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How to Cite a Handout Using MLA Format


Whether you are writing at a high school, college or post-graduate level, it is very important to always cite the places where you got your information. Failure to do so can result in accusations of plagiarism and academic dishonesty that can ruin your reputation and even your career. If you use information contained in a handout from a professor or other source in a paper, you need to cite that source. MLA format is particularly popular because it is easy to use and to trace the information MLA citations contain.

Write the author's last name and first name, separated by a comma and followed by a period. For example, if the handout was written by Joseph Grimsly, then you would write "Grimsly, Joseph."

Follow the author's name with the title of the handout and another period. The title will be in quotes. For example, if the handout was called "Making Families Count: Fighting Against Divorce," your citation will now look like this: Grimsly, Joseph. "Making Families Count: Fighting Against Divorce."

List where you got the handout and who published it. You will separate these pieces of information with a colon and follow the publisher's name with a comma. If the handout includes information about where it was published, use this information instead of the place where you got the handout. For example, if you received the handout in New Orleans, and it was published by the organization Families First Now located in Atlanta, your citation would now look like this: Grimsly, Joseph. "Making Families Count: Fighting Against Divorce." Atlanta: Families First Now.

Finish with the year of publication and a period. If the pamphlet was published in 2006, your finished citation would read as follows: Grimsly, Joseph. "Making Families Count: Fighting Against Divorce." Atlanta: Families First Now, 2006. If you do not have the information about when the pamphlet was published, you can use the date you received it.

Tip
  • MLA citations are somewhat flexible. If you do not have all of the information required (and with handouts, you may not), fill in to the best of your ability.
Warning
  • Plagiarism can destroy your career. It is always best to err on the side of caution when citing information and to be careful to give credit where it is due.