How to Credit Authors and Contributors

Author is “the primary creator of the work you are citing" (p. 107).

Single and Multiple Authors (pp. 111-13)

Citation Maker has fields for an author's first, middle, and last names. Enter that information as found on the source. Citation Maker will add the correct formatting, such as reversing the order of the names.

1 author: Twain, Mark.
2 authors: Lerner, Alan J., and Frederick Loewe.
3 or more authors -- only list the first author: Johnson, Amanda Michelle, et al.

No Author
(p. 108)

When a work is published without an author’s name, do not list the author as Anonymous. Leave the Author field blank instead. 

Author's Role
(pp. 107-08)

If the person you list as the author has a role other than creating the work, follow the author's name with a label that describes the role. Most often this applies to editors and film directors. When you select Editor or Director on Citation Maker, the role will be added for you.

Ex: Spielberg, Steven, director.
Ex: Gomez, Maria, editor.

Corporate Author
(p. 119)

If an author is a group, organization, institution, or agency, it is a corporate author. Use the “Corporation or Organization as author” option in most templates. If that option is not available, list the group's name in the text box for the Last Name field on Citation Maker. 

  • When an organization is both the author and publisher, skip the Author field and only list the organization in the Publisher field.
  • However, if the author is a division or committee of the organization, enter the division or committee as the Author and the organization as the Publisher.

Ex. for the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association:

Author: American Association of School Librarians
Publisher: American Library Association

  • If an organization's name begins with "The," do not include "The" when listing their name.

Corporate Author, Government Agency
(pp. 120-21)

Enter all of the information in the “Corporation or Organization as author” option in most templates. If that option is not available, enter the group's name in the text box for the Last Name field on Citation Maker. You have two options.

  • Option 1: Enter the government agency as it is listed on your source.

Ex: U.S. House of Representatives
Ex: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Option 2: Standardize the names of government agencies.

    • For a government agency that is the author, begin with the name of the government. Follow that with a comma and the name of the agency.

           Ex. for Oregon Department of Corrections:  Oregon, Department of Corrections
           Ex. for Australia’s Institute of Health and Welfare:  Australia, Institute of Health and Welfare

    • If the agency is a known part of a larger agency, list the larger agency first.

          Ex. for U.S. House of Representatives:  United States, Congress, House
          Ex. for CDC:  United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Online Username or Handle (p. 118)    

  • If an author’s online username differs from their real name, provide the username in square brackets after the real name. 

Ex: Fogarty, Mignon [@GrammarGirl]

  • If the username and account name are similar (such as @BarackObama), you can omit the username if you include the URL of the source in the citation.

Ex: Obama, Barack 

  • If only the username is known, provide it, but do not enclose it in square brackets.

Ex: @BookReader14

  • Citation Maker provides text boxes for both real and usernames when they are typically used. If there is not a separate text box for usernames, and…
    • …if you know the real name, enter the username in square brackets in the Middle Name text box, adding it after the middle name or initial if there is one.
    • if you do not know the real name, enter the username into the Last Name text box, and do not enclose it in square brackets.

(pp. 114-17)

Some authors use a pseudonym, which is a name other than their real name. This can include a pen name or stage name. See the final bullet in the Online Username or Handle section for instructions about how to enter pseudonyms and real names into Citation Maker. 

  • If the pseudonym consists of a first and last name, enter it as you would any author's name.

Ex: Twain, Mark

  • If it is one word or does not follow a traditional name order, enter the entire pseudonym in the Last Name field.

Ex: Film Crit Hulk
Ex: Lady Gaga

  • If a pseudonym is not commonly known and if you know the person's real name, include the real name in square brackets after the pseudonym.

Ex: Bachman, Richard [Stephen King]

    Names Not Reversed
    (pp. 113-14)

    • The surname may be listed before the given name in some languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Do not reverse the name in the works cited list. When the name is not reversed, no comma is needed. In Citation Maker, put the entire name in the Last Name field, in the same order as on your source.

    Ex: Shen Fu (not: Fu, Shen)

    • The name of an author who lacks a surname is not reversed.

    • Names of nobility:

    Ex. for Queen Elizabeth I:  Elizabeth I

    • Premodern names:

    Ex: Aristotle

    • Online usernames and pseudonyms that do not take the form of a name traditionally reversed:

    Ex. for Lady Gaga:  Lady Gaga
    Ex: for Film Crit Hulk:  Film Crit Hulk

    Titles and Suffixes
    (pp. 49-50)

    • If an essential suffix is included at the end of the name, include it in the citation.

      • Do this by adding a comma and the suffix after the name entered in the Middle Name field or to the end of the First Name field if there is no middle name.

        Ex. for Martin Luther King, Jr.:  King, Martin Luther, Jr.

      • Do not use a comma before a suffix that is a number.

        Ex. for John D. Rockefeller IV:  Rockefeller, John D. IV

      • If a person's title, affiliation, or degree is listed, do not include it in the citation.

      Ex. for Neil deGrasse Tyson, PhD:  Tyson, Neil deGrasse
      Ex. for Sir Anthony Hopkins:  Hopkins, Anthony

      (pp. 145-54)

      If you want to credit people who are not the author but who are relevant to your project or who are needed to identify the source, enter their names in the Contributors field.

      • Key contributors should always be included, usually in the Contributors field: 
        • “Translators
        • Editors responsible for scholarly editions and anthologies of a primary author’s works
        • Editors responsible for edited collections of works by various primary authors from which you cite an individual contribution” (p. 146)
      • “Other key contributors that should generally be listed in the Contributors field are film directors, music conductors, and performing groups like dance companies and choirs” (p. 146).
      • Only credit additional contributors IF:
        • They shaped the overall presentation of the work
        • Your research focuses on their contribution
        • They are important for identifying a version of the work (p.148)

      Depending on the focus of your research, any of these four different examples could be used for the movie, Star Wars.

      Directed by George Lucas
      Directed and screenplay by George Lucas
      Performance by Mark Hamill
      Performance by Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford

      Other Languages

      Check pp. 44-47 of the MLA Handbook for guidelines about names in other languages.

      Works Cited List: Multiple Entries from Same Author 
      (pp. 221-24)

      When you cite multiple sources from the same author, only list the full author's name in the first entry. For the following entries, use three dashes in place of the author's name. Citation Maker cannot do this for you, so you will need to make that change on the works cited list that it produces.

      Simon, Seymour. Planet Mars. Seastar Books, 2008.

      ---. Stars. Rev. ed., Smithsonian, 2006.

      ---. The Universe. Rev. ed., Smithsonian, 2006.

      Thompson, Stan. The Big Bang Theory. Random House, 2014.



      MLA Handbook. 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

      The MLA Style Center: Writing Resources from the Modern Language Association. Modern Language Association of America, 2021,

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