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MLA Style

Tips and examples on how to do MLA style citations, footnotes, and bibliography.


Footnotes contain the same information as the bibliographic citation, but with slight differences.[1]  Note that the authors are in normal order, not inverted.[2] The author is followed by a comma and the publication information is now in parentheses.[3]  In the footnote you will give the page number of the quote or information you have used.[4]

In Microsoft Word, select References / Insert Footnote to create automatically placed and numbered footnotes.[5]  Select the default values: they specify that footnotes will be at the bottom of the page and numbered 1, 2, 3 etc.  Footnotes are created by the automatic program in 10-pt. type. If you copy and paste them from a list, you must change them to 10-pt. type.

The first footnote contains the full citation. Subsequent footnotes from the same item can be shortened to the author or author and title.

   Use the same rules for footnotes for online sources. Use a shortened form for the second footnote.  Include the name of the database, the date you viewed it, and the URL.

These examples are for commonly found types of materials. If your material does not fit with any of these examples, look at the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. There are copies at the Reference Desk and in the circulating collection.  There are online guides to help you with citations at

[1] Discovering the Music of Africa. DVD. Directed by Bernard Wilets. (Huntsville, Tex.: Educational Video Network, 2004).

[2] David M. Guion. The Trombone: Its History and Music, 1697-1811.  (New York: Gordon and Breach, 1988): 25.

[3] National Early Music Association Conference. “From Renaissance to Baroque: Change in Instruments and Instrumental Music in the Seventeenth Century.”  (Aldershot, England: Ashgate,2005) 65.

[4] Guion, The Trombone, 76.

[5] “From Renaissance to Baroque,” 92.

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