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MLA Guidelines

Revised July 2009, based on the 7th edition of MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

For more examples, see:


Format Guidelines for Works Cited

  • Double-space the list of works cited.
  • One space follows a period, but two spaces are also acceptable. Be consistent throughout the entire paper.
  • Use a hanging indent format (first line is flush left, all other lines are indented .5 inch. In MS Word, use Format-->Paragraph-->Hanging Indent).
  • On the works cited page, alphabetize the entries by the authors' last names (Last name, First name).
  • If the source has more than one author, only invert the first author's name.
  • If no author is listed, list the source in alphabetical order by title.
  • Capitalize each word in titles (except articles, prepositions, and conjunctions - unless one is the first word of a title or subtitle).
  • Italicize titles of books, journals, magazines, etc. (Underlining is no longer acceptable).
  • Use quotation marks around the titles of articles in journals, magazines, and parts of web pages.
  • Entries now specify the "medium" of the resource: if it appears in print, "Print" is specified at the end of the entry. If it was found on the Internet, "Web" is specified, followed by the date of access.
  • While the 7th edition does not specify that database providers be included in citations for online databases, the Bakersfield College English Department has stipulated the inclusion of this information in citations for the sake of clarity. So the names of database providers, such as EBSCOhost and Gale, should follow the database title.
  • The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, provides extensive examples covering a wide variety of sources. If your particular case is not covered here, use the basic forms to determine the correct format of consult the MLA Handbook [Ref LB2369 .G53 2009]

Basic Forms for Periodical Articles

(Scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers

A periodical article (such as a newspaper or magazine) in print

[MLA 5.4.5 & 5.4.6]

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages. Print


Examples:

Magazine or newspaper article in print

[MLA 5.4.5 & 5.4.6]

Kolbert, Elizabeth. "Greening the Ghetto." New Yorker 12 Jan. 2009:

         22-28. Print.

Nachtigal, Jeff. "Stimulus Funds Already Shot." Bakersfield Californian

        12 May 2009: A1+. Print.

Note: When an article is not on consecutive pages, use a + sign immediately after the page number.


Article with no author named in print

[MLA 5.4.9]

"U.N. Human Rights Council Admits U.S." Los Angeles Times 13 May

        2009: A21. Print.


A periodical article (such as a newspaper or magazine) from an online database

[MLA 5.6.4]

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Day Month Year:

        pages. Title of Database. Database Provider. Web. Day Month

        Year of access.

Example:

Postel, Virginia. "The Truth about Beauty." Atlantic Monthly Mar. 2007:

        125-27. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 13 May 2006.

Note: The database provider is not specifically required by MLA but adds clarity to the citation. The BC English Department has stipulated its inclusion in citations from online databases. When page numbers are over 100, drop the first numeral/s of the last page in the range, unless the pagination would be unclear.


A scholarly journal article in print

[MLA 5.4.2]

Author(s). "Title of Article: Complete with Subtitle." Title of Journal

        volume number. issue number (year of publication) : pages. Print.

Example:

Putrevu, Sanjay. "Consumer Responses Toward Sexual and Non-Sexual

        Appeals." Journal of Advertising 37.2 (2008) : 57-69. Print.


A scholarly journal article from an online database

[MLA 5.6.4]

Author(s). "Title of Article: Complete with Subtitle." Title of Journal

        volume number. issue number (year of publication) : pages.

       Title of database. Database provider. Web. Day Month Year

        of access.

Note:  The database provider is not specifically required by MLA but adds clarity to the citation. The BC English Department has stipulated its inclusion in citations from online databases.


Article from a journal with one author from an online database [MLA 5.6.4]

Bessenhoff, Gayle R. "Can the Media Affect Us? Social Comparison

                      Self-Discrepancy, and the Thin Ideal." Psychology of Women

                      Quarterly 30.3 (2006) : 239-51. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

                      Collection. EBSCO. Web. 13 May 2009.   


Article from a journal with two authors from an online database [MLA 5.5.4]

Pelizzon, Penelope, and Nancy M. West. "Mutiple Indemnity: Film Noir,

                       James M. Cain, and Adaptations of a Tabloid Case: The Disappearing

                       Death Chamber."  Narrative 13.3 (2005) : 211-37. Expanded Academic

                       ASAP. Gale. Web. 13 May 2009

Note: The second name is NOT inverted. In any entry, only the initial name is inverted.


Article from a journal with more than three authors from an online database [MLA 5.5.4]

Grieve, Frederick G., et al. "Correlates of Social Physique Anxiety in Men."

                       Journal of Sport Behavior 31.4 (2008) : 329-37. Psychology and

                       Behavioral Sciences Collection. EBSCO. Web. 14 May 2009.

Basic Forms for Books

A book [MLA 5.5]

Author(s). Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Print.

Book with one author in print [MLA 5.5.2]

Davidson, D. Kirk. Selling Sin: The Marketing of Socially Unacceptable Products.

            2nd ed. Westport: Praeger, 2003. Print.

Note: The inclusion of an edition is only necessary if the book is a 2nd edition or later.

 

E-Book from the Bakersfield College Library EBSCO ebook Collection [MLA 5.6.2.c]

Patterson, Anita. Race, American Literature and Transnational Modernisms. New York:

            Cambridge UP, 2008. ebook Collection. EBSCO. Web. 14 May 2009.

Note: Like a citation for an article from an online source, a citation for a book should also include the title of the database in italics, the word Web, and the day, month, year of access. Also note in the citation above that UP is the abbreviation for University Press.

 

Book with more than one author (but less than four) [MLA 5.5.4]

Gilber, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the

            Nineteenth-Century Imagination. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979. Print.

Note: The second author's name is not inverted.

 

Book with a corporate author [MLA 5.5.5]

American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological

            Association. 5th ed. Washington: APA, 2001. Print.


A part of a book (such as an article in a collection) in print

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Collection. Ed. Editor's Name(s). City

                        of Publication: Publisher, Year. Pages. Print.

Article from an encyclopedia or reference book [MLA 5.5.7]

Candelaria, Cordelia Chavez. "La Malinche." The Greenwood

            Encyclopedia of Latino Literature. Ed. Nicolas Kanellos.

            Vol. 2. Westport: Greenwood, 2008. Print.

Note: If you are using only one volume of a reference set, specify the volume you used.  If the reference books is arranged alphabetically, no page numbers are needed.


Article from a well-known reference work [MLA 5.5.7]

"United States Population." The World Almanac and Book of

            Facts 2009. 2009. Print


Article, essay, or other work in a collection or anthology [MLA 5.5.6]

Olsen, Tillie. "Tell Me a Riddle." The Norton Anthology of Literature

                     by Women: The Traditions in English. 2nd ed. Ed. Sandra M.

                     Gilbert and Susan Gubar. New York: Norton, 1996. 1702-27. Print.


Multiple selections from an edited collection or anthology (Cross-references) [MLA 5.3.6]

Baker, C. Edwin. “Implications of Rival Visions of Electoral Campaigns.”

           Bennett and Entman 342-61.

Note: Cross references do not end with the word Print.

Note: Anthology.

Carpini, Michael X. Delli, and Bruce A. Williams. “Let Us Infotain You.”

            Bennett and Entman 160-81.

Note:Cross reference.


Article or other work first published in a book retrieved from an online database [MLA 5.6.2.c]

T.S. Eliot." Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography: The Age

                     of Maturity, 1929-1941. n.p. : Gale, 1989. Biography Resource Center.

                     Gale. Web. 14 May 2009.

Note: The database did not provide the city of publication, so n.p. is used, meaning "no place."

Basic Forms for Internet-Only or Web-only Sources

Author(s). "Title of Work." Title of Overall Web Site. Sponsor, institution or organization

           that publishes the site; if none, use n.p. (for "no publisher"). Date of Posting/Revision;

            if none, use n.d. (for "no date"). Web. Day Month Year of access.

Note:If no author is specified, list web page by title. If the title of the work and the title of the overall web site are the same, specify it only once, using italics.


Article from an Internet site [MLA 5.6.2.b]

Martin, Philip. "Guest Worker Programs for the 21st Century." Center for

           Immigration Studies. CIS. Apr. 2000. Web. 14 May 2009.


Article from an Internet site with no author named [MLA 5.6.2.b]>

"Why the NAFTA Highway?.” FAIR: Restoring Common Sense to America's

                       Immigration System. Federation for American Immigration Reform. n.d.

                       Web. 14 May 2009.


Article from an online scholarly journal [MLA 5.6.3]

Shah, Parilah Mohd, and Fauziah Ahmad. "Comparative Account of the

                        Bilingual Education Programs in Malaysia and the United States."

                       GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies 7.2 (2007) : 63-77.

                        Web. 14 May 2009.

Note: This entry borrows from the format for scholarly journals.  If there are no page numbers specified, use n. pag.



Abbreviations for missing information in citations [MLA 5.5.24]

  • n.p. No place of publication given
  • n.d. No date of publication given
  • n.p. No publisher given
  • n. pag. No pagination given

Other common abbreviations [MLA 7.1-7.7]

  • UP University Press [MLA 7.5], i.e. U of California P or Yale UP
  • All months (except May, June, and July) and states are abbreviated. [MLA 7.2 & 7.3]
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