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Citation Style Guides and Management Tools

Guide to APA, ASA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA, and science citation styles, as well as information on citing government information and managing your research.

About MLA Style

MLA format was developed as a means for researchers, students, and scholars in the literature and language fields to use a uniform way to format their papers and assignments. This uniform, or consistent, method to developing an MLA paper or assignment allows for easy reading. Today, MLA is not only used in literature and language subject areas; many others have adopted it as well.


‚ÄčThe Mansfield Library subscribes to RefWorks to make research and citation easier for you. RefWorks is a citation management tool that stores your electronic articles in one place for easy access, organization, citation and sharing. You can save web page content and metadata, create collections to organize or share documents and citations, and upload PDF and Office documents.

VIDEO - Learn how to use RefWorks by watching these short videos

Works and Knowledge Cited List

"The following overview should help you better understand how to cite sources using MLA eighth edition, including how to format the Works Cited page and in-text citations."

Use this MLA 8th Edition video and tutorial to help you understand and grasp MLA-style citations. 

This MLA citations quiz can help you test your skills in MLA citation management. 

Works and knowledge cited should be formatted using the following guidelines:

  • Double space all citations.
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines.
  • Alphabetize the list of citations.
  • Works with the same author should be alphabetical by title.
  • Capitalize all major words in journal and book titles.
  • Enter the last name first, the the first full name.
  • If there are more than three authors, use "et al." after the first author's name. 


One Author

  • Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year. 

Moore, David L. That Dream Shall Have a Name: Native Americans Rewriting America. University of Nebraska, 2013. 

Multiple Authors

  • Only the name of the first author is reversed (Last Name, First Name); all other authors written in regular order (First Name Last Name). Title of Book. Publisher, Year. 

Bergman, Jill and Debra Bernardi. Our Sisters’ Keepers: Nineteenth-Century Benevolence Literature by American Women.

          University of Alabama Press, 2005.

Editors, Compilers, Translators

  • Last Name, First Name, add a comma and a descriptive label, e.g., eds., comps., trans. Title of Book. Publisher, Year. 

Sherman, David and Robert C. Solomon, eds. The Blackwell Guide to Continental Philosophy. Blackwell Publishers, 2003. 

Work In An Anthology

  • Author of Story. “Title of Story.” Title of Book. Editor. Publisher, Year, pp. page number(s). 

Cook, Nancy S. “Framing Class in the Rural West: Cowboys, Double-wides, and McMansions.” A Companion to the Literature and

          Culture of the American West. Ed. Nicolas S. Witschi. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, pp. 213-228. 


  • Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year. Online Database Name. Date of Access.

Harrison, Brady. All Our Stories Are Heretical Perspectives on Montana Literature. University

          of Nebraska Press, 2009. ProQuest ebrary, 


  • Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. number, no. issue number, Season Year, pp. page numbers. 

Borgmann, Albert. “Technology as a Cultural Force for Alena and Griffin.” Journal of Canadian Sociology, vol. 31, no. 3, Summer

          2006, pp. 351-360.


  • Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. number, no. issue number, Season Year, pp. page numbers. Title of database, URL of article.

Borgmann, Albert. So who am I really? Personal identity in the age of the Internet.” AI & Society, vol. 28, no. 1, 2013, pp. 15-

          20. SpringerLink,


  • Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper, date, page number(s). Date of Access if Web.

McNamer, Deidre. “Our Side of the Mountain: Op-Ed.” New York Times, November 25 2007, p. 12. Gale Cengage Academic



While MLA does not provide specific guidance on citing the traditional knowledge of indigenous elders or knowledge keepers, Lorisia MacLeod advocates including this information in your reference list as a way to actively incorporate anti-racism and anti-colonialism in scholarly writing, and offers the following MLA template and example (3):

  • Last name, First name. Nation/Community. Treaty Territory if applicable. City/Community they live in if applicable. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. Date Month Year.

Cardinal, Delores. Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Treaty 6. Lives in Edmonton. Oral teaching. 4 April 2004.

In-Text Citations


Any information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on your Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text, must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry in the Works Cited List.

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:

  • Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).
  • Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).
  • Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

Specific Situations

  • When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number.
  • If two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. 
  • For a source with three or fewer authors, list the authors' last names in the text or in the parenthetical citation.
  • For a source with more than three authors, use the work's bibliographic information as a guide for your citation. Provide the first author's last name followed by et al. or list all the last names.
  • If you cite more than one work by a particular author, include a shortened title for the particular work from which you are quoting to distinguish it from the others. Put short titles of books in italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks.
  • To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

. . . as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).

Source: Purdue Online Writing Lab 

Further Resources

Hardcopy at the Mansfield Library - Level 2:

MLA Handbook. Ninth edition., The Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

Online Guides:

Modern Language Association MLA Style Center

The OWL at Purdue University

The OWL overview should help you better understand how to cite sources using MLA eighth edition, including how to format the Works Cited page and in-text citation

What's New in the Eighth Edition