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Spanish Courses & Research: Citation
 & Annotation

A Few Spanish Idiosyncracies

See our Citation Guide and go to the MLA tab for extensive examples. See our Annotated Bibliography guide for explanations and examples.

MLA guidelines for Spanish are different than for English. You can find the full description on pages 111-112 of the MLA Handbook.



Only the first letter of the first word and the first letters of proper nouns are capitalized in titles of articles and journals. (In regular MLA, all first letters are capitalized in titles except for articles and prepositions.)

  • Even this can be adapted, as the manual points out that some instructors have titles of journals and magazines (periodicals) capitalized, as in Revista de Filologia Espanola. If your instructor doesn't specificy, do not capitalize (except for the first word, of course).



Do not capitalize months or days of the week unless they begin a sentence (as you do in regular Spanish prose). This will only affect you if you are citing web sources or non-continuously-paginated journals.



Follow other Spanish captilization rules such as not capitalizing yo, the names of languages and nationalities, nouns and adjectives derived from proper nouns, titles preceding personal names, and the words meaning "street," "square," and so on, in most place-names.
  • El francés hablaba inglés en la plaza Colón.
  • Ayer yo vi al doctor Garcia en un coche Ford.
  • Me dijo don Jorge que iba a salir para Sevilla el primer martes de abril con unos amigos neoyorquinos.
    • The above point was taken almost word-for-word from the 7th edition MLA manual, pg 111.



Spanish de is not used before the last name alone.

  • Example: use Las Casas (when referring to Bartolomé de Las Casas)

Spanish del is capitalized and used with the last name alone:

  • Example: use Del Río (when referring to Angel Del Río)

Alphabetize Spanish names by the full surnames. An example of an alphabetized list is below:

    Carreño de Miranda, Juan
    Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de
    Díaz del Castillo, Bernal
    Garcia Márquez, Gabriel
    Larra y Sánchez de Castro, Mariano José
    Lopez de Ayala, Pero
    Matute, Ana Maria
    Ortega y Gasset, José
    Quevedo y Villegas, Francisco Gómez de
    Sinues de Marco, María del Pilar
    Zayas y Sotomayor, María de

Note: Even persons commonly known by the maternal portions of their surnames, such as Galdos and Lorca, should be alphabetized by their full surnames:

    García Lorca, Federico
    Pérez Galdós, Benito
  • The above point was taken almost word-for-word from the 7th edition MLA manual, pg 110-111.

Citation Style

The dominant citation style in Modern Languages is that of the Modern Language Association, MLA.

If in Modern Language Education, however, the American Psychological Association Style, APA, is preferred. (Professor will instruct on which style is preferred).

Our Citation Research Guide provides some guidelines and examples (for full guidelines, see a manual, kept at the reference desk).

Annotated Bibliography Guide

Vogel Library's Annotated Bibliography guide will help you get started understanding, researching, writing, and formatting your annotated bibliography.

Citing Multimedia Sources

Check your citation style for the rules for citing images, music, video, etc.