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MLA 9 Style Guide

Updated for the 2021 9th edition

What It Is

MLA works cited entry core elements template with Contributor field highlightedSome sources have contributors who are not authors or creators. Sometimes there is an author / creator and a contributor. Other times, there may be no named author, but a contributor instead.

Key contributors need to be acknowledged in the works cited entry. Examples:

  • editor
  • translator
  • director (film)

Other kinds of contributors can be acknowledged if their contribution directly ties in to your use of the source. Examples:

  • uploader to a sharing site, such asYouTube
  • performer / actor  (film, show, theater, audio)
  • narrator

Where to Find It

Contributors in key roles, such as editor or translator, are prominently listed on sources. Other contributors will be listed somewhere on the source, such as in the credits.

How to Style It

  1. Start with a verb describing the contributor's role in the source
    1. Write it in lower case unless it is the first word of a sentence
  2. Follow the verb with the word by
  3. Write names in regular order of FirstName Last Name.

Common Descriptors

  • edited by
  • translated by
  • adapted by
  • performance by
  • directed by
  • illustrated by


These examples show where the Contributor element fits within the bigger works cited entry.

"Food Insecurity." Encyclopedia of Public Health: Principles, People, and Programsedited by Sally Kuykendall, vol. 1, ABC-Clio, 2018, pp.243-245. Gale eBooks,
“Starved: Our Food Insecurity Crisis.” YouTube, uploaded by WQED Pittsburgh, 5 Nov. 2020, Accessed 23 Aug. 2021. 
"Stress in Childhood." MedlinePlus, updated by Neil K. Kaneshiro, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 27 May 2020, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.
Taia, Abdellah. A Country for Dying, translated by Emma Ramadan, Seven Stories Press.