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Basic format (Author-Page Style)

In addition to having a works cited list at the end of your paper, you must give credit to sources that you use within your paper. Usually the author's last name and page number are enough for the reader to identify the complete reference in the works cited. See the examples below for variations of this general rule.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4

Author's name in text

If you cite the author's name in your paper, cite only the page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example

Smith has compared these authors (203-05).

Works Cited

Smith, Patrick A. Tim O'Brien: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood P, 2005. Print.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4

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Author's name in reference

If you do not cite the author's name in your paper, then include both the author's name and page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example

These authors have been compared elsewhere (Smith 203-05).

Works Cited

Smith, Patrick A. Tim O'Brien: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood P, 2005. Print.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4

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No author listed (cite by title)

When there is no author listed for a work, include the first few words of the title followed by page numbers, if available, in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Italicize book titles and put article and Web site titles in quotation marks.

Example

Many in the liquor industry argue that the ban on television liquor advertising gives those in the beer and wine industry an unfair advantage ("Liquor Advertising").

Works Cited

"Liquor Advertising on TV." Issues & Controversies. 18 Jan. 2002: n. pag. FACTS.com. Web. 28 May 2009.

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Two or more works by the same author(s)

To cite two or more works by the same author, include the author's last name, the title of the work and the page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example

Not all early Irish monks were meek and mild (Herm, The Celts 257-58).

Works Cited

Herm, Gerhard. The Celts: The People Who Came Out of the Darkness. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1976. Print.

---. The Phoenicians: The Purple Empire of the Ancient World. New York: Morrow, 1975. Print.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4

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Citing part of a work (with and without page numbers)

Research databases provide access to articles in two different formats:

  • PDF is an exact copy of the article as it appears in the print journal and includes page numbers.
  • HTML is a format for online reading and does not include page numbers.

If available, use the PDF version because it includes page numbers.

Page Numbers

When you quote or paraphrase a specific part of a print or online source with page numbers, give the relevant page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example

Brown wrote, "Time management is an important survival skill" (27).

Works Cited

Brown, Daniel C. "No Time for Time Management? Behavioral Agencies Have Several Options for Improving Staff Efficiency." Behavioral Healthcare Tomorrow 12.6 (2003): 27-30. General OneFile. Web. 28 May 2009.

Without Page Numbers

When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage in an online source without page numbers, no page numbers are needed:

Example

According to Jones, binge drinking is a serious problem ("Binge Drinking").

Works Cited

Jones, Sherry Everett. "Binge Drinking Among Undergraduate College Students in the United States: Implications for Other Substance Use." Journal of American College Health 50.1 (2001): n. pag. Wilson Select Plus. Web. 28 May 2009.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4

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Citing an entire work

When citing an entire work rather than part of a work, include the author's name in the text, not in a parenthetical reference.

Examples

Freeman Patterson provides a good example of a professional photographer's website.

Fuller's Julius Caesar examines the famous Roman's roles as soldier, scholar, and tyrant.

Works Cited

Freeman Patterson: Photographer and Writer. Ed. Freeman Patterson. 2006. Web. 28 May 2009.

Fuller, J. F. C. Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier, and Tyrant. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1965. Print.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4

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Citing a multi-volume work

When you cite a page and volume from a multi-volume work, separate the two by a colon and space and place both in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example

The Handbook of Psychology describes one common method of identifying learning disabilities as the use of intelligence tests (7: 457).

Works Cited

Gallagher, Michela, and Randy J. Nelson, eds. Handbook of Psychology: Biological Psychology. Vol. 3. New York: Wiley, 2003. Digital file.

Reynolds, William M. and Gloria E. Miller, eds. Handbook of Psychology: Educational Psychology. Vol. 7. New York : Wiley, 2003. Digital file.

It is only necessary to include the volume number if you cite more than one volume of a multi-volume work. If you are citing one volume of a multi-volume work, you only need to include the page number.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4

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Personal communications (interview, letter, email)

Personal communication references in text should provide the last name of the person interviewed.

Example

She confirmed that she will not participate in the teachers' strike (Thompson).

Works Cited

Thompson, Emily. Personal interview. 5 Feb. 2005.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4.2

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Citing Indirect Sources

Whenever possible, use original source material, not secondary. If you must use an indirect source, see the following.

Example

Smith spoke often of Eloise the Cat, calling her a "fabulous feline" (qtd. in Doe 23).

Works Cited

Doe, John. Smith on Cats. Lansing: LCC Press, 2009. Print.

MLA Handbook Chapter 6.4

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