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Citation Help

Manual and help pages

The MLA Handbook is the definitive source for questions about MLA format. The 8th edition, released in 2016, is significantly different from previous editions.

The links below can also help you answer quick questions:

Works Cited: General rules for MLA

Citations include the following pieces of information in this order, regardless of format. If a piece of information is not given for your source, omit it and skip to the next available piece.

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors (such as a director, narrator, or translator),
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location (may include page numbers for the location of a work in a text, the URL for an online source, or a DOI).

For more information on any piece, please see MLA Handbook by The Modern Language Association of America. 

  • Capitalize each word in the title of a work
    • Do NOT capitalize articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions unless they are located at the beginning of the title
  • Use italics for the titles of self-contained works (books, journals, web sites, databases)
  • Use quotation marks for the titles of works contained in larger works (articles, essays, short stories)
  • Use a hanging indent of .5 inch to indent all lines after the first line of a citation
  • List all sources in alphabetical order by the last name of the author
  • Include and italicize the name of the database used to find articles 

Updated 7/18/2016 HC

In-Text Citations: General Rules

  • Whenever you paraphrase or directly quote from a source, you must acknowledge the author with a citation
  • Page number is required for all citations unless there are no page numbers on the source

Work with author and page numbers:   (Author 74) 

Work with no author:  ("Short title” 82)

Work with no author and no page numbers:  (“Short title)



This guide is adapted from a guide by Amy Fyn at Bowling Green State University Libraries.