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Introduction to Shakespeare - Oakland Campus: Writing & Citing in MLA

Designed to assist students in ENGLIT 580.


When you use sources for your paper, be sure to cite them correctly using a standardized format.

The english literature field uses the Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, 2009 (MLA).

Citing Sources Using a Citation Manager

Online citation managers are an easy way to keep track of all of your references. The University Library System resources work with tools such as Mendeley, EndNote, and Zotero. These are tools for importing citations from sources like PITTCat+ and article databases that can automatically integrate them into your research paper and bibliography.

What is MLA Style?

MLA (Modern Language Association) style for documentation is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature. MLA style features brief parenthetical citations in the text keyed to an alphabetical list of works cited that appears at the end of the work. (Source: Official MLA website)

In-text Citation

Material Type

In-text Citation

Author's name in text

Magny develops this argument (67-69).

Author's name in reference

This argument has been developed elsewhere (Magny 67-69).

Two authors' names in reference

The most notorious foreign lobby in Washington is the "Sugar Mafia" (Howe and Trott 134).

Quotation found in indirect or "secondhand" source

The philosopher Alain states that "admiration is not pleasure but a kind of attention. . ." (qtd. in Magny 66).


Creating a Works Cited Page

With MLA style, you must include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper. A Works Cited page is an alphabetical listing of the resources cited in your paper. Below are some examples of MLA style citations.

Material Type

Works Cited

Book in print

Card, Claudia. The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. Print.


Dzau, Victor J. and Mark A. Creager. "Chapter 231: Diseases of the Aorta." Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. McGraw-Hill, 1999. Web. 7 Sept. 2006.

An article in a print journal

Doggart, Julia. "Minding the Gap: Realizing Our Ideal Community Writing Assistance Program." The Community Literacy Journal 2.1 (2007): 71-80. Print. 

An article in an electronic journal

Sherrard-Johnson, Cherene. "'A Plea for Color': Nella Larsen's Iconography of the Mulatta." American Literature 76.4 (2004): 833-869. EBSCOhost. Web. 10 Sept. 2009.

A encyclopedia entry

Foster, John S., Jr. "Nuclear War." The Encyclopedia Americana. Intl. ed. 1998. Print. 

A government publication

United States. Federal Maritime Commission. Hawaiian Trade Study: An Economic Analysis. Washington: GPO, 1978. Print. 

An interview you conducted

Brandt, Deborah. Personal interview. 28 May 2008.

(Note: List the interview under the name of the interviewee)

A film/DVD

Sense and Sensibility. Screenplay by Emma Thompson and Jane Austen. Dir. Ang Lee. Perf. Emma Thompson, and Kate Winslet. Sony, 1999. DVD.

(Note: Dir = Director. Perf. = Performer(s). List both after the title of the film or DVD)

A Page on a Website with no author

"New Media @ the Center." The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. U of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center, 2009. Web. 11 Sept. 2009.

A Page on a Website with an author

Peace, Richard. “Fathers and Children: Understanding Nature.” The Novels of Turgenev: Symbols and Emblems.  U of Bristol P, 20 July 2002. Web. 5 May 2005.

Website - online government publication

United States. Dept. of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Trends in Violent Victimization by Age, 1973-2005. 10 Sept. 2006. Web. 3 Oct. 2006.


Woodward, Julian. “Newborn FAQs.” Message to Michelle Roberts. 28 Mar. 2008. E-mail.

Discussion list (listserv)

Stein, Cindy. “Chessie Rescue - Annapolis MD." Chessie-L listserv. 16 May 1997. E-mail.

Radio/TV episode - from library database

"Beyond Vick: Animal Cruelty for Sport." Morning Edition. NPR. 8 Aug. 2007.Academic OneFile. Web. 5 May 2008.

Radio/TV episode - from website

"Federal Prosecutors Eye MySpace Bullying Case." All Things Considered. NPR. 14 Jan. 2008. Web. 15 Jan. 2008.

Film - from website

The Landlord. Perf. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. 2007. Funny or Die. Web. 15 Jan. 2008.

Artwork - from library database

Clark, Larry. Man with Baby. ca. 1960s. George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. ARTstor. Web. 15 Jan. 2008.

Artwork - from website

Close, Chuck. Ronald. 2002. Museum of Modern Art, New York. MoMA. Web. 5 Jan. 2008.

Photograph - from website

Viewing the Unfortunates at the Morgue. N.d. The Triangle Factory File. Cornell Univeristy ILR School, 2005. Web. 16 Oct. 2010.

A Helpful Guide

Putting it all together

Organizing your research and putting your ideas down on paper can be difficult.  You can get writing help at the Writing Center.

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