In MLA style, when you refer to a source, you use a parenthetical citation in the main text. Footnotes and endnotes can be used for two purposes:
- Bibliographic notes: mentioning additional sources that are relevant to your point
- Content notes: adding extra information or explanation that doesn’t fit into the main text
Footnotes appear at the bottom of the relevant page, while endnotes appear at the very end of the paper. MLA permits the use of either type.
Continue reading: MLA footnotes and endnotes
The first page of your MLA format paper starts with a four-line left-aligned heading containing:
- Your full name
- Your instructor’s name
- The course name and number
- The date of submission
After the heading, the title of the paper is centred on a new line. The heading and title do not take any special styling, and should be the same font and size as the rest of the paper.
MLA style does not require a separate cover page. The main body of your paper starts on the same page, directly under the title.
Include your name and the page number right-aligned in the header on every page.
Download the MLA heading template (Word)
Continue reading: Creating an MLA heading
Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analyzing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps:
- Determine who will participate in the survey
- Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person)
- Design the survey questions and layout
- Distribute the survey
- Analyze the responses
- Write up the results
Surveys are a flexible method of data collection that can be used in many types of research.
Continue reading: How to do survey research
When you quote poetry, you have to properly format the quotation and direct the reader to the correct source entry in the Works Cited list.
An MLA 8 poetry citation must include the poet’s last name, either in the main text or in a parenthetical citation. If line or page numbers are available, add these to the parenthetical citation directly after the quote.
In the Works Cited entry, include the full publication details of the source in which you found the poem. You can use our free MLA citation generator to create Works Cited entries and in-text citations.
MLA poetry citation examples
|In-text poetry citation||Works Cited source entry|
|Line numbers||(Eliot, lines 19–20)||Eliot, T.S. “The Waste Land.” 1922. Bartleby, www.bartleby.com/201/1.html. Accessed 09 June 2019.|
|Page numbers||(Angelou 132)||Angelou, Maya. “Men.” The Complete Collected Poems, Random House, 1994, pp. 132-133.|
|No numbers||(Mahon)||Mahon, Derek. “A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford.” Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/92154/a-disused-shed-in-co-wexford. Accessed 25 June 2019.|
Continue reading: How to cite a poem in MLA
When citing an interview in MLA style (8th edition), the name of the interviewee appears as the author in the in-text citation.
In the Works Cited entry, the interviewee’s name is followed by the title of the interview in quotation marks. If there is no title, use the description “Interview” (with no styling or quotation marks).
If you conducted the interview yourself, add your own name and the date on which the interview took place. If you found the interview in a published source, include the name of the interviewer and full details of the source.
MLA interview citation examples
|Works Cited entry||In-text citation|
|Personal interview||Streefkerk, Raimo. Interview. Conducted by Shona McCombes, 20 July 2019.||(Streefkerk)|
|Published interview||Spark, Muriel. “Unsentimental Voyager.” Interview by Stephanie Merritt. The Guardian, 10 Sept. 2000, www.theguardian.com/books/2000/sep/10/fiction.murielspark.||(Spark)|
Continue reading: How to cite an interview in MLA
To cite a film in MLA (8th edition), you need to know the title, the director, any other relevant contributors, the production company, and the year of release. If there are multiple versions of a film, you also need to identify the version.
Brazil. Directed by Terry Gilliam, performances by Jonathan Pryce and Katherine Helmond, director’s cut, Embassy International Pictures, 1985.
To cite a movie from Netflix (and similar online streaming services), you don’t have to add any extra information. If you watched the movie on an unofficial website or video-sharing platform like YouTube, add the website name, the uploader, the date of upload, and the URL.
Night of the Living Dead. Directed by George A. Romero, Image Ten, 1968. YouTube, uploaded by American Film Institute, 26 Aug 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZy6P72Uu3Y.
In the in-text citation, include the title (or a shortened version of it) and the time range.
Continue reading: How to cite a movie in MLA
The Works Cited page appears at the very end of your paper. You list every source that you cited in the text, giving full publication details so that your readers can find the source for themselves.
The sources are alphabetized by the author’s last name (or, if there is no author, by the first word of the title). Each entry must correspond with at least one in-text citation.
Exactly what you need to include in each entry depends on the type of source and the information available.
Continue reading: How to create an MLA Works Cited list
To cite an online article in MLA style (8th Edition), the Works Cited entry should contain the author’s name, the title of the page, the name of the website, the publication date, and the URL.
When citing a web page or a whole website, there is often no author or publication date provided. If there is no author, start with the title of the page or website. If there is no date, add the date on which you accessed the page.
The in-text citation for a website contains either the author’s name or the title of the source in parentheses.
If you cite multiple pages or articles from the same website, you should include a separate Works Cited entry for each one. You can create a website citation automatically using the MLA citation generator.
Continue reading: How to cite a website in MLA
When you quote or paraphrase someone else’s work, you have to cite the source. In MLA style (8th edition), you use a brief in-text citation to direct the reader to the correct entry in the list of Works Cited, where you give full details of the source.
A basic MLA in-text citation includes the author’s last name and the page number(s) in parentheses. For sources without an author, the title is used instead.
MLA in-text citations
|1 author||(Ferrante 37)||Include the author’s last name and page number|
|2 authors||(Moore and Patel 48–50)||Connect last names with “and“|
|3+ authors||(Gallagher et al. 59)||Use first author’s last name and “et al.“|
|No author||(Amnesty International Report 187)||Use the title, shortened if appropriate|
|No page number||(Luxemburg, ch. 26) or (Rajaram)||Use chapter/section numbers if available, omit if not|
|Multiple sources in one citation||(Haraway 17; Barad 32–33)||Separate with semicolons|
Create MLA in-text citations
Continue reading: A complete guide to MLA in-text citations
To cite a book in MLA style (8th edition), the Works Cited list entry must always identify the author(s), title, publisher and publication date of the work. If available, include the names of any editors or translators, the edition, and the volume. If you accessed the book online, add the name of the website or database and the URL.
To cite a book chapter or a work from a collection, you start the Works Cited entry with the author and title of the specific work, followed by the details of the book, and end with the page range on which the work appears.
The in-text citation for a book looks the same as other MLA in-text citations, with the author’s last name and the page number in parentheses.
Continue reading: How to create an MLA book citation