Van Wagenen Library
State University of New York, College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill
GUIDE TO MLA STYLE
CITE YOUR SOURCES TO AVOID PLAGIARISM:
When writing your paper, you MUST identify the source of any
idea or opinion that is not your own
As you research, keep a good record of all the sources you use and where your information comes
from. One of the most effective ways to avoid plagiarism is to summarize in your own words as you
take notes, rather than copy whole sections word for word.
USE CITATIONS INSTEAD OF FOOTNOTES:
Most subject areas (psychology, biology, wildlife, etc.) no longer use footnotes in research writing, but
every field has specific formats for citing sources. In general, though, all citations in the text of your
research paper must be match up to an alphabetical list of works at the end of the paper.
MLA STYLE AT A GLANCE:
Sources are identified within the text of your paper by
the author's last name
a short title if more than one work by an author is used
Complete information about the source is given in the WORKS CITED (a.k.a. “Bibliography”) list at the
end of the paper.
Note: Some examples used in this handout are taken from the MLA Handbook or the MLA website.
TO CITE A SOURCE WITHIN THE TEXT:
Identify the author in the text and give the page reference at the end:
Hale has argued this point (145-47).
Identify the author and page at the end:
This point has previously been argued (Hale 145-47).
Identify a short title if more than one work by an author is used:
When women enter a male occupation, “pay, recognition, and opportunities drop” (Fillmore,
Women MBA's, 195).
Identify the source within a sentence when necessary for clarity:
As Long (37) had predicted, research demonstrated a relationship between smoking and cancer
THE WORKS CITED SECTION:
Gives complete information about the sources used in your research.
Is in alphabetical order by author (use title if no author).
Is NOT numbered.
MLA FORMAT FOR TYPES OF WORKS CITED:
(Format rule followed by an example in BOLD print)
Author (last name, first name). Title (Italicized). Place of publication: Publisher, year. Format.
Berlage, Gai Ingham. Women in Baseball: The Forgotten History. Westport: Greenwood, 1994.
BOOK—TWO OR MORE AUTHORS
Author and Author (first name first for other authors). Title. Place of publication: Publisher, year.
Green, Judy, and Jeanne LaDuke. Pioneering Women in American Mathematics: The Pre-1940
PhD's. Providence: American Mathematical Society, 2009. Print.
Editor, ed. Title. Place of publication: Publisher, year. Format.
Braun, Clait E., ed. Techniques for Wildlife Investigations and Management. Bethesda: Wildlife
Society, 2005. Print.
ARTICLE/CHAPTER/ESSAY IN AN EDITED BOOK
Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Book. Ed. Editor’s Name. Place of publication: Publisher, year. Pages.
Kitto, Sherry. “Micropropagation of Trillium Species.” Combined Proceedings. Ed. Emma
Rawnsley. Seattle: International Plant Propagators’ Society, 2002. 425-428. Print.
MAGAZINE ARTICLE (if the author is not known, start with the article’s title)
Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Magazine date: pages. Format.
Mulvey, Edward P. and Jess Fardella. “Are the Mentally Ill Really Violent?” Psychology Today
Nov.-Dec. 2000: 39+. Print.
“Tomorrow's Lesson: Learn or Perish.” Time Fall 1992: 59+. Print.
Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper date, edition.: pages. Format.
Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. “What's in a Movie Soundtrack? Catchy Tunes and Big Business.” Wall
Street Journal 1 Apr. 1994, eastern ed.: B1. Print.
JOURNAL ARTICLE (continuous pagination for whole year)
Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal volume (year): pages. Format.
Kuiper, Nicholas A., et al. "Humor is Not Always the Best Medicine: Specific Components of Sense
of Humor and Psychological Well-Being." Humor: International Journal of Humor Research
17 (2004): 135-168. Print.
JOURNAL ARTICLE (each issue paged separately)
Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal volume.issue (year): pages. Format.
Albada, Kelly F. “The Public and Private Dialogue about the American Family on Television.”
Journal of Communication 50.4 (2000): 79-110. Print.
GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT (individual author unknown)
Name of government. Name of agency. Title of publication. Place of publication: Publisher, year.
New York State. Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century. The Adirondack
Park in the Twenty-First Century. Albany: State of New York, 1990. Print.
Title. Director or producer (if given). Year of original release (if relevant). Distributor, year of video
Medicine at the Crossroads. Prod. 13/WNET and BBC TV. PBS Video, 1993. Videocassette.
It’s a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. 1946. Republic, 2001. DVD.
Author or Editor’s name (if given). Title of Website. Version number (if stated). Name of institution or
organization sponsoring the website. Date of electronic publication, of the latest update, or of
posting. Format. Date when the researcher accessed the resource. <url of resource>.
Scholars’ Lab. University of Virginia Library. 2007. Web. 19 June 2009.
Author or Editor’s name (if given). “Title of Document.” Title of Website. Version number (if stated).
Name of institution or organization sponsoring the website. Date of electronic publication, of
the latest update, or of posting. Format. Access date. <url of resource>.
“Reebok History.” Reebok.com. Reebok International, Ltd. 2009. Web. 3 Dec. 2009
FULL-TEXT JOURNAL ARTICLE IN ONLINE DATABASE
Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal volume.issue (year): pages or indicator of length. Name of
Database. Format. Access date.
FULL-TEXT MAGAZINE ARTICLE IN ONLINE DATABASE
Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Magazine date: pages. Name of Database. Format. Access date.
Crowley, Michael. “Switch Hit.” New Republic 31 Dec. 2001: 13. Academic Search Complete. Web.
06 Dec. 2006.
FULL-TEXT NEWSPAPER ARTICLE IN ONLINE DATABASE
Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper date, edition.: pages. Name of Database. Format. Access
Spice, Linda. “Schools Bracing to Serve More Homeless Students.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 26
Dec. 2002, final ed.: 03B. LexisNexis Academic: News. Web. 27 May 2003.
For more information, consult:
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009. REF LB2369.G53 2009
The Van Wagenen Library Research Guide “Citing Sources” – http://www.cobleskill.edu/library/guides.asp