreviations:

If the source has designated: - paragraph numbers, use par. or pars. - sections, use sec. or secs. - chapters, use ch. or chs.

Example:

Gregor’s sister is quite persuasive, especially when she states to her parents, "It'll be the death of both of you, I can see it coming. We can't all work as hard as we have to and then come home to be tortured like this, we can't endure it” (Kafka, chap. III).

If there aren’t page, paragraph, section, or chapter numbers, only include the author’s name in parentheses for your in-text citation.

If the original source is an audio or video recording, after the author’s name or title, place a time stamp.

To learn more about parenthetical citations, click here.

Need help creating your in-text or parenthetical citations? After creating your full citation for a source, there is an option to create a parenthetical citation.

Your Works Cited Page

An MLA Works Cited page contains all of the citations for a project and is usually found at the very end.

Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the first letter found in the citation.

If there are multiple sources by the same author, only include the author’s name in the first citation. For each citation afterwards, MLA formatting requires you to include three dashes and a period.

Example of a Works Cited List with Multiple Works by Same Author:

Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Quirk, 2011.

---. Tales of the Peculiar. Dutton, 2016.

When alphabetizing by titles, ignore A, An, and The, and use the next part of the title. In addition, if the title starts with a number, place the title where it would belong if the number was spelled out.

Example:

1492 The Year Our World Began would be alphabetized under F (for fourteen)

Formatting Your Header:

The Handbook does not include a required way to format the heading of your paper. Check with your instructor to see if there is a recommended way to format your header. BibMe recommends creating your header in the following format:

In the top left corner of your paper, place the following pieces of information in this order:

Your full name

Your instructor’s name

The course or class number

Date

Double space this information.

In the top right corners, place a running head for your MLA header. The heading should include your last name and the page number. Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4…). Your word processing program should allow you to automatically set up the running head so that it appears at the top of every page of your project.

Using BibMe to Create Citations for your MLA Works Cited List or MLA Bibliography

Looking for an MLA Formatter? BibMe’s automatic citation generator formats your citations in MLA format. Enter a title, web address, ISBN number, or other identifying information into the MLA format template to automatically cite your sources. If you need help with BibMe, or MLA format citing, see more across the site here.

More Information:

For more information on the current handbook, check out this page. There is further good information here, including MLA format examples and examples of MLA in-text citations.

In the News:

Check out this article, which shares information on helpful sites including an MLA citation machine.

Background Information and History:

The Modern Language Association was developed in 1883 and was created to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. With over 25,000 current members worldwide, the Modern Language Association continuously strives to keep its members up-to-date on the best practices, methods, and trends related to language and literature. The Modern Language Association boasts an annual conference, journal, an online communication platform, numerous area-focused committees, and one of its most popular publications, the MLA Handbook, now in its 8th edition.

Helpful Tips for Your Citation

 

Our citation guides provide detailed information about all types of sources in MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian styles.

 

If required by your instructor, you can add annotations to your citations. Just select Add Annotation while finalizing your citation. You can always edit a citation as well.

 

Remember to evaluate your sources for accuracy and credibility. Questionable sources could result in a poor grade!

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