In academic research, we need to have a bibliography to show others what resources we used. A bibliography has multiple citations, with all the sources you used.
In MLA style, a bibliography is called a List of Works Cited (or "Works Cited" for short)
A citation has information about a resource that you are using. The information included in a citation typically includes:
Below are a couple of examples to help identify parts of a citation.
Print resource (book):
Electronic resource (web page):
Modern Language Association (MLA) style is commonly used in Humanities courses, such as English, for citing references in student papers.
This guide is based on the MLA Handbook (7th ed.) that was published in 2009.
Page numbers in brackets refer to specific pages in the handbook.
Check out the General Style Guidelines page to learn more about what's different in the 7th edition.
Works Cited page
List entries with a hanging indent and ensure that the entire list is double-spaced -- see the example on page 131. (p. 130-131).
Arrange entries alphabetically by the surname of the first author or by title if there is no author. When beginning with the title ignore initial articles (e.g. A, An, The) for alphabetization (p. 131-133).
Cite the first author’s name with the surname first, but otherwise give the authors’ names as they appear in the source.
Capitalize the first, the last, and all significant words in a title and subtitle (p. 86-87).
Italicize book titles, journal titles, and titles of other works published independently (p. 88). Use quotation marks around the titles of works published as part of another work, e.g. journal article, short story, or essay in an anthology (p. 89).
Omit any introductory article, e.g. first word The, in the title of an English-language journal (p. 138).
For books, list the city of publication, publisher’s name, and year of publication as they appear on the title page or its reverse. If there is more than one city, list the first one only. Abbreviate publishers' names according to MLA guidelines (e.g. omit articles, business abbreviations such as Co., Inc., etc., and descriptive words such as Books, etc.) (p. 148-152).
Typically when citing Web sources a URL is not included. Include a URL only if you have been instructed to do so by your teacher or if the document would be hard to locate otherwise. (p. 182) However, when a “Works Cited” entry does include a URL that must be divided between two lines, break it only after a slash (p. 182).
Citations must include an indication of the medium of the source (e.g. Print or Web) (p. xvii).
Many abbreviations are used in MLA style. Below are common abbreviations:
|n.d.||no date of publication|
|Eds., eds.||multiple editors|
|n.p.|| no publisher
|| no page numbers
|qtd. in|| quoted in, used in in-text citing
Abbreviate all months -- except for May, June, and July -- in lists of Works Cited:
Use abbreviations and shortened forms of publisher names in lists of Works Cited.
|UP of Mississippi||University Press of Mississippi|
|U of Chicago P||University of Chicago Press|
|MLA||Modern Language Association|
|St. Martin's||St. Martin's Press, Inc.|
|GPO||Government Printing Office|
In 2009, MLA published a new handbook of style.
Some of the changes include:
To learn more about these changes, you may also want to check out the "What is new" section on the official MLA website.