Create a works-cited-list entry for an interview as you would for any other source: follow the MLA format template. In general, treat the person being interviewed as the author. Then provide the title of the interview:
If the interview is contained in another work, the interviewer’s name may be included in the optional-element slot after the title of the interview and followed by a period:
If the interview is untitled, follow the guidelines on pages 28–29 of the MLA Handbook and include the generic description interview. If the interview is not contained in another work, you may list the interviewer’s name in the “Other contributors” slot after the description and follow it with a comma:
Reserve the use of the abbreviation et al. for the list of works cited and parenthetical citations. In the text, spell out the authors’ names or, if you are referring to a work by several authors, state the name of the first-listed author, followed by “and others.” For more on the use of names, see 1.1.1 of the MLA Handbook.
Hanging indention is still the preferred way to distinguish entries in the list of works cited. In its formatting guidelines and in section 2.7 of the MLA Handbook, the MLA recommends that writers indent the second and subsequent lines of each entry so that readers can spot where the entry begins. However, since it is difficult to render hanging indention on the Web, leaving extra space between entries will serve the same purpose.
At EBSCOHost, visitors can search for articles in a range of databases at once. When an article is retrieved, the database containing it is not always evident to the user, as the screenshot in our example shows. The identity of EBSCOHost as the container of the article is always clear, however. MLA style encourages writers to document the facts they observe. This principle is especially important online, where the presentation of information changes constantly. An advanced user of EBSCOHost who determines that an article comes from a certain database would not be wrong to cite the database instead of EBSCOHost as container 2.
No. The MLA Style Manual will be taken out of print. The system of documentation explained in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook is the authoritative source for MLA style as of April 2016. The MLA is in the process of developing additional publications to address the professional needs of scholars.
Yes. Two kinds of notes are suitable with the parenthetical citations used in MLA style: content notes and bibliographic notes. These may be styled either as footnotes or endnotes.
Content notes offer the reader comment, explanation, or information that the text can’t accommodate. In general, they should be used only when you need to justify or clarify what you have written or when further amplification of your point is especially helpful.
Example in Text
Green, Katherine Sobba. The Courtship Novel 1740-1820: A Feminized Genre. UP of Kentucky, 1991.
Hinnant, Charles H. “Jane Austen’s ‘Wild Imagination’: Romance and the Courtship Plot in the Six Canonical Novels.” Narrative, vol. 14, no. 3, 2006, pp. 294-310. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20107392.
In MLA style, bibliographic notes are best used only when you need to cite several sources or make evaluative comments on your sources.
No. There are innumerable ways to weave a quotation gracefully into your prose. As long as the quotation’s purpose and source are clear, you need not use a verb like writes or has said.
The paired examples below illustrate alternative ways of identifying authors:
Author’s Name in Text
Author’s Name in Reference
Author’s Name in Text
Author’s Name in Reference
The ultimate goal is to be concise and to cite what is most useful to the reader. For quotations from a poem in a print or online source, there are three common possibilities:
- If the poem is short (no longer than a page or its online equivalent), do not cite any number in the text. The page number or Web location that appears in the poem’s works-cited-list entry will be specific enough to identify a borrowing from such a short text.
- If the poem is longer than a page (or its online equivalent) and is published with explicit numbers marking lines or other parts (e.g., stanzas, cantos, books), cite the line numbers and other part numbers but not page numbers. If lines alone are numbered, use the form “line 57” or “lines 119–20” in the first citation, and cite the line numbers alone, without the label line or lines, in the later citations. If other parts are numbered as well as lines, combine the numbers without a label. For instance, if books and lines are numbered, “9.19” means book 9, line 19.
- If the poem is longer than a page and is not published with explicit numbers marking lines or other parts, cite page numbers (as you would for a work in prose) if the poem is in print. If no page numbers are present (as is often the case online), none can be cited.
No. News agencies distribute stories from a vast pool of journalists. The name of an agency is not a meaningful indicator of authorship. Moreover, local news editors may change stories that they receive from agencies, further muddying the authorship. If an article is credited only to a news agency, treat the article as anonymous and begin the entry with the article’s title.
The appropriateness of spaces before and after a dash depends on various considerations: the typeface used, the medium (print, online), and so on.
In the MLA Handbook, we show no space before and after dashes because that’s the standard format used by publishers in the United States. A student who follows that model will be sure of producing professional-looking work, at least as far as the dashes are concerned.
There is sometimes a good argument for spaces, however. In some typefaces, the dash is so short that it does not provide adequate separation by itself. The designers of such typefaces intend users to add spaces.
Online environments like e-mail and Web pages sometimes do not permit lines to break before or after dashes. In such a situation, when a long sequence like “perspective—considering” does not fit at the end of a line of text, it will be carried over to the start of the next line, leaving a hole at the end of the previous line. Typing spaces before and after dashes is a way to avoid this.
These comments refer to projects in which the decision on spacing is up to you. In a classroom, the teacher usually has the final say on the formatting of assignments.