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MLA Style Guide: Citations & Bibliography

When Writing Your Bibliography:

Some Helpful Tips:

  • Use Works Cited as your header at the top of your page.
  • References should be double-spaced.
  • Indent all lines after the first line by using a hanging indent. (Ctrl+T in MS Word)
  • Use initials for first and middle names, even if the entire name is provided.
  • Italicize the journal name and volume number or book title. 
  • When referring to books, chapters, articles, or Web pages, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.
  • Capitalize all major words in journal titles.
  • Months are spelled out rather than abbreviated.
  • Do not end the citation with a period if it ends in a URL or DOI (digital object identifier).

In-Text (Parenthetical) Citations: 

An in-text or parenthetical reference follows a quotation or paraphrase used in the text of your paper and leads the reader to the complete citation in the works cited page.

  • Usually, the author and page number are sufficient. (Rosales 15)
  • If the author's last name appears at the beginning of the information that needs a citation, just a page number (15) will be sufficient at the end of the information. 
  • If there is no author, use the first few words of the title ("How to Catfish Noodle")
  • For two Authors (Jones and Lee 25) and more than two (Patel et al.)

For more information, see Purdue Owl's page on In-Text Citations:

More Helpful Links

MLA Citation Guide 9th Edition


General Format: Author(s) Last Name, First Name. Book Title. Edition. City Published. Publisher Name, Year Published. Medium.


Rozakis, Laurie. Schaum's Quick Guide to Writing Great Research Papers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007.

Book with an editor

Flippo, Rona F. and David C. Caverly, eds. Handbook of College Reading and Study Strategy Research. New York: Routledge, 2008

Book Chapter

Breneman, David W. “Institutional Perspectives on Student Success.” College Success: What It Means and How to Make It Happen. Ed. Michael S. McPherson and Morton Owen Schapiro. New York: College Board, 2008.35-48.


Phifer, Paul. College Majors &Careers: A Resource Guide For Effective Life Planning. Ferguson, 2009. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). 15 Mar. 2012

Print Articles

General Format: Author(s) Last Name, First name. “Article Title.” Journal Name. Volume Number. Issue Number (Year Published): Pages. Medium.


Smith, Vernon C. "Essential Tasks and Skills For Online Community College Faculty." New Directions For Community Colleges 150 (2010): 43-55. Academic Search Premier. 12 Mar. 2012

Magazine article

Ferguson, Niall. "Rich America, Poor America." Newsweek 23 Jan. 2012: 42-47

Newspaper Article

Muckenfuss, Mark. "UCR Said Near Med School Goal.“ Press-Enterprise 11 Mar. 2012: A1.

Online Articles (Database or Web)

General Format:  Author(s) Last Name, First name “Article Title.” Journal Name. Volume Number. Issue Number (Year Published): Pages. Date of item or last update of site. Database Name. Medium. Date Accessed.

Article from database

Smith, Vernon C. "Essential Tasks and Skills For Online Community College Faculty." New Directions For Community Colleges 150 (2010): 43-55. Academic Search Premier. 12 Mar. 2012.

Article from a website (no author, no page numbers)

“Rising Costs Make Climb to Higher Education Steeper.” USA Today. 12 Jan. 2007. 12 Mar. 2012.


General Format:  Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL

Entire website “UNESCO: Building Peace through Education, Science and Culture, communication and information” Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

One page on a website

“UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science” UNESCO, 21 Sept. 2023, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources formatted in the manner of a bibliography with a short paragraph after each entry. The paragraph provides a brief summary of the article and its relevancy to the main subject. 

When creating an annotated bibliography, consult with your professor about any questions you have. Assignment requirements may vary according to the subject and professor.