MLA style bibliography

January 06, 2014

Content blog mla style bibliography

The MLA Bibliography Format

Bibliography is a requirement that will never lack in any given kind of a research paper. The only thing that would vary is the format that has been used. It is therefore important to understand the format in use and in this context, let’s first establish what is denoted by the abbreviation MLA. It stands for Modern Language Association.

Basic Bibliography Recommendations from MLA

The lists entailing the cited work should start at the very end of your document, often in a blank page and the title should be set at the center? The list entries should be in an alphabetical manner, starting with the last name of that author. Use a letter-by-letter system.

Avoid numbers when writing dates in your text but you can abbreviate them in your list, not unless it’s May June and July. You can use day-month-year style (22 June 2012). Better still, month-day-year style requires the adding of a coma after the year, not unless punctuation has been used there.

 Underlining and italicizing

In yester years, typewriters used to underline words because they could not in any way italicize or print them. Hand written bibliography should have the names of the publications underlined. If you have used a computer, ensure that your names are in italics. Ensure that you have consulted your instructor to know if they want italics or underlines.

Hanging Indents

An MLA citation uses a hanging indentation where the first line is flushed to the left.

The subsequent sentences should be in indented ½

Punctuating, Abbreviating and Capitalizing

The MLA style bibliography requires the usage of titled case capitalization. This means that the last and first words should be in capitals including all principal words. It also applies to those that follow hyphens in compound terms. Lowercase abbreviations should be used when identifying part of a written work. For instance vol. for volume, ed. for editor. An exception should be made when the said designation follow a given period. If possible, you can use the appropriate abbreviation forms for, the name of the publisher.

It will also be prudent to separate the author, title and information of a publication with a period followed subsequently by a single space. Colon and space are used to separate title from a subtitle. You can also use quotation marks indicating short works that have appeared with larger works e.g. ‘’Memories of Childhood.’’ American Short Stories. Quotations are also applicable when one has used titles of unpublished works

The format

The MLA bibliography format is as follows

Author’s last name, first name. Book title. Additional information. City of publication: publishing company, publication date.