How to Cite a Manual or Handbook in MLA Referencing
  • 2-minute read
  • 10th September 2022

How to Cite a Manual or Handbook in MLA Referencing

If your school or institution requires you to use the MLA style guide, it’s really important that you stick to that, as deviation could get your academic essays or reports marked down.

An important aspect of the MLA style guide is citing your references in the correct format. But sometimes you can hit a bump in the road when you’re not sure how to cite certain sources.

If you’re trying to cite a manual or handbook in the MLA referencing style, this is the guide for you. Below you’ll find everything you need to know!


A common stumbling block that students find when trying to reference handbooks or manuals is that they often don’t come with the author(s) specified.

When a handbook or manual doesn’t have a specific author named, instead reference the organization that produced the handbook in the Author section.


If the handbook or manual is an unpublished work (click here to find out whether it’s published or unpublished) put the title in quotation marks. If it doesn’t have a title, give a brief description of the document in that space.


Where possible, include the date in the reference. If the document isn’t dated, leave that section blank.


At the end of the reference, include the format of the manual or handbook (eg PDF).


Here are some examples:

Crystal Hotels. “Working at Heights.” Aug. 2015. PDF.

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Kooky Katerpillars. “Brand Guidelines.” Dec. 2021. Typescript.

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