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MLA formatting

MLA Style

It's important to properly use a formal documentation style!  It shows respect for your own work as well as your reader.  When you care about how your information looks on the page and showing your sources, it tells your reader that you took your research seriously.

Formatting refers to how your essay looks on the paper, (i.e. margin width, spacing, font size and type, page numbering, heading).

Documentation refers to the sources you list on your works cited page and the in-text citations (parenthetical references) through out your essay. The works cited page and the in-text citations work hand in hand.

 

Click here for a helpful MLA website.

EasyBib is also helpful for generating works cited entries.

 

Here are a few basics to remember:

MLA Style

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is an organization of teachers and scholars devoted to the study of language and literature. MLA style has been widely adopted by academic journals, schools, and instructors. Since its initial publication, the MLA Style Manual has become the predominant style guide for use in the Humanities in the United States, and is commonly used in Canada and other countries worldwide. Below are instructions according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition), the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd edition) and http://www.mla.org/style.

Instructions

Alphabetize each entry in a works cited list by the first letter, ignoring the articles A, An, and The. Indent subsequent lines of entries one-half inch.

Names:Author names should appear as they do on the title page, whether spelled out or using initials. The first author is listed last name first, but any other authors appear in normal order. Name of the editor, compiler, or translator of a book (if applicable and if not cited earlier), proceeded by any appropriate abbreviation, such as Ed.

Titles:Capitalize the first, last, and all principal words.

Dates:Use the order: day month year. Shorten the month to the standard 3- or 4- letter abbreviation. If no publication date is available, use "n.d." in place of date.

Spacing:Citations should be double-spaced.

The following examples are citations from EBSCO databases. If you cannot find some of this information, cite what is available. Different styles may apply when citing print and other sources.

Journal Article

Pattern:

[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].

Example:

Maynard, W. Barksdale. "Thoreau's House at Walden." Art Bulletin 81.2 (1999): 303. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Nov.

     2002.

Journal Article w/ No Author

Pattern:

"[Title of work]." [Periodical name] [Volume number].[Issue number] ([Published year]): [Page number starts]. [Title of database].

       Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

Example:

"Thoreau's House at Walden." Art Bulletin 81.2 (1999): 303. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Nov. 2002.

Magazine Article

Pattern:

[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].

Example:

Keith, Amy Elisa, et al. "Debi Mazar's...DINNER FOR FOUR UNDER $10." People 19 Oct. 2009: 157. Academic Search

     Complete. Web. 27 Oct. 2009.

Newspaper Article

Pattern:

[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].

Example:

Howe, Peter J. "Ski Resorts Hop onto the Trail of Environmentalism." Boston Globe (MA) 26 Jan. 2007: Newspaper Source. Web.

     30 Jan. 2007.

Book

Pattern:

[Author last name], [First name] [Middle initial]. [Title of book]. [Place of publication]: [Publisher], [Publication year]. [Title of

     database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

Example:

Vitale, Ann. Regional Folklore. Pennsylvania: Mason Crest Publishers, 2003. Literary Reference Center. Web. 29 Jan. 2007.

Book Chapter

Pattern:

[Author last name], [First name] [Middle initial]. "[Title of chapter/essay]." [Title of work]. [Publication year]. [Page number starts]-

     [ends]. [Title of database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

Example:

Ellmann, Richard, and Harold Bloom. "Bloom Unbound." Bloom's Major Literary Characters: Leopold Bloom (2004): 21-25.

     Literary Reference Center. Web. 29 Jan. 2007.

Image and Video

Pattern:

"[Title of work]." [Copyright holder]. [Title of database]. Web. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation] [Year].

Example:

"Clown Fish." Getty Images. Points of View. Web. 30 Jan. 2007.

Podcasts

Pattern:

"[Title of Podcast]." [Topic of podcast]. [Podcast relay day] [Month abbreviation] [Year]. [Accessed day] [Month abbreviation]

     [Year]. <[URL]>.

Example:

"Prevention of HIV infection. Treatment of COPD." EBSCO: DynaMed Podcasts. 6 Mar. 2007. 22 Mar. 2007. .

 

E Book

Pattern:

[Author Last Name], [Author First Name]. [EBook Title]. [Publication Location]: [Publisher], [Year]. [Ebook Host]. Web. [Date

     Month Year].

Example:

Seaward, Brian Luke. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Wellbeing. Boston: Jones & Bartlett, 1999.

     NetLibrary. Web. 16 August 2006.

E Book – one page or chapter

Pattern:

[Author Last Name], [Author First Name]. “ [Chapter or Page Title].” [EBook Title]. [Publication Location]: [Publisher], [Year].

      [Ebook Host]. Web. [Date Month Year].

Example:

Seaward, Brian Luke. “Managing Stress.” Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Wellbeing. Boston: Jones &

     Bartlett, 1999. NetLibrary. Web. 16 August 2006.

Website

Pattern:

[Author Last Name, Author First Name or Organization Name]. [Website or Page Title]. ([Year]). Web. [Date Month Year].

Example:

IBM. Green electronics: designing for a smarter planet. (n.d.). Web. 2 December 2010.

Conference paper

Pattern:

[Author Last Name] [Author First Name]. “[Conference Paper Title].” [Conference Proceeding Title] – [Organization/Association

     Name] ([Conference Type] [Year]): [Conference Numbering Information]. [Database]. Web. [Date Month Year].

Example:

Clark, Naeemah, Shu-Yueh Lee, and Lori Boyer. "A Place of Their Own: An Exploratory Study of College Students' Uses of

      Facebook." Conference Papers -- International Communication Association (Annual Meeting 2007): 1-1. Communication &

     Mass Media Complete. Web. 02 August 2010.

These are only basic examples of the MLA style.More detailed information is available through the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition), the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd edition) and http://www.mla.org/style. In addition, a variety of third-party style guides and web sites can provide further assistance.

Always consult your library resources for the exact formatting and punctuation guidelines.

Source:  EBSCO Help