Standard MLA Bibliography Format
This is general information to help you make sure that you collect the information needed for a correct bibliography. Realistically, you will probably use a citation site like EasyBib or Citation Machine, but any generator works better if you have all the information you need for such a site. Also, seeing what a bibligraphy should look like will help you check the results generated on such a site.
An entry in a list of works cited characteristically
has three main divisions--author, title, and publication information--each
followed by a period and two spaces.
Notice that your indentions are the exact opposite of a paragraph—flush left for the first line,
but indent any following lines if the entry runs over. That way you can alphabetie easily and
someone can skim your bibliography looking for the last name of your soures. This makes
checking your citations easier.
If you are missing some piece of information anywhere along the way, move on to whatever piece you have. For example, if a work’s author is unknown, move on to the title.
Structure for Citing Books
Last Name, First Name. Title of the
Lobdell, Jared. England and Always: Tolkien’s World
of the Rings. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
Berry, Jason, Jonathan Foose, and Tad Jones. Up from the Cradle
of Jazz. Athens: U of Georgia
Edens, Walter, et al., eds. Teaching Shakespeare. Princeton:
Princeton U Press, 2017.
Structure for Citing Magazines
Last Name, First Name. “Title of the
Title of the
Magazine 00 Month 20??: 0-00.
Wheeler, David L. “Artificial-Intelligence Researchers Develop
Electronic ‘Tutors’ to Aid
Process.” Chronicle of Higher Education 20 May 2007:
Zimmerman, Jerry L. “Why Vultures Make Good Neighbors.” National Wildlife June-July
The goal of any citation is to allow you
to retrieve information. Keep this in mind. Make sure that the
information you provide will allow a repeat of your work. Punctuation
and capitalization, especially in the “electronic address” of the resource, must appear just as it is used online. An entry
for an online reference has the same three main divisions--author,
title, and location information. The location information is just
a bit more complicated.
Structure for Citing Online
Last, First. “Title of the Work.” Title of Complete
and address/path, date of
message or visit.
Online Services (aol, prodigy, compuserve,
Jones, Jerry. “Congresssional Investigations of the Waco
Incident.” America Online: Newstand,
New York Times, 8 May 2015.
Vince. James. “Suggestions for promoting collaborative writing
in college composition.”
Online: NCTE Forum/current topics/bulletin posting, 12 March 1996.
World Wide Web (www)
DiStefano, Vince. “Guidelines for Better Writing.” Inkspot.
9 January 2006.
Yule, James. “The Cold War Revisited: A Splintered
5 March 2006.
Electronic Mail (email)
Robert, Eric. “Nile Research Project results.” email:
Taylor, Barry. “My Oscar List.” email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
23 January 2015.
Chalmers, Andrea. Bosnia: A Country in Transition. gopher: nywer.net,
News/Bosnia-Herzegovina, 5 February 2006.
File Transfer Protocol (ftp)
Hess, Hanna. Networking in the Information Age. ftp: 194.335.23.10,
5 February 2006.
Brady, Larry E. Map of Iraqi Troop Movements for 1/9/96. telnet:
Maps/Iraq, 10 January 1996.
Brown, David. Educational Insights 2005. usenet: k12.ed.research,
27 December 2005.
Internet Relay Chat (irc)
McBane, Lisa. IRC: telnet world.sensemedia.net:6677, #egypt, 8
Other Kinds of Sources
A Television or Radio Program
“Salute to Black and White.” Siskel & Ebert. Syndicated.
WKY, Oklahoma City OK,
Dead Poets Society. Dir. Peter Weir. 128 min.
Touchstone Pictures in assoc. with Silver
Partners IV, 1989.
Cinemania 96. “Maltin’s 10 Favorite Movies.” Mac CD-ROM. Microsoft Corporation, 1995.
Williamson, Danny. Personal interview. 8 January 2007.
More about Citing Sources
University Online Writing Lab (OWL) includes specific
directions for citing research, paraphrasing, quoting appropriately,
and avoiding plagiarism. Linked to its own online tutorial. Offers
Psychological Association (APA) format used in social sciences
Language Association (MLA) format used in language arts and
Purdue Owl for Annotated Bibliographies.
Updated 19 February 2022.