8.7 MLA Format
Just like APA format, properly formatted MLA citations include two main elements: the works cited entry and the in-text citation. Below you will find sample citations for a variety of commonly-used reference types. For additional questions, consult the MLA Handbook (9th ed).
The Works Cited page operates just like the Reference list in APA format. It is found at the end of your paper or project, and it includes all of the sources used when developing your paper or project. References are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, and each reference will have a hanging indent to make it easier to visually distinguish between each reference.
If there is no author, the title moves into the place of the author. The reference should then be alphabetized by the first word in the title within the reference list.
“Down the Line.” The Olio: An Annual, The Corps of Cadets of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, 1895, pp. 54-58.
In MLA style, when there is a single author, you should list them with the last name first, followed by the full first and (if available) middle name or initial.
Lyke, Austin. “Institutional Effects of Higher Education Acquisitions: The Case of Texas A&M School of Law.” AERA Open, vol. 4, no. 4, 2018, pp. 1-11. Sage Journals, https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858418816092.
When there are two authors, the first author with their last name first, followed by their first name and (if available) middle name or initial. The name order is reversed with the second author, and the word and is used to connect the two. Be sure to keep the authors in the order in which they appear on the source.
James, Adrian, and Lori Moore. “Understanding the Supplemental Instruction Leader.” Learning Assistance Review, vol. 23, no. 1, 2018, pp. 9-29. ERIC, eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1170156.
Three or More Authors
When there are more than three authors, list the first author’s last name, followed by et al. This is a Latin phrase meaning “and others” and is used in some citation formats as a way to abbreviate a list of names.
LeMire, Sarah, et al. “Taking a Fresh Look: Reviewing and Classifying Reference Statistics for Data-Driven Decision Making.” Reference & User Services Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 3, 2018, pp. 230-234. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/refuseserq.55.3.230.
Sometimes the author isn’t a person – instead, it’s authored by an organization. In this case, you’ll list the organization as the author. If the organization and the publisher are the same, only list the organization as the publisher and use the title as the author.
Stats in Brief: What High Schoolers and Their Parents Know about Public 4-year Tuition. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Nov. 2018.
In MLA format, books list the author, followed by the title in italics. MLA, unlike APA, does not typically include the place of publication. If the book is accessed electronically, note that it is an e-book (usually after the title).
Dromgoole, Glenn. Aggie Savvy: Practical Wisdom from Texas A&M. State House Press, 2005.
Article from Database
You will commonly access articles from online databases like JSTOR or Project Muse databases, as opposed to finding them directly via a journal or in print. In this case, MLA format requires that you include the name of the article, name of the journal, and the name of the database in your citation.
To help the reader access the article, always include the doi (permanent url) if there is one available. It is generally listed near the top of the article. It may appear as doi: or https://dx.doi.org/ followed by a sequence of numbers and/or letters. The doi number typically starts with the number 10, as in the example below. If there is a doi available, include it in your citation using the format https://doi.org/[insert doi number]. If a permalink is available instead of a doi, it can be used instead.
Rutledge, Lorelei, and Sarah LeMire. “Broadening Boundaries: Opportunities for Information Literacy Instruction Inside and Outside the Classroom.” portal: Libraries and the Academy, vol. 17, no. 2, 2017, pp. 347-362. Project Muse, https://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2017.0021.
Boren, Cindy. “It Took Seven Overtimes for Texas A&M to Beat LSU in the Craziest College Football Game of the Year,” Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2018/11/25/it-took-seven-overtimes-texas-am-beat-lsu-craziest-college-football-game-year/ Accessed 6 Jul. 2019.
“About Us.” Aggie Shields, 2019, www.aggieshields.org/about-us/
“Fearless on Every Front.” YouTube, uploaded by Texas A&M University, 8 Sept. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlRup0e8kTk
Unlike APA style, MLA does include unpublished interviews in the Works Cited. Key details to include are the name of the person interviewed and the date of the interview.
Anders, Kathy. Personal interview. 14 Jul. 2019.
MLA format also includes lectures and lecture slides in the Works Cited.
Pantuso, Terri. Lecture. Rhetoric and Composition, 10 Sept. 2019, Texas A&M University.
MLA in-text citations use the last name(s) of the author followed by a space and the page number for the source material, when available. Only use the page number if the source is paginated (e.g., a book chapter or article that has a page number in the corner). Do not include a page number for web sources that are not paginated.
In MLA format, you can also embed the author name directly into your sentence (e.g., Smith found that…), in which case the parenthetical at the end of the sentence should include only the page number.
As with the Works Cited entry, the in-text citation will use the title if there is no author available. Use the first few words of the title if it is long, and place it in quotation marks.
(“Down the Line” 56).
When there are two authors, list the last names of both connected by an ampersand. Be sure to keep the authors in the order in which they appear on the source.
(James and Moore 19).
Three or More Authors
When there are more than three authors, list the first author’s last name, followed by et al. This is a Latin phrase meaning “and others” and is used in some citation formats as a way to abbreviate a list of names
(LeMire et al. 261).
As with the reference list, you’ll list the organization as the author in the in-text citation.
Example (document is paginated)
(Texas A&M University 14).
Example (document is not paginated)
(Texas A&M University).