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Modern Languages and Literatures: Writing and Citing

A guide to resources for research in Modern Languages & Literatures.

MLA Handbook 8th Edition

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What is MLA Citation Style?

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities (Purdue OWL).

The eighth edition of the handbook has adopted one universal set of guidelines, designed to apply to any type of source. Refer to the following examples from the handbook on how to cite in-text and create a Works Cited page.

In-text Citation

Material Type

In-text Citation

Author's name in text

According to Naomi Baron, reading is "just half of literacy. The other half is writing" (194). One might suggest that reading is never complete without writing.

Author's name in reference

Reading is "just half of literacy. The other half is writing" (Baron 194). 

Two authors' names in reference

The dataset includes information on the entire population of children who have dropped out of North Carolina’s public schools (Stearns and Glennie 37).

Quotation found in indirect or "secondhand" source

Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 2: 450).

Creating a Works Cited Page

With MLA style, you must include at the end of your paper a Works Cited page, which is an alphabetical listing of the resources cited in your paper. Here are some examples below of MLA style citations.

Material Type

Works Cited

Book in print

Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford UP, 2011. 


Atkins, Peter. Animal Cities: Beastly Urban Histories. Routledge, 2016. ebrary,

An article in
a print journal

Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review, vol. 64, no. 1, 2010, pp. 69-88.

An article in an electronic journal

Chan, Evans. "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema." Postmodern Culture, vol. 10, no. 3, May 2000. Project Muse, doi: 10.1353/pmc.2000.0021.

A encyclopedia entry

Kessler, Eric H. "Value Chain." Encyclopedia of Management Theory. Sage Publications, 2013.

A government publication

United States, Department of Labor. Child Care: A Workforce Issue. Government Printing Office, 1988.

An interview you conducted

Brandt, Deborah. Personal Interview. 28 May 2008.

A film/DVD

Jonze, Spike, director. Adaptation. Columbia Pictures, 2002. 

Website with no author

"What's New in the Eighth Edition." The MLA Style Center. 2016,

Website - with author

Pinsker, Joe. "Why So Many Smart People Aren't Happy." The Atlantic. 26 Apr. 2016,

Song or a piece of music from an album

Adele. "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)." 25, XL Recordings,


Boyle, Anthony T. "Re: Utopia." Received by Daniel J. Cahill, 21 June 1997.


@persiankiwi. "We have report of large street battle in east & west of Tehran now - #Iranelection." Twitter, 23 June 2009, 11:15 a.m.,

Television series

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mutant Enemy, 1997-2003.

Radio/TV episode in a series

"Hush." Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, season 4, episode 10, Mutant Enemy, 1999.

A work within a multi-volume edition

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Masque of the Red Death." The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by James A. Harrison, vol. 4, Thomas Y. Cromwell, 1902, pp. 250-58. HathiTrust Digital Library,

Comment on
webpage/blog post

Jeane. Comment on "The Reading Brain: Differences between Digital and Print." So Many Books, 25 Apr. 2013, 10:30 p.m.,


Bearden, Romare. The Train. 1975, Museum of Modern Art, New York.


The New York Public Library. "New Banners." Instagram. 2 June 2016,

The examples on this guide were taken from the MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition.

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