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MLA Style

Video Thumbnail: MLA 9th Edition Citation Style
Video: MLA 9th Edition Citation Style

MLA (Modern Language Association) format is most commonly used to cite sources in the humanities. The following examples use MLA 9th edition.

Parenthetical Citation

MLA format uses a parenthetical citation, which is a brief mention in the text of your paper that leads the reader to the complete information about that reference. It usually appears at the end of a sentence. A parenthetical citation involves placing relevant source information in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase. The author’s last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your works cited page.


Seed says of Dracula “in short, he is a combination of Gothic villain, Regency rake, and monster” (62).


Dracula, “…is a combination of Gothic villain, Regency rake, and monster” (Seed 62).


Seed believes that Dracula is a mix of scoundrel, ogre, and devilish man (62).

Reference List

Parenthetical citations will refer your reader to the full list of sources you used. This list is at the end of your paper.

  • Works Cited: A list of sources that are directly quoted, summarized or paraphrased in the writing. 
  • Bibliography: A list of sources that were used in the background research, development of ideas, and any other research that contributed to the writing.

For both a works cited page and bibliography, references are listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name. Each reference citation is made up of the same elements that always appear in the same order. Leave out any that aren't available for or don't apply to a source.

  • Author: The person, people, or group that created the work.
    • One author: Last Name, First Name.
    • Two authors: Author 1 Last Name, First Name, and Author 2 First Name Last Name.
    • Three or more authors: Author 1 Last Name, First Name, et al.
  • Title: The title or description of the work.
  • Title of container: The title or description of the larger work this source is part of, such as a journal, an anthology, or a podcast series.
  • Other contributors: This can include editors, translators, and others. Include the contributor's role in addition to their name (for example, "Edited by Ana Jones").
  • Version: The edition, revision, or other version of the work. Not included for first editions.
  • Number: Where the work appears if it is part of a sequence, such as the volume, issue, or episode number.
  • Publisher: Included unless the work is self-published, a journal, or a website whose site name and publisher are very similar.
  • Publication date: If no formal publication date exists, provide the most exact date available.
  • Location: Where the work appears within its container, such as the page range for a chapter in a book. For online works, this is the DOI or URL.

MLA Style | Reference List Citation Format Examples

Electronic articles

Seed, David. "The Narrative Method of Dracula." Nineteenth-Century Fiction, vol. 41, no. 1, 1985, pp. 61-75. JSTOR,

Electronic articles with no DOI

Caesar, Terry Paul. “Slavery and Motherhood in Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved.’” Revista de Letras, vol. 34, 1994, pp. 111–20. JSTOR,

Print articles

Smith, Jane. "Student Search Strategies." College Research Quarterly, vol. 79, no.23, 2010, pp. 42-49.


Hopkins, Lisa. Bram Stoker: A Literary Life. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Books with no author

New Concise World Atlas. Oxford University Press, 2001.

eBooks in library databases

Collins, Wilkie, and Steve Farmer. Moonstone. Broadview Press, 1999. EBSCO eBook Collection,,cookie&db=nlebk&AN=313817&site=eds-live&scope=site&profile=eds-ccv.

(If a DOI is present, use that instead of the URL.)

Kindle eBook

Rowley, Hazel. Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage. Kindle ed., Farrar, 2010.

eBook from Google Books or an eBook website

Wallace, Mike. Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919. Oxford University Press, 2017, Google Books,

Page from a Website

Gaiman, Neil. "The Neil Story (With Additional Footnote)." Neil Gaiman, May 17, 2017.

Page from a Website with No Author

"Well-Being Concepts". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 31, 2016, Accessed 11 Nov. 2022.

Note: Date of access is not required but is recommended, especially if access or the content is likely to change.

Video From a Library Database

I Am Not Your Negro: James Baldwin and Race in America. Directed by Raoul Peck, Kino Lorber, 2016. Kanopy,

If emphasizing a specific performer or director, you can list them as the author.

Sennott, Rachel, performer. Shiva Baby. Directed by Emma Seligman. Utopia, 2020. Kanopy,

YouTube Video

MrsBoschert. “Hellenistic Art.” YouTube, 23 Feb. 2010,



Online works of art, photographs, maps, or charts

Bearden, Romare. The Train. 1975. MOMA,

Additional Resources

Printable Cheat Sheet