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Waidner-Spahr Library

Citing Sources: MLA (7th Edition)

Citing in MLA Style

General Information

  • The MLA citation style is typically used by English and other academic departments in the humanities.
  • Please note that significant changes were made to the MLA Style in 2009. Please contact a librarian if you have any questions.

When writing a citation in the MLA style, pay particular attention to italics, punctuation, indentation, and capitalization. With the MLA Style, quotations and borrowed phrases are indicated as such within the text, with the author's name and page number cited in parentheses. This variation is used instead of footnotes or endnotes.

Keep the following in mind:

  • A book citation must always include author(s), title (and subtitle), city of publication, publisher, and date of publication. Other necessary elements, if applicable, include editor, translator, edition, revision, volume number, and source type.
  • An article citation must always include author, title (and subtitle) of article, title of journal/magazine, date of publication, volume/issue number, page numbers, and soure type.
  • The author always comes first with last name followed by first name, separated with a comma. Names of subsequent authors are written naturally. For four or more authors, the abbreviation “et al.” (“and others”) is used after the name of the first author.
  • Titles of articles and essays are always put in quotation marks.
  • Titles of books and journals are always italicized.
  • Second and subsequent lines are always indented.
  • Every entry must include a medium of publication designation, such as the following: Print, Web, Radio, Television, CD, Audiocassette, Film, Videocassette, DVD, Performance, Lecture, and PDF file.
  • For an article in an online journal or an article from a database, give page numbers if they are available; if they are not, use the abbreviation “n. pag."

See the drop-down menus under this tab for specific examples of citations in MLA.

Online Resources

Samples of papers written using the MLA style can be found at the following websites:


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RefWorks is a Bibliographic Management Tool to which Dickinson College subscribes. Please visit the RefWorks Guide for information about what RefWorks is and how to use it.

Click here to access the Legacy version of RefWorks.