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Potomac State College

GEOL 102 - Planet Earth Laboratory - Rock and Mineral Report

What's on this page?

Handouts

Detailed Overview of
MLA In-Text Citations and
Bibliographic Citations

How to Format Your Works Cited Page
(aka MLA Bibliography)

These quick guides will show you how to get started with your in-text citations, bibliographic citations, and your works cited page.
 

This section explains how to incorporate information from sources, how to cite sources, and how to format your citations in your bibliography.

This section has a short video which explains how to format your Works Cited page in Microsoft Word.

MLA Handouts

The following handouts may be useful when you are crafting your lab report. Don't forget to ask your instructor, a librarian, or a tutor in the Academic Success Center if you need help.

Citing Sources in MLA

A quick overview of MLA bibliographic citations:

For more details on bibliography citations, see below.

Books: Author's last name, Author's first name. Title of Book in Italics. Edition if needed, Publisher of book, Year of publication.

Book chapters: Author names. "Chapter title." Title of book in italics, Publisher name, Year of publication, Web address (if applicable). 

Websites: "Webpage title." Website name in italics, Date if known, Web address. Accessed date in Day Month Name Year.

In-text citations in MLA:

 

How in-text citations should look:

If you are citing from a source that has only two authors, you will include the last names of the two authors in your in-text citation: "Fossil trilobites may be found by splitting shales from many locations around the world (Foote and Miller)."

If you're citing from a source that has more than two authors, you will substitute the names of all authors except the first with "et al.". So for instance, you might write: "Fluorite is often transparent to translucent (Anthony et al.)."

This manner of in-text citations applies to all sources. The only exception may be if you did not know the author of the source, in which case, you may write: "Fluorite is composed of one atom of calcium and two atoms of flourine ("Fluorite")."

In summary:

In-text citation, Two authors: “Fossil trilobites may be found by splitting shales from many locations around the world” (Foote & Miller).

In-text citation, More than two authors, substitute the names of all authors except the first with "et al.”:  "Fluorite is often transparent to translucent” (Anthony et al.,).

In-text citation, No date or author: "Fluorite is composed of one atom of calcium and two atoms of fluorine” ("Fluorite")

Types of citations:

Direct Quote:

"Droplets of vinegar will cause calcite to fizz and bubble, but dolomite will be unaffected" (Dixon 103).

OR

According to Dixon, "Vinegar has no chemical effect on dolomite, but will produce a fizzing and bubbling reaction in calcite" (103)

Paraphrase:

Droplets of vinegar will cause calcite to fizz and bubble, but dolomite will be unaffected (Dixon 103).

OR

Dixon concludes that droplets of vinegar will cause calcite to fizz and bubble, but dolomite will be unaffected (103).

More in-depth overview of MLA citations:

For bibliographic citations, the following information may prove helpful.

To cite a single-authored book in MLA:

Author's last name, Author's first name. Title of Book in Italics. Edition if needed, Publisher of book, Year of publication.

Bibliographic Example:

Dixon, Dougal. The Practical Geologist. Touchstone, 1992.

To cite a book with multiple authors in MLA:

It is the same as a book with one author, except you will list the other authors in order, with each author's last name first, then first initial.

Bibliographic Examples:

Foote, Michael, and Arnold Miller. Principles of Paleontology. 3rd ed., W. H. Freeman, 2006.

Lutgens, Frederick, et al. Essentials of Geology. 13th ed., Pearson, 2017.

To cite a book chapter in MLA (such as one in the Handbook of Mineralogy):

Author names. "Chapter title." Title of book in italics, Publisher name, Year of publication, Web address (if applicable). 

Bibliographic Example:

Anthony, John, et al. "Fluorite." Handbook of mineralogy, Mineral Data Publishing, 2001, www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/fluorite.pdf.

To cite a book chapter in a reference work (such as the Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils):

"Field relationships." Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils, A. C. Bishop, et al., Philip's, 1st edition, 2003. Credo Reference, http://www.libproxy.wvu.edu/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/philipsminerals/field_relationships/1?institutionId=735. Accessed 26 Aug. 2020.

To cite a webpage in MLA (such as mindat.org):

"Webpage title." Website name in italics, Date if known, Web address (There should not be a live link, aka blue link!). Accessed date in Day Month Name Year.

Bibliographic Example:

"Fluorite." mindat.org, www.mindat.org/min-1576.html. Accessed 7 May 2020.

Bibliography in MLA:

If you choose to use MLA, your bibliography will be listed at the end of your report with the heading Works Cited centered and each citation should have a hanging indent.

Formatting your bibliography

Having trouble with hanging indentations in Word for bibliographies? Watch this short video (2 minutes) created by one of our librarians.

Need more help?

Need more help?