Selections from Books
Citing Encyclopedias and Dictionaries in
Remember that entries in the Works Cited list are listed alphabetically
by author. This page is for print reference books;
the electronic forms of reference books (such as CD-ROMs and online
versions) are described on another page.
This citation style applies to familiar reference books.
Do not give full publication information for such books. For
other, less familiar, reference books, use the standard book
style information. If an encyclopedia or dictionary arranges
information aphetically, you may cite an article as shown on this
page. Otherwise, cite it as if it were a selection
in an anthology.
The components of a Works Cited list entry for an encyclopedia
article or dictionary entry, listed in the proper order:
If an author
is listed, include the author's last name, followed
by a comma, followed by the author's first name.
If the article is anonymous, omit
this part of the citation. [Example]
For more than one author, see
the citation style conventions for a book.
- Give the title of the entry in
quotation marks. [Example]
- The period goes inside the quotation marks. [Example]
- If there is a title within the title or any quotation
marks inside the title, transform the inner quotation
marks to single quotes ("....'...'...").
- Click here for notes on
- If you are citing a specific definition
from a dictionary, write "Def." followed by
the numbers or letters that designate the definition. [Example]
or Dictionary Title
- If an edition number is
given, include the number of the edition followed by
"ed." Follow this listing with the date of
publication in YYYY format. [Example]
- Use a digit for the edition number, as in "5th.
ed." or "3rd. ed." or "10th ed."
- If no edition number is given, simply include the
year, followed by "ed." Use YYYY format. [Example]
(Only one, i.e. don't write "5th ed..")
Read the Notes on punctuation
and spacing and on italicization and underlining.
Citation Examples (from The Ready Reference
"Mexico." Encyclopedia Americana. 1985 ed.
Citation Examples (from MLA Handbook
for Writers of Research Papers)
"Azimuthal Equidistant Projection." Merriam-Webster's College Dictionary.
10th ed. 1993.
"Ginsburg, Ruth Bader." Who's Who in America. 52nd ed. 1998.
"Mandarin." The Encyclopedia Americana. 1994 ed.
Mohanty, Jitendra M. "Indian Philosophy." The New Encyclopedia Britannica:
Macropaedia. 15th ed. 1987.
Noon." Def. 4b. The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.