Writing Topic: MLA Reference Guide

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The following charts provide a general sense of which information to include and in what order to include it. More comprehensive examples can be found in the MLA Handbook, 7th ed.

In-Text DocumentationWorks Cited: BooksPeriodicals/NewspapersElectronic SourcesOther Sources

In-Text Documentation

If you: Example
Quote directly “Semicolons are often undervalued” (Markham 172).
Cite in the essay two or more sources by the same author “Semicolons are often undervalued” (Markham, Grammar 172).
Cite an edited, multi-volume source “Clearly, semicolons have been undervalued for many centuries” (Markham et al., eds2: 172-3).
Cite Web journal Give semicolons a chance” (Markham, “Comma Splice Crimes, para. 7).
Cite poetry “Artful link/ Of independent clauses” (Markham 23).
Cite a play “I’ve had enough of this semicolon nonsense. I’m leaving” (Markham 3.1.46).
Cite an indirect source (quote an author whose words appear in a second source) In Memoirs, Markham confesses “I never understood parentheses” (qtd. in Caffrey 63).

Works Cited: Books

Source Example
One author Markham, Howard. Grammar: The Key to Happiness
and Power.
Kingston: Stauffer Press, 1982. Print.
Anthology or compilation Caffrey, Liz, ed. The Complete Howard Markham. Kingston: Stauffer Press, 1999. Print.
Multiple authors Caffrey, Liz and Howard Markham. Reinventing Grammar. Kingston: Stauffer Press, 1996. Print.
Editions other than the first Markham, Howard. Grammar: Key to Happiness and Power. 3rd ed. Kingston: Stauffer Press, 1989. Print.
Introduction (also applies to foreword or preface) Caffrey, Liz. Introduction. Memoirs. By Howard Markham. Kingston: Stauffer Press, 1998. 2-7. Print.
A work in an anthology Markham, Howard. “Comma Splices and Other Crimes.” Minor Consequences. Ed. Liz Caffrey. Kingston: Stauffer Press, 1995. 47-61. Print.
Translation Marceau, Julie. Language Anxiety. Trans. Liz Caffrey. Kingston: Stauffer Press, 1991. Print.
e-book* (Kindle, Nook, iPad)

*provide type of electronic file, e.g., Kindle file, PDF file

Marvin, James. Exciting Citing. Toronto: Acme, 2014. Kindle file.


Article in a journal Markham, Howard. “Crimes of the Comma.” Journal of Canadian Languages 24.2 (1986): 67-81. Print.
Article in a newspaper Caffrey, Liz. “Small Publishers Hit the Big Time.” Kingston This Week, 14 May 1995: A12-13. Print.
Article in a magazine published monthly Caffrey, Liz. “Small Publishers Hit the Big Time.” BackIssues. Oct. 1995: 14-17. Print.

Electronic Sources

1) Name of author, editor, etc.; 2) title of work; 3) title of Web site; 4) publisher or sponsor; 6) date of publication; 7) medium (Web); 8) date of access. Note that the url is optional.

Work cited only on the web Markham, Howard. “Comma Splice Crimes.” Journal of Canadian Languages. MLA, 25 Sept. 2007. Web. 5 June 2009.
Publication in online database Markham, Howard, and Liz Caffrey. “Lost Points.” Grammarworld 46.4(2009) 17-18. LexisNexis. Web. 5 June 2009.
Scholarly journal on the Web Caffrey, Liz. Rev. of Voices of Experience, ed. Rex Murphy, FAQs and
Arguments.” Grammar Forum Home Page 3.2 (2007):1-37. Web. 9
December 1999.

Other Sources

Film Bad Fiction. Dir. Quentin Caffrey. Perf. John Markham and Uma
Caffrey. Educational Media Resources, 1997. Film.
Television “Bad Punctuation.” Social Crimes. Narr. John Markham. Dir. Liz
Caffrey. Arts and Entertainment Network. 6 Apr. 2006. WCBS.
Lecture or Speech Caffrey, Quentin. “Grammar on Film.” Annual General Meeting.
Society for Technical Details. Kingston Public Library, Kingston. 13
October 2009. Lecture.