Professional and Technical Writing/Documenting Your Sources/MLA Style Reference Lists

MLA Style Reference ListsEdit

Like the APA style, MLA has three types of sources which include: Printed, Electronic, and Other Sources.


'Printed Sources'

  • Book, One Author
    • Give the name of the last name of the author followed by a comma and then the first and middle names, exactly how they appear on the title page.
    • Underline the title, and capitalize all major words.
    • Follow the city of publication with a colon, the publisher's name, a comma, and the publication date.
    • Indent all lines after the first one.
Example: Smith, Frank L. The AKC Dog Book. Boston: Dawg Books, 2008.


  • Book, More than One Author
    • The first author's name should be given in reverse order, with the last name first.
    • The names of the additional authors should be normal, with first names first and last names last.
Example: Smith, Frank L., and James B. Harris. The AKC Dog Book. Boston: Dawg Books, 2008.


  • Essay Collection
  • Use the abbreviation "ed." for a single editor and "eds." for multiple editors.
Example: Smith, Frank L., and James B. Harris, eds. The History of Springer Spaniels. Raleigh: NC Press, 2008.


  • Government Report
    • If a author is not listed, begin with the name of the government, followed by a period and the name of the agency hat issued the document. If it is a United States government agency, spell out "United States" followed by a period and then the agency's name.
Example: "United States. Department of Agriculture."
    • If the report includes a identifying number, place it right after the title.
Example: Smith, Frank. Effects of Bombs on the U.S.. U.S. Bomb Investigation Report 12-3456. Seattle: US Bomb Survey, 2007.


  • Corporate Report
    • If individual author names are not listed on the title page, list the corporation's name as the author.

PetSmart, Inc. Dog Toy Report. Minneapolis, MN: PetSmart, Inc., 2008.


  • Article from an Encyclopedia, Dictionary, or Similar References
    • If no author is listed, begin with the article's title.
    • If entries in the work are arranged alphabetically, do not give volume or page number.
    • When citing familiar reference works, give the edition number and year of publication, but not the publisher or city of publication.


  • Brochure
    • If the brochure doesn't list an author, begin the entry with the name of the organization that published it, followed by a period and the name of the agency that issued the document.
    • If the brochure lists no author and no publisher, begin with the document's title.
Example: American Kennel Club. Companion Events Department. What is Dog Agility. Raleigh: 2008.


  • Article in Popular Magazine
    • If a newspaper lists an edition, place a comma after the date and add the edition's name, using abbreviations where reasonable.
Example: Smith, Frank. "Why Springer Spaniels Are Great Family Pets." AKC Gazette 8 June 2008: p.30. 


'Electronic Sources'

  • Report Available Only on a Website
Example: American Kennel Club. What Is Dog Agility? 8 June 2008 <www.akc.org/agility>


  • Article That is Not Available in Print
    • Give the date the report was posted after the title.
    • After the publisher's name and before the URL, give the date you accessed the source.
Example: Smith, Frank. "English Springer Spaniels."AKC Gazette 2 2007. 8 November 2009 <www.akc.org/akcgazette/ess>.


  • CD-ROM
    • For a CD-ROM that was accessed through a network, such as a library, add the date that it was last accessed to the end of the citation.
Example: "Rainforest." Encarta 2006. CD-ROM. Redmond:Microsoft, 2006.


  • E-mail
    • Place the subject of the e-mail in quotation marks.
Example: Smith, Frank. "Dog Agility." E-mail to Lisa Harris. 8 May. 2008.


'Other Sources'


  • Letter
Example: Smith, Frank. Letter. 8 May. 2008.


  • Interview
Example: Smith, Frank.  In person interview. 8 May. 2008.
Last modified on 21 April 2010, at 22:37