How to Cite an Encyclopedia in MLA

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Published October 31, 2011. Updated June 28, 2021.

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Encyclopedia – A book or a series of books used for reference on a range of materials or numerous information typically around one subject.

Citing an Encyclopedia in Print

Works Cited
Structure

Last, First M. (if available*) “Article Title.” Encyclopedia Name, edited by Editor’s First Name Last Name (if available), edition (if not first edition), volume number, Publisher Name, year published, page number(s).

Example

McGhee, Karen, and George McKay. “Old World Monkeys.” Encyclopedia of Animals, National Geographic, 2007, p. 30.

Cite your source

*Note: If the author of an article is not listed or known, start your citation with the article title instead. The article title (or a shortened version) would also be used in in-text citations in place of the author’s last name. 

In-text Citation
Structure

 (Last Name page number)

Example

 (McGhee and McKay 30)

 


Citing an Encyclopedia Found Online

Works Cited
Structure

Last, First M. (if available) “Article Title.” Encyclopedia Name, Publisher (if different from encyclopedia name), date published or updated, URL.

Example

McGhee, Karen, and George McKay. “Old World Monkeys.” Encyclopedia of Animals, National Geographic, 2007, books.google.vu/books?id=xJYMuAEACAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.

Cite your source

 

In-text Citation
Structure

 (Last Name)

Example

 (McGhee and McKay)

 


Citing an Encyclopedia Article Found in a Database

Works Cited
Structure

Last, First M. (if available) “Article Title.” Encyclopedia Name, edited by First M. Last (if available), edition (if not first edition),  volume number, Publisher, year published, page number(s). Database Name, URL.

Example

Holmes, Heather. “Advertising of Food.” Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, edited by Soloman H. Katz, vol. 1, Scribner Publishing, 2003, pp. 16-20. Gale Virtual Reference Library, link-gale-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/apps/?userGroupName=nypl.

Cite your source

Note: If no edition or volume number is given, leave it out.

In-text Citation
Structure

 (Last Name)

Example

 (Holmes)

 


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