When we write an essay in response to something we have read or blend other authors’ words and ideas with our own, we are required to provide our readers with the citation (or publication facts) of the words and the ideas we are borrowing. 


In MLA format, we place this citation at the end of our essay on a page entitled Works Cited.   Properly doing this not only credits the author for the words and ideas we have borrowed, but also gives our readers a potential source for further study and research.

The first step is to be sure that the final copy of your essay gives your reader the appropriate Works Cited information at its end.


Below is the general MLA format for Viewpoints citations along with four examples from the text. This is followed with information about how to cite words and ideas from a Viewpoints essay when you use that information in your essay. 


Modern Language Association (MLA) Format


General MLA format for a Viewpoints Works Cited page entry:


                 Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Name of Essay.” Viewpoints. Ed. W. Royce A. Adams, 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. (page numbers of article).

          Specific examples for a Works Cited page:

        Logan, Paul. “Zero.” Viewpoints. Ed. W. Royce Adams, 7th ed. Boston, Wadsworth, 2010. (101-05).

        Yeager, Jeff. “Less Is More.” Viewpoints. Ed. W. Royce Adams, 7th ed. Boston, Wadsworth, 2010. (323-25).

           Alcorn, Randy. “The Species Called Homo-Simpsons.” Viewpoints. Ed. W. Royce Adams, 7th ed. Boston, Wadsworth, 2010. (145-47)

        Galowicz, Susan. “Outsourcing Jobs Leaves the American White-Collar Worker Behind.” Viewpoints. Ed. W. Royce Adams, 7th ed. Boston, Wadsworth, 2010. (343-45).

Should You Cross-Reference Your Sources?

The following was taken from the Purdue OWL Website

Note on Cross-referencing Several Items from One Anthology: If you cite more than one essay from the same edited collection, MLA indicates you may cross-reference within your works cited list in order to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay. You should consider this option if you have several references from a single text. To do so, include a separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor's name as below:

Rose, Shirley K., and Irwin Weiser, eds. The Writing Program Administrator as Researcher. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1999. Print.

Then, for each individual essay from the collection, list the author's name in last name, first name format, the title of the essay, the editor's last name, and the page range:

L'Eplattenier, Barbara. "Finding Ourselves in the Past: An Argument for Historical Work on WPAs." Rose and Weiser 131-40.

Peeples, Tim. "'Seeing' the WPA With/Through Postmodern Mapping." Rose and Weiser 153-67.

       In-text MLA Citations:

      When you introduce the author the first time, use the full name (use the full name given on the book or document).  From then on, refer to the author by last name ONLY; do NOT use the first name. This may seem rude, but referring to authors by their first names bespeaks a personal familiarity with them that we do not have.

       If it is clear to your reader who the author of a quotation or idea is, include only the page numbers(s) in parentheses—do NOT include the author’s name unless your reader would be unclear about from which source the wording or information came. Place the required information (author’s last name and page number or page number only) in parentheses (not brackets).  

        Do NOT use "p" or "pg,” or a comma before the page number--only the page number.  If you do need to include the author’s last name, use NO punctuation other than a single space between the name and the page number.)

     Examples of in-text citations:

       If you lead-in to the quotation with something like,

                 As Baker writes, “MLA citation style totally rocks!”

       all you need in the parentheses is the page number since you identified the author (Baker) beforehand in the lead-in.   It would look like this:

              As Baker writes, “MLA citation style totally rocks!” (46). 

      However, if it is not obvious to your reader which source owns the words, your sentence would then look like this:

             As a noted expert in genetics writes, “MLA citation style   totally rocks!” (Baker 46). 

           Finally, when you begin a new paragraph, the MLA convention is to re-identify the Viewpoints’ author (last name only) when you first cite information from him or her in the new paragraph.