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Spanish 103 (Torda): MLA

Spanish Composition & Conversation

Estilo por disciplina

MLA style is usually used in English and the Humanities. MLA 9th edition uses a citation format for use with ALL source types. MLA 9th edition, updated in 2021, is very similar to the MLA 8th edition from 2016.

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Características claves

Big Picture

  • MLA style features in-text parenthetical citations and a corresponding Works Cited page.  Some publishers may ask for endnotes/footnotes rather than parenthetical citations.

In-Text Citations

Use for quotes, paraphrases and summaries

  • Basic format includes author's last name followed by page number(s) - Example: (Patel 245)
  • Author name may be excluded if in the introductory text - Example: Patel found that …. “ “ (245).
  • If referring to two authors of the same text, join last names with and. Example: (Jones and Rhett 119)
  • If no author, use the first part of the citation found in the Works Cited - Example: (National Committee 37)
  • If referring to more than one source in the same citation, separate with a semi-colon - Example: (Davidson 18-20; Simmons 302)

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics (Purdue OWL)

Work Cited List

  • Order citations alphabetically (typically by author's last name)
  • Include hanging indent after the first line
  • Place quotation marks around sources in containers e.g. poem, short story, journal article etc.
  • Italicize sources for stand-alone items e.g. novel, play, journal publication, book etc.
  • Capitalize main words in a title
  • Format author in citations as follows:
    • one author includes last name, first name. Example: Reddy, Anisha
    • two authors includes last name, first name and first name last name. Example:  Reddy, Anisha and Nate Conner. 
    • three authors includes last name, first name, et al. Example: Jones, Steve, et al.
  • DOIs are preferred over URLs.  When using an URL, remove http:// or https://  Example:  doi:10.1002/tox.20155

MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format (Purdue, OWL)


Create citations for your Works Cited page using this template with its elements.  Your citation may not include ALL elements.  You may also repeat elements 3-9 depending on whether or not your source stands on its own or it is part of one or more containers.  

Order of Elements Element & Punctuation Following the Element Example(s)
1 Author.  
2 Title of source.  
3 Title of container, .... book, journal, database
4 Other contributors, Translators or Editors
5 Version, Edition
6 Number, Vol. and/or No.
7 Publisher,  
8 Publication date,  
9 Location. Refers to page numbers (pp.) NOT to a place of publication (unless deemed necessary), could refer to a DOI or database URL for an article


  • If an element is missing, move on.
  • If your source is in one or more containers, you will repeat some elements starting back at element #3.
  • Only use a period after the Author, Title and Location elements; all other elements are followed by a comma.
  • Stand Alone Source vs. Source in a Container
    • Example: a book is considered a self contained/stand alone source
    • Example: a chapter in a book would be the source (chapter) within one container (the full book)
    • Example: a journal article would be the source, found in a journal (container 1) which may be in a database (container 2)
    • See the Marquette University Libraries video on MLA 8th edition, also embedded on this guide, for a great explanation of source vs containers.

Examples of MLA Works Cited: Periodicals (Purdue OWL)