Lesson Eight: Citations

It's important to remember that every single piece of information you obtain from a source must be cited in your paper. This applies not only to quotes, but to every single fact you incorporate. There are several methods for doing citations, but it's best just to choose one and remain consistent. Below are directions for doing citations in the MLA style, one of the most widely recognized formats.


The first step is to make a bibliography, inclusive of all works you've cited in your paper. What follows is a list of proper forms for various types of sources.

Vendler, Helen. Poems. Poets. Poetry. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995. If the book you are using is an edition other than the first, include this information (e.g. "Id ed. ") directly after the title.

Article or other work in a Journal
Example: Sedgwick, Eve. "Symbolism and Sexuality in Faulkner." Mississippi Quarterly 10 (1987): 69-78.

Article, chapter, excerpt, or work in an edited collection or anthology
Example: Jonson, Ben. "Though I am Young." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 6th ed. Ed. M.H. Abrams et al. New York: Norton, 1993. 1240-1241.

Item in a collection of the author's work with no separate editor
Example: Lawrence, D.H. "Tickets Please." In Collected Stories. London: Heinemann, 1974. 314-325.

Item in a collection of the author's work with no separate editor
Example: Lawrence, D.H. "Tickets Please." In Collected Stories. London: Heinemann, 1974. 314-325.

Article or interview in a magazine or newspaper
Example: Clift, Eleanor. "Clinton's Right Turn." Newsweek July 1999: 55-56.

Article in an encyclopedia or other reference work
Example: "Aardvarks." Encyclopedia Britannica. 1975.

Review or editorial
Example: Leys, Simon. "Balzac's Genius and Other Paradoxes." Rev. of Balzac: A Life, by Graham Robb. The New Republic 20 December 1994. 26-7.

Preface, introduction, forward
Example: Lewis, C.S. Preface. Phantastes. By George MacDonald. New York: Penguin Books, 1945.

Letters or papers from an archive
Example: Reagan, Ronald. Papers. Ronald Regan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, CA.

Personal Letter
Example: Sheley, Erin L. Letter to the author. 10 January 2000.

Unpublished paper or dissertation
Example: Borelli, Jessica. "Out of the Darkness: Dreams and their Relation to Childhood Sexuality." Diss. University of California, Berkeley, 1999.

Letter in a published collection
Example: Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley. "To Alexander Pope." 7 September 1718. Selected Letters. Ed. Robert Halsband. New York: Viking-Penguin, 1986.

Legal Case
Example: Watson v. Dunhill Inc. 135 USPQ 88 2d Cir 1967.

with an author and an editor
Example: Dante Alighieri. The Inferno. Ed. Robert Pinsky. Boston: Boston University Press, 1996.

in several volumes
Example: Keats, John. Collected Poems. Plays, and. Letters. 2 vols. Ed Jon Stallworthy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Books in a series
Example: Peterson, Margaret Wallace Stevens and the Idealist Tradition. Studies in Modern Literature 24. Ann Arbor: Umi Research Press, t983.

Reprinted Book
Example: Douglas, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas. 1857. New York: Penguin Books, 1993.

Translated Book
Example: Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Trans. Walter Kaufman. New York: Vintage, 1974.86.

Work, article, information, or graphic on the Web
Example: Sheley, Erin. "Strange Bedfellows: Should the Republican Party Cozy Up to the Homosexual Vote?" http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~hpr cited 10 January 1999.

Telnet or FTP site
Example: "Aardvark." Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed. 1971 [Online book]. <telnet://UWIN.U.WASHINGTON.EDU/I/REF/OED/aardvak>.

Contribution to a listserv or newsgroup
Example: Raner, Claude. raner@wiz.bristol.ac.uk (1995, May 3). Against guns. 3 May 1997. <alt.weapons.ops>.

E-mail message
Example: Shankar, Ganesh. gshankar@leland.stanford.edu "I'M Sorry." Personal e-mail. 23 March 1999.

Class lecture, conference paper, speech, or performance
Example: Eck, Diana. Lecture on Shaivism. Literature and Arts C-18, Harvard University. Cambridge, MA. 14 December, 1999.

Personal or telephone interview
Example: Engell, James. Telephone interview. 6 March 1998.

Artwork, illustration, or cartoon
Example: Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence. The Rite of Spring. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Musical recording, score, or liner notes
Example: Gerswhin, George. Rhapsody in Blue. Cond. John Williams. Boston Pops Orchestra. DeccaDM-3988,1995.

Film, video, or television program
Example: Stories of the City. Videocassette. Dir. Greg Stone. Narr. Paria Kooklan. Panorama Entertainment, 1999.

In-text Citations

The easiest way to cite your sources throughout your paper is by using the parenthetical technique.

For a humanities paper, you include the last name of the author, and the page in which the reference was found, at the end of the sentence.

Example: "The Leviathan suggests that in a state (if nature, man looks out only for his own interests (Hobbes 56)."

For a social science or science paper, include the author's last name and the date.

Example: "The regressive motions of the planets were, for a time, explained in terms of epicycles (Koestler, 1992)."


When using direct quotations less than three lines long, you may integrate them as described in the previous sections. When using a quote that is longer than three lines long, follow these guidelines:

Next: Lesson Nine: Editing & Revising