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Waidner-Spahr Library

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Primary Sources: Citing Primary Sources in MLA Style

MLA - Sample Citations

For more information on citing in MLA Style, please see our main MLA citation guide.


Images/Art Found Online (e.g., paintings, photography, etc.)

Note: For more information on citing images in MLA Style, please see our art & art history guide.

Art on display in a museum (or other physical place):

Lady and the Unicorn: À mon seul désir. [c. 1484-1500], Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris. Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index, http://inpress.lib.uiowa.edu/Feminae/DetailsPage.aspx?Feminae_ID=28938. Accessed 7 Feb. 2019.

Image available only on the web

“Women's Victorian Dresses.” ARTstor, https://library.artstor.org/#/asset/ARTSTOR_103_41822001386497. Accessed 3 Nov. 2018. 

 

Videos

“A Conversation with Margaret Atwood.” YouTube, uploaded by WPSU, 16 Jan. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Wj_JQ6NhY.
 

Music

Note: How you cite music depends on how you access it. You will always include the name of a piece, the artist(s), and the year; if a record label or album title are given, then you will need to cite those. You will also need to cite any “container” that the music was found in—such as YouTube, Spotify, or a CD. 

Machaut, Guillaume de. “Guillaume de Machaut - La Messe de Nostre Dame.” 1364. YouTube, uploaded by Compositore Pazzo, 3 March 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvIEA2dBKGA.
Machaut, Guillaume de. “Messe de Nostre Dame: Gloria.” 1364. Mauchaut: Messe de Nostre Dame & L’amour courtois, performance by Ars Antiqua de Paris, Edelweiss Emission, 2016. Spotify, https://open.spotify.com/album/78k7AI4vSjb33audM3hOTO?si=iHdl-cwNRiu-rZGp2rBvlg.
 

Legal Documents

Note: Names of court cases should be italicized (e.g. Marbury v. Madison). Laws, acts, and political documents should be capitalized but in plain font. Because you are not a legal scholar, how you cite these types of documents will depend on where you find them. (This makes your life much easier than if you were a legal scholar.) For more help, go to the MLA Style Center's guide to citing legal sources.

Constitutions:

The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription. National Archives, United States National Archives and Records Administration, 7 Dec. 2018, www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript#toc-article-iv-.

Public laws:

United States, Congress. Public Law 111-122. United States Statutes at Large, vol. 123, 2009, pp. 3480-82. U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-123/pdf/STATUTE-123.pdf.
Coke, Edward. “Of Murder.” 1644. The Third Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England Concerning High treason, and Other Pleas of the Crown, and Criminall Causes, pp. 47-53. Early English Books Online. http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2003&res_id=xri:eebo&rft_id=xri:eebo:citation:12388731. Accessed 12 March 2019.

 

Other Common Primary Sources

Letter:

Marsh, Adam. “A letter from Adam Marsh (1242-3?).” [c. 1242-1243]. Epistolae: Medieval Women’s Latin Letters, https://epistolae.ctl.columbia.edu/letter/663.html. Originally published in Adae de Marisco Epistolae, edited by J.S. Brewer. London: Longman et al., 1858, pp. 291.

Newspaper Article

“National Convention of the Colored Race.”  The Christian Statesman, 4 Oct 1883, p. 3. Nineteenth Century Collections Online. http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/8HBZX6. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.