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MUS 204: Survey of Music Literature: MLA


Many of the humanities and English use MLA citation style.

The final authority for MLA is the Modern Language Association, specifically the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed., 2009). The final authority for the bibliographic form used in your paper is your professor.

General MLA Format

How to format your paper using MLA guidelines

  • double-spaced
  • use a legible 12 pt. font
  • use 1 inch margins on all sides of your document
  • leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks
  • create a header that includes the page number in the upper right-hand corner

For more information visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab


  • Include the author's name with the page number in parentheses, e.g., (MacCannel 145)
  • If there is no author, use one or two words of the title, e.g., ("Freedom" 69)
  • If there are multiple works by one author, include a short title with the name, e.g., (Bloom, "Afro-American" 10)
  • If there are multiple authors with the same last name, include the first initial, e.g., (C. Neubauer 120)
  • Biblical in-text citations: identify the version you used, in the first in-text citation; for example: (New International Version, Gen. 3.15)


Full text journal article from a database:

Yorganson, Jeremy B., and Deanna Linville. "Mental Health Among College Students:
   Do Those Who
Need Services Know about and Use Them?" Journal of American
   College Health
57.2 (2008): 173-182. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Mar.

Online encyclopedia article, without an author:

"de Kooning, Willem." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica,
   2009. Web. 26 Mar.


Eaves, Morris, Robert Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, eds. The William Blake Archive.
Lib. of Cong.,
26 Mar. 2009. Web. 30 Apr. 2009.

  • "Include a URL as supplementary information only when your reader probably cannot locate the source without it or when your instructor requires it" (MLA Handbook 182).

    Eaves, Morris, Robert Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, eds. The William Blake Archive.
    Lib. of Cong.,
    26 Mar. 2009. Web. 30 Apr. 2009.

    • If URL is required, list it immediately following the date of access, surrounded by angle brackets.

    Newspaper article:

    Pogue, David. "When Laptops Go Light." New York Times 26 Mar. 2009, natl. ed.:
       n. pag. Web.
    5 Oct. 2009.



      McManus, Dean A. Leaving the Lectern: Cooperative Learning and the Critical First
         Days of Students Working in Groups
      . Boston: Anker, 2005. Print.

      Book with more than one author:

      Broer, Lawrence R., and Gloria Holland. Hemmingway and Women: Female Critics and
         the Female
      Voice. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2002. Print.

      DVD or video:

      The Yacoubian Building. Dir. Marwan Hamed. Strand Releasing, 2007. Film.

      Journal article:

      Biasio, Elisabeth. "Contemporary Ethiopian Painting in Traditional Style: From
         Church-Based to Tourist Art." African Arts 42.1 (2009): 14-21. Print.

      Specialized reference book article:

      Allen, Anita L. "Privacy in Health Care." Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Ed. Stephen
         G. Post. 3rd ed.
      Vol 4. New York: Macmillan-Thomson, 2004. Print.

      Biblical citation:

      The English Standard Version Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments with
      Oxford UP, 2009. Print.