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Home arrow MLA Citation format
MLA Citation format
Modern Language Association MLA citation format
A Works Cited page provides a complete citation for every work you cited in your research paper. A Bibliography (or Works Consulted list), in contrast, provides a full citation for every work you consulted as you wrote your paper.

In most academic research papers, instructors require a Works Cited page. However, in business, you may be asked to prepare a Bibliography/Works Consulted list as well. Be sure you know what documentation you are required to submit with your research paper.


MLA Citation Format

Below are the standard MLA (Modern Language Association) citation formats. Remember to use MLA style formatting for papers in the humanities.


As you read know, the format for citing an Internet source is still evolving. Below are the minimum requirements as of publication date.


•      Author. Make every effort to distinguish the author of the content from the page designer and avoid listing the designer as an author. If you can't locate an author cita­tion, begin the reference with the title.

•      Title. If there is both an individual document title and a publication title, place the publication title after the doc­ument title.

•      Date of publication or date of last revision. If a document includes both a date of creation and a date it was last updated, use only the latter. If no date is included, use the abbreviation n.d. (no date) just as you would for a book or article with no date.

•      URL. Block and copy the URL to avoid typographical errors.

•      Date that you accessed the page.


Internet sources include general web sources, database articles, e-mail, and electronic newsgroups and bulletin boards.

General Web Source


Author. "Document Title" Publication or Web site title. Date of publi­cation. Date of access.


Rosenberg, Owen. "Selling Organs for Transplant." Health Issues Update. Winter 2005. 10 March 2007 www.organdebate.org/Winter2005.html>

Database Articles

Cite articles from databases (such as EBSCOhost or Lexis-Nexis) as you would an article from a print journal but include additional information about the electronic source.


Author."Article Title." Periodical Title: volume number (publication date): page numbers (if available). Database name. Database producer. Date of access .


Moon, William Least Heat. "Blue Highways." U.S. News and World Report (17 January 2005): 12+. 12 May 2007
MLA Citation Style

How to use MLA citation Style

There are several ways to document your sources. When you are writing in the humanities (such as English, history, and social studies) you most often use the MLA citation Style of internal documentation, a method created by the Modern Language Association.  When you use internal documentation, you place as much of the citation as necessary within the text. The method makes it easy for your readers to track your sources as they read. Later, they can check your Works Cited page for a complete bibliographic entry. Internal documentation takes the place of traditional footnotes or endnotes.

What should you include in the body of the text? The first time you cite a work in your paper, include as much of the following information as necessary...

•    the name of your source
•    the writer's full name
•    the writer's affiliation page numbers or URLs

Naming the Author-According to Van Wyck Brooks, Twain was a thwarted satirist whose bitterness toward the damned human race was the fruit of a lifelong prostitution of his talents. "The life of a Mississippi pilot had, in some special way, satisfied the instinct of the artist in him.... He felt that, in some way, he had been as a pilot on the right track; and he felt that he had lost this track" (252).
Citing the Source-A recent Time magazine article entitled "Video Madness," argues that small children become addicted to video games with devastating results (35).
Omitting the Author or Dealing with an Unknown Author-The Long Island "greenbelt" is becoming seriously damaged by snowmobiles (www.greenbelt.org).

Citing an Indirect Source -Not everyone admired Twain's subjects or style. In a highly influential critical study, Van Wyck Brooks repeated Arnold Bennett's assessment of Twain as a "divine amateur" as well as Henry James' famous comment that Twain appeals to "rudimentary minds" (Brooks 21).
Next you'll learn how to use footnotes and endnotes. That is another way to give credit to your sources.

CMS Citation format

Footnotes and endnotes are another form of documentation used in research papers. Sometimes referred to as the Chicago Style or CMS (after the University of Chicago's Manual of Style), footnotes and endnotes are often used in business, the fine arts, and the sciences to indicate the source of materials the writer incorporated into a research paper.

What Are Footnotes and Endnotes?

A footnote is a bibliographic reference indicated by a number in the text. The complete citation is then placed at the bot­tom ("foot") of the same page. A footnote is normally flagged by a superscript number following that portion of the text the note refers to. Use 1 for the first footnote, 2 for the second footnote, and so on. Continue the numbering throughout the entire paper; do not start new numbers on each page.

'First footnote 2Second footnote

An endnote is identical in form to a footnote. The only difference is the placement: all endnotes are placed at the end of the paper on a separate page labeled "Endnotes."


Never mix both footnotes and endnotes; choose one method or the other.

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