Lectures are one type of source you may need to cite when writing an article. The lecture can be the one you heard from your professor or a guest speaker. MLA style focuses on including as much information as you can in the correct order, so use our guide to learn how to cite a lecture in MLA.
Definition: How to cite a lecture in MLA
General rules to cite a lecture in a bibliography, it is necessary to indicate
- the name of the author,
- the title of the proceedings,
- the title of the works,
- the data of the director/editor (of directors/editors),
- the year of publication and page range where the report is located.
The name of the conference can contain information about its date and place.
If a source is consulted online, you should also add the link to the website (URL) and the consultation date.1
MLA lecture citation – Titles and event names
Write the speaker’s last name, followed by their first name and a period.2 You treat the lecture as you would any source and start with the author.
- Enclose the conference title in quotation marks. Use a period before the final quotation mark.
- Add the name of the host class or organization name. You can use the class name and course number if you are citing a lecture course. If the class has a subtitle, include that as well and use a colon between the title and subtitle.
- Use the date next. Write the day, an abbreviation of the month and the year, followed by a comma.
How to cite a lecture in MLA – Location
Lectures are usually held in a university but may occasionally be held in other large venues, such as a conference center. The location is the last element of MLA lecture citation – give the name of the venue and the city or town in which it is located, followed by a period.
How to cite a lecture in MLA – Descriptive labels
End the entry with a descriptor to indicate the course type. You can use any descriptor you like, but keep it short and to the point.
- For example, for a lecture from your teacher, just use “Lecture” and follow it with a dot.
If the source is an unexpected type of work, you may provide a descriptive label.
- For example, if you read a radio transcript rather than listening to it, label it as ‘Transcript’.
How to cite a lecture in MLA – In-text citation
You cite the lecture as personal communication in parentheses in the text. State the lecturer’s name (initials and last name), the words “personal communication,” and the lecture date.3
Using the MLA format makes it easier for readers to navigate and comprehend a text via familiar cues that refer to sources and borrowed information.
Yes, you can use MLA lecture citation within the text of your assignment. Place a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence with the instructor’s name who gave the talk. If the document includes slide numbers or page numbers, include them. Otherwise, simply use the instructor’s name.
1 Dymarz, Ania. “Citing a lecture, speech, reading, or address: MLA (8th ed.) citation guide.” SFU Library. October 27, 2022. https://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/cite-write/citation-style-guides/mla/lectures-speech-reading-address.
2 Turner, Alex. “How to Cite a Lecture Note in MLA 8: A Basic Guide with Samples.” Wr1ter. July 22, 2020. https://wr1ter.com/how-to-cite-a-lecture-note-in-mla.
3 Custodio, Gloria. “MLA Stlye in a Nutshell.” University of Puerto Rico at Cayey. Accessed January 9, 2023. https://wmucher.tripod.com/MLAStyle.pdf.