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ENGL 5300

MLA 8 Style Guides


These are basic guidelines to citing sources for your works cited page using MLA style. If you need to cite a different type of source, see the MLA style guide in the Reference area of the library (2nd floor) or use one of the links listed on the right.

Book, one author

Basic Format for Books:

Last name, First name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.


McManus, Karen M. One of Us is Lying. Random House, 2017. 

Book, more than one author

Hockey, Jennifer Lorna, and Allison James. Social Identities Across the Life Course. Palgrave MacMillan, 2003.

           3+ Authors:    list only the first author followed by the phrase et al.

Desravines, Jean, et al. Breakthrough Principals: A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Stronger Schools. John Wileys & Sons, 2016.

Scholarly Journal Article

Basic Format for Journal Articles:

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages. 


Dietrich, Eric, and Anthony Gillies. "Consciousness and the Limits of Our Imaginations."
          Synthese, vol.126, no.3, 2001, pp. 361-381. 

Journal Article in one of the Library's Databases

Add the Database name in italics and the date accessed.


Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. “Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates.” Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library, doi:10.1002/tox.20155. Accessed 26 May 2009.

Newspaper Article in Print

Rentschler, Kay. "Magical Morphing Butternut Squash." New York Times 24 Nov.
          2004: 7F. Print.

Entire Website

Basic Format for Websites:

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of
          institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of
          resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access.


The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.

A Page on a Website

Use the same basic format as entire websites, but include the title of the page after the author/editor (if known).


“Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview.” WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014,

Typically, parenthetical citations follow the format of the author's last name followed by a page number. The following are basic guidelines only. For works with no author, or special cases, see this site for more guidelines.

Direct Quotations (copied exactly from the original text)

Quotations that are less than four lines: place a parenthetical citation after the quotation mark, but inside the period. Example:

"A savory pie or tart can be the star of a brunch, lunch, casual supper, or buffet" (Malgieri 121).

Quotations that run more than four lines in your paper: use block quote format and do not use quotation marks. The parenthetical citation goes after the last period of the quotation. Block quotes should be double-spaced and indented one inch from the left margin. Example:

So Kilgore Trout had a depressing childhood, despite all of the
sunshine and fresh air. The pessimism that overwhelmed him in later
life, which destroyed his three marriages, which drove his only son,
Leo, from home at the age of fourteen, very likely had its roots in the
bittersweet mulch of rotting Erns. (Vonnegut 34)

Paraphrasing (writing an author's ideas in your own words)

If you paraphrase an author, place the parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence or paragraph. Example:

States with a high celebrity population, such as California and New York, should consider writing legislation that makes it unlawful to publish non-newsworthy photographs of celebrities that exploit their image, so as to protect the celebrities' privacy (Willis 202).

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