Category Archive: Reference


How to cite an online library book in MLA format

QUESTION: How do I cite a book from an online library using MLA format style? Is there a place for eISBN number? Is publisher information needed? What specific information is needed for the reference? Thanks, Tam

SOLUTION: If you are referencing a book located within an online library, the publisher information is needed for the reference. ISBN numbers are not required for book references. There are specific elements that are needed though.

Required elements

Author Name


Publisher Information

Publication Year

Name of the Online Library

Access Date

Online libraries give you access to thousands of books. Most libraries are able to give you full access to these book databases as long as you have a library card. Go to your college or local library for more information.

Below is a reference to an Easter book found on GOOGLE Books.

O’Collins, Gerald. Easter Faith: Believing in the Risen Jesus. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2003. Google Books. Web. 14 April 2014.


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.


MLA Speech from President

Question: I would like to add a quote from Pres JFK into my paper. The reference I found is simply that this is from one of his speeches, and is listed like such – “Address in the Assembly Hall at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt (266),” June 25, 1963, Public Papers of the President: John F. Kennedy, 1963. (the “public papers….” part is in italics) How do I add this reference?

Response: The reference type depends on how you viewed the speech. If you read the address on a website, you might use article on stand alone website or entire website depending. If you read the address in a periodical or book, one of the types within those categories would be used.

There are 2 different formats I found that you might have used to locate your quote.

If you located the information within the book, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President, January 1 to November 22, 1963 a book chapter reference would be created.

Kennedy, John F. “Address in the Assembly Hall at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt, June 25,

1963.” Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963.

Washington: GPO, 1964. 516-21. Print.

If you located the information on a website, such as The American Presidency Project, you would create a reference for an article on a stand alone website.

Kennedy, John F. “Address in the Assembly Hall at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt – 266.”

The American Presidency Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.

By the way The American Presidency Project site is loaded with valuable information. The website was created by Gerhard Peters and John T. Wooley in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Barbara. The site holds over 10,000 documents related to the study of the presidency which are organized into a searchable database.


MLA Publisher Information

Question: Hello, I am trying to create a properly MLA formatted book chapter reference. The publisher of the book is Cambridge University Press. There are many cities listed for place of publication (New York, Cambridge, Singapore). What do I enter for place of publication and publisher name?

The reference so far:

Heath, Shirley Brice. “The townspeople.” Ways with Words: Language, Life and Work in

Communities and Classrooms. ????: ???. 2006. 236-62. Print.

Response: Before I answer your question, I am going to give you a bit of background information. In order to cite a publisher’s location outside of the US, one would spell out the city only. MLA format also suggests if several cities are listed in the book; give only the first. It is not necessary to identify a state, province, or country after the city name. It is important to note that the publisher’s name may be abbreviated.

University abbreviation = U

Press abbreviation = P

Completed Reference

Heath, Shirley Brice. “The townspeople.” Ways with Words: Language, Life and Work in

Communities and Classrooms. New York: Cambridge UP, 2006. 236-62. Print.


Commercials – MLA Style

Superbowl Commercials.

There is a lot of hype before the big game about the makings of the commercials and the story lines behind them. I know people who watch the game in order to see the commercials. These same people discuss which ones are the best and which of the commercials weren’t worth watching. Now many of the commercials are released early on the internet for anyone to view so viewing them during the game is not as much of an event.

The game this year was a blowout (Seattle 43 to Denver 8) and the halftime show was so – so; but there were a few commercials that really were quite well done.

My favorites were:

Budweiser “A Hero’s Welcome”

Budweiser “Puppy Love”

Turbo Tax “Love Hurts”

Chevrolet “Romance”

Radio Shack “The Phone Call”

Chrysler “America’s Import”

Commercials can be used as work citations for your research. There is a specific way to format the reference in MLA style.

The elements needed to create the reference are; Product Name, Network Name, Date of Broadcast, Website Name, and Date of Access.

Turbo Tax. Advertisement. FOX. 2 Feb. 2014. YouTube. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.



MLA Video on Weather


The weather this winter has really been crazy. Lately I spend a lot of time checking the weather in different parts of the country where family members live. One of my sons in Atlanta called the other day about the snowstorm they were having there. The restaurant where he works closed in the midst of the storm along with almost all of the retail stores in the area. The drive home should have taken fifteen minutes but instead it took over two hours. Many people had abandoned their cars on the roadsides and walked home.

There are many videos to be found online showing pictures and telling stories of the recent Southern storm. Check out this one.

Videos can be used as references within your papers. There is a certain way to create a video reference in MLA style.

The elements needed to create are: author or group author name, title of the video, website name, website sponsor, exact date of video, and date of access.

AP Online Video. “Deep freeze, snow paralyzes deep south.” Video file. MSN Weather.

Microsoft, 29 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.