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Cowles Library


FYS #48 - Daring to Dream - The Stories of Business: Class Resources



How to Cite Using MLA (Modern Language Association) Style

Online Citation Guide:

Works Cited:  

  • Basic Format (books):  Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.
  • Basic Format (journals/magazines): Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages. Medium of publication.
  • Basic Format (electronic resources):  See OWL Citing Electronic Resources

In-Text Citation:

  • Name noted in sentence:  Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263)
  • Name not noted in sentence:  Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).

When to Include URL:

MLA no longer requires the use of URLs in MLA citations:

  • Web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often)
  • Documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the Web (e.g., on multiple databases)
  • Most readers can find electronic sources via title or author searches in Internet Search Engines

See OWL webpage on Citing Electronic Sources


RefWorks: Bibliographic/Citation Software


When to Cite

  1. Quotes:  If you use the exact text you must enclose in quotation marks and cite
  2. Paraphrase:  If you rewrite the original text in your own words, you must cite the source
  3. Summarize:  If you summarize the argument or data, you must cite
  4. Indebtedness:  You must cite any text you read that helped you think about your paper even if you do not directly reference

When to Not Cite

  1. Common knowledge:  Barak Obama is the president of the United States
  2. Writing you own lived experiences, observations, or insights
  3. Generally accepted facts:  You must cite when directly quoting another source