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MLA Style Guide Ninth Edition



Begin the entry with the author's last name followed by a comma and the rest of the name as presented in the work. A period ends the author entry.

State the author's name fully and exactly as it appears in the source with the exception of very famous people such as Shakespeare or Dante.

It is acceptable to use simplified names of famous authors (Dane, Virgil, etc.).

Pseudonyms are also acceptable. If you know the real name of an author listed in pseudonym you may add in a parenthesis.

Omit titles given to authors such as Dr., Sir, Saint, etc. in the works cited list. 

Consult section 1.1.4 of the MLA Handbook for referencing foreign authors.

Source with one author

MItchell, Margaret. Gone with the Wind. Macmillan, 1961.

Davis, Angela  Y. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. Pantheon, 1998.

Source with two authors

Include the authors in the order in which they are presented in the work.

Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdrich. The Crown of Columbus. Harper Collins Publisher, 1999.

Source with three or more authors - reverse the first of the names and follow it with a comma and et al

Charon, Rita, et al. The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine. Oxford UP, 2017.

Edited volume

Sánchez Prado, Ignacio M., editor. Mexican Literature in Theory. Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.

A source with two editors

Holland, Merlin, and Rupert Hart-Davis, editors. The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde. Henry Holt, 2000.

Three or more editors

Baron, Sabrina Alcorn, et al., editors. Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein. U of Massachusetts P/Library of Congress,
          Center for the Book, 2007.

No author or editor

If a source has no author, begin with the title of the work.

New York Public Library Student's Desk Reference. Prentice,1993

Book with an author and editor or translator

Oe, Kenzaburo. A Quiet Life. Translated by Kunioki Yanagishita and William Wetherall, Grove Press, 1990.

Work by a Translator

If your focus is not on the translator or translation, begin with the title as follows:

Beowulf. Translated by Stephen Mitchell, Yale UP, 2017.

Work by a Translator

If your focus is on the translator or translation, the translator takes the place of the author.

Prevear, Richard and Larissa Volokhonsky, translators. Crime and Punishment. By Fyodor Dostoevsky, e-book ed., Vintage Books, 1993.


Films and Video

Opening Night. Directed by John Cassavetes, Faces Distribution, 1977.

Like Water for Chocolate [Como agua para chocolate].  Directed by Alfonso Arau, screenplay by Laura Esquivel, Miramax, 1993.


"Hush." 1999. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fourth Season, created by Joss Whedon, episode 10, Mutant Enemy/Twentieth Century Fox, 2003,
          disc 3. DVD. 

Corporate Author ( Institution, Organization, Association or Government Agency

United Nations. Consequences of Rapid Population Growth in Developing Countries. Taylor and Francis, 1991.

The Adirondack Park in the Twenty-First Century. New York State, Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century, 1990.

With Government Name as It Appears on Source

New York State, Committee on State Prisons. Investigation of the New York State Prisons. 1883. Arno Press, 1974.