Data Bases

MLA citation style refers to the rules and conventions established by the Modern Language Association for acknowledging and identifying sources used in a research paper. The Works Cited page is a list of sources used for a particular research paper and includes a complete description of each source used.

Preparing the Works Cited page:

  • center the heading "Works Cited" at the top of a new page
  • do not justify the right margin
  • alphabetize the list by the last names of the authors (or editors)
    if the work does not have an author or editor, alphabetize by the first word of the title other than A, An or The
  • each new entry should start at the left margin, each additional line of the same entry should be indented 5 spaces or one-half inch
  • double space between each line.

The following examples are based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th ed., by Joseph Gibaldi.


General MLA citation format for Books: 
Author. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, year.
Helpful hints:

  •  Take the title from the title page, not the cover.
  •  The author's name should be written Last name, First name M (Middle Initial).
  •  List the names in the order they appear on the title page.
  •  Only the first author's name should be reversed: Last Name, First Name.
  •  Use a comma between the authors' names. Place a period after the last author's name.
  •  If there are more than three authors, name only the first and add et al.
  •  If the person named on the title page is the editor, rather than the author, add a comma then the abbreviation "ed." - For a compiler, use "comp."
  •  When citing two or more sources by the same author, give the name in the first entry
    only. For the subsequent entries, type three hyphens, add a period, and skip a space
    (---. ) then give the title. The three hyphens stand for the name(s) in the preceding entry.
  •  If the book is part of a series, the series title follows the title section and ends with a period, but it is not underlined.

Example: Book with one author

Mowat, Farley. The Farfarers: Before the Norse. South Royalton, VT: Steerforth Press, 2000.

Example: Book with no author

Sharks. New York: Facts on File, 1987.

Example: Book with two or three authors

Markman, Roberta H., Peter T. Markman, and Marie Waddell. 10 Steps in Writing the Research Paper. New York: Barron's, 1982.

Example: Book with four or more authors

Holloway, Susan D., et al. Through My Own Eyes: Single Mothers and the Cultures of Poverty. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1997.

Example: Book with editor or compiler (no author)

Hoffman, Mark S., ed. World Almanac and Books of Facts 1994. New York: Pharos Publishing, 1991.

Example: Two or more works by the same author

Updike, John. In the Beauty of the Lilies. New York: Knopf, 1996. —. Toward the End of Time. New York: Knopf, 1997.


General MLA citation format for Encyclopedias and Reference Books: 
Author of Article, (if given) "Article Title." Title of Book. Edition. City of Publication: 
Publisher, Year. 


Author of Article, (if given) "Article Title." Title of Book. Editor. Total number of 
volumes. City of Publication: Publisher, Year.

  • When citing familiar reference books, especially those that often appear in new editions, it is not necessary to include full publication information. Give the edition (if available) and the year of publication.
  • If articles are arranged alphabetically, you do not need to give volume and page numbers.
  •  When citing less familiar reference books, give full publication information, including editor and total number of volumes.
  • Use this format when citing two or more volumes of a multi-volume set.
  •  Reference to specific volumes and page numbers belong in the text of your paper (e.g. 4:149-53 means volume 4, pages 149-153), not in the Works Cited page.

Example: Encyclopedia

Faron, Louis C. "Inca." Encyclopedia Americana. International Edition. 1999. 
"Refrigeration." The New Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedia. Ed. Donald Clarke. 28 vols. Westport: H.S. Stuttman, 1989.

Example: Reference Book

Hosick, Howard L. "Cloning." Magill's Medical Guide. Ed. Tracy Irons-Georges. Rev. ed. 3 vols. Pasadena: Salem Press, 1998.


General MLA citation format for Magazines: 
Author. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine Date: Page(s).

  •  Abbreviate the months (except May, June July). Give complete dates for magazines issued every week or every two weeks, written in this order: 
    Day Month Year: e.g., 17 Oct. 2003:
  • If the article is on consecutive pages, specify the page numbers of the entire article, e.g. 16-20. Give just the last two digits of the second number, when possible: 166-69.
  •  If the article is not on consecutive pages — if, for example, it begins on page 37, then skips to page 40, and continues on page 52 — write only the first page number, followed by a plus sign: 37+.
  • Do not give volume and issue numbers for magazines.

Examples: Periodical (Magazine) articles

McCulley, Jeff. "On the Mark." Hawaii Business Feb. 1998: 20+. 
Risen, James, and Judy L. Thomas. "Pro-life Turns Deadly." Newsweek 26 Jan. 1998: 68-69.

General MLA citation format for Scholarly Journal Articles:

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal volume.number (Year): Page(s) 
        --If the journal begins each issue on page 1, include the issue and volume number: e.g. 21.3 means vol. 21, no. 3.

Examples: Scholarly Journal Articles

Cooksey, Elizabeth C. "Consequences of Young Mothers' Marital Histories for Children's Cognitive Development." Journal of Marriage and the Family 59 (1997): 245-61. 
Lenhoff, Rosalyn, and Lynn Huber. "Young Children Make Maps!" Young Children 55.5 (2000): 6-12. 
Taubes, Gary. "The Cell-Phone Scare." Technology Review Nov./Dec. 2000: 117-19.

General MLA citation format for Newspaper Articles: 
Author. "Title of Article." Name of Newspaper Date, edition: Page(s). 
        --If the city of publication is not part of the newspaper's name, add it in square brackets: News and Observer [Raleigh, NC] 
        --Specify the edition of the newspaper, if one is given on the masthead. 
        --If the article is not on consecutive pages, write the first page number and a plus sign: B1+, (letters stand for sections of newspaper, numbers are for pages.) 
Example: Newspaper Article 
Kakesako, Gregg K. "Clinton Vows to Support Alaska Bill." Honolulu Star-Bulletin 14 Nov. 1998, night final ed.:Al+. 
    Helpful hints: 
        --Underline the title of a database, periodical or website; for sites without titles, include a description such as "Home page" (not underlined) 
        --Divide an electronic address only at a logical place, such as at a slash (/), (.) period, or (-) hyphen. 
        --The world online may be written "online" or "on-line," either way choose one and be consistent. 
        --Web addresses and e-mail addresses should be enclosed by <angle brackets>. 
        --The words "retrieved" or "access" can be used before the access date to distinguish a retrieval date from a Publication date.

General MLA citation format for World Wide Web Site (Home Page):

Name of Author (or creator). Title of Website. (If no title is available, provide description such as name of site plus Home Page, neither underlined nor in quotation marks.) Name of any institution or organization associated with the site. Access Date <URL>. 
Examples: World Wide Web Site (Home Page) 
Gesterland, Richard. Page. Retrieved 14 May 2001 <>. 
Business Ethics Resources on WWW. Centre for Applied Ethics. Retrieved 15 Sept. 2003 <>. 
General MLA citation format for World Wide Web Site (Secondary Page): 
Name of Author (or creator). "Title of Article or Topic." Title of page. Name of any institution or organization associated with the site. Access Date <URL>. 
Examples: World Wide Web Site (Secondary Page) 
Anderson, Greg. "Can the Trooper and SLX Stand Up?" Retrieved 14 May 2001 <http://www.>. 
Business Ethics Resources on WWW. Centre for Applied Ethics. Retrieved 15 Sept. 2003 <hrtp://> 
General MLA citation format for Online Encyclopedia Article: 
Author. "Title of Material Accessed." Title of Encyclopedia. Publication information for any print version of the source if available. Date of electronic publication, of the latest update, or of posting (if known). [Search term if necessary for retrieval]. Access date <URL>. 
Example: Online Encyclopedia Article 
"Stock Market Crash of 1929." Britannica Online. Vers. 98.2. April, 1998. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 20 August 1999 < 180/cgi-gin/g?DocF=micro/567/22.html>. 

General MLA citation format for Online Journal Article: 

Author. "Title of Article.." Journal Title. Volume.Issue or other identifying number (Year of Publication): paging information. Access date <URL>. 
Example: Online Journal Article: 
Koehn, Daryl. "The Ethics of Handwriting Analysis in Pre-Employment Screening." The Online Journal of Ethics 1.1 (1995). Retrieved 2 June 2001 <http://condor/>. 
General MLA citation format for Online Magazine Article:

Author. "Title of Article." Magazine Title. Date: page . Access date <URL>. 
+ for magazines published every month or two months, do not give volume and issue numbers even if they are listed 
Example: Online Magazine Article 
Murphy, H. Lee. "Saturn's Orbit Still High With Consumers." Marketing News Online. 31 Aug. 1998. Retrieved 1 Sept. 2001 <>. 
General MLA citation format for Online Newspaper Article: 
Author. "Title of Article." Newspaper Title. Date, edition, section: page (if given). Database name (if applicable). Access date <URL>. 
Example: Online Newspaper Article 
Barayuga, Debra. "Verdict in Uyesugi Trial Prompts New Stage of Grief." 15 June 2000, night ed.,B:42. 18 June 2000 <http://starbulletin.conV2000/06/15/news/story3.hrml>. 
General MLA citation format for an article from a Online Subscription Service, ie., SIRS, EBSCO etc.
Author. "Title of Article." Original Source of Article. Date of Original Source: page numbers. Name of the Database Used. Name of the Service. Library where database was accessed. Location of Library. Date of Access <URL of service's homepage>. 
Example: Article from an online subscription service 
Frick, Robert. "Investing in Medical Miracles." Kiplinger's Personal Finance Feb. 1999: 80-87. SIRS Researcher. SIRS Knowledge Source. St. Petersburg Community College Library, St. Petersburg, FL. 10 Feb. 2000 <>. 
General MLA citation format for a Document Within an Online Database: 
Author. "Title of Material." Name of Database Name of sponsoring institution or organization (if relevant). Access date <URL>. 
Example: Document within an Online Database
"Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc." Hoover's Online. Hoover's Company Information. Retrieved 20 Jan. 2001 <,2163,12763,00.html>. 
For the MLA citation format for all other sources, including personal interviews, television programs, government documents etc., or for answers to all other citation related questions, please consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th ed., available in the High School Library. 
Sept. 2003 
Rev. 22 Oct. 2003, 13 Feb. 2004