Students working in a UWE Bristol library

Modern Language Association (MLA)

A quick guide to the MLA referencing style. For English, Film Studies and Literature programmes.

New to MLA referencing?

Read the introduction and general principles.

What are you trying to reference?

Follow the core elements and punctuation set in the MLA guidance to format your references.

Below are some examples of the types of references you might frequently use in your Works Cited list.


Books by one author

Author's family name, Author’s first name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication date.


Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. Pan Books, 2007.

Books by two authors

Give the first author name in the order: family name, first name, then reverse this for the second author.


Bennett, Andrew and Nicholas Royle. An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. 3rd ed. Longman, 2004.

Books by three or more authors

If there are three or more authors, name only the first and add 'et al.' ('and others').


Montgomery, Martin, et al. Ways of Reading: Advanced Reading Skills for Students of English Literature. Routledge, 1999.

The entry in the works cited list should follow the same author format as given for the in-text citation.

Electronic books


Childs, Peter, and Roger Fowler., editors. The Routledge Dictionary of Literary Terms. Routledge, 2005. Dawsonera.

Books, reprint editions

Author's family name, first name. Title. Year of original publication. Editor's name (and/or translator's name). Publisher, Date published.


Lewis, Matthew. The Monk. 1796. Edited by Emma McEvoy. Oxford University Press, 2008. 


Add the edition (version), after the title.


Smith, Edward. Gothic Literature. 2nd ed., Edinburgh University Press, 2013. 

An edited book


Tew, Philip., editor. Reading Zadie Smith: The First Decade and Beyond. Bloomsbury, 2013.

Conference papers


Mayer, Sophie. "Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema." The BFI Media Conference. London, 30th June - 1st July 2016. Accessed 21 August 2016.

Critical essays in edited collections

Family name, first name. "Title of essay." Title of collection, edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, Pages(s).


Mulvey, Laura. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." Feminisms: An Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism. Edited by Robyn R. Warhol and Diane Price Herndl. Rev ed., Macmillan, 1997, pp. 438-48.


List films by title:


Trainspotting. Directed by Danny Boyle, Channel 4 Films, 1996.

If your assignment focuses on the work of a director, begin with their name:


Tarantino, Quentin. The Hateful Eight. Double Feature Films, 2015. 


Journal articles (print)

Author(s) name. "Title of article." Title of journal, Volume number, Issue number (if present), Date of publication, Inclusive page numbers.


Armstrong, Tim. "The Electrification of the Body at the Turn of the Century." Textual Practice, vol. 5, 1991, pp. 303-25.

Journal articles (electronic)

If the article is stored on a database, include this information, along with the DOI (direct object identifier) or URL (web address) where provided, and date you accessed the article.


Moody, Alys. "Eden of Exiles: The Ethnicities of Paul Auster's Aesthetics." American Literary History, vol. 28, no. 1, 2016, pp. 69-93. Project Muse, Accessed 6 August 2016.

For articles from the web, include the URL and access date:


Saunders, Vivien Leanne. "We Sing Our Lives Through Empty Sounds: Hidden Voices in Gothic Music." The Luminary, Issue 4, Autumn 2014, pp. 55-64, . Accessed 9 August 2016.


Include the location of the archive which holds the transcript, the name of the collection, and the number or code which the archive uses to identify the manuscript.

Example: (taken from The MLA Handbook, 50)

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. Circa 1400-10. British Library, London, Harley MS 7334.

(Example taken from MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing.)

Newspaper articles

Author name(s). "Title of article." Name of newspaper, Date: Page Number(s). Medium of publication.


Lowry, Elizabeth. "The Schooldays of Jesus by JM Coetzee Review - No Passion in an Ascetic Allegory." The Guardian, 18 August 2016. Accessed 19 August 2016.

Personal communications


Author’s family name, author’s first name. “Subject.” Received by, Date.


Smith, John, "Notes and queries". Received by David Wright. 27 July 2016.

Television or radio programme

Indicate the title of the episode, the director, season and disc (if applicable).


"Old Cases". The Wire. Directed by Clement Virgo, Season 1, episode 4, Blown Deadline Productions, 2002, disc 2.


Websites may not be titled or dated, and may be anonymous, but you should include this information where it is available.

Include a date of access.


MLA. "Works Cited: A Quick Guide." The MLA Style Centre, Accessed 15 August 2016.

YouTube/internet clips


UWE Bristol. "Introducing Arts and Cultural Industries at UWE Bristol." YouTube, uploaded by UWE Bristol, 13 January 2016. Accessed 21 August 2016.

MLA Guides

Useful links

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