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Citation Tools: Dictionaries/Encyclopedias/Apps

MLA Core Elements

MLA - Who is the author?

The author refers to the person or entity that created the source.  
Authors can include individual people writing books and articles, Film directors, government agencies, corporations, and many more.

List the author last name first:  Brown, Brene.  

If the person you are listing as the creator is someone other than an author, such as an editor or translator, include a label that indicates this.  

Example: Nunberg, Geoffrey, editor.

If the source was created by an organization, such as an institution, government agency, corporation, etc. list the name of the organization as the author.  

However, if the authoring organization is also the publisher, do not list it in the author spot.  Begin the entry with the source title and list the organization only in the publisher spot.  

What if there are multiple authors?

When a source has two authors, list them in the order in which their names appear in the work.  Only the first person will be listed last name first.  The second person's name should appear in normal order.  

Example:  Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdrich

When a source has three or more authors, list only the first person's name (last name, first name), followed by et al (and others).  

Example: Brown, Peter C., et al.  

What if there is no author listed?

Do not list the author as Anonymous, rather simply skip the author element and begin the citation with the source title.  

MLA - Dictionaries

Example: Online Dictionaries

"Obfuscate." Dictionary. Accessed 30 April 2017. 

Example: Print Dictionary

“Content.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., Merriam-Webster, 2003, p. 269.

MLA - Encylopedias

Example:  Online Encyclopedia Article

In this example, the article comes from The Columbia Encyclopedia, which is indexed in the reference database, Credo Reference. 

"Tibetan Buddhism." The Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press, 2016. Credo Reference.  Accessed 16 Oct. 2016. 


Example: Print Encyclopedia

Wenz, Peter S. "Environmental Ethics." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Donald M. Borchert, Editor, 2nd edition, vol. 3, Thomson Gale, 2006. pp. 258-261.