MLA Citation (8th edition): Cite Like the Devil


The Devil citing chapter and verse to St. Augustine
 (Michael Pacher, circa 1475)

Book Basics: Print, E-Books, Web

Book, in Print, Author:
Author:
Oldbridge, Darren.
Title of Source:  The Devil: A Very Short Introduction.
Title of Container:
Other Contributors:
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: Oxford UP,
Publication Date: 2012.
Location:

MLA Citation:

Oldbridge, Darren. The Devil: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP, 2012.

Comments:
  • A simple citation--a book with one author. Note that the name of the lead author of a work--and only that name--is inverted: surname, first and middle names or initials.
  • Note the title of a whole work--a book, a movie, a television show, an album--is italicized. The titles of works that constitute part of another work--an essay, an article, a short story, a poem, an episode, a song--should be put in quotation marks.
  • Also note that the names of publishers can sometimes be abbreviated: Oxford University Press becomes Oxford UP. Similarly, Little, Brown and Company becomes Little, Brown.

Book, in Print, Editors:
Author:
 Richardson, James T., et al., editors.
Title of Source:  The Satanism Scare.
Title of Container:
Other Contributors:
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: De Gruyter,
Publication Date: 1991.
Location:

MLA Citation:
 

Richardson, James T., et.al., editors. The Satanism Scare. De Gruyer, 1991.

Comments:
  • Another fairly simple book citation--except this is an essay collection with three editors. If you are citing a book of essays--the whole book and not a particular essay--then the editor or editors will count as "authors." In MLA citation, if there are more than two authors then only the first is named and the rest are abbreviated as "et. al." (and others). For an example of two authors, see the citation for an essay from this collection under "Parts of Books."
   
Book, E-Edition, from Database:
Author:
 Almond, Philip C.
Title of Source:  The Devil: A New Biography.
Title of Container: 
Other Contributors:
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: Cornell UP,
Publication Date: 2014.
Location:
Title of 2nd Container: ProQuest Ebook Central,
2nd Location: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ithaca/detail.action?docID=10930224.

MLA Citation:

Almond, Philip C. The Devil: A New Biography. Cornell UP, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ithaca/ detail.action?docID=10930224. 

Comments: 
  • Just as fields are skipped when not applicable to the source, fields can also repeat when they are. A stand-alone work like an entire book is considered self-contained, so the first container field is left blank. But this is an e-book edition, contained in the ProQuest ebrary database, which is listed as a 2nd container. And since it is an electronic resource, a URL is provided as its location.
  • Note that the names of containers are italicized.
 

Book, E-Edition, from Web:
Author:
 Bierce, Ambrose.
Title of Source: The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary.
Title of Container: 
Other Contributors: Edited by David E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi,
Version: rev.ed. of The Devil's Dictionary,
Number: 
Publisher: U Georgia P,
Publication Date: 2000.
Location:
Title of 2nd Container: Google Books,
2nd Location: https://books.google.com/.

MLA Citation:

Bierce, Ambrose. The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary. Edited by David E. Schultz and S.t. Joshi, rev. ed. of The Devil's Dictionary, U of Georgia P, 2000. Google Books, https://books.google.com/.

Comments:

  • "Other Contributors" will most commonly be editors, but there is a wide range of other possibilities: translated by, illustrated by, introduction by, or for movies, television and recordings: directed by, performance by, narrated by (and note: whether it should be "Edited by" or "edited by" depends on what precedes this field. In the case above it is "Edited by" since it follows the period that comes after the title, but if there was a container listed for this work, its title would end with a comma and you would use "edited by").
  • The "Version" field usually comes into play only when you're dealing with a revised edition (rev. ed.) or an updated ed. or an expanded ed. or a numbered edtion: 7th ed. Likewise, a movie might be a "director's cut" or an electronic resource might be "version 1.3.1."
  • Here again we have a 2nd container--this time a Web resource, complete with a URL location.
  • URLs are "recommended" but not required in MLA citations--ask your instructor what he or she prefers. Even when required, very long URLS can be messy at the end of a citation. One solution for a long URL is to link to the site rather than the specific item. Here the URL for the book itself went on for several lines, so the best optiion was to supply the URL for Google Books, where a quick title search would retrieve the item.

Parts of Books: Short Works, Essays, Chapters

Literary Work in a Collection:
Author:
Silverstein, Shel.  
Title of Source: "The Devil and Billy Markham."
Title of Container: Best American Short Plays, 1991-1992,
Other Contributors:  edited by Howard Stein and Glenn Young, 
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: Applause Theatre Books,
Publication Date: 1992,
Location: pp. 465-487.

MLA Citation: 

Silverstein, Shel. "The Devil and Billy Markham." Best American Short Plays, 1991-1992, edited by Howard Stein and Glenn Young, Applause Theatre Books, 1992, pp. 465-487.

Comments:
  • Because this is a "short" one-act play, it is treated in the same way as a short story and the title is put in quotation marks. Had it been a full-length play included in an anthology the title would be italicized.
  • Since "edited by" follows the name of the container, which ends with a comma, the "e" is not captialized.
  • For a part of a book or an article in a journal the location will be the page or pages it occupies, abbreviated p. or pp.

Essay from a Print Book:
Author:
  Balch, Robert W., and Margaraet Gilliam. 
Title of Source: "Devil Worship in Western Montana: A Case Study in Rumor Construction."
Title of Container: The Satanism Scare,
Other Contributors: edited by James T. Richardson et. al.,
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: De Gruyter,
Publication Date: 1991, 
Location: pp. 237-248.

MLA CItation:

Balch, Robert W., and Margaret Gilliam. "Devil Worship in Western Montana: A Case Study in Rumor Construction." The Satanism Scare, edited by James T. Richardson et. al., De Gruyter, 1991.

Comments:
  • This is an example of a work with two authors. Note the name of the lead author is inverted and the second given in the usual order, connected by "and."
  • There is a "container' field here because the cited essay is contained in this essay collection.
  • If you compare this to the citation for the entire collection--under "Book Basics" above--you'll note that whereas the editors counted as the "authors" of the whole work, now that an individual essay with its own authors is being cited, the editors are relocated to the "Other Contributors" field.

Essay from an E-Book via a Database:
Author:
 Blake, Linnie. 
Title of Source:  "'I am the Devil and I'm Here to do the Devil's Work': Rob Zombie, George W. Bush, and the Limits of American Freedom."
Title of Container: Horror After 9/11: World of Fear, Cinema of Terror,
Other Contributors: edited by Aviva Briefel and Sam J. Miller,
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: U of Texas P,
Publication Date: 2011,
Location: pp. 186-199.
Title of 2nd ContainerProQuest Ebook Central,
2nd Location: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ithaca/detail.action?docID=10519725.

MLA Citation:

Blake, Linnie. "'I am the Devil and I'm Here to do the Devil's Work': Rob Zombie, George W. Bush, and the Limits of American Freedom." Horror after 9/11: World of Fear, Cinema of Terror, edited by Aviva Briefel and Sam J. Miller, U of Texas P, 2011, pp.186-199. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ ithaca/detail.action?docID=10519725.

Comments:
  • The title of an essay is put in quotation marks, but notice that the essay title itself contained a quotation. When this happens the double quotation marks that were in the title are replaced with single quotation marks. 
  • For a part of a book--or an article in a newspaper or journal--you should provide a physical "location": the page or pages where it appears (preceded by p. or pp.).
  • Here again we have two "containers:: the book in which the essay appears and the database in which the book was accessed.

Article Basics: Print, Databases, Web

Article from a Print Magazine:
Author: Dockterman, Eliana.
Title of Source: "For Mr. Robot, the Devil is in the Details."
Title of Container: Time,
Other Contributors:
Version: 
Number: vol. 188, no. 1, 
Publisher: 
Publication Date: 4 July 2016,
Location: pp. 53-54.

MLA Citation:

Dockterman, Eliana. "For Mr. Robot, the Devil is in the Details." Time, vol. 188, no.1, 4 July 2016, pp. 53-54.

Comments:
  • Straightforward citation for an article consulted in hard copy. For articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals the title of the publication will be the "container" title.
  • Notice that volume and number are abbreviated--vol. and no.
  • The "publisher" field is blank because MLA citation omits them for newspapers, magazines, and journals.
  • If the publication date includes the day, it should be entered day, month, year, regardless of how it appears in the source. Months may be abbreviated.

Journal Article from a Database:
Author: Ball, Kimberly.
Title of Source: "The Devil's Pact: Diabolic Writing and Oral Tradition." 
Title of Container: Folklore,
Other Contributors: 
Version: 
Number: vol. 73, no. 4,
Publisher:
Publication Date: Fall 2014,
Location: pp.385-409.
Title of 2nd Container: MLA International Bibliography
2nd Location: http://ezproxy.ithaca.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.ithaca.edu:2048/docview/
1696259223?accountid=11644.

MLA Citation:

Ball, Kimberly. "The Devil's Pact: Diabolic Writing and Oral Tradition." Folklore, vol. 73, no. 4, Fall 2014, pp. 385-409. MLA International Bibliogrphy, http://ezproxy.ithaca.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.ithaca.edu:2048/docview/
1696259223?accountid=11644.

Comments:
  • Since this article was retrieved from a database, there are two containers: first the journal itself and then the database.
  • Note that although seasons are not normally capitalized in English, they are when they form part of a publication date: Fall.

Journal Article from a Database:
Author: Guenther, Genevieve. 
Title of Source: "Why Devils Came When Faustus Called Them."
Title of Container: Modern Philology,
Other Contributors: 
Version: 
Number: vol. 109, no. 1,
Publisher:
Publication Date: Aug. 2011,
Location: pp. 46-70.
Title of 2nd Container: JSTOR,
2nd Location: DOI: 10.1086/662147.

MLA Citation:

Guenther, Genevieve. "Why Devils Came When Faustus Called Them." Modern Philology, vol. 109, no. 1, August 2011, pp. 46-70. JSTOR, DOI: 10.1086/662147.

Comments:
  • Once again the journal itself is the first container and the database from which it was retrieved the second.
  • Notice that instead of a URL for the article's location in JSTOR there is a DOI: a digital object identifier. DOI's are most common in the sciences and social sciences, but are increasingly used by articles in the humanities. Sometimes you may have a choice between using a URL or a DOI, and because DOI's are more stable and shorter, you may prefer them. 

Article from a Web Magazine:
Author:   Philbrick, Ian Prasad.
Title of Source:  "That Poll Asking Voters if Hillary is the Devil Was Doing Trump's Dirty Work for Him."
Title of Container: Slate,
Other Contributors:
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: 

Publication Date: 11 Aug. 2016, 2:05 p.m.,
Location: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/08/11/ poll_asking_voters_if_hillary_clinton_is_the_devil_only_
helps_trump.html.

MLA Citation:

Philbrick, Ian Prasad. "That Poll Asking Voters if Hillary is the Devil Was Doing Trump's Dirty Work for Him." Slate, 11 Aug. 2016, 2:05 p.m., http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx-factor/2016/08/11/ poll_asking_voters_if_hillary_clinton_is_the_devil_only_
helps_trump.html.

Comments: 
  • Slate is a magazine that publishes exclusively online and updates continuously, so although a "periodical" there is no volume or issue number. 
  • Note that like many online sources there is not only a "publication date" but also a time of publication, and when this is available for an online source it should be included.

Article from a Web Site:
Author: Robinson, B. A. 
Title of Source: "The Church of Satan (COS): Practices & Rules of Behavior."  
Title of Container: Religious Tolerance,
Other Contributors:
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: 
Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance,
Publication Date: 27 Oct. 2009,
Location: http://www.religioustolerance.org/satanis10.htm.

MLA Citation:

Robinson, B. A. "The Church of Satan (COS): Practices & Rules of Behavior." Religious Tolerance, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 27 Oct. 2009, http://www.religioustolerance.org/ satanis10.htm.

Comments:
  • For an article from a Web site, the site itself will usually be the "container"--unless it's a large, layered site, in which case there might be a subdivision to serve as the container, with the whole site as a 2nd container.
  • Web sites are often created by groups or organizations, which should be recorded as the "publisher" of the site. This information--and much other relevant data--may be scattered, so be sure to look for what is needed. For example, Information on the group responsible for the site is often to be found via an "About" or "About Us" link on the site's home page.

Media Basics: Movies, Television, Music

Movie on DVD:
Author:
Huston, John, director.
Title of Source: ​Beat the Devil. 1953.  
Title of Container: 
Other Contributors: Written by Truman Capote and John Huston,
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: DigiCom,
Publication Date: 2009.
Location:

MLA Citation:

Huston, John, director. Beat the Devil. 1953. Written by Truman Capote and John Huston, DigiCom, 2009.

Comments:
  • Movie directors are often credited as the "authors" of their films, but whom you credit here would depend on your own discussion of the film. If the focus were on the career of Truman Capote, the citation would begin Capote, Truman, writer. If you were writing about the career of the star Humphrey Bogart, the citation would begin Bogart, Humphrey, performer.
  • When citing a DVD of a movie or television series, it is optional--though very helpful--to include the date of the original release or airing. Although this DVD was released in 2009, the movie itself was released 56 years earlier. If included, this information should immeidately follow the title and finish with a period.

Television Series on DVD:
Author: 
 
Title of Source: Lucifer: The Complete First Season.
Title of Container: 
Other Contributors: Created by Tom Kapinos, performance by Tom Ellis,
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: Warner Bros.,
Publication Date: 2016.
Location:

MLA Citation:

Lucifer: The Complete First Season. Created by Tom Kapinos, performance by Tom Ellis, Warner Bros., 2016.

Comments:
  • This would be the citation for the series itself--or more specifically the first season contained on a DVD set. In this case, since no "author" is being singled out, the citation begins with the title of the series as it appears on the DVD. If you were emphasizing the series creator, you could begin with his name: Kapinos, Tom, creator. Or if you were focusing on the lead actor you could being with him: Ellis, Tom, performer. 
  • Since this citation is to the series as a whole, individual credits that seem relevant appear subordinately under "Other Contributers."
  • The publication date is for the DVD set and in this case the DVDs were produced the same year as the series aired. Often the series will have aired at an earlier date, in which case you can include the original date immediately after the title--followed by a period. See the movie example above.

Television Series Episode on DVD:
Author: 

Title of Source: "Me and the Devil." 
Title of Container: True Blood,
Other Contributors: created by Alan Ball,
Version: 
Number: season 4, episode 5,
Publisher: HBO Home Entertainment,
Publication Date: 2012.
Location:

MLA Citation:

"Me and the Devil." True Blood, created by Alan Ball, season 4, episode 5, HBO Home Entertainment, 2012.

Comments:
  • What is being sited is a particular episode of a television series--so the episode is put in quotation marks and the series, its container, is italicized. If your focus was on the script, you could begin the citation with the writer of this episode: Hudis, Mark, writer.
  • For a particular episode of a television series, the "number" field should give both season and episode numbers.

Music Recording, Album on CD:
Author: 
Rolling Stones.
Title of Source: Their Satanic Majesties Request. 1967.
Title of Container: 
Other Contributors: 
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: ABKCO,
Publication Date: 2002.
Location:

MLA Citation:

Rolling Stones. Their Satanic Majesties Request. 1967. ABKCO, 2002.

Comments:
  • Citation for the entire album. Optional original release date included.
  • Note that a group or organization may be credited as a "corporate author."

Song from Album on CD:
Author: 
Rolling Stones.
Title of Source: "Sympathy for the Devil."
Title of Container: Beggars Banquet, 1968.
Other Contributors: Written by Mick Jagger and Kieth Richards, 
Version: 
Number: 
Publisher: ABKCO,
Publication Date: 2002.
Location:

MLA Citation:

Rolling Stones. "Sympathy for the Devil." Beggars Banquet, 1968. Written by Mick Jagger and Kieth Richards, ABKCO, 2002.

Comments:
  • Song titles are treated like short stories or essays and put in quotation marks. 

Shakespeare

Mark you this Bassanio
The devil can cite. . . .

Merchant of Venice

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MLA 8th Edition

Citation Template



Instead of codifying dozens of rules specific to different media, the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook (2016) offers a single template to organize relevant data in a specific order. Fields that are not relevant to a source may be omitted, while some fields may repeat--for instance, in the case of a journal article retrieved from a database there is a 2nd "container" field with its own "location". But whether fields are omitted or repeated, their order remains constant.

New in the 8th

  • Previously, 4 or more authors were abbreviated with et. al. after the first. Now, more than two authors or editors are abbreviated with et. al. after the first.
  • Page numbers in the Works Cited list are now preceded by p. (single page) or pp. (span of pages).
  • For books, the city of publication is now omitted from the publication information.
  • Previously, a journal citation might give the volume and number as 62.3. Now, abbreviations for volume and number are used--vol. 62, no. 3.
  • A URL is "recommended" for citations of Web sources. The use of DOIs (digital object identifiers) instead of URLs is "encouraged."
  • Citing your date of access for an online source is now optional.
  • Placeholders like n.d. for "no date" are no longer used when citing online sources. 
  • Publishers' names are now given in full except for business terms like Company/Co. or Limited/Ltd. The abbreviations U (University) and P (Press) are still used in the names of publishers.
  • The medium of publication is no longer included in a citation--for example, Print, Web, DVD, CD.
  • Common terms in Works Cited lists such as editor/edited by or translator/translated by are no longer abbreviated.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations remain virtually unchanged in the 8th edtion of the MLA Handbook.

An in-text ciation is required whenever you have quoted or paraphrased an outside source. Its purpose is to briefly direct your reader to the full ciation in Works Cited and so it begins with the first element there--usually the author's last name--followed by a page number. Enclose these in parentheses with no punctuation between. The punctuation mark for your sentence goes to the right of the parentheses.
 
  • For some during the Romantic period "Satan was a redeemer who bought human liberty at the cost of his own ruin" (Russell 47).

If you name the author of the source in your sentence, only the page number is required.
 
  • Russell maintains that "Satan was a redeemer" for many Romantics early in the nineteenth century (47).

If there are two authors, give the last names of both connected by "and."
 
  • Media studies found that "newspapers portrayed heavy metal music as a catalyst for satanism" (Rowe and Cavender 271).

If there are more than two authors, give the last name of the lead author followed by the abbreviation et. al.
 
  • Although the "Church of Satan is the most visible satanic church" (Richardson et. al. 9), there are other communities of satanists scattered throughout the United States.

Note: the above also illustrates how parenthetical ciations can occur within a sentence if a natural pause--indicated here by a comma--is closer to the quoted material than the end of the sentence.

If you are citing more than one author with the same last name, include first initials to distinguish them.
 
  • (M. Richardson 47) and (C. Richardson 289).

If you are citing more than one work by the same author, include an abbreviated title after the author's name (usually just the first word or two of that title) and separate the author's name from the title with a comma.
 
  • (Stephens, "Demonology" 36)
  • (Stephens, Satanic Scare 236). 

Plagiarism 101

  • We hold this truth to be self-evident: copying sentences or paragraphs without placing them in quotation marks and citing the source is plagiarism.  
  • But plagiarism can--and usually does--take other forms.  Even if you have altered a source by paraphrasing or sampling parts of it, it should be cited.  Even if you borrow an idea or line of argument but not the actual language, it should be cited.
     
     Paraphrase of a source should be used either for concision—giving a briefer version—or for translating ideas and information into your own voice.  But abbreviating a source and substituting some of your own words does not make you the author.
     Borrowed phrases should always be put in quotation marks, and even individual words need to be quoted if they are key terms or constitute a specialized usage. 
     Less tangible borrowings--ideas and arguments--should be acknowledged with a citation at the end of the sentence, documenting the influence of a source in the absence of direct quotation.
     When in doubt—cite. Done properly, there is no downside to citation. It indicates that you have taken the trouble to research the topic, that you have the integrity to acknowledge your sources, and that you have the competence to cite them correctly. Further, it shows your ability to identify persuasive arguments or memorable language and then corroborate, refute, or enlarge upon them in your own terms.
     This last point is essential: never use quotations as a substitute for your own thought. Always comment upon an idea you have found elsewhere. You need to indicate why you think it is important, useful--or in need of refuting.

Devilish Details

What I cover in this guide will suffice for most undergraduate citation needs. But for the inevitable oddities and special cases, consult the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook. Three copies are available in the Reference section just behind the Research Help Desk and one copy in the stacks may be checked out:
LB2369 .G53 2016   

Also consider:
 
For books on research and citation, try these Subject searches in the IC catalog:
 
For general writing resources, try my Writing guide.

The End



   Michael Pacher, circa 1475