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MLA style guide is most commonly used in the Humanities (such as modern languages, literature, media studies, etc.). The most recent version of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is the 8th Edition. It is available from the Library User Assistance Desk on the 2nd floor of the J.N. Desmarais Library. You could also consult the highly respected and up-to-date online MLA reference guide from Purdue University.

MLA’s bibliography is titled “Works Cited”, not “References” or “Bibliography”

 General MLA reference guidelines:
  • Name(s) of the author and/or editor (if available)
  • Article title between quotation marks (if applicable)
  • Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
  • Publishing information, such as the editor and the date of publishment.
  • Page number(s) if available.
  • Method of publication.
  • Access date.
  • Use the abbreviation “n.p.” if the publisher is unknown to you and “n.d.” when the date is unknown. 
  • .
For both cited and paraphrased in-text references, use “(Author, Pages)” at the end of the sentence, otherwise the author and date information is included within the text with the pages at the end of the sentence. If the author is unknown, substitute the work. When listing a work with two authors use an ampersand; with more than three authors, list the first author followed by “et al.”

Short citation example (long citations have a hanging indent):

“So long as settler society perceived a need to tame Aboriginal sexuality, men in power could reorder Aboriginal society with impunity” (Barman 284).

Example of paraphrasing:

Barman expands on aboriginal sexual deceptions by institutions, giving documentary evidence of the depiction of uncontrollable sexuality (283-284).

 N.B. MLA uses hanging indents (which is not replicated here).


Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Publisher, year.

Obama, Barack. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Vintage Books, 2006.

Translated Book

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Trans. Translator’s Firstname Lastname, Publisher, Year.

De Saint-Exupéry, Antoine. The Little Prince. Translated by Katherine Woods, Harcourt, Brace, & World, 1971.

Chapter of a Collected Work

Lastname, Firstname. “Chapter Title.” Titre du Livre. Ed. Editor(s) name(s). Place of publication: Publisher, Year. Pages.

Barman, Jean. “Taming Aboriginal Sexuality: Gender, Power, and Race in British Columbia, 1850-1900.” Days of our Grandmothers: A Reader in Aboriginal Women’s History in Canada edited by Mary-Ellen Kelm and Lorna Townsend,  U of Toronto P, 2010, pp. 270-300.

Journal Article

Lastname, Firstname, and Firstname Lastname. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume.Issue (Year): pages. Database if applicable. Medium. Date accessed if applicable.

Buchanan, Brett. (2007). “The Time of the Animal.” PhaenEx: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, vol. 2 no. 2, pp. 61-80.

Newspaper Article

Lastname, Firstname. “Article Title.” Newspaper day month Year: pages(if available) Medium. Date accessed if applicable.

Smith, Teresa. “Drought-Stricken Almonte Farmer Receives Much-Needed Hay from Saskatchewan.” Ottawa Citizen, 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2012.

Digital File

Author, Name of work (in italics or between quotation marks depending on the format). Publisher (if applicable), date of creation. Format (i.e. JPEG, PDF, etc.).

Watson, Patrick. Je Te Laisserai des Mots. Secret City Records, 2010. MP3.

Online Presentation /Conference

Name of presenter. “Title of Presentation.” Name of conference and organization, location. Date. Description of the type of presentation (lecture, ceremony, etc.).

Brown, Brené. “The Power of Vulnerability.” Ted Talks, Houston. June 2010. Lecture.


Author or Organisation (if available). Name of website. Version number (if applicable). Name of institution or organisation affiliated with the site, creation date. Web. Date consulté.

Historica Dominion Institute. Richard Pierpoint. n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2012.


Author, screen name, or editor. “Title of Post.” Name of Website. Name of the organisation affiliated with the website. Posting date. Web. Date accessed.

Geist, Michael. “Canadian Copyright Reform in Force: Expanded User Rights Now the Law.” Michael Geist. 7 Nov. 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2012