Category Archive: Citation


International Documents – How to Cite – MLA Style

Question: My issue is that my dissertation is on South Africa and I am accessing government documents regarding their Constitution and resolutions to African Union charters. So, I have had difficulty deciding what is the appropriate reference type to select. Selecting US Constitution defaults to putting US vice South Africa…

1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human Aid and People’s rights on the rights of Women in Africa

2. South African Constitution

3. UN Charter on Council on ending discrimination against women

SOLUTION: After a bit of research, I have come up with information about your three reference types. I would suggest choosing MLA’s Digital File with Group Author type for the Protocol and a Document type for the UN Convention. Once created, your references will appear like the one below:

African Union. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the

Rights of Women in Africa. 2003. PDF file.

United Nations General Assembly. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination Against Women., 1979. United Nations. Web. 22 Feb. 2014.

Countries have different ways of labeling and citing laws. The Harvard, APA, MLA and CMS styles are based on the U.S. or U.K. system so they do not apply in South Africa. In the absence of specific institutional guidelines, use the following simple format for your Constitution reference.

Ref. Example: Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act no. 108 of 1996.

Citation Example: Const. of South Africa, Sect. 1a

New York University created a PDF on how to cite Foreign and International Legal works.

Check it out!


Blog Posts & Comments – APA Style

Blog postings and blog comments can be referenced within a research paper. Due to the popularity and influx of blogs, MLA has created a specific way to reference them.

Blog sites have become commonplace. A quick internet search for blogs will bring up multiple sites regarding all different topics. There are blogs about sports, cooking, writing, politics, current events, and gossip. The list is never ending.

Two of my favorites I would like to share.

unbrave girl 

The subtitle to this blog is “encouraging scaredy cats since 2009.” Sally, the writer, created the blog initially to share funny stories about her travels and life and has successfully continued.

The Pioneer Woman 

Ree Drummond began this blog to let readers know about what life is like as a pioneer woman. The humorous subtitle to this blog is “plowing through life in the country … one calf nut at a time.” The blog is divided into sections: Cooking, Home and Garden, Photography, Homeschooling, and Confessions.

Basic Format for Blog Post:

Last Name, First. “Title of the Posting.” Name of the Website. Version or Edition # (if

any). Sponsor or Publisher of Site (if any), Day Month Year Published. Web. Access Date.


Sally. “10 Things I Learned from Teenaged Girls this Week.” unbrave girl. N.p., 7 Mar.

2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

Tess in TN. “Re: Irish Grilled Cheese.” The Pioneer Woman. N.p., 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 17

Mar. 2014.

Do you have a favorite blog you would like to share?


MLA Style – Academic Catalog

QUESTION: I am referencing an academic catalog from my college. What reference type is an academic catalog? How is it referenced in MLA style? Below is the information I have.


SOLUTION: Years ago academic catalogs were only in print. I remember them being rather cumbersome but the book was important to keep. Now, most colleges do not even create a print edition. The college makes them available on their website in order to have the ability to quickly update as needed.

In order to create a properly formatted MLA reference, the following elements are needed: Group Author, Title, Publication Date, Publisher Name, and the Format.

Your reference should look like the one below. Take note of the entire title and how it is formatted.

Chamberlain College of Nursing. 125th Anniversary Commemorative Edition:

Chamberlain College of Nursing, 2013-2014 Academic Catalog. Chamberlain

College of Nursing, 2014. PDF file.

I see that the catalog is 175 pages. Aren’t you glad you do not have to lug this one around?

To take a look at the college and available programs, click here.


Newsletter Article – Stress!! – MLA Style

QUESTION: Could you please look at this “newsletter”. I am not 100% sure how to reference this. Here are the attributes it has:

1) Editor
2) Newsletter from the American Institute of Stress (First name)
3) Newsletter is called “Health and Stress” (second name)
4) Name of article

This is what I have put together, but I do not think it is correct. However I am not sure how to do something with two names?

Rosch, P. (2010). Health and stress: How valid are Selye’s diseases of adaptation. The American Institute of Stress, 2, 1-13. Retrieved from
SOLUTION: MLA does have specific guidelines on referencing a newsletter article. The article you are referencing does not have an author. Rosch is the editor in chief of the entire newsletter not the author. The title of the newsletter is Health and Stress: The Newsletter of the American Institute of Stress. There are no page numbers included in the PDF.

Your reference should look like the one below:

“How Valid are Selye’s Diseases of Adaptation.” Health and Stress: The Newsletter of the

American Institute of Stress Feb. 2010: N. pag. American Institute of Stress. Web. 16

Feb. 2014.

I did not realize that there was an American Institute of Stress. The website has quite a bit of interesting information on the topic. You might want to take a look.



No Title for Photograph – MLA Style

QUESTION: I am having trouble citing and referencing photos. If I have used a photo from the web, how do I reference it and cite it?? Is there a reference for digital media that is a photo?? Does MLA have standards to use web photos?? If you do not know the actual artist or photographer, how exactly to you cite this on the reference page??

This is the link to one of the photos that I am looking for:


First, I would suggest doing a search to locate the photos somewhere else. You may then have access to the photographer’s name, title of the photograph, and the date which certainly is preferred. (A quick search on GOOGLE for the photo comes up with many valid sites). You could also contact the blog writer and request the information. It is very important to do a thorough search for this information.

There is a specific MLA guideline in citing references without a title that is very rarely used or needed. The guideline states, if no title is present, you need to create a brief, descriptive title. For this photo: Children at Desks

Your reference for this photo:

Children at Desks. 2012. Matt’s Dustpan World. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.

Again, I strongly urge you to search for the photograph elsewhere in order to locate more valid information.


Top Posts of 2013 – How to Cite

Below is a list of the top MLA reference formatting posts from 2013. The reference types covered include: podcast, online journal article, press release, letter to the editor, and book review.

How to Cite postings will continue throughout 2014. If there is a particular type you would like covered, send me an email and I will be happy to touch on the subject.

How to Cite a Podcast

How to Cite an Online Journal Article

How to Cite a Press Release

How to Cite a Letter to the Editor

How to Cite a Book Review


MLA – Cite A Letter

For most, letter writing has gone by the wayside.  While many stay updated with friends by email or other types of social media, the nature of communicating through personal letters has undeniably changed.  Letters were once often meant not just for the person to whom they were sent, but rather meant to be read aloud and shared.  They were history.

Letters fall into three categories for a bibliography. A published letter, an unpublished letter within an archive, or a personal letter received by the researcher. All three types are cited and referenced within your research paper.

An example of Letter found in archive

Author, Andy. Letter to Name of Receiver. Date of Communication. MS or TS. Name of

Collection. Name of Archive, City. Print.

Lincoln, Abraham. Letter to Joseph Hooker. 26 Jan. 1863. MS. Alfred Whitall Stern

Collection of Lincolniania. Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections

Division, Washington. Print.

An example of Letter found within a book

Author, Andy. Date of Communication. Letter # (if available) of Title of the Collection.

Ed. Eric Editor. City of Publication: Publisher Name, Year. Page Numbers. Print.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. 24 Oct. 1840. Letter 172 of The Oxford Book of Letters. Ed. Frank

Kermode and Anita Kermode. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. 310-11. Print.

An example of a Letter received by the author

Author, Andy. Letter to the author. Date of Communication. MS or TS.

Smargiasso, Kim. Letter to the author. 2 Mar. 2010. MS.

*MS refers to work written by hand. TS refers to work prepared by machine


How to reference an email in MLA style and Use 2 or more works in the same citation

Question: In my class we had to do peer reviews of each other work. The peer that reviewed my paper provided me with “suggested” sentence to use. If I use her sentence, how would I cite her and also list her as a reference. Student name: Mary Edward example Information received on: Dec. 1, 2013 via email Thank you.

Solution: I would suggest referencing your classmate’s comment as an e-mail. The reference will be located within your list of Works Cited.

Your reference will look like the one below:

Edward, Mary. “Another thought.” Message to the author. 2 Dec. 2013. E-mail.

Now, if you wish to cite two works within the same parentheses make certain you place those works in alphabetical order.

Ex.: (Edward; Ramirez)


How to cite a report from WHO in MLA style

Question: I am trying to cite the World Health Organization. On the web page I am trying to cite, it says:

The bibliographic information for the definition is:

Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.

I am not sure if the above information is relevant when trying to make a reference/citation. And I am not able to figure out which type of citation is appropriate for this.

Thanks for your help.

Solution: I would suggest referencing the entire report ( instead of the web page with only the definition.

Your reference will appear like the one below:

World Health Organization. Official records of the world health organization (no. 2). New York:

World Health Organization, 1948. World Health Organization. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

Your in text citations will look like this:

1st one: (WHO 100)

2nd one: (WHO 100)

The known abbreviation should be used for the in text citation.

Did you know that the World Health Organization is the leading authority on international health matters? The group is responsible for setting standards and shaping health research programs.



Happy Thanksgiving! – Recipes to Enjoy & Citations to Learn

Thanksgiving time again! It is time to plan the menu for the big day. I have found two new recipes to try.

One of my sons is a vegetarian so I have been searching for a good vegetarian stuffing recipe to create. I found a classic herb stuffing recipe on the McCormick spice website that I will make with a bit of variation; substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

In order to cite the recipe in MLA style, I would need to follow the guidelines for citing a work on a website with no author. For this particular example, the name of the recipe, website name, sponsor’s name, publication date, and the access date are needed to create the reference.

“Classic Herb Stuffing Recipe.” McCormick. McCormick & Company, Inc, 2013. Web.

20 Nov. 2013.

The in-text citation: (“Classic Herb Stuffing Recipe”)

I also found a simple, yet tasty Waldorf salad recipe I am thinking of trying. I located the recipe in one of my Moosewood cookbooks. In order to cite this recipe in MLA style, I would need the following elements: editor’s name, recipe title, book title, city of publication, publisher name, publication year, and page number.

Katzen, Mollie, ed. “Waldorf Deluxe.” Moosewood Cookbook. Berkeley: Ten Speed

 Press, 1997. 59. Print.

In Text Citation: (Katzen 59)

Classic Herb Stuffing 


Serves: Makes 18 (3/4-cup) servings.

1 c. (2 sticks) butter

2 c. chopped celery

1 c. chopped onion

2 t. thyme leaves

1 1/2 t. poultry seasoning

1 t. seasoned salt

1/2 t. black pepper

12 c. dry unseasoned bread cubes

4 c. chicken broth


Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in thyme, poultry seasoning, seasoned salt and pepper.

Place bread cubes in large bowl. Add celery mixture and broth; toss gently until well mixed. Spoon into lightly greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Bake 35 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned.

Waldorf Deluxe

3 med-sized tart apples, in chunks

2 to 3 T. lemon juice                                                   Dressing:

1 stalk celery, minced                                                 1 c. yogurt

1 to 2 c. seedless grapes, whole or halved                  ¼ c. mayonnaise

1 c. diced cheddar                                                      ½ c. orange juice

¼ c. (packed) minced dates                                        ½ t. grated orange rind

¾ c. chopped toasted pecans

Combine salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Combine everything and mix well.