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MLA Style FAQs

(Click a question below to see the answer)

  • What are the general differences between an APA and an MLA style referencing?
  • What are some general guidelines for the formatting of my MLA paper?
  • In referencing periodicals, what's the difference between using "p." and "pp." for the page numbers?
  • What is a hanging indent?
  • Why does MLA recommend putting angle brackets <> around URLs in the works cited list?
  • My word processor omits the angle brackets and turns my URLs into hyperlinks in my works cited list. Is this okay?
  • Sometimes I have seen MLA done in underline and sometimes done in italics. I thought italics were for APA? Why is it like this?

Frequently Asked Questions About In Text Citations

  • What is one of the most important things to remember about in text citation references?
  • What kinds of information do I need to document?
  • What does an in text citation accomplish?
  • How to I write out an in text citation for MLA?
  • What do I do if I have a quotation that is longer than four lines?

How do I in text cite in MLA:

  • an author's name in the text itself?
  • an author's name in the reference?
  • a source with two authors?
  • a source with three to five authors?
  • a corporate author?
  • a source without an author?
  • books by the same author, but different titles?
  • different authors who have the same last name?
  • two works cited at the same time?
  • a secondary source?
  • sacred book sources (Bible, etc.)?
  • a website?
  • a personal interview?

Frequently Asked Questions For Citing Books

  • What are some basic guidelines for citing books?

How do I cite in MLA:

  • a book with a single author?
  • a book with multiple authors?
  • a corporate author?
  • a source that doesn't have an author?
  • two or more works by the same author?
  • a book with an editor?
  • a book that has an author and an editor?
  • book that has a government agency as its author?
  • a book that is not a first edition?
  • a republished book?
  • a book that is part of a publisher's imprint?
  • an encyclopedia or dictionary entry?
  • a sacred text (Bible, Koran, etc)?
  • a multivolume works?
  • a work that is part of an anthology?
  • a book that is part of a series?
  • a foreword, introduction, preface, or afterward?
  • a book with a title within its title?
  • a poem?
  • a book not in English?
  • a book that has a translator?
  • a book with Jr. in the name?

Frequently Asked Questions for Citing Dissertations, Theses, & Practicums

How do I cite, in MLA, a doctoral dissertation abstracted in Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI) and obtained from . . .

  • UMI via the Digital Dissertation database
  • from UMI in print
  • in print from a university

How do I cite, in MLA, an unpublished:

  • doctoral dissertation
  • doctoral practicum indexed in ERIC and retrieved online
  • dissertation available on university program or department web site, no date
  • doctoral MARP
  • master's research project indexed in ERIC and retrieved online

Frequently Asked Questions for Citing ERIC ED Documents

  • What are some general guidelines to remember when citing ERIC documents?

How do I cite in MLA a/an:

  • ERIC digest retrieved in full text in ERIC
  • unpublished conference paper indexed in ERIC
  • unpublished conference paper indexed in ERIC and retrieved from a web site
  • ERIC document with limited circulation information
  • CD-ROM indexed in ERIC
  • government report indexed in ERIC
  • data file, available from ERIC Clearinghouse web site

Frequently Asked Questions for Citing Magazine, Journal, and Newspaper Articles

  • What are some general guidelines for citing magazine, journal, and newspaper articles?
  • What is the difference between continuous pagination and issue pagination?

How do I cite in MLA:

  • a standard magazine/journal article?
  • an article that is paginated by volume?
  • an article that is paginated by issue?
  • an article in the daily newspaper/magazine?
  • a monthly periodical?
  • a weekly periodical?
  • an editorial in a newspaper/magazine?
  • a letter to the editor of a newspaper/magazine?
  • a signed article in a newspaper/magazine?
  • an unsigned article from a newspaper/magazine?
  • an article with two or more authors?
  • a review found in a newspaper/magazine?
  • How a republished or reprinted article?

Frequently Asked Questions for Citing Internet Material

  • What are the general guidelines for citing internet sources?

How do I cite in MLA:

  • an electronic book?
  • a document that is identical to a printed document?
  • a document that is identical to a print source, but found online?
  • a web site document that is similar, but not identical to a print source?
  • a daily newspaper article, an electronic version that is available by an online search?
  • an article from an internet-only magazine?
  • a source from an internet-only journal?
  • an article from an internet-only newsletter?
  • computer software?
  • a computer manual?
  • just a plain old document I get from the internet?
  • an internet technical or research report?
  • a document that was created by a private organization?
  • a document from a university program or department?
  • an e-mail, newsgroup, online forum, discussion group, or electronic mail list?
  • a web document that does not have a print document counterpart?
  • aggregated databases?
  • an abstract on CD-ROM?
  • an internet government report?
  • an internet Adobe Acrobat Document (PDF)?

Frequently Asked Questions For Citing Government Sources

How do I cite in MLA:

  • a published conference paper in conference proceedings
  • a conference paper published in a journal
  • an unpublished conference paper
  • an unpublished conference paper indexed in ERIC and retrieved in a full text online database
  • a conference paper presented at a virtual conference
  • What are the basic citing guidelines for government documents?

Issuing Agency as Author

  • Citing a single issuing agency
  • Citing different bureaucratic levels
  • Citing a well known agency

Congress as Author

  • Citing hearings
  • Citing committee prints
  • Citing reports

Citing Legal Publications

Citing State Data Center Publications

  • Citing State Data Center Publications

Citing Microform Collections

Basic Citation form for Tangible Sources

  • Citing form for Tangible Sources

Basic Citing Form for Online Government Sources

  • Citing form for Online Government Sources

Citing for Individual Titles within Searchable Databases

  • Citing the Federal Register
  • Citing Congressional Records
  • Citing Congressional Bills
  • Citing GAO Reports
  • Citing U.S. Code
  • Citing Patents

Citing Government Reports

  • Citing a report available from the Government Printing Office (GPO) with a government institute as group author
  • Citing a report available from the ERIC
  • Citing a government report not available from the GPO or ERIC
  • Citing an electronic version of U.S. government report available from GPO Access database on the Web (aggregated database)
  • Citing a U.S. government report available on government agency web site

Frequently Asked Questions For Citing Unusual Sources

How do I cite in MLA:

  • a course lecture?
  • graphical materials?
  • a documentary?
  • a source that's on microfilm or microfiche?
  • court cases?
  • How do I cite a map in a book?
  • letters?
  • films and videotapes?
  • television or radio programs?
  • recordings?
  • artistic works?
  • performances (concerts, theatrical, etc)?
  • a pamphlet or brochure?
  • an annual report?
  • a monograph with issue number and serial (whole) number?
  • a poster session?
  • court decisions?
  • cite statutes? enacted bills and resolutions?
  • an executive order?
  • a book review? a movie/film review?

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