Skip to Main Content

Biographies

Research and discover biographical resources at McQuade!

MLA Formatting & Citations (8th edition)

[Edit mode is disabled for mapped boxes]

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.

If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult a copy of MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, located in McQuade Library's reference collection: 

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is the gold standard for online tools to teach you about citations and formatting.

From the website you can learn to:

  • Format in-text, and full bibliographical citations for a variety of source types
  • Follow formatting and style guidelines for a variety of assignments

In your citation, the elements should be listed in the following order:

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

Each element should be followed by the corresponding punctuation mark shown above.

The general format for any MLA citation:

  • Author. Title. Title of container (do not list container for standalone books, e.g. novels), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs URL or DOI). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

APA Formatting & Citations (7th edition)

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the social sciences.

If you are asked to use APA format, be sure to consult the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, located in McQuade Library's reference collection:

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is the gold standard for online tools to teach you about citations and formatting.

From the website you can learn to:

  • Format in-text, and full bibliographical citations for a variety of source types
  • Follow formatting and style guidelines for a variety of assignments

Perdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide


APA Tips:

  • All authors' names should be inverted (i.e., last names should be provided first).
  • Authors' first and middle names should be written as initials.
  • Give the last name and first/middle initials for all authors of a particular work up to and including 20 authors
  • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
  • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
  • When referring to the titles of books, chapters, articles, reports, webpages, or other sources, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of the title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns.
  • Italicize titles of longer works (e.g., books, edited collections, names of newspapers, and so on).
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as chapters in books or essays in edited collections.
  • Present journal titles in full.
  • Italicize journal titles.
  • Maintain any nonstandard punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title.
  • Capitalize all major words in the titles of journals. Note that this differs from the rule for titling other common sources (like books, reports, webpages, and so on) described above.
  • Capitalize the first word of the titles and subtitles of journal articles, as well as the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and any proper nouns.
  • Do not italicize or underline the article title.
  • Do not enclose the article title in quotes. 
  • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.

Chicago Formatting & Citations

Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the humanities, particularly in the disciplines of the Arts, English, History, Religion & Theological Studies.   

If you are asked to use CMOS format, be sure to consult the Chicago Manual of Style, located in McQuade Library's reference collection:

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is the gold standard for online tools to teach you about citations and formatting.

From the website you can learn to:

  • Format in-text, and full bibliographical citations for a variety of source types
  • Follow formatting and style guidelines for a variety of assignments
For questions or feedback contact the McQuade Library
Call us: 978-837-5177 | Text us:  978-228-2275 | Email us: mcquade@merrimack.edu