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MLA (Modern Language Association) style

The MLA style was developed by the Modern Language Association. It is most widely used for research papers in the humanities.

In-text citation:

Consists mainly of the authors' last name and the page reference in round brackets and placed within the text. If there is no discernable author, the title and the page references are used.

Reference list:

The reference list should be ordered alphabetically by the last name of the first author of each work. References with no author are ordered alphabetically by the first significant word of the title.

Here is an example that cites a book with one author using MLA style.

In-text citation

Reference list

..... Neville (25) or Neville stated that "....." (25)

Neville, Colin. The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. 2nd ed. New York: Open University Press, 2010. Print.

Interactive referencing tools

The interactive tools below, created by other libraries, are designed to provide you with examples of referencing for a range of resources. You will access these references by selecting from the menus until you get to the detailed information.

Quick guide and examples

The attached quick guides created by other institutions provide an overview of the MLA 3rd ed referencing style. In these documents you will find examples for different types of materials and details on specific variations of citations.

How to cite an ebook

In general, the citation of an ebook begins the same as the printed work and ends with a designation of the medium of publication. The medium is the type of electronic file, such as Kindle file, Nook file, EPUB file, or PDF file. You can use 'Digital file' if you cannot identify the file type.

For example:

Rowley, Hazel. Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage. New York: Farrar, 2010. Kindle file.

Most electronic readers include a numbering system that tells users their location in the work. Do not cite this numbering, because it may not appear consistently to other users. If the work is divided into stable numbered sections like chapters, the numbers of those sections may be cited.

For example:

According to Hazel Rowley, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt began their honeymoon with a week’s stay at Hyde Park (ch. 2).


Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt began their honeymoon with a week’s stay at Hyde Park (Rowley, ch. 2).

Note: ch. is the standard abbreviation for chapter in MLA style. There is a comma in a parenthetical citation after the author’s name if the following reference begins with a word. If the work is a PDF file with fixed pages, cite the page numbers. If the work lacks any kind of stable section numbering, the work has to be cited as a whole.


Using generative artificial intelligence tools (e.g. Chat GPT)

MLA style guide

Available in print in the Library.

Style guides provide detailed advice on referencing plus much more, such as writing and publishing in your discipline.

Bibliographic management software

Macquarie University has licences for two bibliographic management software packages:

 EndNote 20 for Windows

 EndNote 20 for Mac


You can use these Bibliographic referencing tools to maintain your references. They can also create bibliographies automatically in Word.

EndNote training is available for current postgraduates, higher degree researchers and staff.

You can contact your Faculty Librarian for a session.