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MLA Citation Style

Book, one author​

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. McClelland and Stewart/Bantam, 1986.

In-text: (Atwood 50).

---. Oryx and Crake Doubleday, 2003.

In-text: (Atwood, Oryx 24).

Note: if an in-text citation does not give enough information to lead to an entry in your works cited (such as in the case when there are two or more works by the same author), "include a short form of that source's title" (MLA 55). 

The second Atwood entry includes three hyphens in place of the author's name (MLA 113).

McWilliams, Ellen. Margaret Atwood and the Female Bildingsroman. Ashgate, 2009.

In-text: (McWilliams 56).

Not sure who is the publisher? See MLA Handbook (108-09) on how to identify the publisher of a book.

Book, author is the same as publisher

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

In-text: (MLA Handbook 24).

Note: "When a work is published by an organization that is also its author, begin the entry with the title, skipping the author element, and list the organization only as publisher" (MLA 25).

Book, two author​s

Jansen, Jan C., and Jürgen Osterhammel. Decolonization: A Short History. Translated by Jeremiah Riemer, Princeton UP, 2017.

In text: (Jansen and Osterhammel 9).

Note: Abbreviate "University" and "Press" when the publisher is an academic press (MLA 96).

Book, three or more authors

Davidson, Arnold E., et al. Border Crossings: Thomas King's Cultural Inversions. U of Toronto P, 2003.

In-text: (Davidson et al. 158).

Book, 2nd edition or later

Connell, Raewyn, and Rebecca Pearse. Gender: In World Perspective. 3rd ed., Polity Press, 2015.

In-text: (Connell and Pearse 25).

Note: Press is not abbreviated in this example because Polity Press is not an academic publisher (MLA 96).

Book, edited edition

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Edited by Sylvan Barnet. Signet Classics, 1998.

In-text: (2.4.34-36).

Note: the in-text citation in this example means act 2, scene 4, lines 34-36.

For instructions on how to quote dialogue in a play in your paper, see the MLA Handbook section 1.3.4.

Chapter, article, or essay in an edited book 

Grandin, Temple. "A Major Change." The Animal Ethics Reader, edited by Susan J. Armstrong and Richard G. Botzler, 2nd ed., Routledge, 2008, pp. 228-31.

In-text: (Grandin 228).

Hengen, Shannon. "Margaret Atwood and Environmentalism." The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood, edited by Coral Ann Howells, Cambridge UP, 2006, pp. 72-85.

In-text: (Hengen 75).

Poem, short story, or other work in an anthology or collection

Shields, Carol. "The Journal." Collected Stories. Fourth Estate, 2004, pp. 187-91.

In-text: (Shields 190).

Atwood, Margaret. "Strawberries." Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets, edited by Sina Queyras, Persea Books, 2005, p. 7.

In-text: (Atwood 7). 

Introduction, preface, foreword, or afterword

Atwood, Margaret. Introduction. Collected Stories, by Carol Shields, Fourth Estate, 2004, pp. xii-xvii.

In-text: (Atwood xvi-xvii).

Note: "If the introduction, preface, foreword, or afterword has a unique title as well as a descriptive one, give the unique title, enclosed in quotation marks, immediately before the descriptive one" (MLA 106).

Graphic novel, additional contributors

Moore, Alan. Watchmen. 1986-1987. Illustrated/lettered by Dave Gibbons, colored by John Higgins, DC Comics, 2008.

In-text: (Moore 21; ch. 1).

Note: "In parenthetical citations of a literary work available in multiple editions ... it is often helpful to provide division numbers in addition to, or instead of, page numbers, so that readers can find your references in any edition of the work" (MLA 57).

Graphic novel

Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. Pantheon Books, 2007.

In-text: (Satrapi 45).

Electronic book, with URL from Library database 

Roston, Murray. The Comic Mode in English Literature: From the Middle Ages to Today. Continuum, 2011. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost),

In-text: (Roston 12).

Weir, David. Ulysses Explained. Palgrave MacMillan, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central,

In-text: (Weir 15).

Chapter from an electronic book, with doi from Library database 

Sugars, Cynthia. "Canadian Gothic." A New Companion to the Gothic, edited by David Punter, Blackwell Publishing, 2012, pp. 409-27. Wiley Online Library, doi:10.1002/9781444354959.ch28. 

In-text: (Sugars 410).

Essay originally published in book, from Gale Literary Sources

Charton, H. B. "Hamlet." Shakespearean Criticism, edited by Laurie Lanzen Harris, vol. 1, 1984, pp. 166-68. Shakespearean Criticism Online,

In-text: (Charton 166).

Essay in Dictionary of Literary Biography, from Gale Literary Sources

Calder, Alison. "Guy Vanderhaeghe." Twenty-First-Century Canadian Writers, edited by Christian Riegel, Gale, 2007.  Dictionary of Literary Biography vol. 334. Literature Resource Center,

In-text: (Calder).

Note: "When a source has no page numbers or any other kind of part number, no number should be given in a parenthetical citation. Do not count unnumbered paragraphs or other parts" (MLA 56).

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