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Columbia Online Style


MLA documentation is used in the humanities, including English. MLA documentation requires an in-text parenthetical citation with the author's last name and the page number that the source material came from. If you use the author's last name in your source attribution, then you need only put the page number in parentheses. At the end of the paper, you will include a list of all of the sources you used in the paper entitled Works Cited, alphabetized by the author's last name. For a detailed explanation of MLA citations, see A Guide for Writing Research Papers based on Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation from Capital Community College, an academic leader in producing helpful Web tutorials and materials for English students.


Examples of MLA Documentation of Online Sources

Web site with an author:

Rodrigues, Dawn.  "The Research Paper and the World Wide Web." January 1997.

       28 January 1998 <>.

Web site without an author given:

"MLA Style." MLA on the Web. Nov. 1997. 28 January 1998.


Book accessed electronically:

Shaw, Bernard. Pygmalion. 1916. Bartleby Archive. 6 Mar. 1998


Article in a journal:

Winston, Patricia.  "A Double Spirit of Teaching: What Shakespeare's Teachers Teach Us."

      Early Modern Literary Studies Special Issue 8(1997): 8.1-31. 18 January 1998


Article in a Magazine:

Viagas, Robert, and David Lefkowitz. "Capeman Closing Mar. 28." Playbill 5 Mar. 1998.


Article in a reference database:

Matchie, Thomas. "Literary Continuity in Sandra Cisneros's 'The House on Mango Street.'"

The Midwest Quarterly 37.1 (1995): 67-80.  Infoseek Search Bank. Expanded Academic Index.28 January 1998 


As you may have noticed from the examples, some of the URLs (uniform resource locators) are intricate and long. Perhaps the most important thing to remember as you document your sources is to type every letter, number, symbol, and space accurately. Any error makes it impossible to retrieve your source. In addition, since electronic sources tend to be transitory, printing a hard copy of your sources will make it easier for you to cite accurately and provide evidence for your documentation.


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