There are several reasons why we cite our sources:
To give credit where credit is due. Acknowledging the creative work of others is ethical.
To show readers that you've done your research. Be proud!
To enable readers to track down your sources.
To avoid plagiarism.
To cite a text, you will use MLA 8th edition style guidelines to create an entry for your Works Cited list. An entry, also known as a citation, is made up of common bibliographic elements, which provide your readers with the information that they need to track down your sources.
The common elements are:
Title of source
Title of container
Other contributors (for books)
Number (such as volume and issue numbers for articles)
Publisher (for books)
DOI or URL
Examples of MLA Style Citations
Below you will find examples of primary, secondary, and tertiary texts cited in the MLA style. For general guidelines and numerous examples, please use the "MLA Style Guides Online" listed on this page.
Example 1 - Primary Texts
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Penguin Books, 2019.
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Edited by Sandra Clark and Pamela Mason, Bloomsbury, The Arden Shakespeare, 2015.
Example 2 - Secondary Text - Book Chapter
Watson, Robert N. "Tragedies of Revenge and Ambition." The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy, Edited byClaire McEachern, 2nd ed., Cambridge UP, 2013, pp. 160-81.
Example 3 - Secondary Text - Academic Journal Article
Knowles, Katherine. “Appetite and Ambition: The Influence of Hunger in Macbeth.” Early English Studies, vol. 2, 2009, pp.1-20. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mlf&AN=2011581995&site=ehost-live. Accessed 30 Aug. 2019.
Example 4 - Tertiary Texts
Gilson, David. A Bibliography of Jane Austen. St Paul's Bibliographies, 1997.
Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson. "Othello." Literature and Its Times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events that Influenced Them, vol. 1, Gale, 1997. Literature Resource Center, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/H1430002727/LitRC?u=ric_main&sid=LitRC&xid=b7d6c1df. Accessed 30 Aug. 2019.
Spevack, Marvin. The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare. Harvard UP, 1973.