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Any formal piece of writing, be it a thesis,, book, journal or an article to be published has a bibliography and citations which help the reader to know about the sources from where the quotes (if any) or opinions of different authors (if any) have been borrowed. The bibliography or citations within the work can be mentioned in many formats or styles such as MLA (Modern Language Association), APA and such others. This article discusses about the bibliography used in an MLA format.


In the MLA format, brief citations are used after a quote or a phrase within the text, apart from the main reference as a footnote or at the end of the text, be it a book, an article or a thesis. In a citation, the name of the author, full name if available, the book or article from which the quote has been borrowed, the publisher, the publishing date and the page number is mentioned. All the information is mentioned in a particular format, one after the other. This format is exclusively followed by the MLA style. One needs to know this to write as well as understand how a citation works. If more than one work is cited of the same author, a shortened version of the work is mentioned before the page number.


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The following styles are adopted in an MLA style bibliography:


MLA style requires authors to mention the medium of publication such as print, internet, audiocassette, DVD, E-mail, etc.

  • For books with one author, the style is Author Last name, First name.Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Medium.
  • For books with more than one author, the names of them are placed one after the other separated by commas and the other information are just placed next to them.
  • For edited books, the authors are stated and "ed." or "eds." depending on one or more authors.
  • For translated books, after the title, "trans." is added followed by the translator’s full name.


  • For journals, author, title of the article, volume, issue, year, page(s) and medium.
  • For newspaper article, author, title, name of the newspaper, day, month, year, pages.


Author Last name, First name,Name of Site, Name of institution/organization affiliated with site (s), date the site was created, Medium, Date it was accessed.

These are the basic bibliography associated with any piece of writing. Any other sources can be modified according to the above-mentioned styles as needed.