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The Purpose of Citing an Encyclopedia in MLA

When you have to compose an average research paper or a simple essay, you must use certain sources to support your statement. Even as you talk of common knowledge, it is still important to mention the source to avoid any plagiarism risks. Moreover, doing so shows that you have done some research. Citing encyclopedia MLA style is one of those reliable methods that will make your essay much better and keep it within academic writing standards. Our MLA citation guide offers the list of examples that will serve as a good starting point.

What Must Be Included in the MLA Encyclopedia Citation?

Currently reaching 8th edition, MLA or Modern Language Association remains one of the most widely used writing styles among American college students. Here is how to do it right and a list of what you have to include:

Author of an article. According to MLA cite encyclopedia manual, it is necessary to use the last author’s name with a full name, including one’s middle name as well. It is recommended to avoid placing initials. 

Title and subtitle of a chosen entry. It is separated by a colon. The first and last words of the title and subtitle must be capitalized. The same relates to all proper nouns and words that have a certain significance. As a rule, both title and subtitle should be in quotation marks. 

Encyclopedia’s title (and subtitle if available). The same rules apply here as it was done above. Any encyclopedia’s title should be italicized. No quotation marks in this referencing.  

Full name of editor(s). It goes with the prefix of “Edited by John Smith” or “Edited by Jake Russell, Tony Lindstrom, and John Baker,”. Note that there is a comma at the end. 

Edition number. As an example: 3rd ed., 

Volume number. It goes with the “vol. 3,” template. 

Publisher. A comma should be placed after the name of a publisher. 

Publication year. 

Database (if relevant). MedLab Inc.,  It goes in italics with a comma at the end. 

Website URL. It has no prefix, just the URL. 

Access Date. The format is: Accessed 1 May. 2019. 

Here is what we have for our encyclopedia MLA citation for in-text entries: 

(Jones)

Bibliography:

Jones, Tony. “Quantum Particles.” Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. Edited by Reinhard
        Stock, 1st ed., vol. 1, Wiley-VCH, 2009.

The Main Types of MLA Encyclopedia Citations

Encyclopedia/Dictionary From Database

Last Name, First Name. “Entry’s Title.” Title of Encyclopedia or Dictionary, edited by
        Editor’s full name, Edition (if available), vol., Issue, Publisher, Date of Publication,
        pp. Name of Database.

In-text:

(James)

Bibliography reference: 

James, Jesse R. “Obama, Barrack.” Political Sciences Encyclopedia, 2016. Penguin
        Books.

Online Encyclopedia Entry

Follow this example: 

Nygaard-King, Betty. “Neil Young.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 30 Oct. 2012.
        www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/neil-young-emc. Accessed 20 Jul.
        2020.

In-text citing:

(Nygaard-King)

Wikipedia Source

Bibliography reference:

“Iceland.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 July 2020,
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland. Accessed 16 July 2020.

When citing in an essay, use the entry’s title:

(“Iceland”)

Encyclopedia in Print

MLA citation encyclopedia rules for print sources go as follows:

Bibliography:

Mustaine, Dave R. “Rock’n’Roll Ethics.” The Great Rock Encyclopedia, edited by Tim N.
        Russell, Rev. ed., vol. 2, Rufus Stone Limited, 2001, pp. 22-24.

In-text citing:

(Mustaine 22)

How to Cite Authors in MLA 8?

Unknown Author

In such case, use the name of an entry: 

“Celtic Stone Piles” Oxford Encyclopedia of World History, compiled by The Thames
      Publishing, Oxford Press, 2004, p. 36.

Your in-text reference is: 

(“Celtic Stone Piles” 36)

A Single Author

Banks, Tony M. “The Birds of Texel.” New Encyclopedia of Birds, edited by Christopher
        Perrins, vol. 1, Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 84-92.

Citing in an essay:

(Banks 84)

Two or More Authors

When you have to cite online encyclopedia MLA or use any print edition that has multiple authors, follow this real-life template:

Wang, John, and Sally King. “Mechanical Engineering.” New World Encyclopedia,
        edited by Callum Perkins, vol. 3, Salem Press, 2005, pp. 296-301.
        https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Mechanical_engineering

In-text citation:

(Wang and King 296)

Why Use Our Encyclopedia MLA Citation Generator?

Even when you know all the rules for MLA citing, it does not mean that things will get easy. Just think about how much time it takes when you have over thirty sources for a large dissertation or a research paper. Here is where our free MLA citation engine helps! All you have to do is enter all available information and let our generator format the reference for you! It does not have any limitations and does not ask for any kind of registration. Save some precious time and learn with the help of this great AI resource.

FAQ

What should I do for an in-text citing when my entry is too large?

Use a shortened title instead. For example:

(“Dutch Traditions”) and not (“Dutch Traditions Among The Elderly in Den Haag Territory”)

How do I cite three or more authors in MLA 8?

You should use this template by placing “et.al.” after the first name in a list: 

Reference:

Findlay, Heather, et.al

In-text:

(Findlay et.al. 22)

How should the name of a Database be listed in MLA style format?

It goes with italics like:

Lee, Amy P. “ER Room Codes.” Medical Dictionary Guide, 2018. MedLab.