How do I cite a source with no title in MLA style?
When a source has no title, this part of your MLA reference is replaced with a description of the source, in plain text (no italics or quotation marks, sentence-case capitalization).
In MLA style, footnotes or endnotes can be used to provide additional information that would interrupt the flow of your text.
This can be further examples or developments of ideas you only briefly discuss in the text. You can also use notes to provide additional sources or explain your citation practice.
You don’t have to use any notes at all; only use them to provide relevant information that complements your arguments or helps the reader to understand them.
No, you should use parenthetical MLA in-text citations to cite sources. Footnotes or endnotes can be used to add extra information that doesn’t fit into your main text, but they’re not needed for citations.
If you need to cite a lot of sources at the same point in the text, though, placing these citations in a note can be a good way to avoid cluttering your text.
According to MLA format guidelines, the Works Cited page(s) should look like this:
The MLA Works Cited lists every source that you cited in your paper. Each entry contains the author, title, and publication details of the source.
No, in an MLA annotated bibliography, you can write short phrases instead of full sentences to keep your annotations concise. You can still choose to use full sentences instead, though.
Use full sentences in your annotations if your instructor requires you to, and always use full sentences in the main text of your paper.
Usually, no title page is needed in an MLA paper. A header is generally included at the top of the first page instead. The exceptions are when:
In those cases, you should use a title page instead of a header, listing the same information but on a separate page.
When an online source (e.g. web page, blog post) doesn’t list a publication date, you should instead list an access date.
Unlike a publication date, this appears at the end of your MLA Works Cited entry, after the URL, e.g. “A Complete Guide to MLA Style.” Scribbr, www.scribbr.com/category/mla/. Accessed 28 Mar. 2021.
For offline sources with no publication date shown, don’t use an access date—just leave out the date.
The level of detail you provide in a publication date in your Works Cited list depends on the type of source and the information available. Generally, follow the lead of the source—if it gives the full date, give the full date; if it gives just the year, so should you.
Books usually list the year, whereas web pages tend to give a full date. For journal articles, give the year, month and year, or season and year, depending on what information is available. Check our citation examples if you’re unsure about a particular source type.
In an MLA Works Cited list, the names of months with five or more letters are abbreviated to the first three letters, followed by a period. For example, abbreviate Feb., Mar., Apr., but not June, July.
In the main text, month names should never be abbreviated.
In your MLA Works Cited list, dates are always written in day-month-year order, with the month abbreviated if it’s five or more letters long, e.g. 5 Mar. 2018.
In the main text, you’re free to use either day-month-year or month-day-year order, as long as you use one or the other consistently. Don’t abbreviate months in the main text, and use numerals for dates, e.g. 5 March 2018 or March 5, 2018.
Some source types, such as books and journal articles, may contain footnotes (or endnotes) with additional information. The following rules apply when citing information from a note in an MLA in-text citation:
If you cite multiple Shakespeare plays throughout your paper, the MLA in-text citation begins with an abbreviated version of the title (as shown here), e.g. (Oth. 1.2.4). Each play should have its own Works Cited entry (even if they all come from the same collection).
If you cite only one Shakespeare play in your paper, you should include a Works Cited entry for that play, and your in-text citations should start with the author’s name, e.g. (Shakespeare 1.1.4).
No, do not use page numbers in your MLA in-text citations of Shakespeare plays. Instead, specify the act, scene, and line numbers of the quoted material, separated by periods, e.g. (Shakespeare 3.2.20–25).
This makes it easier for the reader to find the relevant passage in any edition of the text.
When an article (e.g. in a newspaper) appears on non-consecutive pages (e.g. starting on page 1 and continuing on page 6), you should use “pp.” in your Works Cited entry, since it’s on multiple pages, but MLA recommends just listing the first page followed by a plus sign, e.g. pp. 1+.
In an MLA style Works Cited entry for a newspaper, you can cite a local newspaper in the same way as you would a national one, except that you may have to add the name of the city in square brackets to clarify what newspaper you mean, e.g. The Gazette [Montreal].
Do not add the city name in brackets if it’s already part of the newspaper’s name, e.g. Dallas Observer.
MLA recommends citing the original source wherever possible, rather than the source in which it is quoted or reproduced.
If this isn’t possible, cite the secondary source and use “qtd. in” (quoted in) in your MLA in-text citation. For example: (qtd. in Smith 233)
If a source is reproduced in full within another source (e.g. an image within a PowerPoint or a poem in an article), give details of the original source first, then include details of the secondary source as a container. For example:
When you want to cite a PowerPoint or lecture notes from a lecture you viewed in person in MLA, check whether they can also be accessed online; if so, this is the best version to cite, as it allows the reader to access the source.
If the material is not available online, use the details of where and when the presentation took place.
In an MLA song citation, you need to give some sort of container to indicate how you accessed the song. If this is a physical or downloaded album, the Works Cited entry should list the album name, distributor, year, and format.
However, if you listened to the song on a streaming service, you can just list the site as a container, including a URL. In this case, including the album details is optional; you may add this information if it is relevant to your discussion or if it will help the reader access the song.
Whenever you refer to an image created by someone else in your text, you should include a citation leading the reader to the image you’re discussing.
If you include the image directly in your text as a figure, the details of the source appear in the figure’s caption. If you don’t, just include an MLA in-text citation wherever you mention the image, and an entry in the Works Cited list giving full details.
In MLA Style, you should cite a specific chapter or work within a book in two situations:
If you cite multiple chapters or works from the same book, include a separate Works Cited entry for each chapter.
You must include an MLA in-text citation every time you quote or paraphrase from a source (e.g. a book, movie, website, or article).
MLA Style is the second most used citation style (after APA). It is mainly used by students and researchers in humanities fields such as literature, languages, and philosophy.
If information about your source is not available, you can either leave it out of the MLA citation or replace it with something else, depending on the type of information.
A standard MLA Works Cited entry is structured as follows:
Only include information that is available for and relevant to your source.
Yes. MLA style uses title case, which means that all principal words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions) are capitalized.
This applies to titles of sources as well as the title of, and subheadings in, your paper. Use MLA capitalization style even when the original source title uses different capitalization.
The title of an article is not italicized in MLA style, but placed in quotation marks. This applies to articles from journals, newspapers, websites, or any other publication. Use italics for the title of the source where the article was published. For example:
Use the same formatting in the Works Cited entry and when referring to the article in the text itself.
In MLA style, book titles appear in italics, with all major words capitalized. If there is a subtitle, separate it from the main title with a colon and a space (even if no colon appears in the source). For example:
The format is the same in the Works Cited list and in the text itself. However, when you mention the book title in the text, you don’t have to include the subtitle.
The title of a part of a book—such as a chapter, or a short story or poem in a collection—is not italicized, but instead placed in quotation marks.
In MLA style citations, format a DOI as a link, including “https://doi.org/” at the start and then the unique numerical code of the article.
DOIs are used mainly when citing journal articles in MLA.
The MLA Handbook is currently in its 9th edition, published in 2021.
This quick guide to MLA style explains the latest guidelines for citing sources and formatting papers according to MLA.
The fastest and most accurate way to create MLA citations is by using Scribbr’s MLA Citation Generator.
Search by book title, page URL, or journal DOI to automatically generate flawless citations, or cite manually using the simple citation forms.
MLA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman, since it’s easy to read and installed on every computer. Other standard fonts such as Arial or Georgia are also acceptable. If in doubt, check with your supervisor which font you should be using.
To create a correctly formatted block quote in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:
Do not put quotation marks around the quote, and make sure to include an MLA in-text citation after the period at the end.
To format a block quote in MLA:
Then continue your text on a new line (not indented).
In MLA style, if you quote more than four lines from a source, use MLA block quote formatting.
If you are quoting poetry, use block quote formatting for any quote longer than three lines.
An MLA in-text citation should always include the author’s last name, either in the introductory text or in parentheses after a quote.
If line numbers or page numbers are included in the original source, add these to the citation.
If you are discussing multiple poems by the same author, make sure to also mention the title of the poem (shortened if necessary). The title goes in quotation marks.
In the list of Works Cited, start with the poet’s name and the poem’s title in quotation marks. The rest of the citation depends on where the poem was published.
If you read the poem in a book or anthology, follow the format of an MLA book chapter citation. If you accessed the poem online, follow the format of an MLA website citation.
Only use line numbers in an MLA in-text citation if the lines are numbered in the original source. If so, write “lines” in the first citation of the poem, and only the numbers in subsequent citations.
If there are no line numbers in the source, you can use page numbers instead. If the poem appears on only one page of a book (or on a website), don’t include a number in the citation.
To quote poetry in MLA style, introduce the quote and use quotation marks as you would for any other source quotation.
If the quote includes line breaks, mark these using a forward slash with a space on either side. Use two slashes to indicate a stanza break.
If the quote is longer than three lines, set them off from the main text as an MLA block quote. Reproduce the line breaks, punctuation, and formatting of the original.
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