MLA Style Guide

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MLA citation style is used in humanities and liberal arts. It includes two types of references: a specific reference list at the end of the document, and in-text citations. The section of references includes all the necessary bibliographical information about all used sources. Unlike other citation styles, MLA doesn’t require you to include the year of publication in in-text citations. Instead, you should include only the author’s name and the page number: ‘Belcher (34)’.


If you need to cite a book that has one author, your citation will look like this:

Belcher, Bob. A History of Cheeseburgers. New York: Tasty Publications, 2001.

If a book has two or more authors, the citation will look as follows:

Belcher, Bob, Smith, Stan and Griffin, Peter. Living in a small town. New York: Urban Publications, 2016.

In case a book has four or more authors, its in-text citation should include the first author’s name and ‘et al.’ As for the reference list, you can either do the same or include names of all authors.

When citing a particular chapter of an edited book, you need to include the page numbers and the editor’s name:

Belcher, Bob. “The best burgers and how to cook them.” Good Sandwich: A Guide. Ed. Stan Smith. New York: Tasty Publications, 2013. pp. 56-78.

If you refer to several books written by the same author, you need to list them in a chronological order. If several books were published in the same year, you need to mark them as ‘a,’ ‘b,’ ‘c,’ and so on, after the year of publication:

Brown, Cleveland. My Story. Quahog: Good Publications; 2009.

Brown, Cleveland. How I Wrote My Story. Quahog: Good Publications; 2010.

Brown, Cleveland. My New Book. Quahog: Good Publications; 2012a.

Brown, Cleveland. How to Become a Productive Writer. Quahog: Good Publications; 2012b.


Print journals:

Belcher, Bob. “Unique Burgers and Toppings.” Burger Weekly, Volume 6.7 (2003): pp. 56-60.

Articles accessed online:

Belcher, Bob. “Unique Burgers and Toppings.” Burger Weekly, Volume 6.7 (2003): pp. 56-60. Web. 16 June 2018 <http://burgerweekly.2018.06.007>

Citations for magazine articles and newspapers are similar to journal articles, but they also have some distinctive features:

Brown, Cleveland. “How to be a good stepfather.” Family Post. May 15 2017: p.5.

Brown, Cleveland. “How to be a good stepfather.” Family Post [New York]. 15 May 2017. Web. 16 June 2018. <>

Online Sources

If you need to cite a website, you must determine its authorship. It may be a certain author or an organization.

SuperBurger. “How to cook the biggest burger.”, 2013. Web. 18 June 2018. <>

Sometimes you may also need to refer to an email. This is what your citation should look like:

Smith, Stan. “New business plan for our restaurant.” Message to the author. 14 April 2013. Email.

You can also cite social media, including the posted date and the accessed date:

Belcher, Bob. “Burgers for kids.” Facebook. 6 August 2010. 13 June 2016. <>

Video, DVD, Audio, Images

Referring to a film or DVD, you must include the director’s name and the studio:

The World’s Most Beautiful Burgers. Dir. Bob Belcher. Sandwich Studios, 2005. Film.

YouTube videos:

YummyBurgers. “Avocado topping – the best recipe!”. Online video clip. YouTube, 10 April 2015. 18 June 2018. <>

When citing broadcasts, include the name of the network or TV channel, and the city. Don’t forget to specify the format of the source:

“Big Sandwiches: Cheeseburgers.” Best Sandwiches. CBS, New York. 30 June 2012. Television.


Smith, S. Sandwich with avocado topping. 2012. Photograph, Sandwich Photography. Website. 13 May 2016. <www.burgertoday/sandwichwithavocadotopping>


YummyBurgers. “How to choose a right topping.” BBC: Delicious Food.13 June 2013. <>

Other Sources


Stan Corporation. A report on sales. New York: Stan Publications, 2015.


Belcher, B. An examination of burgers in American culture. Masters thesis. University of California: 2009. Web. 13 August 2017. <>

Acts of parliament should include the chapter number:

Sandwich Act (c.4). 2003.

Government publications:

Great Britain. UK Government. Tea and Old People. London: Official Publications, 2007.


Belcher, Bob. Interview. “Discussing burgers.” New York. Burger Weekly. 13 April 2007. 34-41.

Presentations and lectures:

Belcher, Bob. “The benefits of cheese.” 12 June 2014. PowerPoint Presentation.


Simpson, Homer. My Donut. Springfield: Moe’s Music, 2017. CD recording.


Burger.” Def. 1. Smith’s modern dictionary. New York: Great Publications, 2005.

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