How to Cite a Glossary in MLA Format

Books or websites that contain highly specialized or unusual vocabulary often have glossaries. Readers may use these reference lists to find definitions of unfamiliar words. The seventh edition of the "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers" provides guidelines for citing sections of a book such as a glossary.

In-text Citation

After including material from a glossary, use an in-text citation within parentheses after the information. List the author's last name, and identify the pertinent page number in the glossary, if available; for example: (Doe 245). If you are using a web glossary that identifies no author, use the name of the web page in quotation marks instead, such as ("Glossary of Technical Terms"). If you mention the author or web page in the main text of the sentence, omit the name from the parentheses.


Include a citation to a book's glossary on the Works Cited page. Begin with the author's last name, a comma, first name and a period. Include "Glossary" without quotation marks. Write the title of the book in italics and add a period. Include "By" without quotation marks and the glossary author's last name. Then list the publication city, a colon, the publisher's name, a comma and publication year. Add a period. Insert the page number or page range using a hyphen. Conclude with the medium, "Print" without quotation marks, and a period. In MLA format, a glossary citation would appear:

Doe, Jane. Glossary. The Best Book in the World. By Doe. New York: Great Publishers, 2009. 251-259. Print.

Web Page

Include a citation to a web glossary on the Works Cited page. Begin with the author's name, if available. List the name of the page and a period inside quotation marks, and then insert the italicized name of the entire website. Add a period and then dentify the organization connected to the site. Add a comma, and include the creation date of the site, if available. Add a period. Insert "Web" without quotation marks. Add a period. List the day, abbreviated month and year of access and finish with a period. A web page glossary citation would appear:

"Glossary of Technical Terms." Physics for Fun. Universal Physics Association, 2001. Web. 2 Feb. 2012.

About the Author

Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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