Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA Style Guide for Citations (9th edition): Author

The author is the person or group of persons that created a source.

You may notice that instead of a person as an author, the author may be a corporation, organization, or government agency. Also, sometimes editors are listed in the author element because they are the person who created a source.

How to list authors

One author

Last name, first name.

Example: Angelou, Maya.

Two authors

Last name, first name, and First name Last name. (Order as listed on the source.)

Example: Kilmeade, Brian, and Don Yaeger.

Three or more authors

Last name, first name, et al. (Include the name of the first author listed. Et al means "and others.")

Hughes, John, et al.

Other situations

No author/creator listed

Skip this part of the citation and start with the title of the source. Do NOT list the author as "Anonymous."

Performer, director, etc. in a film or television show

List the name (last name first) and provide a descriptive label of the person's role.

Example: Scorsese, Martin, director.

Corporation, organization, or agency

List the name of the corporation, organization, or agency.

Example: Texas Education Agency.

Corporation, organization, or agency that is ALSO the publisher

If the organization is also the publisher, skip the author field and list the organization only in the publisher field.

Example (full citation):

"Alcohol Use and Your Health." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 July 2016, www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm.

Online usernames

List the user name in the author field.

Example: @BBCBreaking

How to list editors

One editor

Last name, First name, editor.

Example: Pinsky, Robert, editor.

Two editors

Last name, First name, and First name Last name, editors.

Example: Arth, Marvin, and Helen Ashmore, editors.

Three or more editors

Last name, First name, et al., editors.

Example: Curbera, Guillermo P., et al., editors.

Example citations

Kilmeade, Brian, and Don Yaeger. George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution. Sentinel, 2013.

Gouveia, Sidney, et al. “Forest Structure Drives Global Diversity of Primates.” Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 83, no. 6,  Nov. 2014, pp. 1523-30.

Bozeman Science. “A Tour of the Cell.” YouTube, 24 Feb. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z9pqST72is.

Morton, Oliver. Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet. Harper Publishers, 2008.   

Pinsky, Robert, editor. The Best of the Best American Poetry.  Scribner, 2013.

The Wizard of Oz. Directed by Victor Fleming, performance by Judy Garland, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 25 Aug. 1939.

@TechCrunch. "Google's Project Fi gets a group plan tcrn.ch/2e3cXKh by @fredericl." Twitter, 11 Oct. 2016, 9:00 a.m., twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/785872688417951744.

©2022 Houston Community College Libraries