MLA Citation Format for Other Likely Sources

Using the MLA citation format for traditional print, periodical and electronic sources is fairly well known but what about sources other than those three common types? How would you follow the style guidelines for those sources? Let’s look at some other types of sources and examine them under the MLA citation format.

Personal Interviews and Oral Histories

Interviews conducted between yourself and another person and oral histories are basically the same thing. Begin by listing the name of the interview by the name of person being interviewed, last name first then first name followed by a descriptive phrase such as ‘personal interview’ followed by the date of the interview. Example: Jones, Bob. Personal interview. 12 Aug. 2000.

Speeches, Lectures and Conferences

You may find yourself sitting in on a speech or a lecture or perhaps a conference and there will be no record other than the one you create. When following the MLA citation format, give the speaker’s last name followed by first name and then the title of the event in quotation marks. Next, put the location of the event, the date of the event, and the type of presentation. Example: Phillips, Sandra. Nursing in the African Deserts. Hyatt Regency, New York. 1 Aug. 2000. Lecture.

Surveys and Questionnaires

When you cite a survey or questionnaire in your paper, put down the name of the person conducting the survey with last name first, first name last, followed by the name of the survey in quotation marks. Next, identify it as a survey or questionnaire followed by the date, the survey, or questionnaire was conducted. Example: Smith, John. “Pro-Life or Pro-Choice”. Questionnaire. 1 Aug. 2009.

Personal Letters

If you find that you may need to cite a personal letter in your paper, you should begin with the writer’s name, last name first, first name last. Then, insert the phrase ‘Letter to the author’, followed by the date the letter was received. Lastly, type ‘TS’ which means typed letter or ‘MS’ for manuscript or hand written. Example: Phelps, Barnaby. Letter to the author. 1 Aug. 2010. MS.


You may find yourself wanting to cite an unpublished manuscript. The MLA style guidelines require that you give the author, a title or description of the manuscript, and the date it was written, followed by the abbreviation “MS” for handwritten or “TS” for typescript. Add the name and location of the place that houses the material. Example: Williams, Jim. Fly Fishing in The Rockies. 1st draft. 1 Aug. 2000. TS. University of Texas.

A Painting, Sculpture or Photograph

In the case of referencing artwork, list the artist’s name, last name first, and first name last, followed by the name of the artwork in italics. Then, provide the date of the artwork if known, or if not known, the abbreviation n.d. instead of the date. Give the medium and the name of the place the artwork is to be found and its location. Example: Monet, Claude. Poplars at Giverny, Sunrise. 1888. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.

If you are citing a photographic reproduction of artwork such as photographs in a book, the MLA citation format states that you need to cite the artwork first, as above, and then add the information that relates to the source that the photograph appears in the book, including the page and reference if there is one, such as plate, or figure. Remember that book titles appear in italics, too. Example: Monet, Claude. Poplars at Giverny, Sunrise. 1888. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Gardener’s Art Through the Ages. 10th ed. By Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace. 2004. 939. Print.

We can help ensure that you follow all of the MLA style guidelines by using our formatting software. It will make it easier to produce your work formatted correctly while saving time in the editing process enabling you to spend your time on more creative aspects of your paper.

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. For more information, log onto or write to:
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Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).

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