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Citations: how and why

How to cite sources & why we cite sources (copyright & plagiarism)

MLA Examples

Scholarly Journal and Magazine Articles 
Page numbers refer to the MLA Handbook

Articles in a Scholarly Journal or Magazine (Database) (pg. 192)

Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. "Title of the Article." Journal Title Volume Number. Issue Number (Year of Publication): Page Number(s). Title of Database. Web. Date of Access.


Scholarly Journal

O’Riordan, Adrian. "Open Search Environments: The Free Alternative To Commercial

Search Services." Information Technology & Libraries 33.2 (2014): 45-60. 

Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.



Perron, Wendy. "Curtain Up." Dance Magazine 86.12 (2012): 12. MasterFILE Premier.

Web. 23 Sept. 2014.

Article in a Scholarly Journal (Print) (pg. 137)

Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. "Title of the Article." Journal Title Volume Number. Issue Number (Year of Publication): Page Numbers. Print.


Single Author

Barthelme, Frederick. "Architecture." Kansas Quarterly 13.3-4 (1981): 77-80. Print.

Two or More Authors

Hutcheon, Linda, and Michael Hutcheon. Bodily Charm: Living Opera. Lincoln: 

U of Nebraska P, 2000. Print.


Article in a Magazine (Print) (pg. 142)

Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. "Title of the Article." Magazine Title complete date [weekly] or month and year [monthly]: Page Numbers. Print.


Magazine Published Weekly

Weintraub, Arlene, and Laura Cohen. "A Thousand-Year Plan for Nuclear Waste." 

Business Week 6 May 2002: 94-96. Print.

Magazine Published Monthly

Laskin, Sheldon H. "Jena: A Missed Opportunity for Healing." Tikkun Nov.-Dec. 2007: 29+. Print.
*use a + for page numbers that are not consecutive.



In-Text (Parenthetical) Citations 
Page numbers refer to the MLA Handbook

Single Author, Two or Three Authors (pg. 216)
For four or more authors use this format: (Lauter et al. 2601-09)



Author's Name in Sentence:

Tannen has argued this point (178-85).

Others, like Jakobson and Waugh (210-15), hold the opposite point of view.

Author's Name in Reference:

The point has already been argued (Tannen 178-85).

Others hold the opposite point of view (Jakobson and Waugh 210-15).


Citing a Work Listed by Title (No Author) (pg. 223)

Use your source's full title (if brief) or a shortened version and page numbers (if available) in your sentence.


How it Appears in Works Cited:

"Decade of the Spy." Newsweek 7 Mar. 1994: 26-27. Print.

How it Appears in Sentence:

International espionage was as prevalent as ever in the 1990s ("Decade"). 


Citing an Entire Work, Including a Work with No Page Numbers (pg. 219)

It is preferable to include the name of the person responsible for the work in the text rather than in a parenthetical reference.


How it Appears in Works Cited:

Chan, Evans. "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema." Postmodern Culture 10.3 (2000): n. pag. Project Muse. Web. 20 May 2002.

How it Appears in Sentence:

Chan considers the same topic in the context of Hong Kong cinema.

Books, eBooks, Anthologies, Reference Books 
Page numbers refer to the MLA Handbook. If you are viewing this on a phone you should turn it sideways for proper formatting. 

Single Author, Editor, Two or More Authors (pg. 148, 153, 154)

Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. Title: Sub-title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication, Print.


Single Author

Franke, Damon. Modernist Heresies: British Literary History, 1883-1924.

             Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2008, Print.


Shell, Marc, ed. American Babel: Literatures of the United States from Abnaki to

Zuni. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2002. Print.

Two or More Authors

Hutcheon, Linda, and Michael Hutcheon. Bodily Charm: Living Opera. Lincoln:

U of Nebraska P, 2000. Print.


Electronic Books (pg. 187)

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title: Sub-title. City of Publication: Publisher, Date. Database or Web site. Web. Date of Access.


Bellwood, Peter. First Migrants: Ancient Migration in Global Perspective.

Somerset: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Ebrary. Web. 11 Sept. 2014.


Work in an Anthology (pg. 157)

Author's Last Name, First Name."Title of Selection." Title of Anthology. Editor(s) of Anthology. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date. Pages. Print.


Bordo, Susan. "The Moral Content of Nabokov's Lolita." Aesthetic Subjects.

Ed. Pamela R. Matthews and David McWhirter. Minneapolis: U of

Minnesota P, 2003. 125-52. Print.


Article in a Reference Book (pg. 160)

Author of Article. "Article/Entry Title." Book Title. Editor. Edition. Volume. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date. Print.


Allen, Anita L. "Privacy in Health Care." Encyclopedia of BioethicsEd. 

Stephen G. Post. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. New York: Macmillan-Thompson,

2004. Print.


No Author

"Japan." The Encyclopedia Americana. 2004 ed. Print.*

*Tip: If the reference book you are citing is well known (Encyclopedia Americana, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, etc.) you do not need to include publication information as shown in the final example.

Websites (pg. 184) 
Page numbers refer to the MLA Handbook

Websites are not the same as subscription databases. Include the author, and other information, if you can find it, if not leave it blank. Only include the web address if the web page cannot be found using a search engine, or if your instructor tells you to do otherwise.

Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. "Title of the Work." Title of the Entire Website. Name of Organizational Publisher or Sponser (not advertising sponser),  Date Published or Upated. Web. Day Month Year of Access.


No date use: n.d.
No publisher use: N.p.



Quade, Alex. "Elite Team Rescues Troops behind Enemy Lines."

Cable News Network, 19 Mar. 2007. Web. 15 May 2008.

"Hourly News Summary." National Public Radio. Natl. Public Radio, 20 July

2007. Web. 20 July 2007.

Liu, Alan, ed. Home page. Voice of the Shuttle. Dept. of English, U of California,

Santa Barbara, n.d. Web. 15 May 2008

"Maplewood, New Jersey." Map. Google Maps. Google, 15 May 2008. Web.

15 May 2008.


URLs are not required in MLA, but your instructor may require them. If you decide to include a URL and it is broken up between two lines make sure there is no hyphen at the break.


Eaves, Morris, Robert Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, eds. The William Blake

ArchiveLib. of Cong., 28 Sept. 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2007. <http://>. 


Web Images (pg. 189)
Page numbers refer to the MLA Handbook

Artist. Title of image. Date. Title of Database or Website. Web. Date of access (day, month, and year).


Currin, John. Blond Angel. 2001. Indianapolis Museum of Art. IMA: It's My

Art. Web. 9 May 2007.

Lange, Dorthea. The Migrant Mother. 1936. Prints and Photographs Div., 

 Lib. of Cong. Dorthea Lange: Photographer of the People. Web.

 9 May 2007.


Author (Twitter username). "Entire text of the tweet without changing the capitalization." Date of tweet, time of tweet. Tweet.


Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare

event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.


The Core Elements (MLA Handbook, p. 20)

The MLA Handbook uses core elements as a guide for creating a citation. When you create your citation you should follow the order of the elements seen here. The punctuation you should use is also included. It is fine to skip an element if it is asking for information not relevant to your source.  

Valencia College has created some great examples of proper work cited and in-text citation formatting.

MLA recommends the use of URLs, but also allows for instructor discretion. Check with your instructor for instructions. 

 In general, MLA recommends the following:

  • Include the DOI instead of a URL if present. 
  • If there is no DOI, include the permanent URL or permalink. 
  • If there is no permanent URL, use whatever URL is present.


MLA List of Works Cited

MLA In-text Citations

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