How to Cite Multiple Authors in MLA

How to Cite Multiple Authors in MLA

Here is a quick guide on how to cite multiple authors in MLA. Citing a source by multiple authors is one of the most challenging things for scholars. Here’s what you should do.

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The Modern Language Association (MLA) handbook is currently in its 8th edition and has significantly standardized how scholars document their sources while formatting their papers. As a requirement, academic professors require their students to submit their documents and sources in a similar fashion. It’s, therefore, critical that you know how to cite multiple authors in MLA or any other citation format for that matter. In this article, we will focus more on MLA and how to cite a preface MLA for that matter.

Papers cited in MLA format are usually easy to recognize and understand by the reader. When writing an academic paper, or any other paper, it’s essential that you always cite all the sources that you use. Readers will not only want to see the citations in your paper. They may want to explore them as well.

Therefore, whenever you borrow any information from a source and place it in your assignment, ensure that you give credit to the source’s original author. And creating an MLA citation is the easiest way of doing this. This handbook should help you learn more about MLA citation and how to use MLA format in your paper. Keep reading to find out more.

how to cite multiple authors in MLA

How to Cite Multiple Authors In MLA: In-Text and Parenthetical Citation Basics

The in-text citation is the reference that the writer includes within the text of the paper. An in-text citation is used to tell the reader that a quote, paraphrase, or idea originated from a source. Usually, the writer can display this type of citation in two different ways. These include:

  • Narratively
  • As a parenthetical citation

The two forms of citations may look similar, but they are slightly different from each other.

Narrative Citation

A writer can use the narrative in-text citation by including the author’s name in the text being cited. At the end of the sentence should be the page number where the writer found the cited information.

Here’s an example:

As for technology, john states that we “should be comfortable enough with the technological tools that we currently have to help us point out our patrons in the right direction” (12).

This is a basic form of narrative citation that you can use. It’s important to note that this citation method includes the original author’s name, King, in the sentence itself. The number 12 also indicates the page where the writer found the information that was used in the assignment.

Parenthetical Citation

This type of citation doesn’t usually include the author’s name in the sentence of the sourced information. Instead, the writer places the writer’s name in parentheses after writing the sentence with the page number beside it as well.

Here’s an example of a parenthetical citation format:

With regard to technology, we “should be comfortable enough with the technological tools that we currently have to help us point out our patrons in the right direction” (King 12).

You will notice that the above sentence doesn’t have the author’s name, King, in the sentence itself. Rather, the writer included the sentence’s original author’s name in parentheses after the sentence, with 12 for the page number. The 12 indicates that the writer derived the quote from page 12 of King’s book or journal.

how to cite multiple authors in MLA

Full Reference

For each source that you cite using in-text citation, you also include a full reference of the source. This will allow the reader to track the original source that you use in your assignment.

At the end of your paper, on your Works Cited page, you will indicate the full reference of all the sources that you used in your paper, including the ones that you in-text cited. Also, note that the full reference should include the author’s full name, the title of the article that you used, the title of the paper, the volume plus issue number, the publication date of the journal, and the URL where you found the source.

How to Format A Works-Cited List

Generally, the “Works Cited” list should provide the reader with all the details of the sources that you used in your assignment. This makes the works cited page vital for every writer and necessary, especially for scholars looking for how to cite multiple authors in MLA.

Core elements

Below is a menu list of the core elements that you should use in your works cited entry page. It’s vital that you only use the information that’s found from the source itself when citing your work, especially on the works cited page. Here’s what you need to know:


As you already know, the author, in this case, is the original owner or group that’s responsible for producing the content that you use in your paper. When writing the MLA format, you will always be required to begin your citations with the original author’s last name. Then follow this with a comma before listing the rest of the author’s name.

An example:

Kay, Christian

Corporate Author

In case you don’t find any personal author for the source that you plan to use, you can always look if it was created by an institution, government agency, or organization. In case the source was an organization, you should skip the author element. Instead, use the organization’s name in the Publisher section.

Also, if the author is a different publisher, then you should use the organization’s name in place of the author.

how to cite multiple authors in MLA

Two Authors

There are also instances where you have two authors for the same source. In such a case, you should remember to list them in the order that they appear. Similar to when citing a single author, you must also remember to invert the first author’s name. Follow this name with a comma then the second name. Then remember to follow it with the word “and” before writing the second author’s name in the same format. It’s a classic citation style used by writers who want to learn how to cite multiple authors in MLA.

Here’s an example:

Louise, Erdrich, and Doris, Michael

Three Or More Authors

In instances where you have to cite three or more authors for the same source, you should invert the first author’s name then follow it with a comma. Afterward, add the word “and” before including the word “et al.” this is incredibly important for writers looking to know how to cite multiple authors in MLA

Here’s an example:

Keen, Michael, and et al.

Editors and Translators

In instances where you have to cite editors and translators, it’s vital that you follow their names with their respective roles. You must also remember to use the editor as the author in your source if the entire focus of your paper is based on the source. The same is also true for the translator is the focus of your paper is on the translation.

Here are some examples to consider:

White, Alan, editor

Goldstein, Darra, translator

Title of Source

Often, the title of a source is located close to the author’s name and is usually prominently displayed. It’s also vital that you remember to enter the title of the source exactly as it appears in the original source. The only exception is when standardizing the capitalization of your paper and the punctuation as well.

Remember also to place the title of your source in quotation marks, especially if the source forms part of a larger work.

The source must also be italicized if the work is self-contained and independent. This is usually for cases of films and books.

In the case of untitled works, remember to provide a generic description as a replacement of the title. Remember, however, not to use italics or quotation marks in this case.

Title of Container

This section should form the larger work for which your source will appear. It’s, therefore, critical, especially for scholars who want to know how to cite multiple authors in MLA. Examples of containers include:

  • Blogs
  • Journals, newspapers, magazines
  • Television shows
  • Books containing collections of poems, essays, or short stories

You must also remember to italicize the title in this section and follow it with a comma. Additionally, a source may have more than one container. For instance:

A television episode watched online. Here, the first container should be the television show, while the second container should be the online provider.

An article from a journal that’s available via a library database. Here, the first container is the journal, while the second container is the database.

Other Contributors

When sourcing for content for your paper, you will also find other contributors who are other people that are credited for the work as well. There are instances where you find another person other than the original author, who is just as important and influences what you are researching about. This can be someone who identifies as important and contributes to the creation of the source significantly.

In such an instance, it’s important that you precede the name of that person, the contributor, with a description of their role in the creation of the paper. Some common ones may include:

  • Directed by
  • Edited by
  • Translated by
  • Illustrated by
  • Adapted by
  • Introduction by
  • Performance by

You may also find some works with many contributors such as in films or television series. For such cases, you should only include the names of the contributors that you feel were most relevant to your research. You shouldn’t include all of the contributors to your source.


The version of the source that you will use on your paper is also important. It is what the reader will use to determine if there’s more than one form of the source that you used in your work. For books, there can be numbered editions like 1st edition, 2nd edition, etc. You may also find revised editions that write as the revised edition, updated edition, etc.

There are also other possible versions that you can use in your paper. These include:

  • Unabridged version
  • Software versions
  • Director’s cut

The version information should be written in lowercase. An exception can be when the previous element of the source ended in a period. In such a case, you should capitalize the first word of the version.


The numbering of your sources refers to how your sources appear in a numbered sequence. This can be any numbers that are related to your source that is not the publication date, version number, or page range. You should place the number in the number’s position in your citation. This may include the volume and issue numbers for the journal articles, comic book numbers, television episode numbers, series or volume numbers for books, to name a few.

Below are some instances where the numbers element can be used:

  • In journal volumes and series – to indicate the volume with the abbreviation vol. and then the number. Follow this with a comma then the issue number using the abbreviation no. then the number. As an example: vol.8 no. 5
  • Using one volume of a source with a multi-volume set – ensure that you indicate the volume that you used by using the abbreviation vol. followed by the number. As an example: vol. 8
  • Television series and episodes: remember to record the season number followed by the episode number of the source that you used. As an example: season 6, episode 10

how to cite multiple authors in MLA


The publisher is the organization that’s responsible for the creation of the content that’s publicly available that you used as a source. This is another important element of a source that every writer who wants to know how to cite multiple authors in MLA must note.

There are also different ways to cite the publishers of your source. For instance, if the source that you used was created by two or more organizations that were equally responsible for the creation of the paper, then you will have to cite both sources. In such a case, remember to separate the names of the two organizations using a forward slash (/). Remember to include a space before and after the slash.

Other sources like books, usually have the publisher’s name on the copyright page or title page that you can use.

For film and television, you should only cite the company that performed the main work on the source. For websites, you can always find the copyright notice at the footer of the source that you can use.

In addition, it’s important that you remember to omit business words like Co., Corp., Ltd., and Inc. from the publisher’s name. In cases where the publisher is a university or press, remember to appreciate them in the form (U) and (P), respectively.

Publication Date

The publication date is meant more to document the date of the work that you used as a source in your paper. When including the publication date, remember to display the information that’s found on the source, whether it is the full date or just the year.

With regards to display, it doesn’t matter whether you write the date in any specific order or not. Ensure, however, that you use the same format for all your citations.

Publication dates may be in the form of:

  • Multiple publication dates
  • Works developed over time
  • Issues of a journal, newspapers, or magazines
  • Online comments


The location element of your citation generally specifies where you found the source that you used for your assignment within a larger container. It refers to where the person reading your paper can find the source that you used to write your paper. This can be a URL, disc number, page number, physical place, etc.

When MLA citing websites, ensure that you include the URLs where you found the source that you used. The beginning of the URL is, however, not necessary. You can remove the http:// or https:// from your URL source. If a DOI is available, then you can use it instead of the URL.

Also, remember to use the abbreviation p. for a single page number. Use pp. when referring to a range of pages.

  • Episodes on DVD: include the disc number. Disc 5
  • Print sources: include the page number or the range of page numbers. P. 7 or pp. 7
  • Online sources: indicate a stable URL or digital object identifier (DOI)
  • Physical object: indicate the name of the place that has the object and the city. City Library, Williamstown, MA
  • Performances: include the venue and the city. ’66 Center for Theater, Williamstown, MA
  • Archival material: give the name of the repository, the city, and the collection locator. City Library, Williamstown, MA, Peters Family Papers

Formatting the Works-Cited List

Say that you have written your assignment and included all of the sources that you deemed crucial for your assignment. After finishing with the conclusion section, your last page should be the works cited page. Place the works cited list and page at the end of your paper.

Use a hanging indent feature for the writing processor that you will be using to help indent the second and subsequent lines of each of your entries. The indentation should be 0.5 inches from the left margin.

It’s also helpful and more appropriate that you arrange all your entries in alphabetical order. Being as all MLA citations are by order of the author’s last name, this should be relatively easy. In the event that the author’s name isn’t available, use the title of the source.

Remember also to alphabetize the names of your authors ‘your sources letter by letter and remember to separate each name by a comma.

how to cite multiple authors in MLA

For multiple sources by the same author, ensure that you also alphabetize the title. Remember, also to replace the author’s name using three hyphens for the second and any other subsequent entries.

Remember to ignore any initial articles while alphabetizing the titles of your sources.

How & When to Use et al.

The abbreviation “et al.” is short for “et alia.” The term simply means “and others.” It’s used by writers when writing academic citations whenever they are referring to a single source with multiple authors.

Here’s an example:

Peter et al. (2020) argue that …

It’s important to note that different styles use different rules when applying the use of “et al.” in their sources. This section will focus more on how you can use this abbreviation when citing a source in MLA format.

“Et al.” can also be followed directly by another abbreviation in some cases. Remember, however, to always include the period first. For example (John et al., 2015)

However, in instances where the abbreviation comes at the end of your source, only the period is used. For example:

This process is very time-intensive, as shown by Michael et al.

Difference Between et al. and etc.

As a writer looking to know how to cite multiple authors in MLA, it’s important that you know the difference between “et al.” and “etc.”. For one, “etc.” is used in reference to lists of concepts or things. Whereas “et al.” is used more to refer to lists of people.

This is something that professional writers from credible academic writing websites like Myhomeworkwriters.com know how to implement. If you are having trouble citing sources in your paper, you can always hire a professional from My Homework Writers to help you get the job done the right way the first time.

A Guide to APA In-Text Citation

The APA and MLA in-text citation formats tend to be somewhat similar but very different. For one, the APA in-text citation includes the author’s last name only and the year of publication. For instance:

John, 2019

When quoting in APA style, it’s also important that you include the page number. For example:

John, 2019, p100

how to cite multiple authors in MLA

Citing Multiple Authors with APA In-Text Citation

When citing multiple authors using the APA citing format, you will need to separate the authors’ names using a comma. And only the last name in the list is preceded by the ampersand (&). As an example:

Johnson, Parker, & Taylor, 2020

You can also use the et al. abbreviation to shorten your in-text citations if you have three or more authors. For example:

Johnson et al., 2020.

When to Add Page Numbers

As with the MLA format, including the page number/numbers in your in-text citations is vital when quoting a source. It’s even encouraged but not necessarily required, especially when paraphrasing a source. You don’t have to include the page number when you are referring to a source as a whole. For instance:

The study shows that …

In cases where the paraphrase or quote covers just one page, you can use “p. 20.” You will, however, need to use “pp.” followed by the page range if your source covers two or more pages. This should be in the form of:

pp. 18-20

Sources with No Page Numbers

There are also instances where you will quote a source that doesn’t have pages or page numbers. You can always indicate the source’s paragraph or chapter in such cases. If the source uses headings, then you can use that as well and follow it with the paragraph number. Long headings can be shortened, but they must be enclosed in quotation marks.

As an example:

Taylor, 2020, Chapter 5

Smith, 2015, Conclusion, para. 2

McCombes, 2020, “No Page Numbers,” para 20

How to Cite an Interview That Is Conducted by E-Mail

In the event that you have to cite an interview that’s been conducted by e-mail, you will have to treat the person that’s being interviewed as the author. Also, you will need to provide a description that indicates the format in your “Title of Source” slot. You can also list the interviewer’s name as the “Other Contributor” in your citation. Remember to list the date on which the e-mail interview was conducted. These are some of the most important bits of information for scholars looking for how to cite multiple authors in MLA. Being as there may be instances where the interview is conducted by multiple interviewers.

As an example:

Green, Rachael. E-mail interview. Conducted by Helen Smith, 10th June 2020.

Need an Assignment Help Service to Show You How to Cite Multiple Authors In MLA?

As a scholar, writing an impactful assignment is only always half the job. You also have to cite all the sources that you used in your assignment. However, not many people always know how to cite their sources. Fortunately, there are several websites that you can now use to take care of this situation. Take Myhomeworkwriters.com, for example. My Homework Writers ranks as one of the best assignment help websites that you can trust to deliver the best content with the best forms of citations.

Try Myhomeworkwriters.com to know how to cite multiple authors in MLA and how to cite sources using other formats as well.


The excerpt above should guide you on how to cite multiple authors in MLA and how you can make accurate MLA blog citations. The MLA citation guidelines should help teach you a wide range of skills that you can use in your citing research. You only need to familiarize yourself with the core elements of citing sources using the MLA citing format, and you should be good to go. You will never go wrong using the guidelines mentioned above.

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