Search Results for ‘mla style’

MLA Style

The Modern Language Association (MLA) publishes a style manual primarily by scholars in literature and the humanities. The most recent edition is MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 4th Edition, by Joseph Gibaldi, Modern Language Association of America, 1995. For more complete information on MLA documentation, please consult this manual. Copies are available at the Writing Center, in the Rensselaer Library, and for purchase in the Rensselaer Bookstore.

Sources are acknowledged in two locations in your document: a “Works Cited” page and In-Text Citations.

The “Works Cited” Page

All sources you use must be listed alphabetically at the end of your document on a page titled “Work Cited,” which is centered on the page at the top of the document. The listing begins two lines down from this title; each citation is single spaced, but a double space is used to separated citations, thus:

Works Cited

Author’s last name, first name and middle name or initial (if any). Book Title (underlined or italicized). City of publication: Publishers, Date of publication.

Next author’s last name, first name and middle name or initial (if any). Book Title (underlined or italicized). City of publication: Publishers, Date of publication.

The citations are not numbered. Each citation begins with a hanging indent, which means that the second and following lines of each entry are indented five spaces under the first.

Materials from different kinds of sources, such as journal articles, books and the Internet, are cited in slightly different ways. Examples:

Citing a Book


Author’s last name, first name and middle name or initial (if any). Book Title (underlined or italicized). City of publication: Publishers, Date of publication.


Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Loose Canons:
Notes on the Culture Wars.
Oxford UP, 1992.

Citing a Journal Article


Author’s last name, first name and middle name or initial (if any). “Title of the article in quotation marks.” Name of the Journal (underlined or italicized), Volume number, (Year) : page numbers for the entire article.


Williams, Joan G. “Accelerated
Fault Simulation: A Deductive Approach.” Circuits
, 9 (1992): 212-220.

Citing the Internet


Author’s last name, first name and middle name or initial (if any). Descriptor or “Title of article in quotations marks.” Internet. (Date the article as posted, if given.)Available: Internet address. Date you accessed the material.


Honeycutt, Lee. Communication and Design
Course Web Site. Internet. (1997) Available:,
Jan. 1998.

Citing a Chapter


Author’s last name, first name and middle name or initial (if any). “Title of the chapter in quotation marks.” In Book Title (underlined or italicized). First, middle and last name of the editor, Ed. City of publication: Publishers, Date of publication, pages on which the chapter appears.


Fraser, Kathleen. ” The Tradition
of Marginality.” In Where We Stand: Women Poets
on Literary Tradition.
Sharon Bryan, Ed. NY: W.W.
Norton, 1993, 52-65.

Citing a Book with more than one author


First author’s last name, first name and middle name or initial (if any) and second author’s first, middle, and last name. Book Title (underlined or italicized). City of publication: Publishers, Date of publication.


Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar.
The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the
Nineteenth-Century Imagination.
New Haven: Yale UP,

In-text Citations

Any material in your document which derives from other sources whether by direct quotation, paraphrase, or inspiration must be attributed immediately and the sources named either by direct reference or by parenthetical citation.

Direct Reference

If it can be smoothly done, sources may be cited directly in your text.


In a stunning scene on page 27, Bronte reveals the source of Heathcliff’s inner torment:
“in an uncontrollable passion of tears [ , ] ‘Come in! come in!’ he sobbed. ‘Cathy do come.’”

According to Henry Louis Gates, “[r ]ace is the ultimate trope of difference” (49).

Any information not given directly in the text, must be cited parenthetically (within parentheses).

Parenthetical Citation

A parenthetical citation must include (if not already given) the first word of the listing of the source on the works-cited page (most usually the author’s last name) and, in the case of paraphrase or quotation, the number of the page on which the material originally appeared.


To at least one American scholar, “[r ]ace is the ultimate trope of difference” (Gates 49).

In a parenthetical citation, no punctuation separates the naming of the source ant the page number.

The title of the work cited need not be named unless you are using two different works by the same author, in which case you would then, in addition to the author, indicate the first word of the title of the specific reference you are making:


(Gates, Loose 49).

A page number need not be used if you have used an idea more generally contained within the source material, but which you have neither quoted nor paraphrased.


The word “race” has been used to reduce people to socially constructed categories (Gates).

The period follows the parenthesis unless you are using a block quotation.

Block Quotation

If the quotation you are using consists of more than three lines of text, you need to use a block quotation. To accomplish this, indent the lines of quoted text from both the right and left margins.

If your document is double spaced, the block quotation is double space as well.


Yet consciousness is also an end in itself. Long traditions of working-class self-activity have properly focused on concrete material gains or desired structures of social organization, but only as instruments for enduring alienation and for promoting democracy and justice. (Lipsitz 128)

In a block quotation, the period marking the end of the quotation precedes the parenthesis.

Developed by The Center for Communication Practices at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.

April 15th, 2009

Resources for Writers

Welcome to the resources page! Click on a link to utilize the resources the Comm+D has available.

Citing Sources
APA Style
MLA Style

Writing Tips by Project Type
Career and Graduate Applications
Lab Reports

Guidelines for Specific Rensselaer Courses
Software Design and Documentation
Proposal for Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering
Progress Report for ECSE
Final Report for ECSE
Laboratory Introduction to Embedded Control
Lab Report Suggested for Electrical Engineering

Multilingual Students
Article Usage (a, an, the)

Other Info
Thesis Sentences
Gender-Fair Language
Revising Prose
Web Design Resources

Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

March 23rd, 2009

Visit Us

The Comm+D is located on the lower level of the Folsom Library, next door to the ALAC tutoring space.

Folsom Library--Lower Level
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY 12180

Hours of Operation

Mon.-Thurs.: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sunday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Please view our scheduling system for the most accurate hours—we are usually around more often than this and also host special events!

Schedule an Appointment

1. Click on the "LIMIT TO" drop-down menu at the top of the schedule. Choose the kind of appointment you need. GRADUATE STUDENTS, be sure to choose a “GRADUATE” appointment

2. Click on the open appointment you want (a WHITE space), which will bring you to a short form.

3. CAN’T FIND AN APPOINTMENT? Next to each weekday name, there is a small white CLOCK SYMBOL. Click on the clock to enter your name on the WAITING LIST for that day.

4. Set the TIME for the appointment: choose 30 minutes or make two back-to-back appointments for 1 hour. Make 1-hour appointments for Online or E-Tutoring.

5. Tell us about what you’re working on by filling out the form that opens in the scheduler and submit it. You’ll get a reminder email to confirm your appointment.