Referencing other material in MLA
This page outlines the correct format for miscellaneous material in an MLA list of works cited. If the source is an "unexpected type of work" (see the MLA Handbook, p.52), then denote this with a descriptive term at the end of the citation (e.g. Postcard, Transcript, Keynote address, Blog post):
- Magazine article
- Online magazine article
- Newspaper article
- Online newspaper article
- Article from an online database
- Presentation from unpublished conference and symposium proceedings
- Presentation from published conference and symposium proceedings
- Published and unpublished thesis or dissertation
- Encyclopædia or dictionary entry
- Lecture notes, study guide, or book of readings
- Video and audio material
- Photo, sculpture, or painting
Order: author(s). Article title (in quotation marks). Name of the magazine (italicised), date of the issue, page range.
Gopnik, Adam. "Freeing the Elephants: What Babar Brought." New Yorker, 22 Sept. 2008, p. 46.
- Missing an author? See no author.
Online magazine article
Order: author(s). Article title (in quotation marks). Name of the magazine (italicised), publisher name/name of the website, date of the issue, URL. Date of access (optional).
McRory Calarco, Jessica. "Why Rich Kids Are So Good at the Marshmallow Test." The Atlantic, 1 June 2018. www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/06/marshmallow-test/561779/. Accessed 6 June 2018.
Date of access is optional but its good practice to add if there is no date specifying when the article was published, or you think the content may change with time.
Order: author(s). Article title (in quotation marks). Name of the newspaper (italicised), edition (optional), date of the issue, section.
Watson, Lois. "Body Parts in Limbo When Amputees Can't Let Go." Sunday Star Times, 19 Oct. 2008, p. A8.
If there is no author, the title of the article moves to the author position:
"Tobacco Firms Targeting Weight-Conscious Girls." New Zealand Herald, 22 Oct. 2008, p. A10.
See no author for details.
Online newspaper article
Order: author(s). Article title (in quotation marks). Name of the newspaper (italicised), date of the issue, URL. Date of access (optional).
Heagney, George. "Bird Owners Hope to be Pride of the Poultry Community." Manawatu Standard, 5 June 2018, www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/104456671/bird-owners-hope-to-be-pride-of-the-poultry-community. Accessed 5 June, 2018.
Article from an online database
Order: author(s). Article title (in quotation marks). Name of the journal/newspaper (italicised), volume, number or issue number details (if available), date of issue, page range (if available). Database name (italicised), DOI (or URL if DOI not available). Date of access (optional).
Bhattacharya, Prasad, S. and Dimitrois, D. Thomakos. "Robust Model Rankings of Forecasting Performance. Journal of Forecasting, 2018, pp. 1–15. Wiley Online Library, doi: 10.1002/for.2529.
Presentation from unpublished conference and symposium proceedings
Order: author(s), title of paper (in quotation marks). Title of conference (italicised), date, venue and location of conference (if the location is not given in the conference title). Descriptor of presentation (e.g. Lecture, Reading, Keynote speech, Conference Presentation).
Shiva, Vadana. "Women Lead the Change from Violence to Non-Violence, From Greed to Caring and Sharing". 13th International Permaculture Conference and Convergence (IPC 2017 India), 25-26 November, 2017, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Hyderabad, India. Keynote Address.
Presentation from published conference and symposium proceedings
Order: Author(s). Title of paper (in quotation marks). Title of conference (italicised), conference location (if the location is not given in the title), conference date. Editor name, publisher, publisher location, date of publication, page numbers.
Thumboo, Edwin. "Malaysian Poetry: Two Examples of Sense and Sensibility". National Identity: Papers Delivered at the Commonwealth Literature Conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 9th-12th August 1968. Edited by Ken Goodwin, Heinemann Educational, 1970, pp. 187-196.
Presentation from conference and symposium proceedings found online
Order: Author(s). Title of paper (in quotation marks). Title of conference (italicised), conference location (if the location is not given in the title), conference date. Editor name, publisher, publisher location, date of publication, page numbers. Database used (italicised; if applicable), URL.
Schuldes, Heidi. "Highlights on Strangeness and Heavy-Flavour at Low Pt." 17th International Conference on Strangeness in Quark Matter, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 10-15 July 2017, edited by A. Mischke and P. Kuijer, 2 Feb. 2018, https://www.epj-conferences.org/articles/epjconf/abs/2018/06/epjconf_sqm2018_02001/epjconf_sqm2018_02001.html
Published and unpublished thesis or dissertation
Order: Author. Dissertation or thesis title (italicised for both published and published). Year degree was awarded, University*, designation (i.e. PhD dissertation or Masters thesis). Database and URL (if applicable).
Beatty, Bronwyn. The Currency of Heroic Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter From Ideology to Industry. 2006. Massey U, PhD dissertation.
- *Note: In MLA, university is denoted by 'U'.
Encyclopædia or dictionary entry
Order: Entry title (in quotation marks). Title of the container (in italics), edition number, publisher, date of publication, page number.
"Paragon." The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., Oxford UP, 1989, p. 451.
"Arguably." Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arguably . Accessed 12 Oct. 2018.
Hoeg, Jerry. "Science in Spanish American Literature." Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature, edited by Verity Smith, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997, p. 367
Encyclopædias and dictionaries can be a useful starting point for research, but academic sources are preferable. Online encyclopædia entries are covered in the section on referencing online material.
Lecture notes, study guide, or book of readings
MLA does not prescribe a specific format for study guides, so they should be treated like books. If an individual author is listed, use their name. Otherwise, put the title in the author position (see no author):
139.139 Introduction to English Studies: Study Guide One. School of English and Media Studies, Massey U, 2008.
Caution: lecturers prefer that you go to outside academic sources rather than just relying on their own wording and ideas. Doing so demonstrates that you can explore the topic outside the boundaries of the course material.
Many courses at Massey University use a book of readings, which is a collection of photocopied journal articles, book chapters, and other relevant material. Because the sections are direct photocopies, the original source is referenced rather than the book of readings.
In the list of works cited, format the entries according to their original type:
If you're not sure what the original source was, see what type of source is this?
In the in-text citation, cite the original source's author. Use the page number of the original source, not the page number of the book of readings.
Order: Description of the advertised product or company. Source title (italicised), other publication information (e.g. issue volume, number, publication date, page number, URL).
Advertisement for New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. New Zealand Listener, 19 July 2008, p.43.
Video and audio material
There are a number of ways to cite film and audio. The order of elements depends on what you wish to emphasize (e.g. the show, the director, the performer). Films and television programmes usually begin with the title, but if you want to emphasise the contributions of one person (e.g. the director or actor) their name can appear before the title.
Film order: title (italicised), director/producer/actor, 2nd container title (e.g. distributor/website), uploader details (if applicable), year of release, URL (if applicable).
Black Sheep. Directed by Jonathan King, performances by Nathan Meister and Tammy Davis. New Zealand Film Commission, 2007.
King, Jonathon, director. Black Sheep. New Zealand Film Commission, 2007.
Television programmes are cited similarly to films.
Television programme order: episode title (in quotation marks). programme title (italicised), creator/director/performer details (optional), season and episode numbers, network, broadcast date.
"Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Sex and the City, performance Sarah Jessica Parker, season 2, episode 1, HBO, 1999.
If you wish to cite an entire series, give the title of the show first.
Entire television series order: Show title (italicised). Creator details, director/producer/performer details (optional), production company details, year(s) screened.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mutant Enemy, 1997-2003.
If the show is part of a boxed series and the title of the collection is different than the original series (e.g., Sex and the City: The Complete Season 2), list the title that would help researchers to locate the recording. Give the distributor name followed by the date of distribution.
"Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Sex and the City: The Complete Season 2, Written by Michael Patrick King, Directed by Allen Coulter, HBO, 1988.
Audio recordings order: Artist. Song (in quotation marks). Title of the recording (italicised), production label, year, name of site downloaded from (optional; italicised, e.g. Spotify, iTunes), URL where downloaded (optional)
Stevens, Sufjan. "Chicago." Illinois, Asthmatic Kitty, 2005. Stevens, Sufjan. "Chicago". Illinois, Asthmatic Kitty, 2005. Spotify, open.spotify.com/track/0OPSE78fioh58590dutuGTnxf.
Stevens, Sufjan. "Chicago". Illinois, Asthmatic Kitty, 2005, http://asthmatickitty.com/merch/chicago-demo/
Published music score order: composer, title of the work (italicised), year of composition, place of publication*, name of the publisher, date of publication.
Mahler, Gustav. Symphony No. 5 in C# Minor. 1904. London, Ernst Eulenburg.
*If the publisher is likely to be unknown to the reader, then include the city of publication, before the publisher's name, to assist in locating the source.
Photo, sculpture, or painting
Order: Artist. Title of the work (italicised). Date of composition, institution housing the work, city of the institution*.
Brueghel, Pieter. The Tower of Babel. 1563, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Canova, Antonio. Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss. 1793, Louvre, Paris.
*Omit the city if it is given in the institution's name (e.g. Auckland War Memorial Museum).
If a source is viewed online, give the URL as location details.
Bearden, Romare. The Train. 1975, MOMA, www.moma.org/collection/works/65232?locale=en.
A photograph (or a photograph of a work of art) taken from another source should also contain publication information about the source:
Peryer, Peter. Dead Steer. Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. Into the Light: A History of New Zealand Photography, by David Eggleton, Craig Potton, 2006,p. 130.
To cite art viewed in an exhibit, you include the exhibit's name as the title of your source.
Order: Artist. Title of the work (italicised). Title of the exhibit (italicised), opening and closing dates of the exhibit, location of the exhibit (i.e. museum name and city).
Kennedy, Erin. Pussyhat. Doing if for Themselves: Women Fight for Equality, 19 Sept.– 28 Feb. 2019, The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.
Published interviews are referenced like books, but the interviewee's name is put first, followed by the interview title (in quotation marks) and the name of the interviewer. If the interview does not have a title, use "Interview by (the interviewer's name)" (not italicised) in its place. If the interview was found online, give the URL as location details.
Hu, Yaobang. "Interview with Hu Yaobang". By Lu Keng. Sino Daily Express, 1985, pp.1-57.
Interviews you have conducted yourself are referenced using the interviewee's name, the method of interviewing (personal interview, telephone interview, e-mail interview), and the date.
Maharey, Steven. Personal interview. 22 Aug. 2008.
If an interviewee wishes to remain anonymous, do not include the interview in your works cited list. Instead, create an endnote that indicates the source is a personal interview along with details such as the method of communication (e.g., phone, e-mail, text message, in-person meeting) and the date on which the interview took place.
See also referencing e-mails.
References and further reading
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association, 2016. [Massey Library link]
The MLA Style Centre. Modern Language Association, 2018, https://style.mla.org/.
These pages are provided as a guide to proper referencing. Your course, department, school, or institute may prescribe specific conventions, and their recommendations supersede these instructions. If you have questions not covered here, check in the style guide listed above, ask your course coordinator, or ask at Academic Q+A.