MLA Citation Style

The Modern Language Association does not publish its documentation guidelines on the Web. For an authoritative explanation of MLA style, see the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (for high school and undergraduate college students) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (for graduate students, scholars, and professional writers). Please also see frequently asked questions about MLA style.

The style recommended by the association for preparing scholarly manuscripts and student research papers concerns itself with the mechanics of writing, such as punctuation, quotation, and documentation of sources. MLA style has been widely adopted by schools, academic departments, and instructors for nearly half a century.

MLA guidelines are also currently used by over 125 scholarly and literary journals, newsletters, and magazines with circulations over one thousand; by hundreds of smaller periodicals; and by many university and commercial presses. MLA style is commonly followed not only in the United States but in Canada and other countries as well; Japanese translations of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers appeared in 1980, 1984, and 1988, and a Chinese translation was published in 1990.

In a 1991 article on style manuals, Booklist cited MLA documentation style as one of the "big three," along with the guidelines published by the American Psychological Association and the University of Chicago Press.

Okuda, Michael, and Denise Okuda. Star Trek Chronology: The History
of the Future. New York: Pocket, 1993.

Journal Article
Wilcox, Rhonda V. "Shifting Roles and Synthetic Women in Star
Trek: The Next Generation." Studies in Popular Culture 13.2 (1991):53-65.

Newspaper or Magazine Article
Di Rado, Alicia. "Trekking through College: Classes Explore Modern Society Using the World of Star Trek." Los Angeles Times 15 Mar. 1995: A3.

Book Article or Chapter
James, Nancy E. "Two Sides of Paradise: The Eden Myth According to
Kirk and Spock." Spectrum of the Fantastic. Ed. Donald Palumbo. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1988. 219-223.

Encyclopedia Article (well known reference books)
Sturgeon, Theodore. "Science Fiction." The Encyclopedia Americana. International ed. 1995.

Encyclopedia Article (less familiar reference books)
Horn, Maurice. "Flash Gordon." The World Encyclopedia of Comics.
Ed. Maurice Horn. 2 vols. New York: Chelsea, 1976.

Gale Reference Book (and other books featuring reprinted articles)
Shayon, Robert Lewis. "The Interplanetary Spock." Saturday Review 17 June 1967: 46. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon R. Gunton. Vol. 17. Detroit: Gale Research, 1981. 403.

ERIC Document
Fuss-Reineck, Marilyn. Sibling Communication in Star Trek: The Next
Generation: Conflicts between Brothers. Miami: Speech Communication Assn., 1993. ERIC Document Reproduction Service ED364932.

Lynch, Tim. "DSN Trials and Tribble-ations Review. " Psi Phi: Bradley's Science Fiction Club. 1996. Bradley University 8 Oct. 1997 < l>.

Newspaper or Magazine Article on the Internet
Andreadis, Athena. "The Enterprise Finds Twin Earths Everywhere It
Goes, But Future Colonizers of Distant Planets Won't Be So Lucky." Astronomy Jan. 1999: 64- . Academic Universe. Lexis-Nexis. B.Davis Schwartz Memorial Lib., Brookville, NY. 7 Feb. 1999 <>.

Literature Resource Center
Shayon, Robert Lewis. "The Interplanetary Spock." Saturday Review
17 June 1967: 46. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon R. Gunton. Vol. 17. Detroit: Gale Research, 1981. 403. Literature Resource Center. Gale Group. B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Lib., Brookville, NY. 16 Oct. 2001 <>.


Arrange the items on your reference list alphabetically by author, interfiling books, articles, etc.
Doublespace all lines.
Indent the second and following lines 5 spaces (or one half inch).
If no author is given, start with the title.
Abbreviate the names of all months except May, June, and July.
If the encyclopedia does not arrange its articles alphabetically, treat the encyclopedia article as if it were a book article. Specific volume and page numbers are cited in the text, not in the list of references.
Gale Reference Book: cite the original source being reprinted as shown under Book, Journal Article, Newspaper or Magazine Article, etc. The example shows a Magazine Article. Then include the citation information for the reference book.
Websites: include the title of the web page, the name of the entire web site, the organization that posted it (this may be the same as the name of the website). Also include the full date the page was created or last updated (day, month, year if available) and the date you looked at it.
Internet Magazine Articles: include:
The name of the database (underlined) and the company that created it and its home webpage;
The full date of the article (day, month, year if available) and the date you looked at it;
If you are citing a journal instead of a magazine, include the volume (and issue number) and date as shown under the Journal Style above.
The library or other organization (and its location) that provided you with access to the database.
As for page numbers, different databases will provide different information. Include the range of pages (ex. 25-28.); or the starting page followed by a hyphen, a blank space, and a period (ex. 64- .); or the total number of pages or paragraphs (ex. 12 pp. or 33 pars.). If no page information is given, then leave it out.
The rules concerning a title within a title are not displayed here for purposes of clarity. See the printed version of the manual for details.
For documents and situations not listed here, see the printed version of the manual.

MLA Guide

Further information on Citation Styles:

-> MLA Citation Style
- APA Citation Style
- Chicago Citation Style
- Turabian Citation Style

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