List of MLA “medium of publication” types

One of the changes in the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is that the “medium of publication” must be included for each item that appears in a works cited page.

I was curious to see a list of the authorized terms MLA wants us to use in describing the “medium of publication” but did not see one in the book.  So, I made my own.

Here’s a list of the MLA “medium of publication” types that I compiled from the seventh edition handbook along with the rule numbers in the manual. The format looks like this:

Broad category

MLA terms appear in bold text – additional description if needed.

Print publications – 5.4 through 5.5

Print– books, periodical articles,

Web publications – 5.6

Web – websites, articles from research databases such as LexisNexis and Academic Search Premier.

Television or radio broadcast – 5.7.1

Radio – (medium of reception) radio broadcasts
Television – (medium of reception)

Sound recording – 5.7.2

Audiotape – reel to reel

Film or video recording – 5.7.3

Laser disc
Sound filmstrip
Slide program

Live performances – 5.7.4


Visual art (indicate the medium of composition) – 5.7.6

Graphite on paper
Oil on canvas

Interviews – 5.7.7

Personal interview
Telephone interview


E-mail – 5.7.13
Tweet – a post on Twitter (described here)
Microform – 5.7.15 (microfilm, microfiche, microcard)
CD-ROM – 5.7.17
DVD-ROM – 5.7.17
Scores – musical score or libretto – 5.7.5

Digital Files (specify the type of file and follow with “file” ) – 5.7.18

Digital file – Use if you cannot identify type of file
PDF file
Microsoft Word file (italicize titles of software programs)
MP3 file
JPEG file

Updated August 10, 2014 to include “Tweet” as a medium.

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