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MLA Citation Guide

MLA Style 101

The official MLA style website includes an interactive video course covering the elements of an MLA citation. This link is limited to SF students, faculty, and staff only.

Citing Books & eBooks

MLA: Citing & eBooks Books from Lawrence W. Tyree Library on Vimeo.

Hello! In this video tutorial, we will learn how to cite books and eBooks in MLA style.

MLA citations may include a variety of components. Sources may be part of a larger source, called a container. Examples of containers may be a database, website, or a book. The following examples will show you how to identify these components and how to place and format them into a proper MLA citation.

The examples in this tutorial include a basic book, a chapter in an edited book, an eBook, and what to do if you have multiple authors or if a book has an edition statement.

Example 1: A Book With One Author

For the first example, you will learn how to cite this book: Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture.

The first step is to identify the author of the book. This can usually be found on the cover or title page.

To list an author, type the name in reverse order. Type the last name, a comma, and the first name, followed by a period. If the author's middle name or initial is given, include it after the first name.

Example:
Kammen, Michael.

Next, identify the title of the book. In this example, the title is Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture. Even though there is no colon on the title page, A History of Art Controversies in American Culture is styled differently and in a smaller font. This shows that it is the subtitle and should be separated from the title with a colon.

List the title of the book, in italics, after the author. Capitalize the first word of the title, the first word of the subtitle (which comes after the colon), and all important words. End with a period.

Example:
Kammen, Michael. Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture.

Finally, identify the publication information. This is the name of the publisher and the year it was published. If this information is not available on the title page, look for it on the back of the title page.

The publisher's name is listed after the title, followed by a comma, and then the year the book was published. End with a period. This completes the citation.

Example:
Kammen, Michael. Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.

If you refer to a work in your paper, by directly quoting, paraphrasing, or by referring to main ideas, you will need to include an in-text parenthetical citation. There are a number of ways to do this. In this example, a signal phrase is used to introduce a direct quote. The author's name is included in the text, and the page number is enclosed in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example:
Americans have increasingly shown their support of art through museum visits. As reported by Kammen, "Attendance at art museums rose from 22 million per year in 1962 to well over 100 million in 2000" (304).

Example 2: A Chapter in an Edited Book

In this next example, the book is overseen by editors, but each chapter has a different author. If you only use information from a single chapter, you will cite that chapter only. You will need to locate the same citation components as the first example, but also the title, author, and page ranges of the chapter you are citing.

First, begin with the author of the chapter you are using, followed by the title of the chapter. Enclose the title of the chapter in quotation marks. For this example, the first word of the title is italicized since it is the title of a book, but the rest of the chapter title is not italicized.

Example:
Nelson, Claudia. "Jade and the Tomboy Tradition."

The chapter title is followed by the italicized book title, a comma, the phrase edited by, and the editors' names in normal order.

Example:
Nelson, Claudia. "Jade and the Tomboy Tradition." The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature, edited by Julia L. Mickenberg and Lynne Vallone,

Include the publisher and date as usual, and then list the page numbers of the chapter after the date. This completes the citation. In this example, the phrase University Press is abbreviated to UP.

Example:
Nelson, Claudia. "Jade and the Tomboy Tradition." The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature, edited by Julia L. Mickenberg and Lynne Vallone, Oxford UP, 2011, pp. 497-517.

Example 3: An eBook with Multiple Authors and Editions

In the last example, there are a few new characteristics. This is an eBook located through a library database. The eBook has two authors, and it is a second edition. You will need to include this information in your citation.

Once you have found and opened an eBook, scroll to the title page to locate the citation components.

For books with two authors, list the first author's name in reverse order, followed by a comma and the word and. Then list the next author in normal order. If a book has three or more authors, list only the first author's name, followed by a comma and the abbreviation et al.

Example:
Metcalfe, Barbara D., and Thomas R. Metcalfe.

List the title next, in italics, and then a period. The edition is listed after the title. Type the edition number, followed by ed. (which stands for edition), and a comma.

Example:
Metcalfe, Barbara D., and Thomas R. Metcalfe. A Concise History of Modern India. 2nd ed.,

List the publisher and date as before, ending with a period.

Example:
Metcalfe, Barbara D., and Thomas R. Metcalfe. A Concise History of Modern India. 2nd ed., Cambridge UP, 2006.

When citing an eBook from a database, include the name of the database. The name of this database, Ebook Central, is listed at the top of the screen. Finally, you need the URL of the eBook. In Ebook Central, this can be found in the address bar. Look for a Permalink option within other databases.

Format the title of the database or website in italics, type a comma, and then copy and paste the URL. Remove the https:// from the beginning of the URL. End the citation with a period. This concludes the citation.

Example:
Metcalfe, Barbara D., and Thomas R. Metcalfe. A Concise History of Modern India. 2nd ed., Cambridge UP, 2006. ProQuest Ebook Central, ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/sfcollege-ebooks/reader.action?docID=274880.

Some scholarly books have a digital object identifier, known as a DOI. This can be found on the title page or the next page. If a DOI is given, use that instead of the URL, using the format https://doi.org/ and then provide the DOI.

Example:
McGraw, Seamus. Betting the Farm on a Drought. U of Texas P, 2015. Ebook Central, https://doi.org/10.7560/756618.

In-text citations for works with two authors will include both last names. For works with three or more authors, list the first author’s last name and then the abbreviation et al.

Examples:
Metcalfe and Metcalfe discuss the legacy of British rule on the current political structure and constitution of India.

Jones et al. found that veterinary students suffer higher rates of depression and anxiety than other graduate students.

For more examples and additional situations you may encounter when citing books, visit the Tyree Library's MLA Citations guide. This can be found by visiting the Library's website, clicking Guides,and then How-To Guides.

This concludes the video tutorial on citing books using MLA style. If you have any questions, please contact a librarian:

352-395-5409
reference@sfcollege.edu
Building Y, NW Campus
sfcollege.edu/library

Citing Videos

MLA: Citing Videos from Lawrence W. Tyree Library on Vimeo.

Hello! In this video tutorial, we will learn how to cite videos in MLA style.

MLA citations may include a variety of components. Sources may be part of a larger source, called a container. Examples of containers may be a database, website, or a book. The following examples will show you how to identify these components and how to place and format them into a proper MLA citation.

The examples in this tutorial include a DVD, a streaming video, and an online video, such as YouTube videos.

Example 1: A DVD

For the first example, you will learn how to cite a physical DVD. You may also use the same concepts to cite a VHS or Blu-Ray video.

First, identify the title of the video.

List the title of the video in italics. Capitalize the first word of the title, the first word of the subtitle, which comes after a colon, and all other important words. End with a period. This video has no subtitle.

Example:
Fed Up.

Next, identify the main contributor for this video. This is typically the director. You can find this information in the credits, on the DVD case, or by looking on IMDB.com, under Full Cast & Crew.

Describe the role, followed by the name of the contributor, written in normal order—that is, first name and then last name. Examples include Directed by, Hosted by, or Performance by. End with a comma. You may include multiple contributors here if you wish. Simply separate each one with a comma.

Example:
Fed Up. Directed by Stephanie Soechtig,

Next, identify the publisher of the film. This is usually a production company or film studio. There can sometimes be several companies listed. IMDb.com can help identify the roles each company played. If they appear to have equal responsibility, include them both.

List the production company, followed by a comma. If you are listing two or more companies, separate them with a forward slash.

Example:
Fed Up. Directed by Stephanie Soechtig, Atlas Films,

Finally, identify when this DVD was published. Be sure to use the release date of the DVD, not the original date that a film may have been released in theaters. You can find this information on the DVD case.

List the date after the production company, followed by a period. This completes the citation.

Example:
Fed Up. Directed by Stephanie Soechtig, Atlas Films, 2014.

Example 2: A Streaming Video

Streaming videos may be found through the Library's Films on Demand database, or through another streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu. These are subscription videos that you watch entirely online. To begin, identify the title of the video.

List the title of the video, in italics. Capitalize all important words and follow with a period.

Example:
Shakespeare on the Silver Screen.

Include the director or other important contributors next. If there are no identifiable contributors, as in this example, move on to the publisher and date of the video. In Films on Demand, use the producer for the publisher.

List the publisher, followed by a comma, and then the date. End with a period.

Example:
Shakespeare on the Silver Screen. NBD Television Limited, 2000.

Finally, you need the service providing the video and the URL. In this case, the service is the database Films on Demand. For the URL, look for the Record URL, under Share and the Embed/Link tab.

List the name of the database or website in italics. Type a comma, then paste the URL, omitting the beginning http://. Type a period to complete the citation.

Example:
Shakespeare on the Silver Screen. NBD Television Limited, 2000. Films on Demand, go.openathens.net/redirector/sfcollege.edu?url=https%3a%2f%2ffod.infobase.com%2fPortalPlaylists.aspx%3fwID%3d99198%26xtid%3d12083.

For in-text citations, use the first few words of the title, formatted as it is in the Works Cited page. Instead of a page number, you may choose to provide a timestamp to aid your readers in locating the same information.

Example:
Shakespeare asserts that actors and playwrights in Shakespeare's times were considered "rogues and vagabonds" (00:09:52).

Example 3: A YouTube Video

This example will show you to cite an online video, such as a YouTube video or TED talk. First, determine whether the user who uploaded the video is the creator. Some videos will be uploaded by people who did not participate in the original content. If the user is the creator, list them as the author. Otherwise, move on to the title. In this example, it's doubtful that the user created this historical video. Instead, move on to identify the title, Basic Physics of an Atomic Bomb (1950).

Type the title, in quotation marks, ending in a period. Capitalize the first word of the title, the first word of the subtitle, which comes after a colon, and all other important words. You may need to fix some of the formatting. After the title of the video, type the name of the website, YouTube, in italics, followed by a comma.

Example:
"Basic Physics of an Atomic Bomb (1950)." YouTube,

Next identify who uploaded the video. If the user who uploaded the video is the creator, omit this component and move on to the next one. This user is Nuclear Vault.

Type the words uploaded by and then provide the username. Capitalize the username as you would a regular name.

Example:
"Basic Physics of an Atomic Bomb (1950)" YouTube, uploaded by Nuclear Vault,

Next, identify the date that this video was uploaded. This can be found underneath the video title.

List the entire date in Day Month Year format. Abbreviate months to the first three letters, except for May, June, and July. Type a comma after the date.

Example:
"Basic Physics of an Atomic Bomb (1950)." YouTube, uploaded by Nuclear Vault, 25 Dec. 2018,

The last piece of information you need is the URL of the video. This can be found in the address bar, or you can click Share and use the URL located there.

Paste the URL, omitting the http://. Type a period to complete the citation.

Example:
"Basic Physics of an Atomic Bomb (1950)." YouTube, uploaded by Nuclear Vault, 25 Dec. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ0wwCb0c8Q.

For more examples and additional situations you may encounter when citing videos, visit the Tyree Library’s MLA Citations research guide. This can be found by visiting the Library's website, clicking Guides, and then How-To Guides.

This concludes the video tutorial on citing videos using MLA style. If you have any questions, please contact a librarian:

352-395-5409
reference@sfcollege.edu
Building Y, NW Campus
sfcollege.edu/library

Citing Journal Articles

MLA: Citing Journal Articles from Lawrence W. Tyree Library on Vimeo.

Hello! In this video tutorial, we will learn how to cite journal articles in MLA style.

MLA citations may include a variety of components. Sources may be part of a larger source, called a container. Examples of containers may be a database, website, or a book. The following examples will show you how to identify these components and how to place and format them into a proper MLA citation.

The examples in this tutorial include journal articles with and without a DOI and open access journal articles.

Example 1: A Journal Article without a DOI

As you research, you will often find journal articles online using the library's databases. This article was found online using the database Academic Search Complete.

The first step is to identify the author of the article. You can find this on the first page of the article or in the database record.

To list an author, type the name in reverse order. Type the last name, a comma, and the first name, followed by a period. If the author's middle name or initial is given, include it after the first name.

Example:
Orme, Jennifer.

Next, identify the title of the article. The title will usually be at the top of the article, in a font that is larger than the text.

Type the title of the article, enclosed in quotation marks, after the author. Capitalize the first word of the title, the first word of the subtitle, which comes after a colon, and all important words. Place a period after the title, but within the quotation marks. In this example, Pan's Labyrinth is italicized because it is the name of a film.

Example:
Orme, Jennifer. "Narrative Desire and Disobedience in Pan’s Labyrinth."

Next, identify the publication information. This includes the title of the journal; the volume, issue, and page numbers; and the year of publication. The issue may be referred to as the number. This information can be located most easily on the database record. In this example, all the publication information is located in the Source line.

Type the journal title, in italics. Then, type a comma, the abbreviation vol., the volume number, a comma, the abbreviation no. and then the issue number. Type a comma, then give the year of publication. Type another comma, the abbreviation pp. and the page numbers. End this section with a period. If there is no issue number, omit that component.

Example:
Orme, Jennifer. "Narrative Desire and Disobedience in Pan's Labyrinth." Marvels & Tales, vol. 24, no. 2, 2010, pp. 219-234.

Finally, you will need to include the name of the database that the article was found in and either a DOI or a permalink. DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier and can be found in the article's record or on the first page of the article. Not all articles have a DOI. If no DOI is present, as in this example, use a database permalink instead.

Format the title of the database in italics, type a comma, and then copy and paste the URL. Remove the https:// from the beginning of the URL. End the citation with a period. This concludes the citation.

Example:
Orme, Jennifer. "Narrative Desire and Disobedience in Pan's Labyrinth." Marvels & Tales, vol. 24, no. 2, 2010, pp. 219-234. Academic Search Complete, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=a9h&AN=54969134&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=sfcc.

If you refer to a work in your paper, by directly quoting, paraphrasing, or by referring to main ideas, you will need to include an in-text parenthetical citation. There are a number of ways to do this. In this example, a signal phrase is used to introduce a direct quote. The author's name is included in the text, and the page number is enclosed in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example:
Orme disputes the idea that Pan's Labyrinth is a mere 'adult fairy tale,' instead referring to it as a "juxtaposition of the fairy tale with [a] period film of civilian political resistance" (224).

Example 2: DOI and Multiple Authors

In this article, there are four authors, and a DOI is present. Many newer research articles include DOIs. Always look carefully at the first page of an article and the database record to determine if a DOI is present.

MLA guidelines state that for works with three or more authors, only list the first author, a comma, and then the abbreviation et al., which means ‘and all the rest.’

Example:
Berry, Devon, et al.

Continue with the article title, journal title, volume, issue, year, and page numbers as in the previous example.

Example:
Berry, Devon, et al. "Risk, Religiosity, and Emerging Adulthood: Description of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim University Students at Entering the Freshman Year." Mental Health, Religion & Culture, vol. 16, no. 7, 2013, pp. 695–710.

As before, include the database name in italics. Because this article has a DOI, that will be included instead of a link. Format the DOI as a URL, with the prefix https://doi.org/. End the citation with a period. Unlike other URLs, leave the https:// in the DOI.

Example:
Berry, Devon, et al. "Risk, Religiosity, and Emerging Adulthood: Description of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim University Students at Entering the Freshman Year." Mental Health, Religion & Culture, vol. 16, no. 7, 2013, pp. 695–710. Academic Search Complete, https://doi.org/10.1080/13674676.2012.715145.

In-text citations for articles with three or more authors similarly use the et al. abbreviation within the narrative.

Example:
Berry et al. found that religious or spiritual undergraduate students were less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

Example 3: An Open Access Journal Article

You may encounter open access full-text journal articles while searching online via search engines or other websites. This article is from the online-only journal Australian Humanities Review.

Look for the information needed to cite the article at the top of the page or on the journal's table of contents page. In this example, the journal does not have volumes. Instead there are only issues. Also, since the articles are presented as HTML files, there are no page numbers.

For articles with two authors, list the first author's name in reverse order, followed by a comma and the word and. Then, list the second author in normal order.

Example:
Robinson, Alice, and Dan Tout.

Cite the journal article as before. Since this article does not have a volume number, the issue number stands alone. There are no page numbers, so that element is skipped. Add the URL, omitting the http://. Place a period after the URL to complete the citation.

Example:
Robinson, Alice, and Dan Tout. "Only Planet: Unsettling Travel, Culture and Climate Change in Settler Australia." Australian Humanities Review, no. 52, 2012. australianhumanitiesreview.org/2012/05/01/only-planet-unsettling-travel-culture-and-climate-change-in-settler-australia/.

For more examples and additional situations you may encounter when citing journal articles, visit the Tyree Library's MLA Citations research guide. This can be found by visiting the Library's website, clicking Guides and then How-To Guides.

This concludes the video tutorial on citing journal articles using MLA style. If you have any questions, please contact a librarian:

352-395-5409
reference@sfcollege.edu
Building Y, NW Campus
sfcollege.edu/library

Citing Web Resources

MLA: Citing Web Resources from Lawrence W. Tyree Library on Vimeo.

Hello! In this video tutorial, we will learn how to cite Web resources in MLA style.

MLA citations may include a variety of components. Sources may be part of a larger source, called a container. Examples of containers may be a database, website, or a book. The following examples will show you how to identify these components and how to place and format them into a proper MLA citation.

The examples in this tutorial include webpages, blog posts, and reports.

Example 1: A Webpage

For the first example, you will learn how to cite a webpage. A webpage is a single document within a website. The first step is to identify the author of the page.

To list an author, type the name in reverse order. Type the last name, a comma, and the first name, followed by a period. If the author's middle name or initial is given, include it after the first name.

Example:
Austin, Ben S.

Next, determine the title of the webpage. The title of the webpage is usually found above the main content in the body of the page.

Type the title of the webpage, enclosed in quotation marks, after the author's name. Capitalize the first word of the title, the first word of the subtitle (when a subtitle is given), and all important words. Place a period before the last quotation mark.

Example:
Austin, Ben S. "Holocaust Denial: A Brief History."

Next, determine the title of the website. The website is the overall container for the page or document you are using. The title of the website is usually found in a prominent place on the page or at the top of the browser screen.

Type the title of the website, in italics, after the title of the webpage. Capitalize the first word of the title, the first word of the subtitle (when a subtitle is given), and all important words. End with a comma.

Example:
Austin, Ben S. "Holocaust Denial: A Brief History." Jewish Virtual Library,

Next, locate the publisher or sponsor of the website, and the date of publication. Look for these elements at the top and bottom of the page. The publisher may also be found on the website's About page. If the publisher is identical to the title of the website, do not include it. The publisher for this example is AICE. The About page for the site shows that AICE stands for American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. There may not be a separate publisher or sponsor for all websites.

Type the publisher after the website title, if applicable. After the publisher type a comma.

Example:
Austin, Ben S. "Holocaust Denial: A Brief History." Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise,

Look for a date at the top and bottom of the webpage. If there is no specific date listed, you may use the copyright date. If you are unable to locate any date, omit this component.

List the date, followed by a comma.

Example:
Austin, Ben S. "Holocaust Denial: A Brief History." Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2022

Finally, locate the URL of the webpage. The URL is found in the address bar of the browser.

Copy and paste the URL, omitting the beginning http://. End with a period. With online sources that lack firm publication dates, you may include a Date Accessed component to the end of the citation. Start with the word Accessed and then in Day Month Year format, type the date you accessed the webpage. End with a period. This concludes the citation.

Example:
Austin, Ben S. "Holocaust Denial: A Brief History." Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2022, www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/a-brief-history-of-holocaust-denial. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.

If you refer to a work in your paper by directly quoting, paraphrasing, or by referring to main ideas, you will need to include an in-text parenthetical citation. There are a number of ways to do this. In this example, a signal phrase is used to introduce a direct quote, and the author's name is included in the narrative. If there are no specific page numbers, as in most webpages, use only the author.

Example:
As Austin notes, "The very first Holocaust deniers were the Nazis themselves."

If you are missing any information, such as an author, publisher, or date, simply omit the element and move on to the next part of the citation. In this example, there is no specific author listed, so the citation begins with the webpage. There is also no date listed, so that component is omitted.

Example:
"The Swahili." The Story of Africa, BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/storyofafrica/index_section5.shtml. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.

Example 2: A Blog Post

Blog posts follow the same guidelines as webpages. In this example, the title of the blog post is Misty Copeland and the Newness of the Ballerina Body, and it is part of the blog Sociological Images.

The remaining elements required for the citation are located at the top of the post. The publisher can be found at the top in this example, but you may need to look at a copyright statement, the footer, or an About page to identify them.

The citation for a blog post follows the structure shown in the previous example. The author is listed first, followed by the blog post title, the title of the blog, and the publisher. The date component is listed in Day Month Year format. Abbreviate all months except for May, June, and July. End with the URL.

Example:
Wade, Lisa. "Misty Copeland and the Newness of the Ballerina Body." Sociological Images, The Society Pages, 26 Apr. 2016, thesocietypages.org/socimages/2016/04/26/misty-copeland-and-the-newness-of-the-ballerina-body/.

Example 3: Reports

You may find reports from various organizations in your research online. Reports will follow the same basic template as previous example, but there may be a report series present.

For reports with two authors, list the first author's name in reverse order, followed by a comma and the word and. Then list the next author in normal order. If a report has three or more authors, list only the first author's name, followed by a comma and the abbreviation et al.

Example:
Adams, Brian, and Randal Verbrugge.

Report titles are italicized, and the website or agency responsible will be listed in normal font.

Example:
Adams, Brian, and Randal Verbrugge. Location, Location, Structure Type: Rent Divergence within Neighborhoods. United States Department of Labor,

Follow the same template as shown in previous examples. If a report has a series, include that at the end of the citation, concluding with a period.

Example:
Adams, Brian, and Randal Verbrugge. Location, Location, Structure Type: Rent Divergence within Neighborhoods. United States Department of Labor, 9 Dec. 2020, www.bls.gov/osmr/research-papers/2020/pdf/ec200150.pdf. Working Paper 533.

Reports may include a suggested citation. Be aware that this may not be in the appropriate style you need. This example is not in MLA style.

For more examples and additional situations you may encounter when citing Web resources, visit the Tyree Library's MLA Citations research guide. This can be found by visiting the Library's website, clicking Guides, and then How-To Guides.

This concludes the video tutorial on citing Web resources using MLA style. If you have any questions, please contact a librarian:

352-395-5409
reference@sfcollege.edu
Building Y, NW Campus
sfcollege.edu/library