MLA (Modern Language Association) is the style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.
The Eighth Edition of the MLA Handbook recommends a universal set of guidelines, a "new model" that writers can apply to any source.
In the new model, a work’s publication format is not considered. Instead of asking, “How do I cite a book [or DVD or Web page]?” the writer creates a citation by consulting the MLA’s list of core elements—facts common to most works—which are assembled in a specific order. The MLA core elements appear below:
In the new model, then, the writer asks, “Who is the author? What is the title?” and so forth—regardless of the nature of the source. Also, in the new model, elements 3-9 will repeat if the source was located within another source, like an article in a database.
Below are differences that might be overlooked by writers making the transition from the seventh edition.
Print Article Template
Author's Last Name, First Name Middle Initial. "Title of Source: Subtitle of Source." Title of Container, Version, Number, Publication Date, Location.
Hannah, Daniel K. "The Private Life, the Public Stage: Henry James in Recent Fiction." Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 30, no. 3, 2007, pp. 70-94.
Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.
Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.
Today, it is more than likely that you will locate articles from a database (e.g. ProQuest, JSTOR), electronic subscription service (e.g. EBSCOhost), or a website. Articles that are located from an electronic source will include the elements of the 2nd container in the second part of the citation.
TAKE NOTE: Your instructors may have different preferences for the use of URLs in article citations. When using a URL from a database, always use the permalink when one is provided to avoid expired session URLs.
Article from an Online Database or Website Template
Author's Last Name, First Name Middle Initial. "Title of Source: Subtitle of Source." Title of Container, Version, Number, Publication Date, Location. Title of Container 2, URL or DOI. Access Date.
Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. "Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates." Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online, doi: 10.1002/tox.20155. Accessed 2 Feb. 2015.
Iaconangelo, David. "What Another Ice Shelf Collapse Might Mean for Antarctica and the Planet." Christian Science Monitor, 6 Jan. 2017. Academic Search Complete, http://0-search.ebscohost.com.iii.sonoma.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=120590402&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 26 Jan. 2017.
"Youtuber, Brexit, and 'Get Your Freak On' Enter the Oxford English Dictionary." Time Magazine, 14 Dec. 2016. Time, http://time.com/4603064/oxford-dictionary-new-words. Accessed 16 Dec. 2016.
Print Book Template
Author's Last Name, First Name Middle Initial. Title of Source: Subtitle of Source. Version, Publisher, Publication Date.
Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. Love in the Time of Cholera. Vintage, 1988.
Casell, Kay Ann and Uma Hiremath. Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century: An Introduction. Neal-Schuman, 2004.
(NOTE: Authors should be listed in the order they are listed on the title page.)
Robbins, Chandler S., et al. Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden, 1966.
Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by Robert Fagles, Viking, 1996.
(NOTE: Other common descriptions: Adapted by, Directed by, Edited by, Illustrated by, Introduction by, Narrated by, Performance by.)
Kimball, Jean. "Growing Up Together: Joyce and Psychoanalysis, 1900-1922." Joyce through the Ages: A Nonlinear View, edited by Michael Patrick Gillespie, UP of Florida, 1999, pp. 25-45.
When a book is accessed from a database, website, or other electronic source, this information is provided as a 2nd Sometimes elements 3-9 will be listed again in your citation -- if your book was from a database or a website. Include the date of access and URL or DOI, when available, if you use an electronic source.
Your instructors may have different preferences for the use of URLs in electronic book citations. When using a URL from a database, always use the when one is provided to avoid expired session URLs.
Electronic Book Template
Author's Last Name, First Name Middle Initial. Title of Source: Subtitle of Source. Version, Publisher, Publication Date. Title of Container 2. Access Date.
Pustz, Matthew. Comic Book Culture: Fanboys and True Believers. Mississippi UP, 1999. eBook Collection, http://0-search.ebscohost.com.iii.sonoma.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=25895&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 12 Dec. 2016.
Poe, Edgar A. "The Raven." Short Stories for English Courses. Edited by Rosa Mary Redding Mikels, Project Gutenburg, 2004. Project Gutenburg, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1065/1065.txt. Accessed 31 Oct. 2016.
Author's Last Name, First Name Middle Initial (if one is given). "Title of Source: Subtitle of Source." Title of Container, Publisher, Publication Date, Location.
"Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview." WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview. Accessed 2 Feb. 2015.
Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow, www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html. Accessed 15 Dec. 2016.
Entire Website Template
Author's Last Name, First Name Middle Initial (if one is given). Title of Container, Publisher, Location.
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, www.drugabuse.gov. Accessed 15 Dec. 2016.
Videos, Blogs, Comments, Tweets, and Email will following the standard format involving titles and containers that are used for other entries.
“8 Hot Dog Gadgets Put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBlpjSEtELs. Accessed 2 Nov. 2016.
McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E. Accessed 12 Dec. 2016.
Sarvas, Mark. "My Top 10 Banned Literary Essay List." The Elegant Variation, 19 Feb. 2014, marksarvas.blogs.com.
Small, Alex. Comment on "Welcome Freshmen. Look at Me When I Talk to You." Chronicle of Higher Education,
11 Sept. 2016, www.chronicle.com/article/Welcome-Freshmen-Look-at-Me/237751#comment-2888500129.
Jordan, Andrew R. "Re: Attendance Policy." Received by Jessica Robertson, 29 Aug. 2016.
TAKE NOTE: When documenting an e-mail message, use the subject as the title. The subject is enclosed in quotation marks. Standard capitalization applies.
@ChasingtheMeso."Moving On to the Championship." Twitter, 11 Sept. 2016, 8:39 p.m., twitter.com/ChasingtheMeso.
TAKE NOTE: Identify a short untitled message, such as a tweet, by reproducing its full text or the first part of the full text, without changes, in place of a title. Enclose the text in quotation marks.
In order to avoid plagiarism, all information which you gather from someone else’s research or knowledge needs to be both cited in a Works Cited page as well as through in-text citations (also called parenthetical citation). In-text citations are inserted directly into an essay using parentheses. In-text citations must be used to give credit to the original author for paraphrases, summaries, as well as direct quotes. Generally, they are placed at the end of a sentence.
The format for creating an in-text citation in MLA Style is to include the last name of the author of the work, followed by the page number of the content used.
"In the Caribbean the successful planting of new varieties of crops owed much to the Amerindian, who carefully nurtured each newly introduced food source." (Mackie 42)
Lead-in Reference with quote:
Christine Mackie notes that "in the Caribbean the successful planting of new varieties of crops owed much to the Amerindian, who carefully nurtured each newly introduced food source." (42)
The success of new varieties of crops planted in the Caribbean was due in part to the careful tending by the Amerindians. (Mackie 42)
In the Works Cited:
The Works Cited for this essay will include a full bibliographic citation to the Mackie work:
Mackie, Christine. Life and Food in the Caribbean. New Amsterdam Books, 1992.
MLA style requires a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text, in other words -- your in-text citations.