MLA Style Guide


When citing electronic publications the goal is to provide enough information so that the reader can locate the article. The examples follow the recommendations set forth by the 7th ed. of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research papers; however, it is wise to check with your teacher for specific preferences. It is also recommended that you make a hard copy of all computer sources. Remember, all works cited entries are double spaced. Anything underlined on source cards must be italicized when typed. If date is not available, type n.d. If this is preceded by a period, capitalize the n. (N.pag.)

1. Journal Article
Note: Journal articles contain original research and have a volume/issue number
[Author last name], [First name] [Middle initial]. “[Title of work].” [Periodical name] [Volume number]. [Issue number] ([Published Year]): [Page number starts]. [Title of database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month Abbreviation] [Year].
Singer, Craig D. “Passing Through.” Journal of the American Medical Association 290.23 (2003): 3043-3044. Ebsco Megafile. Web. 26 Jan. 2011.
2. Journal Article with No Author

“[Title of work].” [Periodical name] [Volume number]. [Issue number] ([Published year]): [Page number starts]. [Title of database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

“Trends; Cost Pressures, Reduced Time to Market Drive Demand for Contract Manufacturing.” Life Science Weekly. 65 (2005): 1568. eLibrary. Web. 28 Jan. 2011.

3. Magazine Article
[Author last name], [First name] [Middle initial]. “[Title of Article].” [Title of magazine] [Published day] [Month abbreviation] [Year]: [Page number starts]-[ends] [Title of database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].
Smillie, Thomson. “Onstage and Online.” Louisville Magazine Nov. 2010: 80-83 Ebsco Megafile. Web. 28 Jan. 2011.
4. Newspaper:
[Author last name], [First name] [Middle initial]. “[Article title].” [Title of newspaper] [Published day] [Month abbreviation] [Year]: [Title of database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].
Legere, Christine. “Schools prepare for flu: Inoculations plans focus on youths.” Boston Globe 10 Sept. 2009: ProQuest Newsstand. Web. 28 Jan. 2011.
5. Newswire

“[Article title].” [Title of Newswire] [Published day] [month abbreviation] [year]: [Title of database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].
“Missing Piece Inspires New Look at Mars Puzzle.” Ascribe Newswire 03 Sept. 2010: eLibrary. Web. 28 Jan. 2011.

6. Online Map
“[Map title].” Map. [Website]. [Publisher of site], [Published day] [Month abbreviation] [Year]. Web. [Accessed date] [Month abbreviation] [Year].
"Bismarck, ND.” Map. Google Maps. Google, 28 Jan. 2011. Web. 28 Jan. 2011.
7. Film or Video
[Title of film or video]. Dir. [Name of Director].Perf. [Name of performers].* [the distributor], [year of release]. [Medium- ie Film, DVD, videocassette].*

  • * include names of performers if it is pertinent to the text of your paper. For instance, if, in your paper, you are discussing how a particular actor performed their role in the film, you should include the names of the performers in the citation. If you are referencing the film in general, this additional information can be left out.

Joseph Stalin: Red Terror. Dir. Bill Harris. New Video, 1998. Videocassette.
Hotel Rwanda. Dir. Terry George. Perf. Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo.* MGM, 2004. DVD.

  • * Performance information included because their Golden Globe/Academy Award nominated performances were discussed in the research paper.

8. Video clip found online
[Last name], [First name].* [Title of video]. [Date of publication]. [Title of website]. Web. [Access Date] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

  • * if available, use filmmakers first and last name, or use corporate/institution

PCLStube. Introducing Dewey. 28 June 2008. Youtube. Web. 7 Feb. 2011.
Dale Dougherty: We are Makers. January 2011. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Web. 7 Feb. 2011.
9. Song/Music/Sound Recording
[Artist name]. “[Song Title]”. [Album name]. [Recording Manufacturer], [publication date].* [approp. file type].**
Nirvana. “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Nevermind. Geffen, 1991. CD.
Ritter, Josh. “Girl in the War.” The Animal Years. Independent Records, 2005. MP3.
Jackson, Michael. “Human Nature.” Thriller. Epic, 1982. Audiocassette.

  • * use n.d.if date of release is not available.
  • ** appropriate file types: CD, MP3, Audiocassette.

10. Image found Online (including photograph, painting, sculpture):
[Last name], [First name of artist]. [Title of work]. [Date of creation]. [Institution], [city where the work is housed]. [Website name]. Web. [Access date] [Month abbreviation] [Year].
Hopper, Edward. Road in Maine. 1914. Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. The Artchive. Web.
7 Feb. 2011.

** If work cited is online only, use the following pattern:

[Last name], [First name of artist]* [Title of Work].[Medium of work]. [Name of website]. [Name of institution or organization]. [Date of creation]. Web. [Access date] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

  • ** if work is posted via a username, use the username as the name of the artist.

Vlconroy. Around the Garden. Photograph. Webshots. American Greetings. 30 Dec. 2010. Web. 7 Feb. 2011.

10. Website
[Last name], [First name]*. [Name of Site]. [Version Number]. [Name of sponsoring/publishing organization], [Date of creation]. Web. [Access date] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

  • * leave out if author name is not available

Purdue Online Writing Lab. The Writing Lab, The Owl at Purdue and Purdue University, 2011. Web. 7 Feb. 2011.
11. Specific Databases
Book within a Database (depending on the database, these are named differently – for example: Reference, Points of View, books, etc.)
[Author/Editor last name], [First Name] [Middle initial]. “[Title of chapter/essay].” [Title of book].** [Place of Publication]: [Publisher], [Publication year].* [Title of Database]. Web. [Access day] [Month Abbreviation] [Year].
Lerner, K. Lee, ed. “Anatomy.” Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Discovering Collection. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.
Driscoll, Sally and Tracey M. DiLascio. “Point: Censorship Undermines Democracy.” Points of View: Censorship and Democracy. Toledo: Great Neck Publishing, 2009. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.
“Cloning.” Current Issues: Macmillian Social Science Library. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.

  • * Include book series title, if available – Example:

Sullivan, Bob. “Religious Views of Cloning Do Not Agree.” Cloning. 2006. Contemporary Issues Companion Series. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.

  • ** Include Editor, if available – Example:

DeLancey, Siobhan, Larisa Rudenko, and John Matheson. "Cloned Animals Are Safe to Use for Food." Genetic Engineering. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.

Academic Journal within a Database
[Author last name], [First name] [Middle Initial]. “[Title of work].” [Periodical name] [Volume number]. [Issue number] ([Published year]): [Page number starts]. [Title of database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].
Pennisi, Elizabeth. “Neither Cold nor Snow Stops Tundra Fungi.” Science 301.568 (2003): 1307. General Science Collection. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.
Matchie, Thomas. “Literary Continuity in Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street.” The Midwest Quarterly 37.1 (1995). Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.
Lynch, Paul. “Not Trying to Talk Alike and Succeeding: The Authoritative Word and Internally-Persuasive Word in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.” Studies in the Novel 38.2 (2006): 172. Literary Reference Center. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.
12. Contemporary Author – Biography from a Database

“[Author’s name].” [Title of database]. [Publication year]. Web. [accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

“Saul Bellow.” Contemporary Authors Online. 2010. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.


1. Book with One Author

[Last name], [First name].* [Title of book]. [Place of Publication]: [ Publisher], [Year of Publication]. Print.

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999. Print.

2. Book with More than One Author


[Last name], [First name] and [First name] [Last name]. [Title of book]. [Place of Publication]: [Publisher], [Year of Publication]. Print.


Two authors:

Buell, Ryan, and Stefan Petrucha. Paranormal State: My Journey into the Unknown. New York: Harpers, 2010. Print.

Three authors:

Canfield, Jack, Mark Victor Hansen, and Kimberly Kirberger. Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, 1997. Print.

3. Book with Three or More Authors

  • *If more than 3 authors, you may use the first author’s name followed by et al.


Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2004. Print.

4. Book with only an Editor
* If only an editor is listed, use the editor’s name followed by ed.* in place of the author’s name.

  • *Example:

Greenfield, Susan A., ed. The Human Mind Explained: An Owner’s Guide to the Mysteries of the Mind. New York: Holt, 1996. Print.
5. The Bible/An Anonymous Book
[Title]. [Editor’s name], gen. ed.* [Publication location]: [Publisher], [Year published]. Print. [Version]*.
*If available, include the general editor’s name followed by gen. ed.
*If available, include the version.
The New Jerusalem Bible. Henry Wansbrough, gen. ed. New York: Doubleday, 1985. Print.
The Holy Bible. Wheaton: Crossway-Good News, 2003. Print. Eng. Standard Vers.

6. An Excerpt from Opposing Viewpoints, Current Controversy, Contemporary Issues Companion, and At Issue
[Last name], [First name]. “[Title of chapter/article].” Excerpted from “[original title].” [Original publication] [(original publication date)]. Reprinted in [book title]. Ed. [First and last name of editor]. [Place of publication]: [Publisher], [Publication year]. Print.
Kevles, Daniel J. “Human Cloning is Inevitable.” Excerpted from “Cloning Can’t be Stopped.” Technology Review. (June 2002). Reprinted in At Issue: The Ethics of Human Cloning. Ed. John Woodward. Detroit: Thompson, 2005. Print.
Cohen, Philip. “Cloning Humans May Be Impossible.” Excerpted from “Human Reproductive Cloning Currently Impossible.” (10 April 2003). Reprinted in At Issue: The Ethics of Human Cloning. Ed. John Woodward. Detroit: Thompson, 2005. Print.
7. Print Magazine
[Last Name], [First Name]. “[Title of Article.]” [Title of Periodical] [Day][Month abbreviation][Year]: [page range]. Print.
Beech, Hannah. “The First Lady of Freedom.” Time 10 Jan. 2011: 31-35. Print.

8. A Work in an Anthology or Compilation
[Last name], [First name]. “[Title of Essay].” [Title of Collection]. [Ed.=Editor’s name(s)]. [Place of publication]: [Publisher], [Year]. [Page range]. [Medium of Publication].
Werner, Craig. “James Baldwin.” Critical Survey of Long Fiction. Ed. Carl Rollyson. Pasadena, CA: Salem, 2000. 159- 170. Print.


1. Citing Novels for Students, Drama for Students, and Poetry for Students

When writing papers, students who quote directly from any volume of Novels for Students may use the following general forms. These examples are based on MLA style; teachers may request that students adhere to a different style, so the following examples may be adapted as needed.

** Use lowercase abbreviations to identify volume (vol.), translator (trans.), and editor (ed.). However, when they follow a period, they should be capitalized.**

When citing text from Novels for Students that is not attributed to a particular author (i.e., the Themes, Style, Historical Context sections, etc.), the following format should be used in the bibliography section:


“Night.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 234-35. Print.
When quoting the specially commissioned essay from Novels for Students (usually the first piece under the “Criticism” subhead), the following format should be used:


Miller, Tyrus. “Critical Essay on Winesburg, Ohio.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 335-39. Print.
When quoting a journal or newspaper essay that is reprinted in a volume of Novels for Students, the following form may be used:

Malak, Amin. “Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and the Dystopian Tradition.” Canadian Literature (Spring, 1987), 9-16; excerpted and reprinted in Novels for Students, vol. 4. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski (Detroit: Gale, 1998), 133-36. Print.

When quoting material reprinted from a book that appears in a volume of Novels for Students, the following form may be used:

Adams, Timothy Dow. “Richard Wright: Wearing the Mask,” in Telling Lies in Modern American Autobiography (U. of North Carolina, 1990). 69-83; excerpted and reprinted in Novels for Students, vol. 1. Ed. Diane Telgen (Detroit: Gale, 1997), 59-61. Print.

2. Contemporary Literary Criticism

Wellwarth, George. “Brendan Behan: The Irish Primitive.” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Dedria Bryfonski, and Phylis Carmel Mendelson. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale, 1978. 63. Print.

If you are using more than one volume, cite the total number of volumes (i.e. “6 vols.”) after the title of the series or after editor’s name and before the publication information. Specific references to volume and page numbers (i.e. 4:10-15) belong in the text of the student paper.

3. Cross Reference in the Works Cited

To avoid unnecessary repetition in citing two or more articles from the same work, first do on complete citation of the book. Then use this cross reference form for all additional references to this work. Alphabetize as usual. The main text and the cross references are not necessarily together on the Works Cited page.

Full Text Citation:

Smith, John, and Mary Rogers, eds. Writing Research. Boston: Macmillan, 1980. Print.

Cross Reference examples in the same Works Cited as above:

Jones, Sam. “Footnotes.” Smith and Rogers 78-79. Print.

Towne, Andrew. “Bibliography.” Smith and Rogers 550-556. Print.

Databases: Italicize these

Academic Search Premier Green File
Advanced Placement Source Health and Wellness Resource Center
Alt Health Watch Health Source: Consumer Edition
Auto Repair Center Health Source: Nursing Edition
Buisness Source Premier Infotrac Student Edition
Britannica Online Academic Edition Literary Reference Center
Britannica Online Reference Center Literature Reference Center
Britannica Online School Edition Mater FILE
Consumer Health Complete MAS Ultra-School Edition
Contemporary Authors netTrekker
CultureGrams Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
Discovering Collection Points of View Reference Center
Ebsco Mega FILE Professional Collection
eLibrary Curriculum Edition ProQuest Newsstand
Expanded Academic ASAP Science Reference Center
Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia Student Resources in Context
General Science Collection

Additional online resource information

A Research Guide for Students -

MLA Format-

The Owl at Purdue –

The Norton Field Guide to MLA -

Revised 02/11
Original Source: Bismarck High School, Bismarck, North Dakota.

Adapted with permission by Gina Phillips and Charlotte Hill.