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MLA Guide

This guide contains information to help you cite your sources in MLA format.

Citing an Encyclopedia

Encyclopedias are an example of a reference source and can be great to use for background information about a subject. Encyclopedias provide overviews of various topics to help their readers learn more about a subject. The SCC Library has access to many encyclopedias, both online in library databases and in print on the shelves in the library.

Encyclopedia from Library Database 

Known Author

Format: Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia, edited by Editor's Name, Edition, vol. #, Publisher Name, Date of Publication, page number(s). Database Name.

Example: Moore, Leonard N. "Civil Rights Movement." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, edited by Thomas Riggs, 2nd ed., vol. 1, St. James Press, 2013, pp. 608-611. Gale eBooks.


Unknown Author

Format: "Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia, edited by Editor's Name, Edition, vol. #, Publisher Name, Date of Publication, page number(s). Database Name.

Example: "Earthquakes." Notable Natural Disasters, edited by Robert S. Carmichael, 2nd ed., vol. 1: Overviews, Salem Press Inc., 2017, pp. 40-56. Gale eBooks.

Encyclopedia in Print

Known Author

Format: Author's Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of Entry."  Title of Encyclopedia, edited by Editor's Name, Edition, vol. #, Publisher Name, Year of Publication, pp.  

Example: Chapman, Russell L., and Debra A. Waters. "Algae." Plant Sciences, edited by Richard Robinson, vol. 1, Gale, 2001, pp. 26- 31.


Unknown Author

Format: "Title of Entry." Title of Encyclopedia, edited by Editor's Name, Edition, vol. #, Publisher Name, Year of Publication, pp.

Example: "A Streetcar Named Desire." Drama for Students, edited by David M. Galens and Lynn M. Spampinato, vol. 1, Gale, 1998, pp. 281-297.