Q. How do I cite in MLA?
MLA is the citation style of the Modern Language Association and is used when citing sources for liberal arts and humanities papers. A full guide to using MLA citations for different materials can be found at Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
You'll be using in-text citations within your paper that refer to a list of references at the end of your paper. This can be done either in the form of placing the author's name and the page number of the argument or quote you are using in parenthesis at the end of the sentence. You can also put just the page number in parenthesis at the end of a sentence if you have mentioned the author's name earlier in the sentence.
Athanasourelis claims that while Raymond Chandler's novels questioned societal definitions of criminal behavior or the role of women, the films of his works reinforce society's clear-cut categories of morality (328).
For instance, the ending of the film version of the Big Sleep removes any murky questions of psychological vs. legal culpability, and changes the person behind Regan's murder to a much dirtier figure than the killer in the book (Athanasourelis 333)
If you are citing multiple works by the same author, the work would be cited instead of the author in in-text citations - between quotation marks if it is an article or short story, in italics if it is a novel.
Chandler wrote that "in everything that can be called art there is quality of redemption ("The Simple Art of Murder" 12) and indeed there are examples in his books of characters who come off at first as two-bit or cheap, that show moments of courage that even Marlowe has to respect (The Big Sleep 202).
The sources you are citing with your in-text citations are then listed at the end of your paper in a list of references. This list is composed of citations in a standard order and styled a certain way. In the below examples I've highlighted the component of a MLA citation and what it corresponds with in the example the same color.
AuthorLast, AuthorFirst. "Title of Article" Title of Journal, vol. , no. , Year, pp. xxx-xxx.
Athanasourelis, John Paul. “Film Adaptation and the Censors: 1940s Hollywood and Raymond Chandler." Studies in the Novel, vol. 35, no. 3, 2003, pp. 325–338.
Journal Article from a database:
AuthorLast, AuthorFirst. "Title of Article" Title of Journal, vol. , no. , Year, pp. xxx-xxx. Name of Database, URL or DOI.
Athanasourelis, John Paul. “Film Adaptation and the Censors: 1940s Hollywood and Raymond Chandler." Studies in the Novel, vol. 35, no. 3, 2003, pp. 325–338.JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/29533584.
AuthorLast, AuthorFirst. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.
Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep. Alfred A. Knopf, 1939.
Or if it's a later reprinting of the same book but not a different edition, it would look like this:
AuthorLast, AuthorFirst. Title of Book. Original Publication Date. Publisher, Reprint Date.
Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep. 1939. Vintage Books, 1992.
For information on how to cite other kinds of sources, you can consult the Purdue OWL guide, The Research and Documentation Guide Online: Humanities, or the MLA Style Center at the Modern Language Association.
There is a copy of the MLA Style guide that has been put on reserve if you want to consult it while adding your citations. You can ask for it at the circulation desk.