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Referencing guide at the University of Manchester: MLA

Disclaimer

The information contained within these pages is intended as a general referencing guideline.

Please check with your supervisor to ensure that you are following the specific guidelines required by your school.

MLA citations within the text

This guide provides you with examples of how to correctly cite references within the text of your assignments in the Modern Language Association (MLA) style.

There are a variety of different referencing styles used across the University (Harvard, Vancouver, MHRA), so you should always check with your supervisor that this method of citation is accepted within your School. It is also vital that you remain consistent with your referencing style throughout your document.

Citations you include in the main body of your writing provide brief details of the work you are referring to. In the MLA style, you place the relevant source information in brackets after a quote or a paraphrase. These short “parenthetical citations” then link to a fully detailed reference, which you should include in your works cited list. You should also check with the person assessing your work whether parenthetical citations need to be included in your final word count.

The format of the parenthetical citation will depend upon a number of factors. These include the nature of the source (print, DVD, web etc), and also on the format of the source’s entry on your works cited list. The signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text (which will usually be the author’s surname), must be the first thing that appears on the corresponding entry in the works cited list.

The MLA style allows you to phrase your text so that credit is given to the author’s view (direct citation) or you can cite the author and page number after the relevant section (indirect citation).

Direct citations

If the author’s name forms a natural part of your sentence, then you just need to note the relevant page number(s) (within parentheses) at the end of the sentence.

Boatright argues that there are six questions that need consideration, before making a decision on whether to blow the whistle in a case (43).

Indirect citations

If you do not mention the author’s name within your text, then place both the name and page number in parentheses, at the end of the sentence, eg.

There are six distinctive conditions, which need to be satisfied, in order for a whistle-blowing case to be justified (Boatright 43).

Two or three authors

All authors (and page numbers) should be noted within your text, eg.

Hirst and Thompson identified enormous variations between countries in terms of the importance of foreign holdings (167- 168).

Gobi’s investment revenues doubled in 2007 (Lerner, Hardymon and Leamon 14).

More than three authors

When there are more than three authors only provide the first author’s name, followed by the Latin term ‘et al.’ (and all), eg.

Kotler et al. argue that business markets are very similar to consumer markets (92-98).

There are a number of similarities between the business and consumer market sectors (Kotler et al. 92).

Authors of different titles

Cite both names and separate with a semi-colon, eg.

Hollensen and Palmer are in agreement about the importance of service led marketing (157; 362).

Service led marketing should form an important part of an organisation’s overall marketing strategy (Hollensen 157; Palmer 362).

Authors with the same surname

If two or more authors have the same surname then you need to provide more information to identify the source from which a quotation is taken. You should provide both author’s first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation, eg.

Although some researchers claim that consumption of carbonated beverages is a major factor in adolescent tooth decay (R. Jones 12), others note that there are a wide range of other lifestyle factors at work (A. Jones 46).

Several works by a single author

If you cite more than one work by an author, include a shortened title for the work from which you are quoting, to distinguish it from the others. You should put short titles of books in italics, and short titles of articles in quotation marks, eg.

Mintzberg (“New Look” 21) took a new approach to the concept of leadership, and then crystallised this further by defining eight principles which make up an effective leader (Nature of Managerial Work 35-48).

Author of a chapter within an edited text

If the author’s work appears as a chapter within part of a larger work that is edited by somebody else (quite common with academic textbooks), use the author of the chapter for the citation within your text. You will however, need to provide the full bibliographic details in your works cited list (See section 3 for further details), eg.

Lane argues that there are distinctive national patterns in the organisation of firms and inter-firm relations (271-304).

Corporate authors

If the work is by a recognised organisation, and has no personal author, then use the organisation’s name for the citation.

It has been suggested that the proposed grocery market reforms might have a detrimental effect on competition within the industry (British Retail Consortium 14).

N.B. The MLA style does not allow abbreviations for associations, companies or institutions. If the name is very long it may be better to include it as part of your sentence instead, eg.

In 1963 the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa predicted that Africa would evolve into an advanced industrial economy within fifty years (1-2, 4-6).

No author

If you cannot identify the author of a document (quite common with online sources) use a shortened title of the work. Put this in quotations if it’s a short work, or italicize if it’s a longer work, eg.

The firm envisaged this leading to improved sales in 2013 (“Marketing strategy” 21-42).

We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change." (Impact of Global Warming 6).

No date

The phrase “no date” should be used if you cannot identify a date of publication.

Cosgrove (no date) states that total sales measures are often used to assess overall trends within the retail sector

Total sales measure is used to assess market level trends in retail sales (Cosgrove, no date.)

Page numbers

If you are quoting directly or using ideas from a specific page or pages of a work, you must also include the page number(s) within your citation. Insert the abbreviation p. or pp. (for multiple pages) before the page number(s), eg.

Chaffey (2011, p. 30) provides a useful definition of E-government…

There are four major causes of inequality within the globalized system (Scholte, 2005, pp. 316 – 344).

Setting out short quotations

Any quotations used should be relevant to the argument you are making. Short quotations (4 or fewer lines of prose or 3 of verse) can be set in quotation marks and included within the body of the text. Enclose the quotation within double quotation marks, and then provide the author and specific page citation (in the case of verse, provide line numbers) in the text, and include a complete reference in the Works Cited list. Punctuation marks such as commas, and semi-colons should appear after the parenthetical citation. Question marks and exclamation should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quoted passage, but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text, eg.

The high burn-rate facing Boo.com was due to an “imbalance between promotion and site development costs and revenues” (Chaffey 79-80).

If you are citing verse then you should mark any line breaks with a forward slash - /

Donne concludes that the woman would lose no more honour than that already lost when she killed the flea “Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me, / Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee” (11).

Setting out long quotations

Longer quotations need to be entered as a separate paragraph and indented from the main text. You do not need to use quotation marks, eg.

Chaffey describes how it can be difficult to assess the success of e-businesses:

Internet pureplay companies are often perceived as dynamic and successful owing to the rapid increase in visitors to sites, or sales, or due to initial valuations on stock markets. In reality, it is difficult to assess the success of these companies since despite positive indications in terms of sales or audience, the companies have often not been profitable. Consider the three major social networks: Bebo, Facebook or MySpace – none of these was profitable at the time of writing. (Chaffey 79-80).

Making changes to quotations

To omit part of a quotation use an ellipsis, eg.

“Consider the three major social networks … none of these was profitable at the time of writing” (Chaffey 79).

You can insert your own words into the quotation by putting them in square brackets, eg.

Jones notes that “in these areas the larger [tobacco] companies often act the most irresponsibly” (16).

If the original quotation contains errors (e.g. a spelling mistake) do not correct it. Instead point out the errors by writing [sic], eg.

Williams (2008, p. 86) noted that ‘Johnson maid [sic] a mistake’.

Citing sources quote in another source

When you have read about a particular author’s work, but have been unable to consult the actual work (the primary source) directly, then you need to acknowledge this. This is known as an indirect source. Use the phrase “qtd. in” to indicate this, eg.

It can be argued that the organizing abilities of the manufacturing concern in Japan, have succeeded in creating a hierarchy of careers among their subcontractors (Sabel qtd. in Kristensen 73).

MLA works cited lists/bibliographies

Your list of works cited links with your in-text citations and enables readers to easily trace the sources cited within your work. It is a list of the documents from which any direct quotations, or examples have been taken.

N.B. A bibliography (where you give credit to sources that were used for background reading, but were not quoted within the body of the text), is not usually required. You should however always check this with your tutor first.

Your list of references (and bibliography if you choose to provide one) should be arranged alphabetically by author and then, where necessary, by year of publication.

Different types of publication require different amounts of information. The MLA system lays down standards for the amount of information required for each document type; these are detailed below.

Basic rules

  • Begin the Works Cited list on a separate page at the end of your paper / assignment. It should use the same formatting style as the rest of your work.
  • Label the page Works Cited (do not italicize the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks).
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by five spaces so that you create a hanging indent.
  • List page numbers efficiently e.g. 225-50 not 225-250.
  • You must include the medium of publication, for example Print or Web, but other possibilities include Film, DVD etc.

Books

Required elements

  • Author's name: Surname, first name for initial author – subsequent names in first name, surname format. Use document title for entries with no author.
  • Title: Full title in italics. Capitalise all the principal words of the title and subtite.
  • Edition: Only include if it is not a first edition. Use the relevant number followed by “ed.” eg. 4th ed.
  • Place of publication: If there is more than one city/region listed, only provide the first
  • Publisher: Shorten the publishers name by omitting abbreviations such as “Co.” or “Inc.” Leave out any descriptive terms such as “Publisher” or “Press”.
  • Year of publication.
  • Medium: Use "Print" for books.

In-text citation

According to Boatright whistle-blowing is more common than the general population might realise (26).

Works cited list

Boatright, John. Ethics and the conduct of business. 5th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006. Print.

N.B. For a book with more than one author, give the first name in surname, first name format; subsequent names in first name, surname format, eg.

Lerner, Joshua, Ann Leamon, and Felda Hardymon. Venture capital and private equity: a casebook. 4th ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Print.

Multiple works by a single author in the same year

If there are several works by one author, these should be listed alphabetically by title. Provide the author’s name in last name, first name format for the first entry; subsequent entries should then use ---. eg.

Paxson, Dean. “Real football options in Manchester.” Real options: evaluating corporate investment opportunities in a dynamic world. Ed. Syd Howell. London: Pearson Education, 2001. 95-112. Print.

--- . “Real options in managing a football club.” >i>Real options: an introduction for executives. Ed. Syd Howell. London: Pearson Education, 2001. 67-71. Print.

Chapter from an edited book, anthology or collection

Required elements

  • Chapter author(s).Surname, first name for initial author; subsequent names first name – surname.
  • "Chapter title."Place in quotation marks.
  • Title of book.In italics.
  • Editor of bookEd. First name, surname.
  • Place of publication:If there is more than one city/region listed, only provide the first.
  • Publisher,Shorten the publishers name by omitting abbreviations such as “Co.” or “Inc.” Leave out any descriptive terms such as “Publisher” or “Press.
  • Year of publication.
  • Page numbers.
  • Medium.

In-text citation

The chapter argues that there are distinctive national patterns in the organisation of firms and inter-firm relations (Lane 271-304).

Lane, Christel. “The Social Constitution of Supplier Relations in Britain and Germany: an Institutionalist Analysis.” The Changing European Firm: Limits to Convergence. Ed. Richard Whitley and Peer Kristensen. London: Routledge, 1996. 271-304. Print.

Ebooks

Required elements

  • Author's name.Surname, first name for initial author; subsequent names first name – surname.
  • Title.Full title in italics. Capitalise all the principal words of the title and subtitle.
  • Edition.Only include if it is not a first edition. Use the relevant number followed by “ed.” e.g. 4th ed.
  • Place of publication:If there is more than one city/region listed, only provide the first.
  • Publisher,Shorten the publishers name by omitting abbreviations such as “Co.” or “Inc.” Leave out any descriptive terms such as “Publisher” or “Press.
  • Year of publication.
  • Name of website. In italics
  • Medium.
  • Usually "Web" for ebooks.

In-text citation

Baker and Hart provided a new framework for marketing activities (109-114).

Works cited list

Baker, Michael, and Susan Hart. The Marketing Book. 6th ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008. Elsevier. Web. 25 October 2011.

Journal articles (printed)

Required elements

  • Author's name(s). Surname, first name for initial author; subsequent names in first name, surname format.
  • "Title of article" In quotation marks.
  • Full title of journal. In italics.
  • Volume number.
  • Issue number.
  • (Publication date): In brackets, followed by a colon.
  • Page numbers.
  • Medium. Print.

In-text citation

The Cynefin framework allows leaders to see things from new viewpoints (Snowden and Boone 68-69).

Snowden, David J. and Mary E. Boone. “A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making.” Harvard Business Review. 85.11 (2007): 68-76. Print.

Journal articles (electronic)

Required elements

  • Author's name(s). Surname, first name for initial author; subsequent names in first name, surname format.
  • "Title of article" In quotation marks.
  • Full title of journal. In italics.
  • Volume number.
  • Issue number.
  • (Publication date): In brackets, followed by a colon.
  • Page numbers.
  • Medium. Web.

In addition to the required elements for printed journal articles, e-journal articles references need supplementary information to indicate your method of access e.g. via bibliographic databases, repository or via a freely available online source.

Bibliographic databases

Add the following information:

  • Name of database. In italics.
  • Date of access.

Snowden, David J. and Mary E. Boone. “A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making.” Harvard Business Review 85.11 (2007): 68-76. Business Source Premier. Web. 19 Dec. 2012.

Freely available online source

There is no need to provide full URLs in the MLA style, just provide the medium and date, eg.

Hamblin, Yin. “Library and Information Management Employability Skills: LIMES. Sconul Focus 35.3 (2005): 35-47. Web. 6 May 2008.

Repository

Provide the name of the repository in italics, similar to the bibliographic database example, eg.

Schlegelmilch, Bodo B. and Rudolf Sinkovics “Marketing in the information age - Can we plan for an unpredictable future?” International Marketing Review 15.3 (1998): 162-70. Manchester eScholar Services. Web. 25 Oct. 2011.

Newspaper articles

Required information

  • Author. If no author is provided, use the article title first.
  • "Title of article." In quotation marks.
  • Title of newspaper. In italics.
  • Publication date
  • Edition: eg. late ed.
  • Page reference.
  • Medium. Print or Web.

In-text citation

European negotiators began to take a hard line stance with Greek debt holders in October 2011 (Spiegel 1).

Russian gold and silver miner Polymetal joined the FTSE 100 index in October 2011 (1).

Works cited list

Spiegel, Paul. “Hard line taken with Greek debt holders.” Financial Times. 25 Oct 2011 late ed: 1. Print.

“Russia’s Polymetal set for FTSE 100 listing.” Financial Times. 25 Oct 2011 late ed: B1. Print.

Electronic versions

For an online version of a newspaper article, you need to provide the details of the publisher. If you have accessed the article through a database then provide these details instead, eg.

Wallace, Sam. “Barry to reject record pay deal and join Benitez.” The Independent. independent.co.uk , 6 May 2008. Web. 25 Oct 2011.

Wallace, Sam. “Barry to reject record pay deal and join Benitez.” The Independent. 6 May 2008. Dow Jones Factiva. Web. 25 Oct 2011.

Websites

Required elements

  • Author / Editor.
  • "Name of page". In quotation marks.
  • Name of site. In italics.
  • Name of institution/organisation affiliated with the site.
  • Date created.
  • Medium.
  • Date accessed.

It can often be difficult to identify the author of a web page, so use the name of the organisation (e.g. BBC) in place of the author. If a website has no discernible author or organisation you should strongly consider whether it is suitable for inclusion in a piece of academic writing! Again it is advisable best to check with the person who will be assessing your work, if you find yourself in this situation. You can use n.p. if you cannot determine who the publisher is and n.d. if no publishing date is given.

In-text citation

Parallels began to be drawn as early as October between the debut seasons of Cam Newton and Peyton Manning (King).

In December 2007 Mervyn King strongly denied criticising the treasury for the way it had handled the Northern Rock Crisis (“King Denies Criticising Treasury”).

Works cited list

King, Peter. “Monday Morning Quarterback.” SI.com. Time Warner, Oct 24 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2011.

King, Peter. “Monday Morning Quarterback.” SI.com. Time Warner, Oct 24 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2011.

Wikipedia

: Reviews of when the page was last updated can be found at the foot of the page.

“Marketing mix.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Dec 2012. Web. 19 Dec 2012.

Blogs

Use the name provided by the author of the blog post (even if this is informal or an alias). Put the title of the post in quotation marks, and the blog title in italics, eg.

markgreenwood “Risk Free Rate for UK and US.” Business Research Plus. 25 Aug 2011. Web. 28 Nov 2011.

Tweets

Give the author’s name followed by his/her Twitter user name in parentheses. Insert a full stop outside the parentheses. Place the tweet in its entirety in quotations, inserting a full stop after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the your own time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a full stop. Include the word "Tweet" afterwards and end with a full stop, eg.

Peston, Robert. (Peston). “To be clear, the £250k accommodation allowance for Carney is per annum. Unsurprising perhaps Bank non execs took a while to sign off on it.” 19 Dec 2012, 04:53 a.m. Tweet

DVDs / videos

Required elements

  • Title.
  • Director.(abbreviated as Dir)
  • Original release date.
  • Distributor.
  • Date of distribution.
  • Format.

The Shining.Dir.Stanley Kubrick.1980.Warner Bros.2001.DVD

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