MLA: General

General Rules for MLA Format 7th Edition

How is MLA 7 different than MLA 6?

  • You are no longer required to have URL's in citations. If your instructor wants to include URLs, put them in angle brackets after the entry and end with a period.
  • Use italics instead of underlining for titles of larger works including books or magazines, and "quotation marks" for titles of shorter works such as poems or articles.

Author Rules:

List entries alphabetically by last name.

Works with no authors

If there is no author given, alphabetize the works by the title. Use a shortened version of the title.

  • Studyguide[...]

Citing one author

To cite an author, use the last name followed by the first name and if given, the middle name of initial.


Last name, First name. Title. City: Publisher, Year.

Citing two authors

To cite two authors, use the last name followed by the first name and then inverse to first name and last name.


Last name, First name and First name Last name. Title. City: Publisher, Year.

Citing more than one author

If you are citing more than one author, separate the authors by commas alphabetically. The first author should have their last name, first name and the additional authors should be cited simply with their first and last name.


Last name, First name, First name Last name, and First name Last name. Title. City: Publisher, Year.

Contributor information:

Contributor information (editor, compilers, and translators) are typically cited after the name of the source. Use "Ed.", "Comp", or "Trans." to indicate what type of contributor you are citing.


Last name, First name. Source Title. Comp. First name Last name. City: Publisher, Year.

Publication information:

In MLA7, you must list the publication medium (print or web) after the publication information. MLA7 abbreviates all months except for May, June and July.


Last, First M. Title City: Publisher, Year Published. Medium


Last, First M. "Article." Title Series Volume.Issue (Year Published): Page(s). Medium


Last, First M. "Article" Title Date Month Year Published: Page(s). Medium


Last, First M. "Article" Title [City] Date Month Year Published, Edition, Section: Page(s). Medium.

Missing Information?

If you cannot find a place, publisher or date - use place holders "N.p., n.p., n.d." which represents no place, no publisher, and no date.

No page number - If there are no page numbers use "N. pag." Capitalize the abbreviations appropriately based on where they are placed.

No place:

Last, First M. Source Title N.p.: Publisher, Year. Medium

No publisher:

Last, First M. Source Title City: n.p., Year. Print

No date:

Last, First M. Source Title City: Publisher, n.d. Print.

Audio/Visual Rules

Film/Online Video:


Title. Dir. First M. Last. By First M. Last. Perf. First M. Last, First M. Last, and First M. Last. Distributor, Year Published. Media Type.


Of Mice and Men Dir. Gary Sinise. By John Steinbeck. Perf. John Malkovich, Gary Sinise and Ray Walston. Released by Contemporary Films/McGraw-Hill, 1992. Videocassette.


Artist Last, First M. "Track Name." Recorded Month Date, Year. In Album Name By Writer First M. Last. Cond. Conductor First M. Last. Orch. First M. Last. Perf. First M. Last. Band/Group Name. Rec. Date Month Year. Producer First M. Last, Year. CD/MP3, MIDI, Cassette/Vinyl.


Lady Gaga Born This Way Rec. 2011. Vincent Herbert, 2011. CD.

Web Rules


Contributors. "Title." Website. Edition. Website Publisher, Date. Web. Date Accessed.

Sources Published Directly Online

Citing an Article from an Online Only Resource

Friedland, Lois. "Top 10 Natural and Wildlife Adventure Travel Tips." New York Times Company, 22 Sept. 2008. Web. 25 Sept. 2008.

Citing an Entire Website with No Identifiable Electronic Publication Date
Example: ImagineEasy Solutions, n.d. Web. 8 May 2009.


Newspaper and magazine websites are considered non-periodical, directly published online sources even if they have in-print copies. Follow the published directly online format.

Citing an Article from an Online Only News Source


Chen, Stephanie. "Growing up is Hard with Mom in Prison." Cable News Network, 7 May 2009. Web. 8 May 2009.

Citing an Article from an Online Newspaper


Shorto, Russell. "Going Dutch." New York Times New York Times, 3 May 2009. Web. 8 May 2009.

Citing an Online Only Journal


Glotzer, Richard and Anne Federlein. "Miles that Blind: Commuter Marriage and Family Strength." Michigan Family Review 12 (2007): 7-31. Web. 8 Apr. 2009.

Personal Website


Last name, First name. Page Cited. Web. Date Accessed.


Smith, Steve. Home Page. Web. 3 January 2013.

Publication information:

Sources Published Indirectly Online

Sources may be originally in print, or in another medium, and found online. Cite these sources as you would in their original form, and then add as much relevant web information as possible (website title, publisher / sponsor, date of electronic publication, medium, and date accessed).

Citing a Book Originally in Print Found Online


Catton, Bruce. The Civil War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2005. Google Book Search. Web. 15 May 2008.

Citing a Newsletter Found Online With No Page Information


Puzzanchera, Charles. "Juvenile Arrests 2007." Juvenile Justice Bulletin. (Apr.2009): n.pag. National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Web. 8 May 2009.

Citing a Video Found Online


West, Kanye. Amazing. Prod. Hype Williams. Roc-A-Fella Records, 2009. Youtube Web. 8 Feb. 2009.


Picasso, Pablo. Three Musicians. 1921. Web. 5 Apr. 2006.

Citing a Musical Recording Listened to Online, With No Discernible Manufacturer or Date


Park, Obadiah. "Hey Ya." N.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2007.

Citing a Digital Image Found on Google Images


Bruce Springsteen. Digital Image. Google Images. LIFE. Web. 9 Oct. 2009. <>.

Note: In the above example the title is not in quotes because it is a description of the digital image. The URL was truncated to the search URL because it was too long and complicated.

Citing an Originally in Print Journal Article Found in a Database


Ahn, Hyunchul, and Kyoung-jae Kim. "Using Genetic Algorithms to Optimize Nearest Neighbors for Data Mining." Annals of Operations Research 263.1 (2008): 5-18. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Sept. 2008.


Sources found in online Databases typically have been published elsewhere. Include as much as the original publication information as possible, and then add the Database name, medium (web), and the date accessed.

View our visual citation guide on the Fundamentals of MLA Format.

View our visual citation guide on the Web Rules of MLA Format