How do I cite an entry in a reference work?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

Cite an entry in a reference work the way you would cite any source: follow the MLA format template. If the entry is signed, begin with the author’s name. If it is unsigned, begin by listing the entry as the title:

Botterill, Steven N. “Angela Da Foligno, Saint.” Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, edited by Christopher Kleinhenz et al., vol. 1, Routledge, 2004, pp. 35-36. Google Books,

“Pendragon.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Dec. 2016, Wikimedia Foundation,

Even if the entries are in alphabetical order, provide the page numbers if you are citing a print work:

“Patanjali.” Benét’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, edited by Bruce Murphy, 4th ed., HarperCollins Publishers, 1996, p. 782.