How to Cite Sources in MLA Format?

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MLA Style is a set of standards and guidelines to effectively write and format academic papers. Developed by the Modern Language Association, MLA Format is the style typically used in the arts and humanities departments, including English and Literature classes.

In this blog, one can learn how to cite the references in MLA paper format.

MLA 8th Edition

The 8th edition of the MLA format book is intended to simplify the citation process. Rather than requiring different kinds of information for different kinds of sources, the new edition requires the same kind of information for all sources. There is a general format to include this information, but not all references would require this information.

The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook requires researchers to locate “core elements” in order to create their reference in the following order.

  • Author
  • Title of the source
  • Title of the container
  • Other contributions
  • Version/Edition
  • Volume Number
  • Publisher
  • Publishing Date
  • Location (City, Section, Web URL, etc.)

Citing Books in MLA

Books are probably the most cited type of resource. What type of book you use and what part of the book you use will determine which template you use to cite it in MLA format. For the purposes of this class, there are three types of books: physical books, electronic library books, and books from the internet. How do you tell the difference?

If you physically have a book in your hands, whether it be a textbook for your class, a library book that you checked out, or a book that you own, these are considered PRINT books and you use the Print Book Templates.

If you went to the library website and found a book that you read online (full-text from elibrary, Ebsco eBooks, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and a few others), then this is an electronic library book and you use the Electronic Library Book Templates.

If you searched on the open internet (such as Google) and located your book without the use of a library database, then this is a book from the internet and you would use the Electronic Book from the internet Template.

Citing Articles in MLA

Most libraries now have most of their magazine, newspaper, and journal subscriptions exclusively online through their databases, although some are still available on the library shelves in print. Articles from online publications are increasingly available to students as well, and how you cite each of these depends on you recognizing the difference between these types of resources. How can an essay writer tell what's what and how to cite it?

If you went to the library website and found an article that you read online in a library database (e.g. ProQuest, EbscoHost, JSTOR, etc.), then this is a database article and you use the Library Database Article Template.

If you searched on the open internet (such as Google) and located your article without the use of a library database, then this is an article from the internet and you would use the Internet Article Template.

If you physically have a newspaper, magazine, or journal in your hands, whether it be from the newsstand or something you found on the shelves at the library, these are considered PRINT articles and you use the Print/Physical Article Templates.

Citing a Website

The difference between a website and a web page is that a website is a collection of webpages with information on a subject. Whereas, a web page is a smaller part of a larger website usually containing more specific information. If a website were a book, then a webpage would be a chapter in that book. Whether you cite a site or a page for a paper or project depends on what information you used. A website that is not having any author name would be cited in the following manner in MLA:

Reference: Scrib. Citation: (Scrib)

Examples of MLA citations

The discipline of English, as well as many other disciplines in the humanities, use MLA citation format. Below are some examples of formatting the Works Cited page.

Single Author Garic Marquez, Gabrielie. Love in Cholera. Vintage, 1989.
Citation (Garic)
Two Authors Casel, Kay Annie, and Uma Hire. Reference & Information Service during the 21st Century. Neal-Schuan, 2005.
Citation (Casel and Uma)
Three or More Authors Robbin, Chandler S., et al. Birds Northern Africa: A Guide to Field Identification. Molden, 1986.
Citation (Robbin et al.)

The above guideline will help you cite the sources in MLA format. If you are not sure about your writing capabilities, hire an essay writing service, and get done with this task in no time.

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