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MLA : Encyclopedia

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How to Cite an Encyclopedia in Print in MLA

Be sure to include the name of author (if given), the name of the article, the name of the reference book, the edition, and the year of publication. If the reference book is well known, do not include the publication information.

Structure:

Last, First M., and First M. Last. “Article Title.” Encyclopedia Name. City: Publisher, Year Published. Page(s). Print.

Examples:

McGhee, Karen, and George McKay. “Insects.” Encyclopedia of Animals. Washington: National Geographic Society, 2007. 170-71. Print

Posner, Rebecca. “Romance Languages.” The Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropedia. 15th ed. 1987. Print.

How to Cite an Encyclopedia Online in MLA

Format:

Last, First M., and First M. Last. “Article Title.” Encyclopedia Name. City: Publisher, Year Published. Website Title. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.

Examples:

McGhee, Karen, and George McKay. “Insects.” Encyclopedia of Animals. Washington: National Geographic Society, 2007. Google Books. Web. 2 Jan. 2010.

Hassler, Warren W. “American Civil War.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., n.d. Web. 2 Jan. 2013.

How to Cite an Encyclopedia on a Database in MLA

Format:

Last, First M. “Article Title” Encyclopedia Name. Ed. First M. Last. Vol. Volume. City: Publisher, Year Published. Database Name. Web Date Month Year.

Examples:

Holmes, Heather. “Advertising of Food” Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Ed. Solomon H. Katz. Vol. 1. New York: Scribner’s, 2003. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 July 2010.

Bunson, Margaret R. “Historical Overview.” Encyclopedia on Ancient Egypt. 3rd ed. New York: Infobase, 2012. Xii-Xv. Gale Cengage Catalog. Web. 4 Jan. 2013.

Make sure to:

  • Choose if the source was published directly online or originally in print.
  • Find the date that the article was electronically published.
  • For well-known reference works, it is not necessary to include full publication information.

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View our visual citation guide on how to cite a Encyclopedia in MLA format.

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