The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Navigation: Quick Links

Professor writing on a chalkboard




Writers Workshop: Writer Resources

Modern Language Association (MLA)

(adapted from The MLA Style Center; last updated 6/10/16)

In its 8th edition (released May 2016), the MLA has simplified its citation guidelines.

Following a summary, paraphrase, or quotation, include the author’s last name and the relevant page number(s) in parentheses. For example: One author claims that “no one is concerned with this issue” (Jones 45).

Click here for more information about In-Text Citation.

Works Cited Entries

Rather than learning to cite a source by type (e.g., book, article, website), the MLA now recommends a universal set of guidelines that writers can apply to any source. Instead of asking “How do I cite a book [or article or website]?” the writer will create an entry by consulting the MLA’s list of core elements—facts common to most works—which are assembled in a specific order:

Example 1: Journal article from a database

Container 1:

Container 2:

3.    EbscoHost,

#4 through #8: Not applicable

9.    Location (URL, without http or www): search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=24093790&site=ehost-live.

Full citation:

Lorensen, Jutta. “Between Image and Word, Color, and Time: Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series.” African American Review, vol. 40, no. 3, 2006, pp. 571-86. EbscoHost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=24093790&site=ehost-live.

Example 2: Essay in an anthology

  1. Author: Edward Copeland
  2. Title of source (the essay): “Money”
  3. Title of container (the anthology): The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
  4. Other contributors (editors of the anthology): Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster
  5. Version: Not applicable
  6. Number: Not applicable
  7. Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  8. Publication date: 1997
  9. Location (inclusive page numbers for the essay): 131-148.

Full citation:

Copeland, Edward. “Money.” The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, edited by Copeland and Juliet McMaster, Cambridge UP, 1997, pp. 131-48.

For more information and examples, please visit The MLA Style Center and its "Works Cited: A Quick Guide." For more inforamtion about in-text citation and general formatting and style guidelines, please consult the Purdue OWL. We also recommend that you make use of the Library's Research and Information Services.