How to cite a lecture in MLA
In MLA (8th edition), the Works Cited entry for a lecture looks like this:
MLA lecture citation format
Lecturer Last Name, First Name. “Title of Lecture.” Course or Event Name, Date, Venue, City. Descriptive label.
MLA lecture citation example
Dent, Gina. “Anchored to the Real: Black Literature in the Wake of Anthropology.” Moving together: Activism, Art & Education, 16 May 2018, The Black Archives, Amsterdam. Lecture.
This format also applies to other types of oral presentation, such as a conference panel or a public talk. The format for citing PowerPoint slides is slightly different.
Lecture titles and event names
The title of the lecture goes in quotation marks. You can usually find the title in the course syllabus, the conference programme, or publicity materials for the talk.
After the title, you add the name of the course, conference or event of which the lecture was part. Don’t use italics or quotation marks.
It is possible to add more than one event name here. For example, conferences are often divided into themed sessions; after the title of the presentation, you can add both the session and the conference name.
Often the location of the lecture will appear in the venue name. For example, many university names include the city where they are located.
Halberstam, Jack. “Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Guide to Gender Variance.” Doing Gender, 26 March 2018, Utrecht University. Lecture.
If the city is not already named, add it directly after the venue. If necessary, you can also add the state or country for clarity (for example, if there are multiple cities with the same name).
At the end of the citation, add a short label that describes the type of event (e.g. Lecture, Presentation, Keynote). If you are quoting or paraphrasing directly from a handout or slides, you can use this as the label (e.g. Lecture handout, PowerPoint presentation).
MLA in-text citation for a lecture
When you use information or ideas from a lecture in your paper, an MLA in-text citation requires only the last name of the lecturer, either in the text itself or in parentheses after the relevant information.
If you refer to a specific slide of a PowerPoint or page of a handout, you can add this to the in-text citation.