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MLA Citation Style Guide

Creating citations in MLA format


As of the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, all citations follow a standard format, with elements omitted if they do not apply to the source:

Author/creator. Title of source. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

In the case of encyclopedia and dictionary entries, the definitions for each of these elements are as follows.

  • Author – The person who wrote the encyclopedia or dictionary entry, if available. If an encyclopedia entry is credited to a specific author, the name will appear at the end of the entry. Authors’ names are presented as follows:
    • One Author – Last Name, First Name.
    • Two Authors – Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name.
    • Three or More Authors – Last Name, First Name, et al.
  • Title of Source – The title of the encyclopedia or dictionary entry. Put quotation marks around it.
  • Title of Container – The title of the encyclopedia in italics.
  • Other Contributors – The editor(s) of the encyclopedia, if available.
  • Version – The edition of the encyclopedia, if available.
  • Number – The volume of the encyclopedia in which the entry appears, if available.
  • Publisher – The company or organization responsible for publishing the encyclopedia.
  • Publication Date – The year that the encyclopedia was published.
  • Location – The page range of the encyclopedia entry, if available, in this format: p. x (if a single page), pp. x-x (if the entry is 2 or more pages). If you accessed the encyclopedia on the open Web (not through a database), the URL of the encyclopedia entry.

If you found the encyclopedia entry in a database, you will need to repeat the following two elements at the end of your citation:      

  • Title of Container – The name of the database. It is italicized.
  • Location – The DOI (digital object identifier) or URL of the encyclopedia entry. DOIs are preferred. However, if a DOI is not available, do not copy the URL from your browser’s address bar – instead, try to find the permalink or stable link in the encyclopedia entry’s database record.

When you create your Works Cited page, it should have the following elements:

  • It should be double-spaced like the rest of your paper.
  • The title Works Cited should be centered at the top of the page.
  • Your citations should be left-justified with a hanging indent of 0.5 inches.


Constans, Claire. “Le Brun, Charles.” The Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Turner, vol. 19, Macmillan, 1996, pp. 19-25.

Eisenberg, Theodore. “Bankruptcy Reform Act.” Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, edited by Leonard W.

     Levy et al., vol. 1, Macmillan, 1986, p. 100.     


Keane, Marguerite. “Art Fraud.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2016. Britannica Academic,

Padian, Kevin. “Origin of Dinosaurs.” Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, edited by Philip J. Currie and Kevin Padian, Elsevier

     Science & Technology, 1997. Credo Reference,



To see the most recent date that a Wikipedia article was updated, click the “View History” tab at the top of the page. Because Wikipedia articles are edited constantly, it is important to add the date you accessed the Wikipedia article.

“Television.” Wikipedia, 10 June 2016, Accessed 22 June 2016.


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