MLA Basics

Wooster School uses the Modern Language Association, or MLA citation format. Refer to the following pages for details on how to create proper MLA citations for all types of resources or use one of the Citation Generation Programs, such as Easybib.

MLA 8 was released in 2016 and replaces all prior versions. The changes are intended to simplify and clarify citing your sources. The elements of a citation should include the following elements, in the following order, connected by the punctuation indicated.

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For further details please refer to the sections below or visit these websites:


The minimum information required is: Author(s) last name, first name. Title of Book in Italics. Publisher, Year of Publication.

You may also need to include:

Title of Container if you are citing a specific story or essay from a collection.

Other Contributors if the book has editors, translators or other contributors listed.

Version if the book is a revised or updated version.

Note: MLA 8 does not require the Place of Publication for Book citations.

One AuthorGuillermo, Kathy Snow. Monkey Business. National Press Books, 1999.
Two or More AuthorsGillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.
Anonymous BookThe World Almanac Book of the Strange. American Library, 2000.
EditorMarine, April, ed. Internet: Getting Started. PTR Prentice Hall, 1994
Article or Essay in a CollectionHarris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers." A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One edited by Ben Rafoth. Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 2000. 24-34.
Book with a corporate authorAmerican Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. Random, 2007.

In-text or parenthetical citations.

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence.
Your list of Works Cited must include a complete citation for any in-text citations that you use in your work. The in-text citation is a kind of short hand or code for the book or article that you cite in your list of Works Cited.

For example, either of these are correct:

According to John Smith, "The chicken came before the egg" (21).

"The chicken came before the egg" (Smith 21).

In text citations require that you have a complete citation in your List of Works Cited:

Smith, John. Eggs. Allyn and Bacon, 2015.

Web Sources

Web source citations should include:
  • Author names (if available) in Last, First format.
  • Title of the source. This can be an article, blog entry, or post(placed in quotation marks) within the website or the entire website (in italics).
  • Title of container. If you are citing a portion of a website, the container is the website itself and should be in italics.
  • Other Contributors. Aside from the author, you may need to give credit to other people, including editors, directors, narrators, or translators. Precede each name with a description of their role, ie. edited by John Brown or general editor, John Brown.
  • Version numbers when available, including revisions, posting dates, volumes, or issue numbers.
  • Publisher. The organization responsible for producing the source or for making it available to the public. If the Publisher is the essentially the same as the Title, leave it out.
  • Publication Date. If available include the date that your specific source was written or posted.
  • Location: For most web sources, this will be the URL.


Article from a Website:

Hollmichel, Stephanie. "The Reading Brain : Differences between Digital and Print." So Many Books, 25 Apr. 2013,

An entire Website:

Eaves, Morris, et al., editors. The William Blake Archive. 1996-2014,

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