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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Introduction to Literary Studies: MLA citation style

MLA: example of a citation style

Citation rules indicate how consulted literature should be noted down in the text, the reading list and in (any) footnotes or endnotes. The rules are recorded in a so-called citation style.

Each discipline has its own publication culture and matching citation style. Literary scholars often use the MLA style (from the Modern Language Association).

In the boxes on this page you will find a number of examples for your reading list, according to the 8th edition (2016) of the MLA style.

MLA style: Book by a single author

Last name, first name. Title: Subtitle Publisher, year of publication  

* Jameson, Fredric. The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on Postmodernism 1983-1998. Verso, 1998. 

Please note that you put the last name first. That is useful, because in the actual text of your essay you refer to a source by including the last name of the author and the page number. When the reader consults your reading list, they can quickly retrieve the source by the author's last name.

MLA style: Article from an edited volume

Last name, first name. “Title of the Article.” Title of the book: Subtitle of the book, edited by first name last name of the edtior of the book. Publisher, year of publication, pp. first and last page of the article.

* Gorz, André. “The Conditions of Post-Marxist Man.” Postmodernism: A Reader, edited by Thomas Docherty. Columbia University Press, 1993, pp. 344-354. 

So the title of the article is not italicized, but put between inverted commas. However, the title of the edited volume is put in italics.

MLA style: Article from an online scholarly journal

Last name, first name. “Title of the article.” Title of the journal, volume, number, year of publication, pp. page numbers if any, URL, DOI of permalink. Date on which you last accessed the website.

* Shaviro, Steven. “Post-Cinematic Affect: On Grace Jones, Boarding Gate, and Southland Tales.” Film-Philosophy, vol. 14, no. 1, 2010, pp. 1-102, Accessed 2 August 2010.


MLA style: Book by more than one author

Last name, first name, and first name last name. Title: Subtitle. Publisher, year of publication.

* Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. Empire. Harvard University Press, 2000. 

Do not change the order of the authors. Note that only the first author's name begins with the last name. In the case of more than two authors: only include the first author, followed by "et al." You do not need to mention the other authors ("et alii" means "and others").

MLA style: Article from a scholarly journal

Last name, first name. “Title of the Article.” Title of the journal, volume, number, year of publication, pp. first page and last page.

* Stanford Friedman, Susan. “Definitional Excursions: The Meanings of Modern/Modernity/Modernism.” Modernism / Modernity, vol8, no. 3, 2001, pp. 493-513.



MLA style: Page of a website or newspaper

Last name, first name. “Title of the page.” Title of the Website, date on which the website was published (iif available), URL, DOI of permalink. Date on which you visited the website.

* Blooijs, Joost de. “Tiqqun. Een weerwoord.” nY Web, 5 mei 2010, Accessed 2 August 2010.

When you cite a page of a website or an online newspaper, start with the author if you know the name. If the author is unknown, you start with the title. Then the name of the website or online newspaper.

MLA style: Edited volume

Last  name, first name, editor. Title: Subtitle. Publisher, year of publication.

* Docherty, Thomas, editor. Postmodernism: A Reader. Columbia University Press, 1993. 



MLA style: Article from a (print) newspaper or news magazine

Last name, first name. “Title of the Article.” Title of the newspaper or magazine, day, month, year, first page and last page.

* Pole, Steven. “Big Fish, Little Fish.” New Statesman, 5 March 2007, pp. 57-58. 



MLA style: Blogpost or post or something similar

Last name, first name or nickname of the  blogger. “Title of the post.” Name of the Website, date of publication, URL, DOI of permalink.  Date on which you last accessed the website

* Dean, Jodi. “Complexity (not worth the effort).” I Cite, 7 July 2010, Accessed 2 August 2010.