Writing Center 1
MLA Documentation Guide
Revised February 2009
Use 8 ½ x 11 inch paper
One (1)-inch margins on top, bottom, left, right
Indent first line of each paragraph using the TAB key
Do not use full justification; use left justification except for centered items
First page of manuscript should include the author’s last name and page number in the upper
right header and the student’s name, professor’s name, class name, and date double spaced at
the left margin. Continue numbering pages consecutively throughout the manuscript.
Title should be centered below the heading. (No title page is necessary.)
All text should be double-spaced; use a readable font, such as 12-point Times New Roman.
February 3, 2009
Title of Essay
The text of the essay should begin here. Notice that the paragraph is indented one-half
inch, or one TAB space. The text will continue in this way through the Works Cited, all
double-spaced. This font is Times New Roman, 12 point.
Writing Center 2
When you write research papers, you must indicate to your readers whenever you incorporate
the words/ideas of another writer (documentation), whether you have quoted directly or summarized.
That indication is given in parentheses following the incorporated material (usually at the end of the
sentence). In the parentheses, you should provide the author’s last name and the page number(s) to
which you referred. (If you mentioned the author’s name within the text of the manuscript, then only
the page number is required within the parentheses.) This notation will guide the reader to the
complete bibliographical entry on the Works Cited page (which is arranged alphabetically by
authors’ last names). If the source you refer to in your essay is anonymous, then provide a shortened
version of the title in the parentheses. If the source is a book, italicize the title; if it is an article
within a journal, then put the title in quotation marks, just as the complete title would be found in the
Works Cited. If the source you use has no page number available (i.e., a web page), you may omit
the page number in the parentheses or use the abbreviation n. pag. For more specific information
concerning in-text citations, refer to the MLA Style Manual.
(Note: One major change in this edition of the MLA Style Manual is that each bibliographical entry
now specifies the medium of publication.)
BOOK BY A SINGLE AUTHOR
Last, First. Title. Place of publication: Publisher, date. Type of source.
Spacks, Patricia Meyer. Privacy: Concealing the Eighteenth-Century Self. Chicago: U of Chicago P,
In-text citation: (Spacks 23)
Writing Center 3
BOOK BY TWO OR MORE AUTHORS (List in the order in which they are presented on the title page.)
Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. 2nd ed.
Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2003. Print.
In-text citation: (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 47)
(If a source has more than three authors, you may list all names in full, or you may list the first
name and follow with the abbreviation et al. [and others].)
WORK IN AN ANTHOLOGY
To the basic book entry, add the following information: author, title, and (if relevant) translator
and/or editor of the part of the book being cited; e.g., story, chapter.
Bardo, Susan. “The Moral Content of Nabokov’s Lolita.” Aesthetic Subjects. Ed. Pamela R.
Matthews and David McWhirter. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2003. 125-52. Print.
In-text citation: (Bardo 126)
ARTICLE IN A SCHOLARLY JOURNAL
Last, First. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal xx[volume number].x [issue number] (date): xx-xx
[page numbers]. Print.
Barthelme, Frederick. “Architecture.” Kansas Quarterly 13.3-4 (1981): 77-80. Print.
In-text citation: (Barthelme 78)
ARTICLE IN A NEWSPAPER
Last, First. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper date of article: xx[, edition, if appropriate]:[section
(if appropriate)]xx [page number]. Print.
Rosenberg, Geanne. “Electronic Discovery Proves an Effective Legal Weapon.” New York Times 31
Mar. 1997, natl. ed: C5. Print.
In-text citation: (Rosenberg C5)
Writing Center 4
ARTICLE IN A MAGAZINE
Last, First. “Title of Article.” Title of Magazine date of magazine: xx [page numbers]. Print.
McEvoy, Dermot. “Little Books, Big Success.” Publishers Weekly 30 Oct. 2006: 26-28. Print.
In-text citation: (McEvoy 27)
Use the same format as for an article but begin with the title of the article rather than the author.
“The Decade of the Spy.” Newsweek 7 Mar. 1994: 24-27. Print.
In-text citation: (“Decade” 26)
Whenever possible, take material from the original source; however, if the original source is not
available, you may make an indirect reference. For example if John Smith quotes Joe Jones, and if
you do not have access to Jones’s original work but still want to quote what Jones says, then you
should parenthetically cite this source as follows: (Jones qtd. in Smith 42). You would include a
complete bibliographical entry for Smith in the Works Cited. You may also provide the
bibliographical information for Jones in a note.
Name of author or compiler. “Title of the work/page.” Title of the overall web site [if distinct from
the title of the work/page]. Publisher or sponsor of the site (if not available, use n.p.), Date of
publication (if not available, use n.d.). Medium of publication. Date of access (day, month,
[Untitled works may be identified by a genre label, such as Home page, Introduction,
Online posting, etc.]
Writing Center 5
Green, Joshua. “The Rove Presidency.” The Atlantic.com. Atlantic Monthy Group, Sept. 2007. Web.
29 Nov. 2007.
In-text citation: (Green n. pag.) or (Green)
“Maplewood, New Jersey.” Map. Google Maps. Google, 23 July 2007. Web. 23 July 2007.
In-text citation (“Maplewood” n. pag.) or (“Maplewood”)
Yager, Susan, narr. “The Former Age.” By Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer Metapage. Ed. Mark E.
Allen et al. U of North Carolina, 13 Feb. 2007. Web. 30 Nov. 2007.
In-text citation: (Yager n. pag.) or (Yager)
ARTICLE FROM AN ONLINE JOURNAL
Use the format for a print article, and add the medium of publication (web) and date of access (date,
Landauer, Michelle. “Images of Virtue: Reading, Reformation and the Visualization of Culture in
Rousseau’s La nouvelle Heloise.” Romanticism on the Net 46 (2007): n. pag. Web. 8 Nov.
In-text citation: (Landauer n. pag.) Or, if paragraphs are numbered, use a paragraph reference, i.e.,
ARTICLE RETRIEVED FROM AN ONLINE DATABASE
Use the format for a print article, followed by the title of the database (italicized), the medium of
publication (Web), and the date of access (day, month, year).
Chan, Evans. “Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema.” Postmodern Culture 10.3 (2000): n. pag.
Project Muse. Web. 20 May 2002.
In-text citation: (Chan n. pag.)
Writing Center 6
Miller, Steven, and Sara Guyer, eds. Literature and the Right to Marriage. Spec. issue of Diacritics
35.4 (2005): 1-120. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 30 Nov. 2007.
In-text citation: (Miller and Guyer n. pag.) OR if the article is formatted in PDF form, you may use
a page number: (Miller and Guyer 2)
Common Abbreviations in MLA
et al.—And others
n. p.—No publication information
n. pag—No pagination or no page numbers
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