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Citation Help for MLA, 9th Edition: Variations

Multiple authors?

For Two Authors

McGill, Ivan, and John Kurt Glenn. The Action Learning Handbook: Powerful Techniques for Education. Rutledge Falmer, 2021.

List the first author's last name followed by their first and middle names. Place an "and" between the names. The second author is listed first name followed by the last name.

For More Than Two Authors

Nelson, Karl, et al. Fish Is for Everyone. Penguin Press, 2020. 

If there are more than three authors, just list the first one followed by et al., which is Latin for and others. There is a period after al but not et.

No author?

Example with an author:
Lustig, T. Gutenberg: First modern inkmaker? The inventor of movable type probably also created the first workable printing ink. Spiral, 2022.

If this article did not have an author it would be cited as:
Gutenberg: First Modern Inkmaker? The Inventor of Movable Type Probably Also Created the First Workable Printing Ink. Spiral, 2022.

Start with the name of the article, book, or web page if no author is given.

Secondary Source?

Question: How do I cite an article which is cited in the article I am using?
Answer: According to p. 284 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 9th ed. -

"Whenever you can, take material from the original source and not a secondhand one. But if you quote an author's quotation of a source you did not personally consult, put the abbreviation qtd. in (for quoted in) before the indirect source you cite in your parenthetical reference. (Otherwise, you can clarify the relation between the original and secondhand sources in a note.)

Parenthetical notation:
Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 289).

In works cited:
Boswell, James. Boswell's Life of Johnson. Edited by George Birkbeck Hill, vol. 3, Times Book      Club, 1912. HathiTrust Digital Library,

Month Abbreviations

According to p. 295 of the MLA Handbook 9th ed. Spell out months in the body of your paper and abbreviate as follows in your works cited list:

January = Jan.
February = Feb.
March = Mar.
April = Apr.
May = May
June = June
July = July
August = Aug.
September = Sept.
October = Oct.
November = Nov.
December = Dec.


Gibbs, Janet Trist. Children of Hope: Psychological Interventions, edited by John C. Cowl, Jossey-Bass, 2020.

After the title, place a comma and then the words edited by before the editor's name, which will be listed with the first name and then the last name including a middle name or initial if given. Put a comma after the editor's name and before the publisher.

If there is no author and only an editor, then start the citation with the editor's name followed by a comma and the word editor.
Cowl, John C., editor. Children of Hope: Psychological Interventions. Jossey-Bass, 2020.


Smith, Susan. Clinical Skills: Basic to Advanced Skills. 9th ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, 2022.

Place the edition number after the book title. Follow by ed., and then the publisher.