As you write your paper, whenever you use words or ideas of a source, you must document it. One of the simplest methods of crediting sources is the Modern Language Association (MLA) in-text system. In the text of your paper, immediately after any quotation, paraphrase, or idea, you simply insert a parenthetical mention of the author's last name and the page number on which the material appears. You don't need a comma after the author's name or an abbreviation of the word page or p. For example:
Some of the forms of cancer that researchers believe may be treated with thalidomide are breast cancer; prostate cancer; brain cancer; and Kaposi's sarcoma, which is cancer normally found in AIDS patients (Burkholz 12).
The parenthetical reference tells the reader that the information in this sentence came from page 12 of the book or article by Burkholz that appears in the Works Cited, at the end of the paper. The complete reference on the Works Cited page provides all of the information readers need to locate the original source:
Burkholz, Herbert. "Giving Thalidomide a Second Chance." FDA Consumer Sept.-Oct. 1997: 12-14.
If the author's name is mentioned in the same sentence, it is also acceptable to place only the page numbers in parentheses; it is not necessary to repeat the author's name. For example,
Burkholz reports that some of the forms of cancer that researchers believe may be treated with thalidomide are breast cancer; prostate cancer; brain cancer; and Kaposi's sarcoma, which is cancer normally found in AIDS patients (12).
The first time an author is cited in the paper, he should be identified by full name and claim to authority:
According to William A. Silverman, a specialist in neonatology who has served as professor of pediatrics at Columbia University in New York and head of intensive care at San Francisco's Children's Hospital, thalidomide was first developed in Germany back in 1954 as an antihistamine by a small, new pharmaceuticals firm, Chemie Grunenthal (404).
A last name and page number in parentheses do not carry nearly the same weight as a full name and credentials. You should save the former for subsequent citations once the author has been fully identified. If more than one sentence comes from the same source, you do not need to put parentheses after each sentence. One parenthetical citation at the end of the material from a source is enough if it is clear from the way you introduce the material where your ideas end and the source's begin.
If you are using more than one work by the same author, you need to provide in the parentheses the title or a recognizable shortened form of the title of the particular work being cited. If the author's name is not mentioned in the sentence, you should include in parentheses the author's last name, the title, and the page number, with a comma between the author's name and the title. If both the author's name and the title of any work being cited are mentioned in the sentence, the parentheses will include only the page number. Had two works by Burkholz been listed in the Works Cited, the first example above would have looked like this:
Some of the forms of cancer that researchers believe may be treated with thalidomide are breast cancer; prostate cancer; brain cancer; and Kaposi's sarcoma, which is cancer normally found in AIDS patients (Burkholz, "Giving" 1).
If there is more than one author, don't forget to give credit to all. Two or three authors are acknowledged by name in the parentheses if not in your own sentence: (Harmon, Livesy, and Jones 23).
With four or more authors, use et al, the Latin term for and others: (Braithwaite et al. 137).
Some sources do not name an author. To cite a work with an unknown author, give the title, or a recognizable shortened form, in the text of your paper. If the work does not have numbered pages, often the case in Web pages or nonprint sources, do not include page numbers. For example,
In some cases Sephardic Jews, "converted" under duress, practiced Christian-ity openly and Judaism in secret until recently ("Search for the Buried Past").
Direct quotations should always be introduced or worked into the grammatical structure of your own sentences. Remember, however, that you need to provide parenthetical documentation not only for every direct quotation but also for every paraphrase or summary. Document any words or ideas that are not your own.
As a general rule, you cannot make any changes in a quotation. Two exceptions are clearly marked when they occur. At times you may use brackets to make a slight change that does not change the meaning of the quotation. For example, a pronoun may need to be replaced by a noun in brackets to make its reference clear. Or a verb tense may be changed and bracketed to make the quotation fit more smoothly into your sentence. An ellipsis (. . .) is used when you omit a portion of the quotation that does not change the essential meaning of the quote. You do not need to use ellipses at the beginning or end of a direct quotation. If the omitted portion included the end of one sentence and the beginning of another, there should be a fourth period (. . . .).
If a quotation is more than four typed lines long, it needs to be handled as a block quotation. A block quotation is usually introduced by a sentence followed by a colon. The quotation itself is indented one inch or ten spaces from the left margin. No quotation marks are necessary since the placement on the page informs the reader that it is a quotation. The only quotation marks in a block quotation would be ones copied from the original, as in dialogue. A paragraph break within a block quotation is indented an additional five spaces. The parenthetical citation is the same as with a quotation run into your text, but the period appears before the parentheses.
With print sources in particular, you will often need to cite one work that is quoted in another or a work from an anthology. For the former, the parenthetical documentation provides name and page number of the source you actually used, preceded by the words "qtd. in":
In the quest for evidence, Col. Patrick Toffler, Director of the United States Military Office of Institutional Research, reported that they had identified 120 physical differences. The female soldier "is, on the average, about five inches shorter than the male soldier, has half the upper body strength, lower aerobic capacity and 37 percent less muscle mass" (qtd. in Owens 35).
A work in an anthology is cited parenthetically by the name of the author of the work, not the editor of the anthology: (Simkovich 3).
The list of Works Cited includes all material you have used to write your research paper. This list appears at the end of your paper and always starts on a new page. Center the title Works Cited, double-space between the title and the first entry, and begin your list, which should be arranged alphabetically by author. Each entry should start at the left margin; indent all subsequent lines of the entry five spaces. Number each page, and double-space throughout.
A BOOK BY A SINGLE AUTHOR
Gubar, Susan. Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face in American Culture. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.
When you cite a book using MLA style, include the following:
2. Title and subtitle
3. City of publication
5. Date of publication
A BOOK BY TWO AUTHORS
Alderman, Ellen, and Caroline Kennedy. The Right to Privacy. New York: Vintage, 1995. Note: This form is followed even for two authors with the same last name.
Ehrlich, Paul, and Anne Ehrlich. Extinction: The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species. New York: Random, 1981.
A BOOK BY TWO OR MORE AUTHORS
Heffernan, William A., Mark Johnston, and Frank Hodgins. Literature: Art and Artifact. San Diego: Harcourt, 1987.
If there are more than three authors, name only the first and add "et al." (meaning "and others").
A BOOK BY A CORPORATE AUTHOR
Poets & Writers, Inc. The Writing Business: A Poets & Writers Handbook. New York: Poets & Writers, 1985.
A WORK IN AN ANTHOLOGY
Head, Bessie. "Woman from America." Wild Women: Contemporary Short Stories by Women Celebrating Women. Ed. Sue Thomas. Woodstock: Overlook, 1994. 45-51.
AN INTRODUCTION, PREFACE, FOREWORD, OR AFTERWORD
Callahan, John F. Introduction. Flying Home and Other Stories. By Ralph Ellison. Ed. John F. Callahan. New York: Vintage, 1996. 1-9.
MATERIAL REPRINTED FROM ANOTHER SOURCE
Diffie, Whitfield, and Susan Landau. "Privacy: Protections and Threats." Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1998. Rpt. in Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader. Annette T. Rottenberg and Donna Haisty Winchell. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006. 601.
A MULTIVOLUME WORK
Skotheim, Robert Allen, and Michael McGiffert, eds. Since the Civil War. Reading: Addison, 1972. Vol. 2 of American Social Thought: Sources and Interpretations. 2 vols. 1972.
AN EDITION OTHER THAN THE FIRST
Charters, Ann, ed. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007.
Allende, Isabel. The House of the Spirits. Trans. Magda Bogin. New York: Knopf, 1985.
A REPUBLISHED BOOK
Weesner, Theodore. The Car Thief. 1972. New York: Vintage-Random, 1987.
Note: The only information about original publication you need to provide is the publication date, which appears immediately after the title.
A BOOK IN A SERIES
Eady, Cornelius. Victims of the Latest Dance Craze. Omnation Press Dialogues on Dance Series 5. Chicago: Omnation, 1985.
AN ARTICLE FROM A DAILY NEWSPAPER
Doctorow, E. L. "Quick Cuts: The Novel Follows Film into a World of Fewer Words." New York Times 15 Mar. 1999, sec. B: 1+.
AN ARTICLE FROM A MAGAZINE
Schulhofer, Stephen. "Unwanted Sex." Atlantic Monthly Oct. 1998: 55-66.
AN UNSIGNED EDITORIAL
"Medium, Message." Editorial. Nation 28 Mar. 1987: 383-84.
"The March Almanac." Atlantic Monthly Mar. 1995: 20.
Citation World Atlas. Maplewood: Hammond, 1999.
AN ARTICLE FROM A JOURNAL WITH SEPARATE PAGINATION FOR EACH ISSUE
Brewer, Derek. "The Battleground of Home: Versions of Fairy Tales." Encounter 54.4 (1980): 52-61.
AN ARTICLE IN A JOURNAL WITH CONTINUOUS PAGINATION THROUGHOUT THE VOLUME
McCafferty, Janey. "The Shadders Go Away." New England Review and Bread Loaf Quarterly 9 (1987): 332-42.
Note that the issue number is not mentioned here; because the volume has continuous pagination throughout the year, only the volume number 9 is needed.
Walker, David. Rev. of A Wave, by John Ashbery. Field 32 (1985): 63-71.
AN ARTICLE IN A REFERENCE WORK
"Bylina." The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Ed. Alex Prem-inger and T. V. F. Brogan. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993.
A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT
United States. National Endowment for the Arts. 2006 Annual Report. Washington: Office of Public Affairs, 2007.
Frequently the Government Printing Office (GPO) is the publisher of federal government documents.
Gura, Mark. The Gorgeous Mosaic Project: A Work of Art by the Schoolchildren of the World. Teacher's packet. East Brunswick: Children's Atelier, 1990. ERIC ED 347 257.
Kassebaum, Peter. Cultural Awareness Training Manual and Study Guide. ERIC, 1992. ED 347 289.
The ERIC number at the end of the entry indicates that this source is available through ERIC (Educational Resource Information Center); some libraries have these available on microfiche. The number indicates which report to look for. Some ERIC documents were published elsewhere, as in the first example. If no other publishing information is given, treat ERIC (with no city given) as the publisher, as shown in the second entry. Reports are also published by NTIS (National Technical Information Service), state geological surveys, organizations, institutes within universities, and so on and may be called "technical reports," or "occasional papers." Be sure to include the source and the unique report number, if given.
AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT
Leahy, Ellen. "An Investigation of the Computerization of Information Systems in a Family Planning Program." Unpublished master's degree project. Div. of Public Health, U of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1990.
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Flannery, James W. Letter. New York Times Book Review 28 Feb. 1993: 34.
Bennett, David. Letter to the author. 3 Mar. 2007.
Henley, Marian. "Maxine." Cartoon. Valley Advocate 25 Feb. 1993: 39.
A WEB SITE
Fairy Tales: Origins and Evolution. Ed. Christine Daae. 12 Dec. 2007
Include the title if available; the author's name if available or, if not, a generic description such as "Home page"; the sponsoring organization or institution except in the case of commercial sponsorship; date of access; and URL in angle brackets.
When you cite a brief article from a Web site using MLA style, include the following:
2. Title of work
3. Title of Web site
4. Date of publication or latest update
5. Sponsor of site
6. Date of access
A PAGE WITHIN A WEB SITE
"Don't Zoos Contribute to the Saving of Species from Extinction?" Animal Rights Resource Site. Envirolink Network. 14 Dec. 2007
When you cite an article from a database using MLA style, include the following:
2. Title of article
3. Title of periodical, volume and issue numbers
4. Date of publication
5. Inclusive pages
6. Name of database
7. Name of subscription service
8. Library at which you retrieved the source
9. Date of access
A BOOK AVAILABLE ON THE WEB
Kramer, Heinrich, and James Sprenger. The Malleus Maleficarum. Trans.
Montague Summers. New York: Dover, 1971. 14 Dec. 2007
In this case the book had been previously published, and information about its original publication was included at the site.
AN ARTICLE FROM AN ELECTRONIC JOURNAL
Minow, Mary. "Filters and the Public Library: A Legal and Policy Analysis." First Monday 2.12 (1 Dec. 1997). 28 Nov. 2007
MATERIAL ACCESSED THROUGH A COMPUTER SERVICE
Boynton, Robert S. "The New Intellectuals." Atlantic Monthly Mar. 1995. Atlantic Unbound. America Online. 3 Mar. 2007. Keyword: Atlantic.
Corcoran, Mary B. "Fairy Tale." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Dan-bury: Grolier, 1995.
AN ARTICLE FROM A FULL-TEXT DATABASE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE WEB
Warner, Marina. "Pity the Stepmother." New York Times. 12 May 1991, late
ed.: D17. Lexis/Nexis Universe 12 Dec. 2007.
Include the original source information and the name of the data-base, access date, and URL.
AN ARTICLE FROM A CD-ROM FULL-TEXT DATABASE
"Tribal/DNC Donations." News from Indian Country. (Dec. 1997). Ethnic Newswatch. CD-ROM. Softline. 12 Oct. 2007.
Include the original source information and the name of the data-base, the designation CD-ROM, the publisher of the CD-ROM, and the electronic publication data, if available.
AN ARTICLE FROM AN ELECTRONIC REFERENCE WORK
"Folk Arts." Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 14 Dec. 2007.
A PERSONAL E-MAIL COMMUNICATION
Franz, Kenneth. "Re: Species Reintroduction." E-mail to the author. 12 Oct. 2007.
AN E-MAIL COMMUNICATION POSTED TO A DISCUSSION LIST
Lee, Constance. "Re: Mothers and Stepmothers." Online posting. 10 Sept. 2007. Folklore Discussion List
If the address of the discussion list archives is known, include that information in angle brackets; if not, place the moderator's e-mail address in angle brackets.
A POSTING TO A WEB FORUM
DeYoung, Chris. Online posting. 12 Dec. 2007. Issues: Gay Rights. 14 Dec. 2007
Include the author, header (if any) in quotation marks, the designation Online posting, the date of the posting, the name of the forum, the date of access, and the URL.
A NEWSGROUP POSTING
Vining, Philip. "Zoos and Infotainment." Online posting. 16 Oct. 2007. 12 Dec. 2007.
Include the author, header in quotation marks, the designation Online posting, the date of posting, the date of access, and the name of the newsgroup.
Krishnamurthi, Ashok. Online discussion of cyberlaw and the media. "Reinventing Copyright in a Digital Environment." 25 Oct. 2007. MediaMOO. 25 Oct. 2007
To cite a synchronous communication from a MUD or a MOO, include the name of the speaker, a description of the event, the date, the forum, the date of access, and the electronic address.
Calvino, Italo. "Right and Wrong Political Uses of Literature." Symposium on Euro-pean Politics. Amherst College, Amherst. 25 Feb. 1976.
The Voice of the Khalam. Prod. Loretta Pauker. Perf. Leopold Senghor, Okara, Bi-rago Diop, Rubadiri, and Francis Parkes. Contemporary Films/McGraw-Hill, 1971. 16 mm, 29 min.
Other pertinent information to give in film references, if available, is the writer and director (see model for radio/television program for style).
A TELEVISION OR RADIO PROGRAM
The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God. Narr. David McCullough. Dir. Ken Burns and Amy Stechler Burns. Writ. Amy Stechler Burns, Wendy Tilghman, and Tom Lewis. PBS. WGBY, Springfield. 28 Dec. 1992.
Style Wars! Videotape. Prod. Tony Silver and Henry Chalfont. New Day Films, 1985. 69 min.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. DVD. Prod. David Barron and David Heyman. Warner Bros., 2007. 139 min.
Quitters: A Musical Celebration. By Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek. Dir. Joyce Devlin. Musical dir. Faith Fung. Mt. Holyoke Laboratory Theatre, South Hadley, MA. 26 Apr. 1991. Based on The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art by Patricia Cooper and Norma Bradley Allen.
Hines, Gregory. Interview. With D. C. Denison. Boston Globe Magazine 29 Mar. 1987: 2.
Note: An interview conducted by the author of the paper would be documented as follows:
Hines, Gregory. Personal interview. 29 Mar. 1987.
Source: Elements of Argument, Annette Rottenberg.