Skip to Main Content

MLA Style Guide, 7th Edition: Authors

This is a guide for MLA Style. It is based on the Modern Language Association of America's MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition.

General Rules for Authors (Works Cited)

Personal Authors

List author names as they appear in the document or text. Reverse only the name of the first author followed by a comma. Give the other names in normal form (as they appear). Use the word "and", not an ampersand "&",  before the last author's name. End with a period.

 1 author: Reverse the first and last name.

Jones, Bryan R.

Morgan, Joseph R., ed.

de Wollen, Stacy

2 or 3 authors: Reverse only the first author's name. Use the word "and" before the last author's name.

Smith, Jerome R., and Ellen Siegfried.

Miller, J. R., Edward A. Brown, and Joseph C. Williams.

4 or more authorsYou have two choices for 4 or more authors.

Give only the first author's name followed by et al. 

Carrey, Jane M., et al.


List all names in order as they appear on the title page (reversing the first entry).

Carrey, Jane M., Patricia Riley, Kenneth K. James, Katherine Edgerton, Rodney Smith, Thomas A. Rowland, and James D. Henry.


Organizational Authors

Organizations, corporations, or groups as author: Omit any initial articles in the name.

Central Intelligence Agency.

Modern Language Association.

Government documents: List the name of the government (nation or state) first followed by the department name and then the title of the publication (italicized). Use common abbreviations (7.4). See section 5.5.20 for two or more works by the same government or government agency.

United States. Dept. of Labor. Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning. . .

Florida. Dept. of Health.