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Citing Sources: MLA Print Sources

How to cite print and electronic sources using APA or MLA style.

MLA Print Sources

How to Cite Print Sources in MLA Style

This document provides a guideline for cite the most common types of print sources using MLA style, based on information available in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7 th edition.  Numbers in parentheses refer to sections in the MLA Handbook.

  Works Cited List Citations for Periodicals

Journal article, one author (5.4.2)

The general format is:

Author’s last name, first name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal volume number.issue (year): pp-pp.

          Medium of publication.

Williams, Linda. "Of Kisses and Ellipses: The Long Adolescence of American Movies."

                Critical Inquiry 32.2 (2006): 288-340. Print.

Journal article, two authors (5.4.2)

Follow the general format above, except for author names, which are entered in the order they appear, separated by a comma and the word "and."  The first author is entered "last name, first name" format while the second author is entered "first name last name" format.

Brueggeman, Brenda Jo, and Debra A. Moddelmog. "Coming-Out Pedagogy: Risking

                Identity in Language and Literature Classrooms." Pedagogy 2.3 (2002): 311-35. Print.

An article in a magazine  (5.4.6)

Follow the general format for journal articles, except give the complete date, beginning with day and abbreviating month,for magazines which are published more often than monthly,

Weintraub, Arlene, and Laura Cohenl. "A Thousand Year Plan for Nuclear Waste."

        Business Week 5 May 2002: 94-96. Print.

An article in a newspaper  (5.4.5) 

General rules for newspapers:

  • For English language papers, omit any introductory articles.
  • If the city is not included in name of local newspaper, add city name in brackets after name.
  • For nationally published newspapers, you do not need to give the city of publication.
  • If an edition is named, add a comma after the date, and specify the edition (e.g., late ed.)
  • If the article appears on nonconsectutive pages, write only the first page number and a + sign.

Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times 21 May 2007 late ed.: A1. Print.

Works Cited List Citations for Books

Book by a single author   (5.5.2)

The general format is:

Author’s last name, first name. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of

          publication. Medium of Publication.

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin, 1987. Print

Book by two or more authors   (5.5.4)

Follow the general format above, listing authors in the same order as on the title page. The first author name appears in "last name, first name" format; subsequent author names appear in "first name last name" format.  Separate the names with commas,  placing the word "and" before the last author's name.

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston:

       Allyn, 2000. Print.

Books with more than three authors    (5.5.4)

If there are more than three authors, you may choose to list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. in place of the subsequent authors' names, or you may list all the authors in the order in which their names appear on the title page as in example above. 

Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding

                 the Teaching of Composition. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2004. Print.

Book chapter from an edited book  (5.5.6)

The general format is :  

Chapter author last name, first name."Title of Chapter." Title of Book. Ed. Editor's Name(s).

           Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Page range of entry. Medium of Publication.

Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers." A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers

                  One to One. Ed. Ben Rafoth. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000. 24-34. Print.

An article or entry in a reference book   (5.5.7)                                           

For widely used reference books that frequently publish new editions, do not give full publication information. The general format is:

"Title of Article." Title of Reference Book. Ed. Year. Medium.

"Ginsberg, Ruth Bader." Who’s Who in America. 62nd  ed. 2008.  Print.

For specialized reference works, give full publication information, omitting inclusive page numbers.

In-text Citations

In-text citations must clearly point to the specific sources in the Works Cited list, and so must match the corresponding information in the entries there.

Author-page style  (6.2)                                                                                                   

General guidelines: 

  • The author’s last name and inclusive page numbers, from which the quote or paraphrase was taken, must appear in the text.
  • The author’s name may appear either in the sentence itself, or in parentheses at the end of the sentence, but the inclusive page numbers must always appear in parentheses. The following examples are all acceptable:

Tannen had argued this point (178-85

This point had already been argued (Tannen 178-85

Some, like Tannen (178-85) had already argued this point.

This point had been argued before (Tannen 178-85).

In-text citations for sources with more than one author   (6.2)

The in-text citation should include the last names of all authors listed in the Works Cited list, as well as the page numbers. If there are more than three authors, follow the form used in the Works Cited list, either listing all authors by last name, or the first author followed by et al.

(Smith, Jones, Morgan, and White 24-25) or (Smith et al. 24-25)

In text citations for sources with no author   (6.4.4)

If the author is not given and the reference is listed by title in the Works Cited list, use the title or the first few words of the title in place of the author. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (e.g. articles) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. books) and provide a page number.

For more examples of how to cite print sources in MLA style:

Consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7 th ed.(REF LB2369.G53 2009), available at Bellevue University Library,  or visit

"MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide," at the OWL at Purdue website, http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01. 

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