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How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation in MLA
Citing a thesis or dissertation.
Thesis – A document submitted to earn a degree at a university.
Dissertation – A document submitted to earn an advanced degree, such as a doctorate, at a university.
The formatting for thesis and dissertation citations is largely the same. However, you should be sure to include the type of degree after the publication year as supplemental information. For instance, state if the source you are citing is an undergraduate thesis or a PhD dissertation.
MLA Thesis and Dissertation Citation Structure (print)
Last, First M. Title of the Thesis/Dissertation. Year Published. Name of University, type of degree.
MLA Thesis and Dissertation Citation Structure (online)
Last, First M. Title of the Thesis/Dissertation. Year Published. Name of University, type of degree. Website Name , URL.
Wilson, Peggy Lynn. Pedagogical Practices in the Teaching of English Language in Secondary Public Schools in Parker County . 2011. University of Maryland, PhD dissertation.
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MLA 8th ed. Style Guide: Dissertations, Theses
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Citations for dissertations/master's theses should include the following:
1. Name of Author
2. Title of dissertation/thesis (italicized)
3. Date of Publication
5. Institution granting the degree (optional)
6. Description of the work (optional)
7. Database and URL if accessed through a database or repository
Sample Citation - Dissertations
The institution granting the degree and description of the work are optional. If you accessed the work online, include that information.
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Dissertation and theses: published, contact kelly.
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Last-name, First-name. “Title of Dissertation.” Diss. Place of Study, Year. Title of Database . Web. Date Month Year of Access.
Forrester, Pearl. “Psychological Distress and Repeated Television Viewing.” Diss. Miskatonic University, 1990. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses . Web. 13 May 2010.
Last-name, First-name. “Title of Dissertation.” Diss. Place of Study, Year. Print.
Forrester, Pearl. “Psychological Distress and Repeated Television Viewing.” Diss. Miskatonic University, 1990. Print.
Author's Last-name, First-name. Title of Disstertaion . Diss. Place of Study, Year. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Format.
Diamond, Oscar. How to Care for Your Diabetic Cat . Diss. West Virginia University, 1999. New York: Knopf, 2000. Print.
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Njus, Jesse. Performing the Passion: A Study on the Nature of Medieval Acting . 2010. Northwestern U,
MA thesis. ProQuest , search.proquest.com/docview/305212264?accountid=7432.
PhD dissertation. ProQuest , search.proquest.com/docview/305212264?accountid=7432.
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Cite a dissertation in MLA style
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Use the following template or our MLA Citation Generator to cite a dissertation. For help with other source types, like books, PDFs, or websites, check out our other guides. To have your reference list or bibliography automatically made for you, try our free citation generator .
Place this part in your bibliography or reference list at the end of your assignment.
Place this part right after the quote or reference to the source in your assignment.
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Cite a Dissertation in MLA
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Consider your source's credibility. ask these questions:, contributor/author.
- Has the author written several articles on the topic, and do they have the credentials to be an expert in their field?
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MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)
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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
The MLA Handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, by using this methodology, a writer will be able to cite any source regardless of whether it’s included in this list.
However, this guide will highlight a few concerns when citing digital sources in MLA style.
Best Practices for Managing Online Sources
Because online information can change or disappear, it is always a good idea to keep personal copies of important electronic information whenever possible. Downloading or even printing key documents ensures you have a stable backup. You can also use the Bookmark function in your web browser in order to build an easy-to-access reference for all of your project's sources (though this will not help you if the information is changed or deleted).
It is also wise to keep a record of when you first consult with each online source. MLA uses the phrase, “Accessed” to denote which date you accessed the web page when available or necessary. It is not required to do so, but it is encouraged (especially when there is no copyright date listed on a website).
Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA
Include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. Because web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA encourages the use of citing containers such as Youtube, JSTOR, Spotify, or Netflix in order to easily access and verify sources. However, MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs.
Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.
Online newspapers and magazines sometimes include a “permalink,” which is a shortened, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source includes a permalink. If you can find a permalink, use that instead of a URL.
Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources
If page numbers are not available, use par. or pars. to denote paragraph numbers. Use these in place of the p. or pp. abbreviation. Par. would be used for a single paragraph, while pars. would be used for a span of two or more paragraphs.
Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)
Here are some common features you should try to find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible:
- Author and/or editor names (if available); last names first.
- "Article name in quotation marks."
- Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
- Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
- Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
- Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
- DOI (if available, precede it with "https://doi.org/"), otherwise a URL (without the https://) or permalink.
- Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed). While not required, saving this information it is highly recommended, especially when dealing with pages that change frequently or do not have a visible copyright date.
Use the following format:
Author. "Title." Title of container (self contained if book) , Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2 nd container’s title , Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).
Citing an Entire Web Site
When citing an entire website, follow the same format as listed above, but include a compiler name if no single author is available.
Author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), DOI (preferred), otherwise include a URL or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).
Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site . Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).
The Purdue OWL Family of Sites . The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl. Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.
Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory . Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/. Accessed 10 May 2006.
Course or Department Websites
Give the instructor name. Then list the title of the course (or the school catalog designation for the course) in italics. Give appropriate department and school names as well, following the course title.
Felluga, Dino. Survey of the Literature of England . Purdue U, Aug. 2006, web.ics.purdue.edu/~felluga/241/241/Home.html. Accessed 31 May 2007.
English Department . Purdue U, 20 Apr. 2009, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/. Accessed 31 May 2015.
A Page on a Web Site
For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by an indication of the specific page or article being referenced. Usually, the title of the page or article appears in a header at the top of the page. Follow this with the information covered above for entire Web sites. If the publisher is the same as the website name, only list it once.
Lundman, Susan. “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.” eHow , www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html. Accessed 6 July 2015.
“ Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview. ” WebMD , 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview.
Citations for e-books closely resemble those for physical books. Simply indicate that the book in question is an e-book by putting the term "e-book" in the "version" slot of the MLA template (i.e., after the author, the title of the source, the title of the container, and the names of any other contributors).
Silva, Paul J. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. E-book, American Psychological Association, 2007.
If the e-book is formatted for a specific reader device or service, you can indicate this by treating this information the same way you would treat a physical book's edition number. Often, this will mean replacing "e-book" with "[App/Service] ed."
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince , translated by W. K. Marriott, Kindle ed., Library of Alexandria, 2018.
Note: The MLA considers the term "e-book" to refer to publications formatted specifically for reading with an e-book reader device (e.g., a Kindle) or a corresponding web application. These e-books will not have URLs or DOIs. If you are citing book content from an ordinary webpage with a URL, use the "A Page on a Web Site" format above.
An Image (Including a Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph)
Provide the artist's name, the work of art italicized, the date of creation, the institution and city where the work is housed. Follow this initial entry with the name of the Website in italics, and the date of access.
Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV . 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado , www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-family-of-carlos-iv/f47898fc-aa1c-48f6-a779-71759e417e74. Accessed 22 May 2006.
Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine . 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive , www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html. Accessed May 2006.
If the work cited is available on the web only, then provide the name of the artist, the title of the work, and then follow the citation format for a website. If the work is posted via a username, use that username for the author.
Adams, Clifton R. “People Relax Beside a Swimming Pool at a Country Estate Near Phoenix, Arizona, 1928.” Found, National Geographic Creative, 2 June 2016, natgeofound.tumblr.com/.
An Article in a Web Magazine
Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, URL, and the date of access.
Bernstein, Mark. “ 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web. ” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites , 16 Aug. 2002, alistapart.com/article/writeliving. Accessed 4 May 2009.
An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal
For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication. Include a DOI if available, otherwise provide a URL or permalink to help readers locate the source.
Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal
MLA requires a page range for articles that appear in Scholarly Journals. If the journal you are citing appears exclusively in an online format (i.e. there is no corresponding print publication) that does not make use of page numbers, indicate the URL or other location information.
Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/60/362. Accessed 20 May 2009.
Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print
Cite articles in online scholarly journals that also appear in print as you would a scholarly journal in print, including the page range of the article . Provide the URL and the date of access.
Wheelis, Mark. “ Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. ” Emerging Infectious Diseases , vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-600, wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/6/00-0607_article. Accessed 8 Feb. 2009.
An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service)
Cite online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. Thus, provide the title of the database italicized before the DOI or URL. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL instead. Provide the date of access if you wish.
Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. “ Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates. ” Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library , https://doi.org/10.1002/tox.20155. Accessed 26 May 2009.
Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest , https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009.
E-mail (including E-mail Interviews)
Give the author of the message, followed by the subject line in quotation marks. State to whom the message was sent with the phrase, “Received by” and the recipient’s name. Include the date the message was sent. Use standard capitalization.
Kunka, Andrew. “ Re: Modernist Literature. ” Received by John Watts, 15 Nov. 2000.
Neyhart, David. “ Re: Online Tutoring. ” Received by Joe Barbato, 1 Dec. 2016.
A Listserv, Discussion Group, or Blog Posting
Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known. If both names are known, place the author’s name in brackets.
Author or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site , Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), URL. Date of access.
Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of Rooms?” BoardGameGeek , 29 Sept. 2008, boardgamegeek.com/thread/343929/best-strategy-fenced-pastures-vs-max-number-rooms. Accessed 5 Apr. 2009.
Begin with the user's Twitter handle in place of the author’s name. Next, place the tweet in its entirety in quotations, inserting a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the reader's time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a period. Include the date accessed if you deem necessary.
@tombrokaw. “ SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign. ” Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m., twitter.com/tombrokaw/status/160996868971704320.
@PurdueWLab. “ Spring break is around the corner, and all our locations will be open next week. ” Twitter , 5 Mar. 2012, 12:58 p.m., twitter.com/PurdueWLab/status/176728308736737282.
A YouTube Video
Video and audio sources need to be documented using the same basic guidelines for citing print sources in MLA style. Include as much descriptive information as necessary to help readers understand the type and nature of the source you are citing. If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, only cite the author once. If the author is different from the uploader, cite the author’s name before the title.
McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube , uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E.
“8 Hot Dog Gadgets put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBlpjSEtELs.
A Comment on a Website or Article
List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before the title. Use quotation marks around the article title. Name the publisher, date, time (listed on near the comment), and the URL.
Not Omniscient Enough. Comment on “ Flight Attendant Tells Passenger to ‘Shut Up’ After Argument Over Pasta. ” ABC News, 9 Jun 2016, 4:00 p.m., abcnews.go.com/US/flight-attendant-tells-passenger-shut-argument-pasta/story?id=39704050.
ENG 198: Burnside
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Works Cited & Bibliography
Author Last Name, First Name. Book Title. The Publisher, Publication Date.
2. Work in an Anthology/Book Chapter/Encyclopedia Entry
Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Selection/Chapter.” Book Title , edited by Editor Name, The Publisher, Publication Date, pp. Page Numbers.
3. Article from a Database Accessed Through a Subscription Service
Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of the Work.” Publication Information. Name of the Database , Location. Date of Access.
4. Article from an Online Scholarly Journal
Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of the Work." Publication Information, Location. Date of Access.
Note : If the journal is online-only and does not include page numbers, you can omit them from your citation.
5. Work from a Website
Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of the Document.” Website Name , Date of Publication, Location. Date of Access.
Adapted from: Everyday Writer, 4th ed. (Lunsford)
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Free MLA Citation Generator
Generate accurate citations in MLA format automatically, with MyBib!
😕 What is an MLA Citation Generator?
An MLA citation generator is a software tool designed to automatically create academic citations in the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format. The generator will take information such as document titles, author, and URLs as in input, and output fully formatted citations that can be inserted into the Works Cited page of an MLA-compliant academic paper.
The citations on a Works Cited page show the external sources that were used to write the main body of the academic paper, either directly as references and quotes, or indirectly as ideas.
👩🎓 Who uses an MLA Citation Generator?
MLA style is most often used by middle school and high school students in preparation for transition to college and further education. Ironically, MLA style is not actually used all that often beyond middle and high school, with APA (American Psychological Association) style being the favored style at colleges across the country.
It is also important at this level to learn why it's critical to cite sources, not just how to cite them.
🙌 Why should I use a Citation Generator?
Writing citations manually is time consuming and error prone. Automating this process with a citation generator is easy, straightforward, and gives accurate results. It's also easier to keep citations organized and in the correct order.
The Works Cited page contributes to the overall grade of a paper, so it is important to produce accurately formatted citations that follow the guidelines in the official MLA Handbook .
⚙️ How do I use MyBib's MLA Citation Generator?
It's super easy to create MLA style citations with our MLA Citation Generator. Scroll back up to the generator at the top of the page and select the type of source you're citing. Books, journal articles, and webpages are all examples of the types of sources our generator can cite automatically. Then either search for the source, or enter the details manually in the citation form.
The generator will produce a formatted MLA citation that can be copied and pasted directly into your document, or saved to MyBib as part of your overall Works Cited page (which can be downloaded fully later!).
MyBib supports the following for MLA style:
Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.
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Finding the citation in OneSearch
Creating your own citations + mla citation rules.
When you find items in OneSearch, you can click on the citation tool above the short description:
Clicking on the tool will open a box in which you can choose your citation style and then copy the citation:
A citation tells your reader some basic information about the document you're discussing. It should include:
- the name of the author who wrote it;
- if it's a small thing in a bigger thing--like an article in a newspaper, or a chapter in a book--the title of the bigger thing, and the page numbers that belong to the smaller thing's part of it;
- the date it was published; and
- depending on the kind of thing it is, you may also have to include the name of the company that published it, or the address to find it online.
Citations of any "style" all include this information, but the order and punctuation might vary a bit. MLA is usually the style used by people writing about literature, so most college English classes use MLA style.
Whenever there is no "cite" button to click, you can write your own citation.
The basic order in MLA is:
Last name of author, First name. "Title of document." Title of Larger Publication if There Is One, Date Month Year, URL.
If your article is part of a periodical (for example, a journal or magazine), you should also include the volume and issue number.
For more info on citation, please see our MLA citation guide!
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Citation Generators and MLA Style
In previous posts on the Style Center , we have advised writers to use caution when working with online citation generators and provided a lesson plan for instructors to help students work with and correct citations from these generators. Citation generators function by culling bibliographic details associated with published sources in online databases. So the citations generated depend on both how the developers programmed the generator and the specific details about the sources in the databases. For this reason, the quality of the citations can vary according to the accuracy of the programming instructions and the bibliographic information. Some citation generators include warnings to double-check the accuracy of the citations and some do not.
In this post I discuss three representative examples of automatically generated citations in MLA style and show how to correct them using the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook . All three examples refer to a 1995 edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby .
Example 1: WorldCat
The website WorldCat.org provides an option to cite any book found in its database. The button to cite a source is located underneath the image of the book’s cover and displays a quotation mark. If you navigate to the page for the 1995 edition of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby , click the citation button, and then choose “MLA 9th Edition” from the dropdown menu, the following citation is displayed:
Fitzgerald F. Scott and Matthew J Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby : The Authorized Text . Simon & Schuster 19951992.
There are a few problems with this citation. First is that the author should be Fitzgerald only, not Fitzgerald and Bruccoli. The website specifies that Bruccoli has provided notes for the edition. He is not listed as the editor, so it is not necessary to include his name in the entry, though you can do so if you prefer. Further, the Author element needs a comma: “Fitzgerald, F. Scott.”
The title also needs a bit of revision. Since “The Great Gatsby” is a title within the longer title, it should appear roman: The Great Gatsby : The Authorized Text . Also, according to MLA style, the ampersand in the publisher should be changed to “and.” Finally, the citation generator has mashed two dates together in the Publication Date element at the end. This edition is a 1995 reprint of an edition first published in 1992. Only the date of the specific edition is needed, so the date should read 1995 and be preceded by a comma. Here is the corrected entry:
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby : The Authorized Text . Simon and Schuster, 1995.
Or, with Bruccoli’s role specified:
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby : The Authorized Text . Notes by Matthew J. Bruccoli, Simon and Schuster, 1995.
WorldCat.org does not include a warning to double-check its citations, but as with all citation generators you should approach its citations as starting points and not as final products.
Example 2: University of Michigan Library
The record for the same book on the University of Michigan Library’s website shows much the same information as the record on WorldCat.org . But when you click the button with the quotation mark that says “Citation,” you get a much different citation:
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby . 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction ed., Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995.
This citation is listed simply as “MLA citation” and does not specify which edition of the handbook is used. It is fairly close to the ninth edition format, however. The Author element is correctly formatted with a comma. The title is italicized. The Publisher and Publication Date elements are correctly formatted. The only change I would make is to remove the information about the edition. It’s usually not necessary to specify that a work is the first edition. Readers will assume it is the first edition unless otherwise noted in the entry. So the revised entry reads as follows:
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby . Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995.
The University of Michigan does include a warning: “These citations are generated from a variety of data sources. Remember to check citation format and content for accuracy before including them in your work.” This particular citation is fairly close to the MLA’s current guidelines, but the quality of other citations generated on the website might vary.
Example 3: University of North Carolina Library
Like the entries on WorldCat.org and the University of Michigan Library’s website, the entry for the book on the University of North Carolina Library’s website includes all the basic information about the edition. When you click on the button with the quotation mark that reads “Cite,” you get yet another version of the citation:
Fitzgerald, F S. The Great Gatsby . New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995. Print.
This citation is listed under “MLA,” but it clearly is based on the seventh edition of the handbook. The place of publication and the word “Print” at the end are the giveaways. The MLA eliminated those two requirements in the eighth edition. The citation is mostly correct for the seventh edition, except for the Author element, which has omitted Fitzgerald’s middle name and the period after the “F.” To update to the ninth edition, correct the Author element and remove the place and medium of publication:
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby . Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995.
The University of North Carolina includes this warning: “These citations are automatically generated and may not always be correct. Double-check your citations to make sure they match an official citation manual or guide.” In this case, it is helpful to know that citation generators will not always specify which version of a citation guide they are using to generate citations. Citation formatting in style guides like the MLA Handbook does sometimes change with new editions, so be sure you are consulting the latest version or the version specified by your instructor or publisher.
Interactive Practice Template
While the MLA does not offer its own citation generator, it does offer an interactive practice template where users can produce their own works-cited-list entries. Users enter the details of their source in the various element slots, and the site generates the entry bit by bit on the top right. This helps students and other writers practice producing their own entries by looking at the details of the sources they’re citing. Online citation generators can be a useful place to start the citation process, but they should always be supplemented by official citation guides like the MLA Handbook and resources like the MLA’s interactive practice template.
Laurie Press 08 November 2023 AT 11:11 PM
How would a student cite a page from the Occupational Outlook Handbook produced by the Dept. of Labor? Here's a link as an example: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm. I am seeing WC entries that start with the page title and others that start with the Agency, so I am confused.
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ENGL:2014 Reading and Writing About Short Stories - Fox, Fall 2023: MLA
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A Brief Intro to MLA
What is it.
- MLA style refers to a specific formatting style created by the Modern Language Association.
- MLA is most commonly used by students and scholars in the humanities and liberal arts when writing papers and citing sources.
How does MLA work?
- MLA Style uses a brief in-text citation and a full citation on a works cited page .
Where can I find Examples?
- Examples of MLA citations can be found by source in the box to the right on this page or in the print version of the handbook.
- Modern Language Association - MLA Style
- Ask the MLA
What you'll find in the MLA Handbook
MLA Handbook: Ninth Edition
This section covers the basics of how to structure your research project, including margins, page numbering, and inserting lists, tables, and illustrations. These general guidelines are useful but remember to always follow specifics for your course.
Chapter 2: Mechanics of Prose
This extensive section addresses some of the most common and some not-so-common challenges of writing clearly and effectively. This section is a useful refresher on spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other technical aspects of writing.
Chapter 3: Principles of Inclusive Language
Utilizing inclusive language in your writing demonstrates respect for the identity of individuals and groups while avoiding bias and assumptions. This section provides generalized guidelines for inclusive language use regarding race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, and economic or social status.
Chapter 4: Documenting Sources: An Overview
Academic writing often creates a dialogue with previously created research - make sure that you are properly giving credit to other creators and avoiding plagiarism. This chapter discusses the importance of accurately giving credit to others for their ideas, properly quoting and paraphrasing, and when documentation is not needed. A charge of plagiarism carries severe consequences for your university career. Use this chapter, along with other campus resources, to ensure your writing properly cites the work of others.
Chapter 5: The List of Works Cited
This section delves deeply into the core elements that make up a citation in MLA style. Using a combination of text, images, and sample citations, this chapter addresses the majority of source types that you will encounter. It also guides writers through determining how to navigate web-based resources, interviews, music, television and movies, and many of the other resources you may utilize in your research. Note: Citing Indigenous knowledge is not specifically addressed within the MLA handbook. For information on respectfully utilizing Indigenous style principles, refer to Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples by Gregory Younging.
Chapter 6: Citing Sources in the Text
MLA citation style most typically uses brief citations that appear within the text of the document inside parentheses. This chapter also addresses using block quotations, quoting poetry and dialogue, how to cite multiple works by the same author, and technical aspects of in-text citations like punctuation and capitalization.
Chapter 7: Notes
This chapter briefly addresses the situations when end- or foot-notes may be necessary in your MLA formatted work to provide additional information for your reader, as well as how to properly include them in your writing.
Appendix 1: Abbreviations
Abbreviations, when used consistently, can smooth the reading experience. Here you'll find lists of words that are usually abbreviated, like US states, or resource types. This appendix includes abbreviations for texts by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and books of the Bible, as well as guidelines for abbreviating the title of any work.
Appendix 2: Works-Cited-List Entries by Publication Format
This appendix has over 200 citation examples ! A table of contents in this appendix will help you quickly find examples of how to cite your specific resources.
MLA Citation Examples by Source
- Audio & Video
- Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
- Dissertations & Theses
- In-text Citations
- Web pages & Social Media
- Other Source Types
Ask a Librarian
Librarians are available to help you with your questions. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have regarding citation styles, citation management, etc.
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Useful Resources for MLA Citation
- MLA's Online Style Guide
- MLA's In-text Citation Guide
- << Previous: MLA International Bibliography
- Last Updated: Nov 13, 2023 11:11 AM
- URL: https://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/engl2014fall23
MLA & APA Style Guide
- Setting Up Your Paper
- MLA In-Text Citations
- MLA Works Cited Page
APA In-Text Citations
- APA Reference Page
- Annotated Bibliography
- Helpul Resources
Anytime you quote OR use information from an outside source, you include an in-text citation, or sometimes referred to as a parenthetical citation, at the end of that sentence to signify where that information came from.
Basic APA In-Text Format
Paraphrasing Information: (Author(s) last name, year published) ⮕ (Fisher & Bishop, 2015).
Direct Quote: (Author(s) last name, year published, page number) ⮕ (Fisher & Bishop, 2015, p. 21)
I'm Citing A. . .
- Source With One Author
- A Source With Two Authors
- A Source With Three or More Authors
- A Source With a Group of Authors
Use the author’s last name, a comma, and the year published.
Connect both authors' last names with & (ampersand), a comma, and the year.
(Dresang & Koh, 2009).
If there are 3 or more authors, use just the last name of the first author, use et al. in place of other authors, a comma, and the year.
(Vardell et al., 2020).
If you are using a source that has a group as an author, like the CDC, the first time you cite them, use the entire group name, the abbreviated name in brackets, a comma, and the year.
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019).
All subsequent citations will look like this:
- << Previous: MLA Works Cited Page
- Next: APA Reference Page >>
- Last Updated: Nov 15, 2023 9:08 PM
- URL: https://valleycollege.libguides.com/apa-mla
Reference 909-384-8289 • Circulation 909-384-4448
Forget social distancing: House finches become more social when sick
Social distancing when sick has become second nature to many of us in the past few years, but some sick animals appear to take a different approach. A new study of house finches led by Marissa Langager, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science, uncovered a surprising result. Unlike other social animals who passively or actively isolate themselves when sick, this gregarious backyard bird species gravitates toward healthy flock mates when they are sick, even more so than healthy birds do.
In particular, the study found, they want to eat together with their flock.
"The recent pandemic years of isolating and quarantining have shown us that social distancing to avoid getting sick can also have detrimental aspects for group living animals," said Langager, whose research interests are social behavior and disease ecology. "The costs of going solo may be particularly high for sick animals especially if they rely on their healthy groupmates to help them find food or avoid predators. Ultimately, this might be the reason that finches become even more social when sick, inadvertently putting their healthy flock mates at risk because bird feeders, where house finches like to gather to feed, are a major means of spreading disease."
Langager's study, "Let's stick together: Infection enhances preferences for social grouping in a songbird species" with co-authors James S. Adelman, University of Memphis, and her advisor Dana Hawley, was recently published in the Ecology and Evolution journal.
Few studies prior to this one directly examined how acute infections caused by contagious pathogens influence social preferences, but instead focused more generally on why some animals evolve to become social in the first place and how social living benefits them.
This research, Langager said, sheds light on how social animals behave when sick and can inform other studies in the field.
"Since all social animals -- including humans -- get sick, it is important to understand the costs and benefits of group living more broadly," she said. "We may be able to use this information to predict disease spread in social animals. And it can also help us understand when and where we might expect healthy animals to evolve the ability to avoid sick groupmates who remain in the group at risk to their healthy groupmates
Because of the unexpected results of the study, Langager wanted to know more about what exactly might be leading the sick finches to increased preferences for eating with a social group and is exploring this further in her doctoral dissertation.
"Maintaining social relationships can take a lot of energy for the birds I study. So if these birds are putting forth the energy to keep hanging around their social groups even when they are sick, it is most likely because of the benefit to them," she said.
Langager has devised several experiments that will test whether group membership impacts a sick bird's behavior by changing how it responds to a predator and affecting its ability to successfully forage for food.
"I have always been interested in the social behavior of animals, and Dr. Hawley's lab focusing on various aspects of disease ecology using a gregarious species of bird has afforded me a number of opportunities to study their social interactions. It is the obvious and perfect place for me to conduct my research," said Langager.
- New Species
- Evolutionary Biology
- Beer and Wine
- Wild Animals
- Bird Flu Research
- Egg (biology)
- Evolution of the eye
- Animal rights
Materials provided by Virginia Tech . Original written by Barbara L. Micale. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Journal Reference :
- Marissa M. Langager, James S. Adelman, Dana M. Hawley. Let's stick together: Infection enhances preferences for social grouping in a songbird species . Ecology and Evolution , 2023; 13 (10) DOI: 10.1002/ece3.10627
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All you need to know about citations
How to cite a master's thesis in MLA
To cite a master's thesis in a reference entry in MLA style 9th edition include the following elements:
- Author(s) name: Give the last name and name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two authors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For three or more authors, list the first name followed by et al. (e. g. Watson, John, et al.)
- Thesis title: Titles are italicized when independent. If part of a larger source add quotation marks and do not italize.
- Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.
- University: Give the name of the institution.
- Degree: Type of degree.
Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a master's thesis in MLA style 9th edition:
Author(s) name . Thesis title . Year of publication . University , Degree .
Take a look at our works cited examples that demonstrate the MLA style guidelines in action:
A psychology master's thesis with one author
Bauger, Lars . Personality, Passion, Self-esteem and Psychological Well-being among Junior Elite Athletes in Norway . 2011 . U of Tromsø , Master's Thesis .
A master's thesis with one author
Aube, Kyle Eric . A Comparison of Water Main Failure Prediction Models in San Luis Obispo, CA . 2019 . Cal Poly , Master's Thesis .
This citation style guide is based on the MLA Handbook (9 th edition).
More useful guides
- MLA 8th ed. Style Guide: Dissertations, Theses
- MLA, 8th Edition: Master's Thesis or Project
- How do I cite a dissertation in MLA style?
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- APA: how to cite a BrainPOP video
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