How to Cite an Unpublished Pamphlet in MLA

When writing a paper, you might need to cite a source that is unpublished, such as a pamphlet. You should cite any source from which you use specific information, facts or opinions, whether or not you quote the source directly, even if the information is not from a published document. The MLA style is mainly used in the fields of liberal arts and humanities.

Citing Pamphlets

Check whether the pamphlet you want to cite is published. If it is, it will probably contain a page with information about where and when it was published. A typical pamphlet is cited in a similar way as a book. If there is an author — either a person or a corporation — that information comes first. If there is no author, then the title of the pamphlet comes first. Author. Title of Pamphlet. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication Example: Smith, John. How to Stop Smoking. New York City: Lung Health Association, 2005. Print.

Citing Unpublished Sources

If you want to cite a source that has never been published, you will use as much information as you have available to inform readers about your source. For most unpublished documents, you should follow this format: Author. Document Title. Date of Composition (or n.d. for "no date"). MS or TS (indicating if it is a handwritten "manuscript" or typed "typescript"). Location of Material (Institution, Location or Collection Name or "Author's private collection"). Remember that although letters, emails, interviews, and instant messaging conversations might be officially "unpublished" they have their own citation system.

Unpublished Pamphlet

If you are citing an unpublished pamphlet, then you should follow the formula for citing an unpublished document. Use as much information as you have available to you. Here is an example of citation for an unpublished pamphlet that has very little information: How to Stop Smoking. N.d. TS. Author's private collection.

Quality Sources

Be careful when citing unpublished sources. You might want to cite an unpublished source to show that a person or corporation has a specific point of view or opinion, whether or not it was presented publicly. But if you want to cite an unpublished source as factual evidence, you should think about the quality of the source. Is the author an expert? How old is the source? Is it likely to be biased? If you don't know this information, you might not be able to judge the credibility of the document and should look for an alternative source.

Purdue Owl: MLA Works Cited Page -- Books
Purdue Owl: OWL Mail MLA FAQs
Yale College Writing Center: Citing Miscellaneous Sources

About the Author
Paige Johansen has been writing professionally since 2003. She holds a B.A. in psychology and English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from The University of Virginia. Between degrees, she worked in the fashion industry for two years.

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