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, the MLA standard is to use parenthetical 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:
In those cases, you should use a title page instead of a header, listing the same information but on a separate page.
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 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. MLA style provides guidelines for referring to information from a note in an in-text citation:
If you cite multiple Shakespeare plays throughout your MLA paper, the 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).
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.
If this isn’t possible, cite the secondary source and use “qtd. in” (quoted in) in your 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 in-text citation wherever you mention the image, and an entry in the Works Cited list giving full details.
If you cite multiple chapters or works from the same book, include a separate Works Cited entry for each chapter.
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.
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.
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:
If line numbers or page numbers are included in the original source, add these to the 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 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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The Scribbr Plagiarism Checker is powered by elements of Turnitin’s Similarity Checker, namely the plagiarism detection software and the Internet Archive and Premium Scholarly Publications content databases.
The Scribbr Citation Generator is developed using the open-source Citation Style Language (CSL) project. It’s the same technology used by dozens of other popular citation tools, including Mendeley and Zotero.
You can find all the citation styles and locales used in the Scribbr Citation Generator in our publicly accessible repository on Github.