Documenting sources with MLA is really easy, though. You don't have to deal with footnotes or endnotes. You simply introduce the borrowing, and follow it with the author's name (unless it was included in the introduction) and page number where you found the information. The documentation is placed in parenthesis at the end of the borrowing and almost always before the ending punctuation.
Here are examples of documentation:
ONE AUTHOR, NOT NAMED IN INTRODUCTION
. . . One critic wrote, "While the rest of the world writes well, this author continues to make money by selling books written at a third grade reading level" (Smith 32).
ONE AUTHOR, NAMED IN INTRODUCTION
. . . According to Expensive Ivy League University Professor Dr. Angus Beefmaster, the only place for a woman is in the kitchen (152). Although few would agree with his assertion . . .
TWO OR THREE AUTHORS, NAMED IN INTRODUCTION
. . . Researchers Bryant and Wilford assert that the cause of the problem is a lack of time and money (2463) . . .
in contrast, Professors David James, Allen Peters, and Katherine Christie argue that the problem has been instigated by bureaucratic nonsense on the part of the administration (30).
TWO OR THREE AUTHORS, NOT NAMED IN INTRODUCTION
. . . Some researchers assert that the cause of the problem is a lack of time and money (Bryant and Wilford 2463) . . .
in contrast, a group of professors argue that the problem has been instigated by bureaucratic nonsense on the part of the administration (James, Peters, and Christie 30).
MORE THAN THREE AUTHORS
. . . According to one group of critics, the site of the beheading was the symbolic, womb-like focus of the racial deconstruction (Peters, et. al. 333-334) .
A REFERENCE TO A MULTI-VOLUME WORK
. . . Political Activist Barth Gurley called Hevering a "stupid dork" (2:197).
A REFERENCE TO AN UNSIGNED WORK
. . . While Dizzy Donald and the Peachy-Keen Kids were still recording their first album, Jake and His Friends released most of those songs under their own name, thus starting what has been called the "Kids/Friends Music Massacre" ("Dancing with the Kids" 43).
A REFERENCE TO A LITERARY WORK
. . . When Harold the Mighty Monkey took hold of the banana and ate it, it was symbolic of his struggle against the harsh memory of his mother's rejection (220: ch. 23).
NOTE: In literary works, it is important to include the part and/or chapter of a prose work, the page numbers and line numbers of poems, and the act, scene, and line numbers of verse drama (Romeo and Juliet, II.ii.17).
A VIDEO OR FILM
No parenthesis are need for citing. The title of the movie should be mentioned in the text of the paper, of course.
A LONG QUOTATION
The parenthesis will come after the end punctuation in this context only. Also, no quotes will be necessary, either. Although MLA requires that all text be double-spaced, I will single-space here because everything I am doing is single-spaced (don't tell MLA!).
. . . According to Joan Bailey, the palace can be interpreted as a fireplace:
Because you have the information in the Works Cited page, all you will need in-text is the source's name.
. . . one source close to the issue added that "the big nose really hurts her career" (Anderson).
The following samples are adapted from the MLA Handbook, 4th ed. pp. 156-66, and also the Research Guide for Advanced Literature Courses by the Harding University Department of English. Below is a table of contents of the different kinds of sources one documents. Click to see the proper structure for the citation you need.
Faulkner, William. The Mansion. New York: Vintage, 1965.
Matthiessen, F.O. American Renaissance: Art and Expression in
the Age of Emerson and Whitman. London: Oxford UP, 1941.
Miller, Perry, ed. The American Transcendentalists. Garden City,
N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor, 1957.
- - -, ed. The Transcendentalists . Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1971.
Miller, Perry and Thomas H. Johnson. The Puritans. 2 vols. New
York: Harper Torchbook, 1963.
Parrington, Vernon Louis. Main Currents in American Thought. New
York: Harvest Books, 1954.
Swift, Lindsay. Brook Farm: Its Members, Scholars, and Visitors.If you are using a source included in an anthology:
Syracuse, N.Y.: Citadel Press, 1973.
Calvino, Italo. "Cyberetics and Ghosts." The Uses of Literature:
Essays. Trans. Patrick Creagh. San Diego: Harcourt, 1982. 3-27.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Black Theater: A Twentieth-If the source has been previously published:
Century Collection of the Works of Its Best Playwrights. Ed. Lindsay Patterson. New York: Dodd, 1971. 221-76.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an AmericanIf the source is a scholarly article that has been previously published:
Slave, Written by Himself. 1845. Classic American Autobiographies. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: Mentor, 1992. 229-327.
Frye, Northrop. "Literary and Linguistic Scholarship in a Postliterate Age."Note: The following are the ways you list books with more than three authors. You can list them all, use "et. al." thing. This carries through for periodicals as well.
PMLA 99 (1984): 990-95. Rpt. in Myth and Metaphor: Selected Essays, 1974-88. Ed. Robert D. Denham. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1990. 18-27.
Perry, Daniel, et. al. The Big Red Book of Criticism. London:
Greenbridge Press, 1995.
Perry, Daniel, James Brown, Eileen Swanson, and David Goldfinger. A
Collection of Random Sayings About Transcendentalism. New York: Amy's Imaginary Publishing Company, 1997.
Harding, Walter. "Henry Thoreau." Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia.
"Thoreau, Henry." World Book Encyclopedia. 1978 ed.
The structure for a periodical that numbers it pages continuously throughout the annual volume, as below, is:
Authors Last, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Volume NumberFor example:
(Year): Page Numbers.
Griffin, Andrew L. "Wordsworth and the Problem of Imaginative Story:For periodicals that do not number their pages continuously throughout the annual volume, the structure is:
The Case of 'Simon Lee.'" PMLA 92 (1977): 192-209.
Authors Last, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Day Month YearFor example:
of Periodical: Page Numbers.
"Literary Surprises." Time 6 June 1950: 112.Note: The above citation has an unknown author, so it is simply left out. In parenthetical documentation, the work would be referred to by the title of the article. In the following citation, the 4 refers to the issue number, rather than the volume number because the pages numbered separately in each issue.
McDonald, Walter R. "The Experience of Fiction." Christianity & Literature 4More examples of periodical documentation:
Odum, Howard W., and John Maclachlan. "Literature in the South: An Exchange
of Views." Southern Renaissance: The Literature of the Modern South. Ed. Louis D. Rubin, Jr., and Robert D. Jacobs. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1966. 83-111.
"Thoreau's Walden: A New Image." Boston Sunday Globe 13 May 1979, sec.
According the MLA handbook, documenting online material requires more information than other forms of references because of its changeability.
Material that has an original printed source must have the following information:
Davis, Angus. "Persons, Places, and Red Shoelaces." Sudden Examples
Magazine 12 Aug. 1994: 120-123. New York Times Online. Online. Nexis. 13 Sept. 1997.
Festering, Joel. "When Kids Cry for Help." More Convincing
Digest 6 June 1993: 12-15. PTS F and S Indexes. Online. Dialog. 14 Jan. 1996.
Guidelines for Family Television Viewing. Urbana: ERIC
Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Educ., 1990. ERIC. Online. BRS. 22 Nov. 1993.
Stempel, Carl William. "Towards a Historical Sociology of SportIf you cannot find all the information available, cite what you can.
in the United States, 1825-1875." DAI 53 (1993): 3374A. U of Oregon, 1992. Dissertation Abstracts Online. Online. OCLC Epic. 3 Dec. 1993.
Davis, Angus. "Persons, Places, and Red Shoelaces." Sudden ExamplesFor citing email:
Magazine 12 Aug. 1994: 120-123. New York Times Online. Online. 13 Sept. 1997.
Moran, Amy. "My Christmas List." Email to Santa Claus. 17 Dec. 1996.
Davis, Ian. Email to the author. 1 Mar. 1994.For an online posting:
Schaumann, Thomas Michael. "Re: Technical German." 5 Aug. 1994.For material from electronic journals, newsletters, and conferences, you must provide:
Online posting. Newsgroup comp.edu.languages.natural. Usenet. 7 Sept. 1994.
Alston, Robin. "The Battle of the Books." Humanist 7.0176
(10 Sept. 1993): 10 pp. Online. Internet. 10 Oct. 1993.
Lindsay, Robert K. "Electronic Journals of Proposed Research."
EJournal 1.1 (1991): n. pag. Online. Internet. 10 Apr. 1991.
Moulthrop, Stuart. "You Say You Want a Revolution? Hypertext
and the Laws of Media." Postmodern Culture 1.3 (1991): 53 pars. Online. BITNET. 10 Jan. 1993.
Readings, Bill. "Translation and Comparative Literature: The
Terror of European Humanism." Surfaces 1.11 (Dec. 1991): 19 pp. Online. Internet. 2 Feb. 1992.
Steele, Ken. "Special Discounts on the New Variorum Shakespeare."Some professors require an address for where you accessed the information. If so, provide it in the following format:
Shaksper 2.124 (4 May 1991): n. pag. Online. BITNET. 1 June 1991.
Readings, Bill. "Translatio and Comparative Literature: TheWhen citing electronic text, you need to have:
Terror of European Humanism." Surfaces 1.11 (Dec. 1991): 19 pp. Online. Internet. 2 Feb. 1992. Available FTP: harfang.cc.umontreal.ca.
Hardy, Thomas. Far From the Madding Crowd. Ed. Ronald
Blythe. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978. Online. Oxford Text Archive. Internet. 24 Jan. 1994.
Octavian. Ed. Frances McSparran. Early English Text Soc. 289. London:
Oxford UP, 1986. Online. U of Virginia Lib. Internet. 6 Apr. 1994.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. The Works of William
Shakespeare. Ed. Arthur H. Bullen. Stratford Town Ed. Stratford-on-Avon:Shakespeare Head, 1911. Online. Dartmouth Coll. Lib. Internet. 26 Dec. 1992.
United States. General Accounting Office. Drug-Exposed Infants: ReportAs with other kinds of online documentation, your professor may want the address where you accessed the information. See above for the format.
to the Chairman, Committee on Finance. U.S. Senate. 6 Nov. 1992. Online. U. of Minnesota Lib. Internet. 1 May 1993.
Anderson, Blake. Personal interview. 22 July 1997.
Lamely, Bill. Telephone Interview. 3 Sep. 1997.
Places in the Heart. Dir. Robert Benton. Perf. Sally Field, Danny Glover, Ed
Harris, and John Malcovich. Paramount, 1984.
Benton, Robert, dir. Places in the Heart. Perf. Sally Field, Danny Glover, Ed
Harris, and John Malcovich. Paramount, 1984.
Gabriel, Peter. "A Different Drum." Perf. Gabriel, Shankar, and YoussouFor a spoken word recording:
N'Dour. Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ, a film by Martin Scorcese. Geffen, 1989.
Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden. 1911. Read by Helena
Bonham Carter. Audiocassette. Penguin-High Bridge, 1993.
Welles, Orson, dir. The War of the Worlds. By H.G. Wells. Adapt.
Howard Koch. Mercury Theatre on the air. Rec. 30 Oct. 1938. LP. Evolution, 1969.
English Poetry Full-Text Database. Rel. 2. CD-ROM. Cambridge, Eng.:
Joyce, Michael. Afternoon: A Story. Diskette. Watertown: Eastgate, 1987.