MLA Citation Style

The College recommends students follow A Pocket Style Manual, 6th edition, by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers. 

Recommended MLA resources

How to create hanging indents for Works Cited in MS Word

  1. Select the reference(s)
  2. Hold down the Ctrl (PC) or Command (Mac) key and type the T key.

Some common MLA questions

I don’t see any URLs in the Hacker Guide MLA examples.
URLs are optional.  If you want to include one, use angle brackets (<   >) around it.  See example below.

Articles from databases

Is the “material type” Web or Print (or maybe even Microfilm)?
Only use the material type of “Web” if the article is not available as a PDF. If what you’re looking at looks the same as it did when it was published, the material type is “Print.”

Where should a database name be in the citation?
After the page numbers of the article.  Use “n. pag.” if there are no page numbers.

What if I get an article from a database at another library?
It doesn’t matter which library the article came from.

4 or more authors

MLA style gives two different options for citing sources with more than 3 authors:
For sources with more than three authors you can either list all of the authors or give just the first author followed by the Latin phrase et al.:

Findlay, Allan, Colin Mason, Donald Houston, David McCollum, and Richard Harrison.“ Escalators, Elevators and Travelators: The Occupational Mobility of Migrants to South-East England.” Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies 35.6 (2009): 861-79. Print.


Findlay, Allan, et al. “Escalators, Elevators and Travelators: The Occupational Mobility of Migrants to South-East England.” Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies 35.6 (2009): 861-79. Print.

A few other examples (book review, Google book, tweet, ERIC document)

Book review

O’Rourke, Meghan. “The Accidental Feminist.” Rev. of On Becoming Fearless … In Love, Work, and Life, by Arianna Huffington. Slate. The Slate Group, 22 Sept. 2006. Web. 24 Sept. 2006. < news_and_politics/the_highbrow/2006/09/ the_accidental_feminist.html>.

Google book

Goodrich, Samuel G. The Child’s Botany. 4th ed. Boston: Carter and Hendee, 1831. Google Books. Web. 23 May 2013. <>.

Google book chapter

Camilleri, C., and H. Malewska-Peyre. “Socialization and Identity Strategies.” Handbook of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Ed. John W. Berry, Pierre R. Dasen, and T. S. Saraswathi.  2nd ed. Vol. 2. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997. 43-67. Google Books. Web. 16 July 2014. <>.


@htgamal. Twitter. 10 Feb. 2011. Web. <>.

ERIC document
Papers written for Education courses generally use APA style. However, if you are using an ERIC document for a paper that follows MLA style, follow the example given by Northwest Missouri State University.

About citing websites

A Web page with complete information provided:

Author_or_Editor_Last_name, First_name. “Title of Page.” Name of Website. Name of publisher or sponsor of site (if none, use N.p.), d Mo. yyyy (if no date use n.d.). Web. d. Mo. yyyy. <http://>.


A Web page with little information provided:

Name of Website. N.p., n.d. Web. d. Mo. yyyy. <>.

Are URLs required?
URLs are optional in MLA. Many Lake Forest College instructors prefer to have URLs included. Surround it with angle brackets.
To help determine if a URL should be used, search the title and other information that you include in your citation and see if the site can be found using a search engine. If it cannot be found, or if there is confusion as to which of the search result items is the correct one, include the URL.

The URL is given for the example below because a search engine would not retrieve this exact page.

Berardinelli, James. “Wizard of Oz, The.” Rev. of The Wizard of Oz, dir. Victor Flemming. ReelViews: Movie Reviews and Criticsm by James Berardinelli. James Berardinelli. 1998. Web. 15 July 2014. < w/wizard_oz.html>.