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Rosen Research Guides

MLA Citation Style

Introduction

This guide is designed to get you started with or refresh your memory about the MLA citation style. For more information, please consult the official source—the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. (2009) (commonly called the “MLA Manual”)—which is available in the Library at: Rosen Reference LB2369 .G53 2009. For more assistance, please contact us.

A shorter, printable version of this guide is also available:
MLA PDF (38 KB).

Citing Sources in the Text

  • MLA style recommends that you use parenthetical references (notes that appear in parentheses) throughout the text of your paper, along with a Works Cited list at the end of your paper.

  • There are several important rules to keep in mind when creating your parenthetical references:
  • General Format
    Parenthetical references generally follow the format: (Author Page). The author(s) may be a single individual, several individuals, or an organization:
    • “Hotel occupancy rates in Orlando rose 2.1% last year” (Butler 72).
    • All survey respondents rated interpersonal skills highly (Koenig, Watson, and Ziff 20-24).
    • Arrivals to Asia rose significantly in 2003 (World Tourism Organization 4).
  • Citing the Author
    If the name of the author appears in the narrative, then you need not repeat it in the reference:
    • Hall discovered a correlation between sleep deprivation and job performance (38).
  • Citing Multiple Sources
    If citing more than one source in a single note, separate the entries by semicolons:
    • Modern hotel designers are often interested in blending a new structure into the surrounding environment (Butler 14-18; Landro 1-3; Riewoldt 178).
  • No Author
    If a work has no author, use the first few words of the title in the parenthetical reference, italizing the titles of works published independently (e.g., books, websites, dissertations, television programs, etc.) and putting quotes around works published within larger works (e.g., articles, book chapters, individual episodes of television programs, etc.):
    • Most theme park workers lack adequate health care benefits (“Recent Study Finds” 2).
    • Site selection is only one of many important factors (Convention Tourism 49).
  • No Page Numbers
    If a work has no pagination or other type of reference markers (such as a film, television program, or most websites), then MLA recommends including in the text, rather than in a parenthetical reference, the name of the author or (for works without an author) the title:
    • A recent Sixty Minutes episode explored common vacation-related scams.
    • According to the Beer Institute’s website, “malt beverage output in the United States is at an all-time high.”
    • In his lecture, Tom Smith indicated that hospitality is one of the fastest-growing industries.

For more assistance with in-text citations, refer to pages 213-232 in the MLA Manual.



Formatting the References List


  • General Rules
    • In MLA style, the list of sources at the end of the paper is usually called Works Cited (although titles such as Works Consulted or Annotated Bibliography may be used when more appropriate). Start the Works Cited list on a new page, with the words Works Cited in the top center of the page.
    • Arrange the items alphabetically by author (or, for works with no author, by the first significant word of the title).
    • Capitalize the first word of titles and subtitles, as well as all other significant words in titles. In general, capitalize all words in titles except articles (a, an, the), prepositions (between, in, of, to, etc.), or conjunctions (and, but, for, so, yet, etc.).
    • Double-space the lines of each entry, and double-space between entries.
    • Use a “hanging indent” (indent the second and following lines) for entries longer than one line.
    • Refer to pages 129-33 in the MLA Manual for examples of MLA Works Cited lists.

  • Titles of Works
    • Italicize (not underline) the titles of works published independently, such as books, entire journal or magazine titles, entire websites, dissertations, entire television and radio programs, sound recordings, and works of art:

      Conferences and Conventions: A Global Industry (entire book)
      New York Times (entire newspaper)
      Hospitality Net (entire website)

    • Put quotation marks around the titles of works published within larger works (such as journal articles, book chapters, essays, individual episodes of television and radio programs) and for unpublished works (such as lectures and speeches):

      “Convention Centers” (book chapter)
      “Hip Hotel?” (newspaper article)
      “Hyatt Hotels Tops List” (article on a website)
      “Careers in Hospitality” (class lecture)

  • Publishers' Names
    • MLA style recommends that the names of publishers be abbreviated or otherwise shortened whenever possible (see p. 247-249 in the MLA manual). Examples:

      Cambridge UP (not Cambridge University Press)
      Gale (not Gale Research, Inc.)
      Larousse (not Librairie Larousse)
      PUF (not Presses Universitaires de France)

  • Missing Information (no author, no date, no publisher, or no place of publication):
    • If no author is listed for a work, then alphabetize the entry by the first significant word of the title:

      The Holy Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984. Print.
      Managing Sacred Sites. New York: Continuum, 2001. Print.

    • If no date of publication is listed, then use the abbreviation n.d. (for no date) or (in cases where the date can be deduced from other sources) provide a reasonable approximation (in brackets):

      Alford, Robert. New York Wineries. New York: State U of New York P, n.d. Print.
      Bauer, Johann. Weinkellerei. [Stuttgart]: Belser, [1971?]. Print.

    • If no publisher is listed, or no place of publication is listed, then provide a reasonable approximation (in brackets) or use the abbreviation n.p. (for no publisher or no place):

      Caxton, Arthur. A Photographic View Album of London. [Eng.]: n.p., 1982. Print.

  • Medium:
    • Each reference listed in the Works Cited list needs to include the work's medium. For example, use "Print" for books and "Web" for webpages. Other mediums include CD, DVD, Film, Performance, Radio, Television, etc. These are usually, although not always, placed at the end of the citation.

References List Examples: Selected Common Source Types

The examples below are intended to approximate MLA style citations for common source types, including line spacing and hanging indents. Accordingly, narrow margins have been used in order to accommodate different browser window sizes. In your paper, you should set one inch margins and half inch hanging indents. See p. 129-31 the MLA Manual for examples of MLA Works Cited lists.

For best results, open your browser window as wide as possible, as some of the lines may run together if viewed with a narrow browser window or with a large font size setting. If you experience such difficulties with the lines, then you may wish to view the printable (PDF) version of this guide instead: MLA PDF (36 KB).

To cite a source type not listed below, or for more information, refer to p. 123-212 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. ("MLA Manual").



BOOK

• General Form:

Last, First M., and First M. Last. Book Title. # ed. [if other than 1st]. Place: Publisher, Date. Medium.

• Example:

Riewoldt, Otto M., and Helga H. Riewoldt. New Hotel Design. 2nd ed. New York: Watson-Guptill, 2002. Print.




CHAPTER FROM A BOOK OR AN ENTRY IN A REFERENCE BOOK

• General Form:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Translator [if applicable]. Book Title. Editor(s). Edition [if applicable]. Volumes [if applicable]. Place: Publisher, Year. Pages [unless the work is arranged alphabetically]. Medium.

• Example:

Whorton, James C. “Vegetarianism.” Cambridge World History of Food. Ed. Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild C. Ornelas. Rev. ed. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. 1553-1564. Print.




JOURNAL OR MAGAZINE ARTICLE

Print version:

• General Form:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume.Number (Date): Pages. Medium.

• Example:

Monteson, Patricia A., and Judith Singer. “Marketing a Resort-Based Spa.” Journal of Vacation Marketing 10.2 (2004): 282-288. Print.


Electronic version – accessed through a library database

• General Form:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume.Number (Date): Pages. Database Name. Medium. Access Date.

• Example:

Khamouna, Mo. “Rethinking Tourism and Ecotravel.” Journal of Vacation Marketing 7.1 (2001): 94-95. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 6 July 2009.




NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

Print version:

• General Form:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Newspaper Day Month Year: Pages. Medium.

• Example:

Landro, Laura. “Hip Hotel? Whatever.” Wall Street Journal 28 Aug. 2004: W1+. Print.


Electronic version - accessed through a library database:

• General Form:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Newspaper Day Month Year: Pages. Database. Web. Access Date.

• Example:

Landro, Laura. “Hip Hotel? Whatever.” Wall Street Journal 28 Aug. 2004: W1. ProQuest. Web. 16 June 2009.




WEBSITE

• General Form:

Last, First M. [or Organization]. “Title of the Work.” Title of the Overall Site. Publisher or sponsor of the site [use N.p. if not available], Publication Date [n.d. if not available]. Medium. Access Date.

Note: MLA’s rules for citing electronic documents are complex (see p. 181-190 in the MLA Manual), and many websites do not provide as much information as the general form calls for. In such cases, give as much information as you can and follow the general form as closely as possible.

In addition, the MLA Handbook states that it is not necessary to include the URL except when "the reader probably cannot locate the source without it or when your instructor requires it" (182). Then list the URL in brackets at the end of the citation. (See the third example below.)

• Examples:

National Safety Council. “2003 Fixed-Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey.” International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions—Industry Resources. IAAPA, 15 Nov. 2004. Web. 17 June 2009.


Convention Industry Council. "CIC Facts." Convention Industry Council. CIC, 2004. Web. 16 June 2009.


Marriott International, Inc. “Water, Waste & Energy Reduction.” Marriott Hotels. Marriott, 2009. Web. 17 June 2009. <http://www.marriott.com/marriott.mi?page=green_reduction>.


United States. Census Bureau. "Miami-Dade County, FL -- Fact Sheet." American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2000. Web. 25 June 2009.




FILM / VIDEO / DVD

• General Form:

Film Title. Writer [optional]. Director [or Organization]. Performers [optional]. Original year [if different than the version being cited]. Distributor, Year. Medium.

• Examples:

Supervisory skill builders: Leadership. Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Motel Assn. The Institute, 1997. Videocassette.

Like Water for Chocolate. Screenplay by Laura Esquivel. Dir. Alfonso Arau. Perf. Lumi Cavazos, Marco Lombardi, and Regina Torne. 1993. Miramax, 1999. DVD.




GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT

Note: Citations to government documents vary widely depending on the nature of the document. The examples below are not exhaustive. For more examples and details, see p. 174-177 and 181-184 in the MLA Manual.

Print version:

• General Form:

Organization. Document Title. # Cong. [if applicable], # sess. [if applicable]. Report Number [or other number, if applicable]. Place: Publisher, Date. Medium.

• Example:

United States. Cong. House. Committee on the Judiciary. Sex Tourism Prohibition Improvement Act of 2002: Report Together with Dissenting Views. 107th Cong., 2nd sess. Report No. 107-525. Washington, D.C.: G.P.O., 2002. Print.

Electronic version – accessed through a government website:

• General Form:

Organization. Document Title. # Cong. [if applicable], #sess. [if applicable]. Report Number [or other number, if applicable]. Place: Publisher, Date. Medium. Access Date.

• Example:

United States. Cong. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Proposed Western Hemisphere Passport Rules: Impact on Trade and Tourism. 109th Cong., 1st sess. Report No. 109-275. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 2006. Web. 25 June 2009.




BROCHURE / PAMPHLET

• General Form:

Last, First M. or Organization [if different than Publisher]. Brochure Title. Place: Publisher, Date. Medium.

• Example:

Cruise Guide 2004. Los Angeles: Crystal Cruises, 2003. Print.

Washington, D.C. New York: Trip Builder, 2000. Print.




OTHER

To cite a source type not listed above, refer to p. 123-212 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. ("MLA Manual").



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A printable version of this guide is also available: MLA PDF (38 KB)


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