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MLA Style Guidelines

Developed and recommended by the Modern Languages Association of America, MLA style is a set of commonly used rules for citing and documenting sources in academic researches. This style of rules is widely used in many disciplines in preparing scholarly publications and student papers within liberal arts and humanities. This page gives you a brief guide to the style. For a complete description, please read MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th ed.).

Book by a single author
Kelly, William J. Beginnings: A Rhetoric and Handbook. New York: Macmillan Publishing
     Company, 1992.

An anthology or a compilation
Keith, Lois. “What Happens to You?”: Writing by Disabled Women. New York: New
     Press, 1996.

A book by two or more authors
Gibson, Jane W., and Hodgetts, Richard M. Business Communication. New York: Harpe
     & Row, Publishers, 1990.

Two or more books by the same author
Powys, Llewelyn. Black Laughter. New York: Blue Ribbon Books, 1930.
---. The Cradle of God. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1929.

A book by a corporate author
American Academy of Pediatrics. Guidelines for Perinatal Care. Elk Grove Village,
     IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2007.

A work in an anthology
Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Carl E.
     Bain, Jerome Beaty and J. Paul Hunter. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.

An article in a reference book
Johnson, Edgar. “Dickens, Charles.” Collier’s Encyclopedia. New York: Collier’s, 1997.

An introduction, a preface, a foreword, or an afterword
Dunayer, Joan. Afterword. Up from Slavery: An Autobiography. By Booker. T.
     Washington. West Berlin, NJ: The Townsend Library, 2004.

An anonymous book
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th ed. Washington, DC.
     American Psychological Association, 2002.

An edition (an edited book)
Washington, Booker.Up from Slavery: An autobiography. Ed. Joan Dunayer. West Berlin
     NJ: The Townsend Library, 2004.

A second or subsequent edition
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th ed. Washington, DC:
     American Psychological Association, 2002.

A translation
Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace. Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude. Chicago, Encyclopædia
     Britannica, 1955.

A multivolume work
Bahr, Lauren S., et al., eds. Collier’s Encyclopedia. 21 vols. New York: P. F. Collier,
     1977.

A republished book
Powys, T. F. Mr. Weston’s Good Wine. 1928. London: Hogarth Press, 1984.

A government publication
United States. Department of Energy. Department of Energy Large Solar Central Power
     Systems Semiannual Review. Albuquerque, N.M. : Dept. of Energy, Sandia
     Laboratories, 1979.Laboratories, 1979.

A book without stated publication information
n.p. for no place of publication available
n.p. for no publisher information available
n.d. for no date of publication available
n. pag. For no pagination available

An unpublished dissertation
Chao, Shou-ching. “The Quest of a Modern Hermit.” Diss. University of Minnesota, 1999.

A published dissertation
Chen, Wendi. The Reception of George Bernard Shaw in China, 1918-1996. Diss. U of
     Minnesota, 2002. Lewiston, N.Y. : E. Mellen Press, c2002.

An article in a scholarly journal
Fisher, Jonas D. M. “Why Does Household Investment Lead Business Investment over the
     Business Cycle?” Journal of Business Economy 115 (2007): 141-168.

An article in a newspaper
Christopherson, Mike. “Ribbon Cut at UMC Writing Center.” Crookston Daily Times 16
     November 2007: 1.

An article in a magazine
Mandel, Michael. “A Business Cycle Ends, and Many US Workers Lose Ground.”
     Business Week 31 March 2002: 13+.

An editorial
Christopherson, Mike. “Need for Writing Center Is Evident.” Editorial. Crookston Daily
     Times 15 November 2007.

An interview (conducted by the researcher)
Peterson, L. John. Personal interview. 26 August 2008.
Sawyer, P. Chuck. Email interview. 10 July 2008.

Documents from internet sites
Lewin, Tamar. “US Universities Rush to Set up Outposts Abroad.” nytimes.com. 10 Feb.
     2008 <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/education/10global.html>.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online: Student Edition. 2008. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 26
     August 2008 <http://student.britannica.com/>.

English Dept. home page. University of Minnesota. 26 August 2008
     <http://english.cla.umn.edu/>.

Videotape
Mass, Jason B., prod, and Gluck, Donald H., dir. Deeper into Hypnosis. Englewood 
     Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1979.

Compiled by Shou-ching Chao, Ph.D.