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How to Cite a Class Handout in MLA Format

by Susan Sherwood, Demand Media

    Students in the humanities and liberal arts sometimes reference class handouts in their writing. The seventh edition of the "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers" presents guidelines for citing these sources. The MLA handbook classifies a class handout as an "unpublished document."

    In-text Citation

    When including information from a class handout, put a reference citation in text. After the material, insert the author's last name and the page number of the document, if available; for example: (Doe 2). If the author's name is mentioned in text, omit it from the parentheses.

    Works Cited Page

    Include any in-text citations on the Works Cited page. Begin with the author's last name, a comma, the first name and a period. Put the title of the handout with a period inside quotation marks. List "Handout" without quotation marks. Add a period. Indicate the name of the school or organization. Add a period. Identify the city and state where you received the handout and follow with a period. List the date of the document, if known. If there is no date, insert "n.d." without quotation marks. End with the format of the handout and a period, such as "Print." without quotation marks; for example: Doe, John. "Rhyme Schemes." Handout. The Top College. New York, NY. n.d. Print. If any of this information is missing from the handout, simply omit it from the Works Cited page.

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    About the Author

    Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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