MLA Citation Tutorial
A. One AuthorB. Two to Three AuthorsC. Three or More AuthorsD. Work in an AnthologyE. Corporate AuthorF. No AuthorG. E-BookH. Entry in an Encyclopedia/DictionaryI. Edition other than the FirstJ. Introduction, Foreword, Preface, or AfterwordK. TranslationL. Government Publication
A. Basic Journal ArticleB. Journal Article from an Online PeriodicalC. Journal Article from Library DatabaseD. Magazine ArticleE. Magazine Article from DatabaseF. Newspaper ArticleG. Google ScholarH. Research Starter Articles
A. Basic Web PageB. Document from a Web siteC. No Author
A. Video or DVDB. Sound RecordingC. Musical Composition
A. Works of ArtB. Online Image
A. LectureB. Online Course Materials
A. EmailB. Indirect SourcesC. TwitterC. Speeches, Lectures or Oral Presentations
This is the "H. Entry in an Encyclopedia/Dictionary" page of the "MLA Citation Style 7th edition" guide.
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MLA Citation Style 7th edition   Tags: citations, citing, mla, mla_style, sources  

A guide to help with formatting your citations in MLA style.
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

H. Entry in an Encyclopedia/Dictionary Print Page

About Citing Books

When you're finding books for your research, make note of the author name(s), book title, publication date, publisher, and place of publication.

The medium of publication for all “hard copy” books is Print.

For each type of source in this guide, both the general form and a specific example will be provided.

The following format will be used:

Parenthetical Citation - entry that appears in the body of your paper.

Works Cited - entry that appears at the end of your paper.

Information on citing and several of the examples were drawn from the MLA Handbook (7th ed.)

Numbers in parentheses refer to specific pages in the manual.


General Formatting

The following guidelines are from MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2009. Print.

  • Alphabetize your Works Cited list by the first word of the citation (usually the author's last name).
  • No title page; instead, include your name and course information flush with the left margin at the top of the first manuscript page, and the title below that, centered on the page.
  • Leave one-inch margins on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
  • Page numbers include your last name after the number (e.g.: Smith 2) in the upper right corner, 1/2" from the top and flush with the right margin.
  • There are no standards currently for electronic submission. If you are asked to submit your paper electronically, get guidelines from the instructor.

Entry in an Encyclopedia or Dictionary or Reference Book (Web and Print) (160-161)

When citing entries in a reference book, you generally follow the same format as you would for a work in an anthology.

However, you do not need to supply full publication information for well-known reference books in your Works Cited list.  Instead, you need only include the edition, publication year, and medium (see general format 2 and example 2).

General Format 1 (reference book)
 In-Text Citation:
 (Author Surname page number)
Works Cited
Author Surname, First Name. "Title of Article." Book Title: Subtitle.Ed. 
         Editor First Name Surname. Edition [if available].
         Vol. volume # [if available]. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.
Example 1
In-Text Citation:
(Kirschbaum 387)
Works Cited
Kirschbaum, Frank. “Reproduction and Development in Mormyriform and
         Gymnotiform Fishes.” Electric Fishes: History and Behavior. Peter Moller.
         1st ed. London: Chapman & Hall, 1995. Print.

General Format 2 (dictionary)
In-Text Citation:
("Title of Article" [if no author is given])
Works Cited: 
"Title of Article." Book Title: Subtitle. Edition. Publication Year. Medium.
Example 2 (online dictionary)
In-Text Citation:
Works Cited:
"Realism." Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. 11th ed. 2003. Print.
Example 3
In-Text Citation:
Works Cited:
"cascade, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 24 November 2015.

Learn More

Learn more about the Modern Language Association style from the association website.

A clearly organized and well presented document offering details on various levels of MLA citation style. 

An alternative to College of the Rockies Library MLA Citation Style Guide

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University offers an online resource which can be used in some cases.  However, it does not include everything required for citing sources in one place.

The MLA Style does not cover Canadian government sources, and has only a limited section on American government resources.

Please refer to the staff at the Library Reference Desk for clarification when citing Canadian government sources.

Librarians at SFU have created what is considered the definitive resource for use when citing Canadian Government documents and online resources in MLA Style.


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