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MLA 8 Help Page: 1. Author

Need help with MLA 8? This comprehensive guide provides answers to many common questions.

Element 1: Author

Guidelines Examples

Last, First.

Last, First I.

Last, First Middle

Last, First Middle

Last, First [Middle], Suffix

Last, First, and First Last.

Last, First I., and First I. Last.

Last, First, et al. (more than two)

Egan, William.

Harris, Neal P.

Harris, Neal Patrick

King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Jagger, Mick, and Keith Richards. 

Egan, William J., and Neal P. Harris.

Potter, Harry, et al. (instead of Potter, Harry, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.)

Organizations can be authors. These are called corporate authors. Central Intelligence Agency. “Sierra Leone.” World Factbook,  United States, 12 Jan. 2017, ...


Correcting Bibliographies

13. Corporate Author


Do not reverse corporate authors. Associated Press is correct. (not Press, Associated). A corporate author is a tricky concept. The Central Intelligence Agency is the author of The World Factbook, but a periodical such as New York Times is never listed as a corporate author. On the other hand, the Associated Press, which is a news agency, is a corporate author. United States government agencies are tricky. Use the agency as a corporate author and the United States as the publisher. There are often agencies within agencies (e.g., Choose My Plate -> Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion -> Department of Agriculture -> United States. This complicates the container listing. If you are confused, ask for help.


Also, several websites provide incorrect recommendations for citations.,, and Encyclopaedia Britannica are just three of the many websites that lead students astray on citations. This is especially relevant when it comes to the corporate author piece. suggests that you include “ Staff” as the corporate author. Encyclopedia Britannica makes a similar recommendation on their Cite link. Don’t do what they tell you! Britannica

"Andrew Carnegie.” Biography, Arts and Entertainment Networks, 22 Nov. 2016,

“Industrial Revolution.” History, Arts and Entertainment Networks, 2009,

“Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire." Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 24 Mar. 2011,


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14. Author Sequence

Author (element 1) - Sequence: Last name first, first name last for one author. For two authors, Last name first, first name last, first name first last name last. For three or more authors, only include first author followed by et al. Place name suffixes after middle name, or first name if there is no middle name.


Egan, William. (one author, no middle name or initial)

Egan William, and David Gusitsch. (two authors, no middle name or initial)

Jagger, Mick, and Keith Richards. (two authors, no middle name or initial)

Harris, Neal P.  (one author with middle initial)

Harris, Neal Patrick. (one author with middle name)

Egan, William J., and Neal P. Harris. (two authors with middle initials)

Egan, William James., and Neal Patrick Harris. (two authors with middle names)

Egan, William, et al. (for three or more authors)

Potter, Harry, et al.  (for three or more authors)

Connick, Harry, Jr. (suffix)

King, Martin Luther, Jr.  (middle name and suffix)

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