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MLA Style Guide, 8th Edition: Author

Author (Works Cited)

Author is the first core element of the Works Cited entry. The term "author" is used loosely to mean the person or group primarily responsible for producing the source. Editors, translators, performers, and corporate authors may fill the author core element, but a descriptive label should be included.

  • List author names as they appear in the document or text — meaning do not abbreviate the names.
  • Reverse only the name of the first author followed by a comma. "Sam Jones" becomes "Jones, Sam."
  • Give the other names in normal form (as they appear).
  • Use the word "and," not an ampersand (&), before the last author's name.
  • For three or more authors, list the first author with the name reversed followed by a comma and "et al."
  • If a work has no personal or organizational author, but has an editor, begin the citation with the name(s) of the editor(s).
  • If a work has no identifiable author (personal, organization, or editor), begin the citation with the title.
  • For corporate authors omit any initial articles in the name, such as "the."
  • For editors, follow the same rules as authors but include a comma followed by "editor" or "editors" and then a period.
  • This element ends with a period.

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