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MLA 7th Ed. Citation Style -- Tips and Changes   

 

Please consult your instructor for any specific directions in using Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style, as they may differ from those provided here. See the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) for additional information. It is available in our reserves collection (808.027 G437m) for a one-hour checkout or at the reference desk with a librarian’s assistance. Examples are from our more frequently used databases.

GENERAL TIPS

  • The Works Cited list must be double-spaced and entries must have a hanging indent.

  • If you cannot find all pieces of the information for the citation, cite what is available. If a date of publication is unavailable use “n.d.” instead of the date. If the publisher or place of publication is unavailable, use “n.p.”, etc. See Section 7.4. of the Handbook for additional abbreviations.

  • The Handbook notes that improvisation may be needed to record features of a work not anticipated by the guidelines: “In some cases, citation formats devised to handle complex print publications may serve as a basis for improvisation.” (Section 5.6.1., p. 183).

  • If your instructor requires a URL, include it following the date of access, a period, a space, and enclosed in angle brackets. See example for EBSCO journal article with instructor-required URL.

  • Do not allow your word-processing program to introduce hyphens into a URL that spans more than one line. Break long URLs between lines only after slashes.

  • If there are more than three authors, you may choose to list all in the order given or only the first-listed author followed by “et al.” See Section 5.5.4 of the Handbook for additional information

  • Pagination should be inclusive, but redundant digits may be omitted; e.g. 147-182 becomes 147-82. See Section 3.5.6 of the Handbook for additional information.

  • The citation shortcuts (Cite This, How To Cite, Citation Tools, CiteNow!, etc.) are useful timesavers, but results should be double-checked for completeness and format details (capitalization, font, italics, etc.).

  • Does copy and paste from a database citation shortcut result in strange fonts, sizes, etc. in your word processing document?

    • A different internet browser may help. Try Firefox in place of Internet Explorer.
    • Try Word’s Paste Special menu option and choose Unformatted Text. This will use the font/size of that section of your paper, but you will then need to re-do italics, bold, and underlines.
 

MLA format for a journal article originally published in print and obtained from a database:

  • The pattern is to cite the author, article title, source title (name of journal, magazine, or newspaper, etc.), pages, as you would for an equivalent original printed article. Then, add information for the electronic source following that of the print.

  • The volume and issue numbering should be omitted for newspaper and magazine articles.

AuthorLastName1, FirstName1, FirstName2 AuthorLastName2, and Firstname3 AuthorLastName3.  "Title of

Article." Source Title Vol.Issue (date of publication): inclusive page(s). Name of Database. Web. Day Month

Year accessed.

 

With optional instructor-required URL:

AuthorLastName1, FirstName1, FirstName2 AuthorLastName2, and Firstname3 AuthorLastName3.  "Title of

Article." Source Title Vol.Issue (date of publication): inclusive page(s). Name of Database. Web. Day Month

Year accessed. <URL>.

 

MLA format for a magazine article originally published in print and obtained from a database:

  • The pattern is to cite the author, article title, magazine title, pages, as you would for an equivalent original printed article. Then, add information for the electronic source following that of the print.
  • The volume and issue numbering should be omitted for newspaper and magazine articles.

AuthorLastName1, FirstName1, FirstName2 AuthorLastName2, and Firstname3 AuthorLastName3.  "Title of

Article." Magazine Title Day Month Year of publication: inclusive page(s). Name of Database. Web. Day Month

Year accessed.

 

With optional instructor-required URL:

AuthorLastName1, FirstName1, FirstName2 AuthorLastName2, and Firstname3 AuthorLastName3.  "Title of

Article." Magazine Title Day Month Year of publication: inclusive page(s). Name of Database. Web. Day Month

Year accessed. <URL>.

 

 
CHANGES FROM 6TH TO 7TH EDITIONS

There are selected changes in MLA citation style from the 6th edition to the 7th edition (ignore this if you’ve never used the 6th edition).

  • Source titles (books, journals, etc.) are now italicized rather than underlined. Article titles continue to be enclosed in double quotes.

  • URLs are optional—UNLESS required by your instructor.

  • The medium of publication (e.g. Web, Print) of the cited work must be included in the citation for all works.

  • Information about the library subscription used to access a database such as EBSCO, Gale, JSTOR (e.g. Monroe County Community College Library, Monroe, MI) is no longer necessary.

  • The name of the platform/service is no longer required for an article from an online database. For example, Academic Search Premier is sufficient rather than Academic Search Premier. EBSCO.

  • Include issue numbers for journals (but not for newspapers or magazines) even if the issue’s page numbering does not start over with page 1 in each issue.

 

Comments to jhylinski@monroeccc.edu

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This page last updated February 2013