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MLA Citation Style


One author​

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

In-text: (McWilliams 56).

Unsure where to find publisher details? See MLA Handbook section 5.54 (164-68) on how to identify the publisher of a book.

One author​, two or more works by the same author

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

---. Oryx and Crake Doubleday, 2003.

In-text: (Atwood, Oryx 24) or (Atwood, Handmaid 50).

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), "you must add a title to your in-text citation so your reader knows which work you are citing" (MLA 235). 

The second Atwood entry includes three hyphens in place of the author's name in the Works Cited list as per section 5.126 of the MLA Handbook (221).

Author is the same as publisher

MLA Handbook. 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

In-text: (MLA Handbook 24).

Note: "When a nongovernment organization is both author and publisher, you may skip the Author element and begin the entry with the work's title." (MLA 119).

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 172).

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).

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 172).

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 6.39.

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).

Note: If the work being cited is one single page "do not give the page number in your in-text citation" (MLA 242).

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, or other similar section has a unique title in addition to a generic label, generally give only the unique title, enclosed in quotation marks" in your Works Cited list (MLA 131).

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, https://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: If your source does not have labelled numbering of any kind, do not include a number in your in-text citation (MLA 244).

Permalinks and DOIs

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) should be included in your works cited "instead of a URL or permalink" as they are more accurate and concise than information copied and pasted from your browser (MLA 188).

If the DOI is not preceded by http:// or https:// in your source, precede the DOI in your [works cited] entry with the following:  (MLA 194).

If no DOI is available, a permalink URL is preferred, as the information present in your browser window is often specific to your session, and your reader will not be able to use it for retrieval. (MLA 195). The preceding http:// or https:// can be omitted from a permalink in your Works Cited entry (MLA 195).

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