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Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Tips

Access Date

For all content found on the Web, you must list the date you first viewed the resource. This comes last in a citation with the word "Accessed" before the date. The date is given as Day Month Year and the month is abbreviated (e.g. Oct. instead of October)

Authors/Editors

An author can be a person but can also be an organization, or company. These are called group or corporate authors.

If you are citing a chapter from a book that has an editor, the author of the chapter is listed first, and is the name listed in the in-text citation.

Dates

The format of all dates is: Date Month (shortened) Year. E.g. 5 Sept. 2012.

Page Numbers

If there is more than one page put "pp." before the page numbers. If there is only one page put "p." before the page number.

If no page numbers are provided leave them out of the citation.

Place of Publication

List the city the book was publsihed. If more than one city is listed, use the first.

Titles

Capitalize the first letter of every important word in the title. You do not need to capitalize words such as: in, of, or an.

If there is a colon (:) in the title, include what comes after the colon (also known as the subtitle).

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In-Text Citation - No Author

If a dictionary or encyclopedia entry has no author, the in-text citation should include the first word or words in the title of the entry. The title of the entry should be in quotation marks, with each word starting with a capital letter.

Include the page number where the quote or paraphrased section appears if page numbers are provided.

Examples:

("Cat Care")

("Tattooing" 54)

Encyclopedia or Dictionary From Library Database - Known Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, edited by Editor's First Name Last Name, Edition if given and not first edition, vol. Volume Number, Publisher Name, Date of Publication, pp. First Page - Last Page. Name of Database

For in-text citations, use (Author's Last Name)

Works Cited Example

Davidson, Tish. "Anorexia Nervosa." The Gale Encyclopedia of Diets: A Guide to Health and Nutrition, edited by Kristin Key, 2nd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2013, pp. 52-57. Gale Virtual Reference Library.

In-Text Citation Example

(Davidson)

 Note: Because the specific page number can't be determined, the page number is left out of the in-text citation. Include a page number after the author's last name if one is given.

 Note: While MLA 8th edition recommends including URLs, they can be left out when citing a work found in a library database. Accessed date is also optional.

If you do not have information such as an editor's name, a volume or page numbers leave those sections out of your citation.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary From Library Database - Unknown Author

"Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, edited by Editor's First Name Last Name, Edition if given and not first edition, vol. Volume Number, Publisher Name, Date of Publication, pp. First Page - Last Page. Name of Database

For in-text citations, use ("Title Words")

Works Cited List Example

"Anorexia nervosa." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2015. eLibrary.

  Note: This example had no editor's name, edition, volume or page numbers, so these elements were left out of the citation.

In-Text Citation Example

("Anorexia")

 Note: This entry has no page numbers, so this information is left out of the citation. 

 Note: If a dictionary or encyclopedia entry has no author, the in-text citation should include the first one, two or three words from title of the entry. The words from the title of the entry should be in quotation marks, with each word starting with a capital letter.

 Note: While MLA 8th edition recommends including URLs, they can be left out when citing a work found in a library database. Accessed date is also optional.

If you do not have information such as an editor's name, edition, volume or page numbers, leave those sections out of your citation.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary From a Website - Known Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, Publication or Update Date, Name of Website. URL. Accessed Date. 

For in-text citations, use (Author's Last Name)

Works Cited List Example

McLean, Steve. "The Tragically Hip." The Canadian Encyclopedia, 26 Mar. 2015, Historica Canada. www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/the-tragically-hip-emc. Accessed 9 Nov. 2017.

 Note: In this example, the Publication or Update Date is the date of the page was last edited.

In-Text Citation Example

(McLean)

 Note: This entry has no page numbers so that detail is left out of the citation.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary From a Website - Unknown Author

"Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, Publication or Update Date, Name of Website. URL. Accessed Date. 

For in-text citations, use ("Title of Entry")

Works Cited List Example

 

 "Filibuster." Merriam-Webster's Learners Dictionary, 9 Nov. 2017, Merriam-Webster. www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/filibuster. Accessed 9 Nov. 2017.

 Note: This page was last updated on the same day it was accessed.

In-Text Citation Example

("Filibuster")

Wikipedia

 Note: Wikipedia is not considered to be an acceptable source for your assignments and will not count towards the required minimum number of sources. It is a good place to start your research.

"Title of Entry." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Day Month Year entry was last modified, Time entry was last modified, URL of entry. Accessed Date.

For in-text citations, use ("Title of Entry")

Works Cited List Example

"Body Image." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Nov. 2017, 7:49 am, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_image. Accessed 9 Nov. 2017.

 Note: The date and time the article was last modified appears at the bottom of each Wikipedia article.

In-Text Citation Example

("Body Image")

Encyclopedia or Dictionary Entry In Print - Known Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, edited by Editor's First Name Last Name, Edition if given and not first edition, vol. Volume Number, Publisher Name, Year of Publication, pp. First Page - Last Page.

For in-text citations, use (Author's Last Name Page Number)

Works Cited List Example

 Barber, Russell J. "Anthropological Ethics." Ethics, edited by John K. Roth, Rev. ed., vol. 1, Salem Press, 2005, pp. 67-69. 

In-Text Citation Example

(Barber 67)

Encyclopedia or Dictionary In Print - Unknown Author

 "Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, edited by Editor's First Name Last Name, Edition if given and not first edition, vol. Volume Number, Publisher Name, Year of Publication, pp. First Page - Last Page.

For in-text citations, use ("Title of Emtry" Page Number)

Works Cited List Example

 "Guyana" Oxford Encyclopedia of World History, compiled by Market House Books, Oxford UP, 1998, p. 283

 Note: Compilers are listed as Other Contributors, not as Authors.

In-Text Citation Example

("Guyana" 283)

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