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Core Element 1

Author [followed by a period] (MLA Handbook 21-25)

Definition: "the person or group [corporate author] primarily responsible for producing the work or the aspect of the work that you focused on" (22).
May, with addition of a descriptive label, refer to the editor of a collective work, a translator, the performer in or director of a play or film, etc. (23-24)

Take the name(s) directly from the title page of a book or journal article, credits screen or packaging of a DVD, "About Us" page of a Web site, etc. List the authors in the order in which they appear in the source.

Case Examples
Book or article by a single author (MLA Handbook 21)
Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA, vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193-200.
Wyss, O'Neill. Fundamentals of the Stock Market. McGraw-Hill, 2001.
Book or article by two authors (MLA Handbook 21)
Barcott, Bruce, and Michael Scherer. "The Great Pot Experiment." Time, 25 May 2015, pp. 38-45.
Hamilton, John Maxwell, Jr., and George A. Krimsky. Hold the Press: The Inside Story on Newspapers. Louisiana State UP, 1996.
Book or article by more than two authors (MLA Handbook 22)
Quirk, Randolph, et al. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Longman, 1985.
Zaytsev, Andrey, et al. "The Depth Effect of Earthquakes on Tsunami Heights in the Sea of Okhotsk." Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, vol. 25, no. 4, 2016, pp. 289-99.
Book by a corporate author (MLA Handbook 25)
American Medical Association. Essential Guide to Asthma. Pocket Books, 1998.
United States, Department of Labor. Child Care: A Workforce Issue. Government Printing Office, 1988.
Book with corporate author same as publisher (MLA Handbook 25)
Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America. National Endowment for the Arts, June 2004.
"Tips for Traveling Abroad.", United States, Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, 2007,
Book by editor(s) or compiler(s) (MLA Handbook 23)
Allison, Nancy, editor. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines. Rosen, 1999.
Spafford, Peter R., and Millicent Monroe, compilers. The Protocol of Heaven. Ballantine, 2002.
Book with an author and an editor (MLA Handbook 23)
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Edited by Harold Jenkins, Methuen, 1982.
Book, film or TV program with focus on contribution of specific person (MLA Handbook 24)
Gellar, Sarah Michelle, performer. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Mutant Enemy, 1997-2003.
Pevear, Richard, and Larissa Volokhonsky, translators. Crime and Punishment. By Feodor Dostoevsky, Vintage eBooks, 1993.
Whedon, Joss, creator. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Mutant Enemy, 1997-2003.
Film or TV program without focus on contribution of specific person (MLA Handbook 24)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar. Mutant Enemy, 1997-2003.
Book, article, or online message with pseudonym or username (MLA Handbook 24)
@persiankiwi. "We have report of large street battles in east & west of Tehran now - #Iranelection." Twitter, 23 June 2009, 11:15 a.m.,
Stendhal. The Red and the Black. Translated by Roger Gard, Penguin Books, 2002.
Book, article, or Web site with no author or corporate author that is same as publisher (MLA Handbook 25)
Collins Quotation Finder. Rev. ed., HarperCollins, 2001.
"The Devil Wears Trademark: How the Fashion Industry Has Expanded Trademark Doctrine to Its Detriment." Harvard Law Review, vol. 127, no. 3, Jan. 2014, pp. 995-1016.
MLA Style Center. Modern Language Association of America, 2016,
Two or more works by the same author (MLA Handbook 113)
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Putnam's, 1989.
---. The Kitchen God's Wife. Putnam's, 1991.

Don't see an example you are looking for? Check out OWL: Purdue University's Online Writing Lab