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How to Cite a Research Report in MLA Format


Writers often use research reports as sources of information. The "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.)" does not suggest a specific format for citing reports. Since they are usually found in scholarly journals, follow the guidelines for print or Web articles.

In-text Citation

After you discuss information from a research report, use an in-text citation within parentheses. Insert the last name of the author and page number of the material, such as (Doe 230). If you mention the author in text, omit the name from the parentheses.

Journal Reference

When you have an in-text citation of a print research report, include it on the Works Cited page. Begin with the last name of the author, a comma, first name and a period. Put the title of the article and a period inside quotation marks. Italicize the name of the journal. Insert the issue number, publication year inside parentheses, a colon, the page range using a hyphen and a period. Conclude with "Print" without quotation marks and a period; for instance: Doe, Jane. "Eating Habits of Capybaras." Capybara Monthly 20 (2010): 223-239. Print.

Web Reference

If you use an in-text reference to an online research report, include it on the Works Cited page. The author, article title, journal name, issue, year and pages are formatted exactly like the print version. After the pages, list "Web" without quotation marks. Add a period. Indicate the day, abbreviation of the month and year you accessed the article. Finish with a period; for example: Doe, Jane. "Eating Habits of Capybaras." Capybara Monthly 20 (2010): 223-239. Web. 5 Jan. 2013.

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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