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MLA Citations (9th ed.): Contributors

This guide will help you format your paper and cite resources according to MLA citation style.

Contributor Basics

Aside from an author whose name appears at the start of the entry, other people may be credited in the source as contributors. If their participation is important to your research or to the identification of the work, name the other contributors in the entry. 

Precede each name (or group of names) with a description of the role. See below a list of common descriptors. (p. 145)

Common Descriptions for Contributors

Below are common descriptors:

  • adapted by
  • directed by
  • edited by
  • illustrated by
  • introduction by
  • narrated by
  • performance by
  • translated by
  • created by
  • choreographed by
  • conducted by

see p. 151 in the MLA Handbook 9th ed. for more information.

In some cases, you may need to develop a more specific label or specify a role with a noun or noun phrase surrounded by commas after the name, as for the general editor in the example below. (p. 151)

Burge, Stuart, director. Othello. Japanese subtitles by Shunji Shimizu, BHE Films, 1965.

Berger, André. "Climate Model Simulations of the Geological Past." The Earth System: Physical and Chemical Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, edited by Michael C. McCracken and John S. Perry, pp. 296-301. Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change, Ted Munn, general editor, 2nd ed., vol. 1, Wiley, 2002.

Editors and Translators

The editors of scholarly editions and of collections and the translators of works originally published in another language are usually recorded in documentation because they play key roles. (pp. 146-147)

Here are some examples:

Chartier, Roger. The Order of Books: Readers, Authors, and Libraries in Europe between the Fourteenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Translated by Lydia G. Cochrane, Stanford UP, 1994.

Dewar, James A., and Peng Hwa Ang. "The Cultural Consequences of Printing and the Internet." Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisensteinedited by Sabrina Alcorn Baron et al., U of Massachusetts P / Center for the Book, Library of Congress, 2007, pp. 365-77.

Key Contributors in the Author Element

If a key contributor is the focus of your research, you may place the contributor in the Author element (followed by an appropriate label).

In these cases, if the work has a primary author, place the primary author's name in the Contributor element preceded by the label "by." (p. 147)

Here is an example:

Wall, Geoffrey, translator. Madame Bovary. By Gustave Flaubert, Penguin Books, 2003.

Many Contributors

If a source such as a film, television episode, or performance has many contributors, include the ones most relevant to your project. 

Here is an example:

"Hush." Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, season 4, episode 10, Mutant Enemy, 1999.

Contributor for Part of a Collection

A source contained in a collection may have a contributor who did not play a role in the entire collection. For instance, stories and poems in an anthology are often translated by various hands.

In these cases, identify the contributor(s) after the title of the source rather than after that of the collection. 

For example:

Fagih, Ahmed Ibrahim al-. The Singing of the Stars. Translated by Leila El Khalidi and Christopher Tingley. Short Arabic Plays: An Anthology, edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Interlink Books, 2003, pp. 140-57.