A Complete Guide On How to Write MLA Citation Styles

MLA Format Examples

By the end of an assignment or project, you happen to find citations of every possible source, from where you have taken information, at some point, while composing the paper. You might be curious to know about various formatting styles, like what is APA format, how to write a paper in Harvard style, etc. But this blog particularly discusses on MLA formatting supported by suitable examples.

As experts say, never miss a quote while citation. Prove they are authentic!

Researchers, who are veterans, include all the sources such as website address, books, journals, magazines, and many other references in the research paper Bibliography. However, styles are distinct for every citation, and thus, you must read this blog in order to get acquainted with all the methods and approaches.

Before understanding the MLA referencing style, here’s a short introduction to define the significance of citation.

Reasons Behind Citing Sources

Do you have prior ideas about “How to write a paper in MLA format?” – Then, you must know that likewise the abstract introduction, body paragraph and conclusion, quoting the references are equally important. Besides adding professional approach to the paper, it has more magnitudes.

What Are They?
  • Present evidential sources to oppose an argument or support a claim
  • Offers underlying knowledge on a topic for reader’s easy understanding
  • Allows writer to excerpt the essence of other author’s articulacy in their paper

Now that you are aware of the necessities it is time to understand the nitty-gritty of performing the task with utmost expertise.

Broadly, MLA format references can be divided in two categories, Parenthetical / in-text citation and annotated bibliography. Both have different sub-categories and approaches, so, starting with the former one.

Parenthetical or In-Text Citation

Typically, students consider both terms as similar, but in reality, they possess a slight difference. These styles of quoting sources are used interchangeably, based on their significance.

In MLA format, in-text citation is used when the author’s name is present in the sentence. Only the page number is added at the end of the sentence in parentheses. Whereas, parenthetical citation comes to action when the sentence is deprived of the original author’s name. The below examples are certain to clear all your confusions regarding the same.

  • Author name included in the sentence:

“A quotation with the author name” (page-number).

  • Author name excluded in the sentence:

“A quotation without the author name” (author-name page-number).

  • Two authors:

There may be occasion when both the authors name will be mentioned in the sentence. In such cases, follow the rule as mentioned above under the section – “Author name included in the sentence”. But if, the names are excluded from the sentence, follow the below-mentioned rule.

Sentence including the “quote from the original work” (Author_1 and Author_2 page-number).

  • Three or more authors:

Several government publications or scholarly articles entails more than three authors. Including all the names in parentheses, after the sentence, seems too distracting for the readers. Therefore, MLA format in-text citation suggests to mention only one-author followed by a Latin phrase “et al.” This helps in crediting all of the other writers at one go. For detailed view, readers can check the Bibliography section.

“Quotation from the original work” (Author_1 et al. page-number).

  • No-author:

If source does not have any author, the idea is to include the title of the work, at the end, in the parentheses. There is allowance for shortening the title in case it is too long.

“Extract from the original work” (Complete title / first few words of the title).

  • Corporate Authors:

“Excerpts from the published work” (Name of the government or corporate entity page-number).

If the organization name is quite long, you may use common abbreviations to some words as listed below.

  • for Department
  • for Government
  • for Corporation
  • for Company
  • US for united States
  • Edited Books:

In case, there are multiple editions of the work, the in-text citation will be same as for books having one author, two authors, or more authors.

If the work to be cited contains various chapters by multiple authors, it is better to mention the editor’s name rather than citing the entire copy author by author.

Example: Sentence (Editor_1 and Editor_2)

Note: Similar to editors, translators and compilers (if present) should be credited, as well, in similar approach.

  • Sources lacking page numbers:

Many of the e-books lack page numbers and in those instance, you must not generate page numbers on your own. If there aren’t any, exclude this information from the in-text MLA referencing style.

Some sources possess paragraph numbers instead, so, include them in place of page numbers. “Par.” is the globally used abbreviation for paragraphs.

Sentence (Author-name par. number).


Sentence (par. number).

  • Multiple citation for same source:

If you have to cite the same sources for more than one times, there is a short-cut available. But, for that you have to extract from the source consecutively. If another citation comes in between, then, this rule does not apply anymore.

Citation_1 [include your excerpted text] (Author_1 and Author_2 page-number)

Citation_2 [include excerpted text from same source] (page-number).

  • Block quotes or long quotes:

Block quotes, or you may call it as long quotes, are slightly different from general citations.

  • The included text is written in a paragraph, separated from the actual body of the project
  • As there is 1-inch margin for the entire paper, you have to format the long quote in a 1½ – inch margin
  • Exclude quotation marks while writing block quotes as it is already visible to the reader because of its separate paragraph

Long quote [Sentence_1. Sentence_2……Sentence_10] (Author-name page number)

MLA Format In-text citation example

Here ends the rubrics concerning to in-text citations, next-in-line are the basics of MLA format referencing. If you are still confused, then turn to quality writing services from PenMyPaper.

MLA Format Bibliography

This section includes complete references to all sources from where you have gathered information, including the ones mentioned in Parenthetical citations. Here you can find MLA format citation examples to every possible sources but, before that, get conversant with some important facts associated with MLA format referencing.

General guidelines

  • Order the sources alphabetically based on the first author’s name. Ignore the articles – ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’, in the process
  • Entries must have double-spaces in between
  • All the subsequent lines to the first line of a source must start with 0.5 – inches indent
  • If you cite multiple works of one author, then use the name once and replace the other times by ‘—’

Now, take a look at the distinct MLA formats of citing various sources

  • Books
  • One author

Last name, First name. Title. City: Publisher, Date.

  • Two or Three authors

Last name, First name, First name, Last name and First name, Last name. Title. City:

Publisher, Year.

  • More authors

Last name, First name, et al. Title. City: Publisher, Year.

  • Edited Books
  • One book having multiple editions

Last name, First name Middle name initial. Title. Edition number. City: Publisher,Year.

  • Section from an edited book

Last name, First name Middle name initial. “Title of the chapter.” Book Title. Ed.

First name Last name. City: Press, Year. Page numbers.

  • Journals

Last name, First name. “Title of the article”. Journal Title Volume number. Number of the Issue (Year):

page numbers.

  • Magazines

Last name, First name. “Title.” Name of the Magazine Day Month Year: page numbers.

  • Newspapers

Last name, First name. “Title of the Article.” Newspaper Name Day Month Year, edition:Page numbers.

  • Websites

Last name, First name. “Document title.” Website name. Site publisher, Publication date. Access date.

  • Interviews

Last name, First name. “Title of the Interview.” Title of the Periodical / Name of the              

Interviewed Person Ed. First name Last name. Trans. First Name Last

Name. City: Publisher, Year. Page numbers.

  • Government Publications

Government name. Name of the Government agency. Regional office / subsidiary division

/ etc. Title of the document. Publication number, report number, or

Congressional session (if applicable and available). Place of Publication:

Publisher, Date.

MLA format bibliography

From all the above examples, you must have apprehended how to outline research proposal and other paper in MLA format. If you want to know more about it, get in touch with a professional Academic Essay Writer online. Our professional paper writing help has the best team of experts, who promise to deliver good quality papers within the deadline. Do not hesitate to consult if you feel the need.

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