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Fine Art

How to Reference - MLA Referencing

MLA Referencing

The citation and referencing style used for the discipline of Fine Art at Teesside University is Modern Language Association (MLA). 

Why do I need to reference?

You need to reference to:

  1. acknowledge the work of other writers.
  2. demonstrate the body of knowledge upon which your research is based.
  3. show you have widely researched the topic and on what authority you based your arguments and conclusions.
  4. enable all those who have read your work to locate your sources easily.
  5. avoid being accused of plagiarism - that is passing off someone else's work as your own.

There are two parts to referencing:

  1. Citation:  the acknowledgement in your text, giving brief details of the work. The reader should be able to identify or locate the work from these details in your reference list or bibliography.
  2. Reference list: the list of references at the end of your work. These should include the full information for your citations so that readers can easily identify and locate each piece of work that you have used. It is important that these are consistent, correct and complete.

Referencing examples

How to reference a book

Books with 1 author:

Bade, Patrick. Lempicka. Parkstone International, 2012.

Lucie-Smith, Edward. Art Deco painting. Clarkson Potter, 1990.  

Jones, Wendy.  Grayson Perry: portrait of the artist as a young girl. Vintage, 2007.

Books with 2 authors:

Pears, Richard, and Graham Shields. Cite them right. 8th ed. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

Bloemink, Barbara J. and Joseph Cunningham. Design [is not equal to] art: functional objects from Donald Judd to Rachel Whiteread. Merrell, 2004.

Books with 3 or more authors:

Roelstraete, Dieter et al. Simon Starling. Phaidon, 2012.

Hutchinson, John. et al. Antony Gormley. 2nd ed. Phaidon, 2000.

Books with editors

Friedli, Isabel, editor. Steve Mcqueen: works. Kehrer, 2012.

Gallagher, Ann, editor. Damien Hirst. Tate, 2012.

How to reference a journal 

Journal articles with 1 author
Phoca, Sophia. “Art Idol: The Turner Prize.” Third Text, vol. 16, no. 2, 2002, pp. 216-20.
Griffin, Tim. “Method acting: the artist-interviewer conversation.” Art Journal, vol. 64, no. 3, 2005, pp. 70-77.

Journal articles with 2 authors

Penet, Pierre and Kangsan Lee. “Prize & price: The Turner Prize as a valuation device in the contemporary art market.” Poetics, vol. 43, no. 1, 2014, pp. 149-171.

Sifaki, Eirini. and Mary Papadopoulou. “Advertising modern art: a semiotic analysis of posters used to communicate about the Turner Prize award.” Visual Communication, vol. 14, no. 4, 2015, pp. 457-484.

Journal articles with 3 or more authors
Baxter, William V. et al. “Compatible embedding for 2D shape animation.” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 15, no. 5, 2009, pp. 867-879.

Van Etteger, Rudi, et al. “Aesthetic creation theory and landscape architecture.” Journal of Landscape Architecture, vol 11, no. 1, 2016, pp.80-91.

How to reference a website 

Nenow, Damien, director. Paths of Hate, 2010, Accessed 17 February 2018.

Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow, Accessed 6 July 2017.

Artwork from a website:

Tamara Art Heritage. “Portrait of Bearded Man.” Tamara de Lempicka, Accessed 17 December 2017.

Warhol, Andy. Statue of Liberty. 1962, Tate, London. Andy Warhol in 3-D, by Phaidon, . Accessed 22 January 2018.

Web image collections:

British Museum. “RPK,p146B.1.Sam”, British Museum Collection Database, 2017, Accessed 22 March 2017.


Original Drawing / Painting / Sculpture / Photo / Etc.

If artist is unknown, begin with the title. You can leave out the city, if it is part of the museum or collection name.

Artist. Title. Year. Museum or Collection, City.


Pratt, Christopher. Young Girl with Seashells. 1965. Memorial University Art Gallery Permanent Collection, Corner Brook.


For untitled artworks, provide a generic description. Do not italicize or capitalize each word.


Westwood, Vivian. Lime green, faux crocodile platform shoes. 1993. Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto.

Useful Books

MLA guidance is available in the following guidelines and book:


Login to RefWorks:

Login to RefWorks

RefWorks allows you to create and manage your own personal database of useful references. You can then use these to quickly compile a reference list or bibliography for your assignments. 

Click on the link below for more information, and details of Library workshops on how to use Refworks.